UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

Get into game Fridays with Tabletop Club

Olivia Reid
Students play pool in The Wave located on the first floor of the Campus Center. Photo by Olivia Reid / Photography Editor.

When the week comes to an end, many students face the same dilemma: “Now what do I do with my life?”

On Friday, the structure of classes dwindle, and it’s hard to organize the opposing forces of college life—social time and schoolwork—for the weekend.

Students who must promptly commute back home may find it difficult to find recurring time to relax and meet new people. Thankfully, the Tabletop Club provides a wonderful solution.

Every Friday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., they open the doors of room 2100 in University Hall to provide a space for all students to play a variety of board games.

But don’t let the “board games” label fool you. They don’t only play the regulars, like UNO and Monopoly, they also have a niche selection of deductive and strategy games that thrill members every afternoon. Their collection includes Catan, Poetry for Neanderthals, Codenames, Bohnanza and Magic: The Gathering.

President Josie Ridlen, Tabletop Senator David Phan and new club members Grace Lukelo and Veralis Saint Dick sat down to explain what makes Tabletop Club so special and why all students should stop by on a Friday afternoon.

Lukelo, a first-year student, first found the club through UMBeinvolved, and while looking through the officers, she found Ridlen: a familiar name. Back in high school, Ridlen was Lukelo’s ColorGuard coach.

“I got to introduce her to the sport, and she ended up being a very talented performer by the end of her senior year!” noted Ridlen. “It’s cool that now we go to the same school, so we can see each other around, on campus and in the club meetings.”

Lukelo first came in contact with Tabletop club during the Student Activities Involvement Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

“I didn’t know where exactly to go [after finding them on UMBeInvolved], but at the involvement fair I saw [their] table and I was like ‘finally!’”

Ridlen noted the fair was a great opportunity for the club to gain more exposure. They received around 50 sign ups, and Ridlen “had no idea so many people were interested.” At the club meeting after the fair, she was astonished: “I walked in, and the room was full of people; every chair was full. I was like OMG!”

During the following weeks, they retained many members. At this point, they have between 12 to 20 people coming each week and are always open to new people. Senator Phan noted the meetings are “episodicyou don’t need to know what happened last week to know what happens this week.” Similarly, they are always upgrading to meet the interests of their members.

This year, Ridlen reserved a designated space for people to play Magic: The Gathering, for which there was a strong member base. Similarly, there have been talks of doing a Dungeons and Dragons one shot, which is a storyline and adventure that can be played in about three hours.

“It makes it really easy for beginners to figure out how to play and for experienced players to play D&D when they have busy schedules to work around,” said Ridlen.

The uniqueness of Tabletop Club comes from what board games require players to do. They have a space to relax and have amiable competition. Phan explains, “ [It’s] a fun way of interacting with other people. With board games you get to know the person […] you get to know how they interact, if they are loud or quiet, or what’s their thought process.”

“If you are shy you don’t have to force yourself to talk to people, just join a game and get into it,” Ridlen said.

About the Contributor
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor