The Costume Players of Oakland University

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Joey Colby

Members of OU’s Cosplay Club at their bake sale last week.

Joey Colby, Contributor

The Oakland University Cosplay Club is creating a community of performance artists, cosplayers and costume lovers. Since the group’s first meeting on Sept. 13, there have been a multitude of costumed cosplayers on campus.

Last week, the Cosplay Club held its first bake sale on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The sale created an atmosphere of dancing, fun and camaraderie outside of Hannah and Dodge Hall. Homemade snickerdoodles, cookies and breads lined the stall. The goal of the bake sale was to raise funds for club events and tickets to anime convention, Youmacon.

The Twitter account for Youmacon describes the convention as “one of the largest anime conventions in North America.” A blending of the words “costume playing,” cosplaying is a central part of the attraction to conventions such as Youmacon. Many of the attendees dress in elaborate costumes of their favorite anime, comic book or video game characters for the convention.

Earlier this month, the Student Activity Funding Board (SAFB) denied funding for tickets to Youmacon. In a Discord message, President of the Cosplay Club, William Kent (he/him) stated, “bad news @everyone. SAFB has refused to fund any tickets to Youmacon because they say it does not provide any ‘educational value’ for the students attending. This decision is final and cannot be appealed; therefore, anyone who wants to go as a group to Youmacon must pay for their tickets themselves. I’m very sorry about this.”

The denial for funding from the SAFB has not dispirited the morale of the club, however. Members continue to get together for weekly meetings and make plans for other events.

Emma Sassak (any pronouns), a 3rd year Elementary Education major and secretary of the club, said — “the community is full of laughs. It’s loud and boisterous, sure, but it’s a safe place to be and we welcome anyone, even if they just want to see what the ruckus is about.”

In addition to the club’s camaraderie, there are other plans in the works.

“Study nights, conventions, trivia, even going to the cider mill [are potential future plans],” Sassak said. “We are also in the process of planning a charity event to raise money for the less fortunate.”

Membership for the club is open to all students — and not all members of the club cosplay or attend conventions such as Youmacon. The reasons for joining are wide and diverse. Meeting new people, learning about different aspects of cosplay culture, and learning costume design and artisan techniques are just some of the reasons.

Classi Johnson (she/her), a freshman majoring in Business Administration, explained “[she] joined this club because [she] wanted to get into cosplaying more and find others that have similar interests.”

Jessica Le (she/they) is a sophomore studying Information Technology. She mentioned her favorite part about the club is the people saying, “everyone I’ve met this year has been really friendly, and I’ve really been having fun with them,” Le said.

The community atmosphere aims to be tight-knit and welcoming. There is always something going on in the club discord server, as well. The Cosplay Club meets every Monday and Wednesday at 7:30p.m. in the Oakland Center. Any students looking to join or meet members can find the discord server on GrizzOrgs.