By Jamie Niland
During the Guild of Geeks first semester meeting on Sept. 28, First Officer Steven Hernandez and Guild Master Joshua Villafranca anxiously waited for more students before starting their presentation.
The Guild of Geeks serves as the only student organization at Texas A&M San Antonio dedicated to geeky things. Whether students are interested in “Attack on Titan,” “Super Mario Bros,” “World of Warcraft,” or “Pokemon,” this guild offers a community that Hernandez says more students should know about.
The group brings together like-minded people to talk about all aspects of geek culture, game and to raise awareness of the potential of interdisciplinary studies, according to the group’s constitution.
“I’ve watched this group fail before,” said sociology Professor Joe Simpson, faculty advisor for Guild of Geeks. “It was because none of the members cared to promote Guild of Geeks and recruit new members. So that’s where we need to start first; promotion.”
Fifteen minutes into the first guild meeting this fall, it seemed the group’s promotional efforts hadn’t paid off yet. Aside from Professor Simpson, and two student leaders, only two geeks showed up for the meeting.
The student organization originally started under Vicky Elias’ supervision in 2012 but stopped due to lack of interest and student memberships.
Until this fall, A&M San Antonio was an upper-division institution offering only junior- and senior-level courses.
“Because of the 2-year system a lot of members would join and all graduate at the same time so the group would die out because there was no one to promote officer positions,” Simpson said.
“The main reason [we organized Guild of Geeks] is we wanted a group of people who wanted to have fun on campus and also have a place for those people to meet. It’s really an organization for anyone since our guild covers a wide range of interests,” Hernandez said.
A few moments later, Edward Garza barged into the room.
“Is this the guild of geeks meeting?!” Garza asked.
Hernandez and Villafranca looked up surprised. As luck would have it, there were eight more geeks waiting patiently in the adjacent room. A mix up of room numbers on JagSync, the university’s digital student organization portal, confused some of the students who wanted to attend.
Eight potential members joined the meeting. Villafranca welcomed them and asked each to write their gaming interest on the whiteboard from traditional card games, table games, video games and/or anime and comics.
During the meeting, the room went from awkward silence to talk of all different kinds of multiplayer games. Geeks on the left side of the room were talking about Yugi-oh card battling and geeks on the right side of the room talked of the best websites for unlimited anime streaming.
“I just created a D&D [Dungeons and Dragons] character!” exclaimed Raven Diamond. “But I’m not sure it’ll work… is there anyone who can look it over for me?!”
Professor Simpson refocused the group by reminding the First Officer and Guild Master that officers needed to be assigned in order to keep Guild of Geeks moving forward.
“I definitely want to see this organization be a lot more involved by doing fundraising and events,” Simpson said.
New geeks were eager to accept officer positions. By the end of the meeting, a structure took hold and the Geeks assumed full leadership for their group.
First-year student Edward Garza filled the Keeper of the Coin position, also known as Treasurer. Garza also serves this semester as treasurer for the university’s Student Government Association.
Adam Lopez filled the Grey Warden position, also known as moderator. He immediately assumed full responsibility for keeping the meeting on track by reminding people to pay attention when conversations began to wander.
Jessica Germain filled the Loremaster position, also known as Historian.
Guild of Geeks still needs a Scribe, also known as Secretary. The scribe will record all meeting minutes and be responsible for the public relations and advertising efforts of the organization.
Later, talk turned to the group’s first promotional event. Ideas bounced off the walls. There could be bake sales, video games and food, anime and pizza.
“What about we order a bunch of wings and play cards against humanity?” Simpson offered.
Everyone initially loved the idea until one of the geeks said, “A card game…and chicken wings?”
“Ewwwwww!” everyone in the room laughed. “Maybe popcorn and an anime movie would work better,” Raven said.
In all, the first Guild of Geeks meeting for fall term attracted 11 students. New leaders organized promotional efforts and upcoming events. Students set goals with their faculty advisor to keep the guild growing and flourishing, including the raising of funds dedicated to San Japan tickets, Comic Con tickets and purchasing animes to read/watch together as a group.
Guild meetings are Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. in Room 218, until otherwise noted on JagSync.
For more information about meetings and events visit the Guild of Geeks facebook at: www.facebook.com/GuildOfGeeksTexasAmUniveristySanAntonio or contact First Officer Steven Hernandez at (210) 707-6031.