I sat down with two different gaming groups on campus, Cru Players and League Cru, hoping to discover tension between the two groups that would make for an entertaining story.
What I discovered were two genuine, generous clubs with nothing but goodwill for their counterparts and the community of UMHB as a whole.
Bells: Can you describe your organization?
Jessie Moore, senior studio art major and president of Cru players: Cru players is a group for tabletop gaming and video games and anime and pretty much whatever we can get our hands on.
It’s basically getting back to your childhood…We meet every Friday at the Moon building at 6:30 p.m.
Maggie Rodriguez, junior graphic design major and president of League Cru: League Cru is pretty much the esports gaming community on campus.
Matthew Boquiren, junior psychology major and vice president of League Cru: Esports is basically video games.
In contrast to Cru players who play tabletop games like monopoly, we mostly stay online…We meet in Wells 131 biweekly. Set up is at 6:30 p.m. and we usually go until 11 p.m.
Both clubs have a strong desire to serve the students at UMHB and do so through several different events.
Rodriguez: We want to have teams enough to go to our sponsor’s competitions and win our students scholarship money. That’s our biggest goal right now.
With our sponsors and with student orgs, we’re super thankful that we get to earn money and prizes that sometimes sum up to more than a thous
Moore: I like to provide at least a snack, because one thing we’re gonna do this year is raise awareness of student hunger.
The basic meal plan is eight meals a week; and some students can’t afford or don’t have access to other meals.
Bells: Events to look forward to?
Moore: We’re going to have a chili cookout where anyone can cook, and a silent auction for student hunger. The chili cookout isn’t about the competition; it’s about hanging out with each other and raising awareness of the issue.
We’re also doing a cosplay event for this first time this year. It’s open to everyone.
The idea started with wanting to have a group of people from Cru players going to A-con [an anime convention]. One thing that will boost interest [in the anime group] is a cosplay contest. It’s a fun way to show off a costume and all of your nerdiness.
Every other Thursday is anime night. We meet at the art building at 6:30 p.m. as well, and next week is our first meeting.
We do it in art building lecture hall so that we can study and watch anime.
Rodriguez: Our biggest event is always the day before Play Day.
We call it Play Night, and its pretty much a gaming convention.
We try and work with all the gaming clubs on campus, since now there are like four of us, so I’m even more excited this year because we can have a lot more tournaments.
Bells: How did your clubs begin?
Moore: Wesley was founder of [Cru] Players and wanted to take it into card games and board games. And Justice, part of League Cru, wanted to take it a different way…
When I was secretary, Cru Players was close to ending. It started with an anime sampler night and [the organization] went from six people to 21 people in one night.
Rodriguez: Our founders were pretty much three best friends who loved to play League of Legends and they were like ‘hey, I’m pretty sure there are other people who do.
So they met in the art building and taught other people who were super interested in how to play league and that’s where it started.
Bells: Final remarks to anyone interested?
Rodriguez and Moore: Check out our Facebook page.
Moore: We love learning new games, so you can bring your own or play ours; we have everything from Monopoly to Just Dance…we’re looking for potential chalkboard drawers if you ever wanna learn. It’s easy, you just gotta know the trick.
Guillermo Lopez, senior English major and vice president of Cru players: Stop on by! We’re really looking for potential officers too so definitely come check us out.
Boquiren: Whatever you play is fine. If you like to stream indie games on steam, that’s fine, we’ll build a community off of that. If you just play Minecraft on the weekend, that’s fine. Everyone’s welcome.
We’re here to build a community and to get those people out of their apartments and have a family.
For some, the only friends they had online were friends from back home, but now that they can build a community, its just that extra support group.