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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal WiertellaMarch 1, 2024

Cosplay Club contends with COVID-19

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Photo courtesy of Rose Stierna

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, clubs and organizations have experienced unprecedented change, and have had to adapt to meet an array of challenges. The NMU Cosplayers Unite Club is one such organization moving to adapt to a changing campus environment. I took some time to speak with the Co-Conchairman of the club, Rose Stierna, who studies English and psychology. When speaking about the challenges they have faced this year, she said, “with COVID-19, everything [got] turned upside down on its head. Cosplay club was one of my only social outlets so I still wanted it to be that for incoming students and old members alike, especially since we are all feeling a bit extra isolated.”

Within the diverse array of clubs available to students at NMU, it’s important for each individual club to make its mark in some way. Stierna believes that this is what makes the club unique and accepting.

“Cosplayers Unite is a club where people of any skill level who are interested in cosplaying can gather. More than just liking the idea of making costumes of our favorite characters, we find others with [similar] interests as us, such as shared favorite video games, TV shows, cartoons and animes,” Stierna said.

Lately the club has been operating quite differently. COVID-19 restrictions have forced cosplayers to change the way they meet.

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 “We have in-person meetings once a week in Jamrich. Members are all required to wear face masks and respect social distancing procedures when we meet. For those who feel uncomfortable meeting in person with the virus, or those who are downstate for the semester doing all their classes online, we have a Zoom classroom to combine with the people attending face-to-face,” Stierna said.

Traditionally, the organization runs a yearly convention called the Superior Con, a cosplay gathering that takes place on-campus. The Superior Con was still planned and on schedule, but unfortunately the pandemic has led to another cancellation.

“Sadly, Cosplayers Unite will be canceling Superior Con for 2021. It breaks my heart that it’s going to be canceled two years in a row but we can’t in good conscience hold a largely populated event in a campus building. We discussed ways to enforce COVID-19 procedures but we know that even as hard as we try, people will still break the rules and lead to an outbreak,” Stierna said.

While the COVID-19 outbreak continues to make history, smaller organizations like Cosplayers Unite will have to continue to learn how to adapt and change to meet today’s challenges. Luckily, the club will continue to conduct activities. 

“We are discussing a small event for NMU students only where we would have some rooms and games set up so we can all still have a little fun. I feel bad for closing off the rest of the community, both local and cosplay, but we want to keep any outbreak solely localized to campus if anything were to happen and not have it bleed into the areas around.”

Throughout all of this, Stierna doesn’t want the heart of the club to be lost. “I want the club to be a place where everyone feels safe to be themselves and we support one another as much as we possibly can”.

Keep an eye out for events like this and others at https://superiorcon.wixsite.com/superiorcon or discover more NMU clubs at https://www.nmu.edu/organizations/current-student-organizations.

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