The Queens College Student Union hosts a wide variety of student clubs appealing to a wide range of interests. One of these clubs is the Sci-Fi/Animation Club, which has been on campus for over 25 years.
The club is located in the basement of the Student Union building and is hard to ignore because of the laughter and humorous conversations heard coming from its office. Club members can typically be found playing board and video games, trading cards and wearing costumes.
Alexander Bernier Siesler, the clubs president, says one of the stereotypes the club has is that it is a club for “geeks” who only have interest in playing games, but Siesler is trying to break that stereotype.
“Sci-Fi club is a social interest club and many of the members here all come from a common background of interests. It is also a good outlet because people can come in with a similar interest,” Siesler says.
Siesler says the club started off as a tabletop gaming group, which primarily focused on the roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons, which many of the club members still play and enjoy.
Alexander explained the basic rules of the game and said it is a game where players use their imaginations to drive gameplay. A single game can last up to three years.
“Dungeons and Dragons helped me find friends because we were able to mutually experience things together,” Siesler said.
The club also has a video game room where students are able to hang out and play games, including the clubs most popular game, Super Smash Bros.
There are other sections of the clubs space including a computer and tabletop gaming room and a movie screening room.
Edward Sawtell, a new member of the club, provided a fresh perspective of what the club means to some students.
“School can be very stressful and this club is like a resort from all the stress in school life, especially calculus,” Sawtell said.
Sci-Fi club members seem to know one another well and enjoy each other’s company. They use their club space to come together, hang out, and distress while playing games and interacting with people with common interests.
David Arroyo, the current treasurer of the club, has been an active member for three and a half years.
Arroyo says the Sci-Fi Club is the largest non-religious club at Queens College. He feels the club needs a bigger budget for its events such as its game night that they recently hosted.
“The budget would not just go into events but also new equipment and furniture,” Arroyo said.
“Sci-Fi Club gives people the opportunity to show their inner selves through cosplay, manga and videogames,” David continued. “Sci-Fi Club is what you make it and a place where you start friendships.”