In only two days, 'nerds' come together and find comfort in new club
Peter White, a member of Club N3Rd discusses why he joined the club and what the definition ‘Nerd’ means to him.
Video by: Anna Majowski
Many universities have a variety of clubs that make up most of the student population. At Mount Royal University, Club N3Rd signed up 280 members in just two days.
Peter White, a self-proclaimed nerd, said, "There hasn't been any sort of club like this at Mount Royal before, and I've wanted something to do at school and some people to hang out with that share my interests, so as soon as I saw the sign I said, 'this is where I need to be.'"
"It's a place where I can hang out with people that share my interests and that's hugely important. It's a community... It really makes it worthwhile being here," he said.
Founder of Club N3Rd, Dara DeFreitas (a student in the journalism program at MRU and writer for the Calgary Journal) used the website SurveyMonkey to ask members different questions. Out of 228 who chose to answer the gender question, 165 said they were male, while 63 were female.
When asked what kind of nerd they were, 143 people said they were a video game nerd, 8 said they were a comics or graphic novel nerd, 21 said they were anime and manga nerd, four considered themselves a cosplay or costuming nerd, 25 said they were a movie, TV or Web series nerd, 10 were a tabletop gaming nerd and 11 people said that they were a novels and books nerd.
Frank Rosica, a freshman, said he joined the club because it's fun and a way for him to meet new people.
Adam Hollaway, Vice President of Club N3Rd and a self-proclaimed 'closet nerd' at one point in his life said that by being a part of something with so many other people who enjoy the things that you do is a great way to come together and express your inner nerd.
"I guess people see nerds as being outcasts...I think 280 people joined in two days because I guess that not everyone is out of the closet. Everyone loves to do stuff like play video games and socialize...They want to find something cool to do with people that enjoy it too," he said.
From the survey mentioned above, members explained what they wanted to gain from being a part of Club N3Rd.
One responded, "Being comfortable as a nerd with fellow nerds."
Others included, "Chill with like-minded people" and "looking to meet cool people who enjoy the same hobbies as me."
At a recent party held for the club members, nerds came together to play video games, Dungeons & Dragons, card games like Magic and to just socialize with others who wouldn't judge.
Many of these self-proclaimed nerds like Cooper Thompson said that they know people view them as social outcasts, but now that there are so many of them together it's hard to label them as that.
When members taking part in the survey were asked to describe their inner nerd in one word many said "closet," "intellectual," "awkward" or "eccentric."
Amber Shannon said that being a nerd is, "Being able to do what you want."
"You don't have to be like the rest of society and you just feel comfortable being weird,"she stated.
"This is my first year and I don't really have a lot of friends and I have trouble meeting people who are into this kind of thing, so I figured it would be a good opportunity."
Like many others, Katy Masten a member of the club said, "It means being yourself. Technically everyone is a nerd; you just have to be yourself...they just don't want to admit it."
"It feels comfortable. I'm actually with people that understand."
- By Anna Majowski