Nerd chic

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From the comics to the conventions, these kids are showing a whole new side of diversity. Communities Editor Nicole Siena reports

You may have seen a group of students walking around campus in elaborate, what look to be, Halloween costumes.

You may have stopped, stared, or commented on the samurai sword one fellow was carrying with him.

Or, you may have walked up to their table during the campus groups fair this past September and felt like you finally belonged.

RU Anime is a new club on campus, which many of its members describe as an inclusive and carefree group.

“You’re allowed to be as immature or mature as you want to be,” said Dominik Kopec, RU Anime president and a fourth-year business student.

Kopec started the club last year after realizing there weren’t any similar groups on campus.

“I found that a lot of people were interested. That’s when I started the process last fall,” he said.

The group started with 30 members, but has grown to more than 271 over the course of the past year.

Anime is a shortened term for Japanese animation and includes many different Japanese subcultures.

These particular members take part in cosplay, which interprets the costumes of different anime characters and brings them to life.

Kopec said many people enjoy cosplay because it allows individuals to change their personality.

“You can cosplay if you have a good enough description of characters,” said Elizabeth Huynh, of administrative operations and a fourth-year business management student.

“Cosplays don’t have to be completely accurate, but as long as you’re having fun, there’s no harm, no foul,” she said.

Kelsey Brunton, a third-year theatre production student said, “this is a great, open way to get people together who have common interests. It’s a super-creative outlet for people.”

The group gets together to do everything from watch anime T.V. shows, to attend a variety of conventions together. Members said that the atmosphere they create together is welcoming and allows them to be themselves.

“A lot of people I know that are interested in [anime] are kind of socially awkward,” she said. “But Ryerson is about inclusion and diversity. Sometimes people get looked down upon or are left out. Everyone needs to be included.”

Shows like the Big Bang Theory, Brunton said, are putting nerdier subcultures into the mainstream, making inclusion easier.

In response Huynh said, “people can say what they want, as far as I see it, they’re not having as much fun as I am.”

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