Imports and Domestics: Car appreciation and education at the university

Nicole Bibeau, Contributing Writer

Are you interested in cars? If so, the Imports and Domestics car club is the recognized student organization (RSO) for you.

Former University of New Haven student founded the Imports and Domestics car club Unfortunately, in 2017, Bradshaw passed away in a car accident. Following the accident, his friends, Kyle Kanaitis and Merranda Zehner, along with the support of others who knew Bradshaw, finished the process of founding the club.

The club’s general meetings are every Monday at 8:30 p.m. in Westside 111. This is a time where members discuss business matters and engage in mechanical education.

Some of the members are mechanics by trade, such as the club’s president, junior business marketing major Christian Castro. This allows for the club members to use their car knowledge and put it to the test. Usually, the club members will work on their personal cars.

Their practice ranges from jump-starting cars, checking brakes, changing oil, working on cold air intakes and straight pipes and doing tire rotations, to name a few. You do not need any experience with cars to be a member of this organization; some members do not even have their driver’s license yet.

This club hopes to promote a diverse and social community on campus, united by a passion for cars.

“The beauty of the club is that everyone can relate and connect to their love of cars,” Castro said. “The uniqueness of the car community is that it connects people from all different walks of life, and the club runs as a family.”

The club hosts several events throughout the year. Recently, on Oct. 28, the club hosted a trunk-or-treat, where members decorated their cars and handed out candy to students.

The biggest event that the Imports and Domestics club hosts on campus is the annual spring car show. The first-ever car show took place in spring 2019 and typically hosts about 300 people from the local car community. Due to COVID-19, the club has not been able to have outside guests, but the club has high hopes for next semester.

Vice President and mechanical engineering senior Jared Blue said, “Hopefully we can have off campus guests come and see the car community, and the students can get together to bond over cars.”

Erin Dunne, treasurer and criminal justice senior, transferred to the university after her freshman year and said this club took her in and welcomed her.

“I will forever be grateful for that,” Dunne said. “I love that our club is like a family and I look forward to our weekly meetings and group activities so much.”

The club hopes to host its annual car show this spring. The club is also interested in becoming more involved with other events on campus. Currently, the club is trying to cosponsor more events and set its roots on campus, given that the club is still fairly new.

You can reach out to [email protected] to join.