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RPG Night brings fun and games through role-playing

Jake Kirkwood, a white male student and Cris Mora Rubio, a black male student, sitting in a room.
Jake Kirkwood, a junior creative writing major, and Cris Mora Rubio, a junior public health major, speak to each other during the ‘Lasers and Feelings’ game in the Bassis Student Center March 15. Rubio said he always wanted to play and was really happy to participate. Photo courtesy of Tommy Howells. Image Description: Jake Kirkwood and Cris Mora Rubio, two male students, sitting in a room.

The Disability Justice and Board with Friends clubs collaborated to host RPG Night with micro-role-playing games, or single-session tabletop role-playing games with light rules, March 15. The two clubs wanted to create an event that was as inclusive as possible, according to Christopher LeCluyse, professor of English and advisor of The Board with Friends club.

“The Board with Friends officers and I had been thinking of ways to get people together as we come out of the separation imposed by the pandemic,” LeCluyse said. “We also wanted to provide some kind of service to the wider campus community.”

The event was held at the Bassis Center and attended by members of the two clubs and Westminster College students. 

When presented with an opportunity to partner on the event, Daniel Fenn, a sophomore public health major and Disability Justice Coordinator, said they noted the common benefits of coordinating and immediately jumped on the opportunity.

“A lot of disabled people face isolating circumstances for a lot of different reasons, and we ultimately just hope to provide a space where we can connect, have fun and be ourselves [while roleplaying as another character],” Fenn said. “I want us all to shamelessly smile and laugh and feel safe,” 

Omar Al-Jafaari, a sophomore computer science major, said he attended the event to unwind and play games.

Daniel Fenn, a male student, sitting in an open-spaced room.
Daniel Fenn, a sophomore public health major and Disability Justice coordinator, oversees one of the events at RPG Night in the Bassis Student Center March 15. Fenn is the co-coordinator of the Disability Justice program and was the RPG Night organizer. Photo courtesy of Tommy Howells. Image Description: Daniel Fenn, a male student, sitting in an open-spaced room.

“I heard about the event and decided to come, plus I knew a few people that were going,” Al-Jafaari said. “I like what the group is doing and wanted to support.”

Cris Mora Rubio, a junior public health major, said they were curious about RPGs and attended the event because it was so accessible.

“I felt like going to a place where there are experienced players would be intimidating, but I felt comfortable learning about the tabletop RPGs with Westminster [students],” Rubio said.

The Board with Friends club goals include connecting people, building community, encouraging creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and creating a respectful environment inclusive of all participant’s identities and abilities, according to Christopher LeCluyse, professor of English and advisor of The Board with Friends club.

Disability Justice aims to create a space—physical, social, and institutional—that centers disabled voices in a way that is empowering and humanizing, according to Fenn.

Fenn said through centering the experiences of all disabled people, Disability Justice  builds understanding, education and solidarity within the Westminster community.

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Tommy Howells (he/him) is a junior communications major at Westminster College. When he’s not busy doing schoolwork, Tommy can be found in the Bassis Student Center ordering steamed milk. He enjoys playing video games and binge watching his favorite shows.

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