By KC Longley
Dozens of students piled into the room talking and laughing, ready to have fun and relax for the next few hours.
Upon walking in, students are scattered around the room, some at tables and some chatting on the side. The most noticeable? A group of students sitting on the floor in a giant circle, card games in the center.
All of these students are coming together on August 31 in the Student Center (SC) to enjoy Queer Game Night.
The Queer Student Alliance (QSA) holds game nights every Thursday, as well as movie nights every Tuesday, both of which are in SC 313/315 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Emily DeBoard, the President of QSA, was pleased with the turnout. “There were at least 30 people there, and while 15 or so were people I recognized from their involvement with QSA in the past, the rest were strangers to me,” DeBoard said. “It’s been really cool to see how many new freshmen are interested in events this year. For that reason, it’s hard to tell how many of the new people are actually interested in getting involved and how many were just there to make use of an inclusive space to make friends.”
Most QSA game nights vary with itinerary, with different types of games and activities. Some nights groups will go out to get food downtown or explore campus if the same games start to get boring. This game night, students just ventured down to Chili’s if they wanted to get food.
“The room was split into three big groups, one playing Scrawl, another playing Cards Against Humanity and another playing another game that I wasn’t familiar with,” DeBoard said.
QSA uses the weekly movie and game nights as a way to continue building the LGBTQ+ community on campus, as well as other events they have planned throughout the fall semester.
“On September 13, we will have a tie dye night as a sort of fundraiser and fun event to start off the semester,” DeBoard said. “On October 3, Robyn Ochs —grassroots activist and public speaker — will be visiting campus to give two lecture/workshops on the negative effects of the gender binary.”
In addition to these events in the fall, the annual drag show hosted by QSA will be on November 9th.
“We also have small get-togethers planned, in case LGBTQ+ individuals don’t have a good circumstances at home for the winter holidays,” DeBoard said.
The QSA holds weekly meetings in SC 313/315 from 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. for those on campus that are interested in building community and meeting more students on campus.
DeBoard made a point to say that QSA related meetings and events are available to anyone who wishes to attend.
“Mostly we just want everyone to know that there is a place for everyone. If you’re quiet and just want to come hang out, that’s cool. If you’re into activism but not into social events, that’s cool. If you like social events but don’t care about planning or activism, that’s cool too,” DeBoard said.
“You don’t even have to be queer to get involved. We are just trying to build a community of accepting people to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ people on campus.”