Open letter to my Guildmates

I want to start this post out with a bit of backstory about myself. I come from a pair of loving parents, both of whom work. We live in a town on Long Island in the heart of white, middle-class suburbia. I went to a private school for six years, and nowadays I study Computer Science at SBU. When I hear my peers talk about student debt, I just have to smile and nod along because my parents have been putting me through college.

Don’t take this the wrong way- not a single day passes that I am not thankful for the upbringing I was lucky enough to have. Not a single day passes that I don’t feel thankful that I won’t have to leave this school being crushed under mountains of debt. Not a single day passes that I thank my lucky stars that I never had to worry about money, or going hungry because someone got fired, or worry that we might lose our house over something going awry. I love my parents and all they’ve done for me. It’s my hope that someday I’ll be able to repay the favor.

The reason I bring it up is because I want to stress that it’s not myself that I’m worried about. All things considered, me and my family will be just fine. For us, nothing is about to change. I bring it up because the people I’ve met, especially within the last few years, may not be.

And here I get to that letter.

Dear Gamers Guild,

A few semesters ago, a previous e-board was obligated to add a “safe space” clause to our constitution. Our president at the time generally paid it no mind- so long as nobody was being a jerk and making anyone feel as if they’re not welcome then there was no problem. The whole thing was redundant and just a buzzword that we had to put in to keep the Student Government happy.

I now understand why we need that clause and what it really means.

In the current general body, we are glad to welcome people of all shapes, abilities, colors, and genders, not to mention LGBT+ folks, immigrants, and people who are or are related to some mix of these. Our executive board has always had some of the above within it.

Looking at Facebook, I can see many of the people whom I share this club with are now fearing for their futures. People are nervous about their families’ well-beings as well as their own. Their worlds have, overnight, turned against them even more than they already have.

I think that now, more than ever before, the purpose of this club and my leadership have become more clear than they ever have been. We are a place where anyone, regardless of who they are can come and celebrate a bit of escapism from the world around them, both within the University and without. Where people are welcome to have some fun without fear of being judged for who they are.

And over my dead body will that ever change.

Please, come and play with us.

-Bryan Hauser

President, SBU Gamers Guild

PS: If anyone in my group would like to talk, please feel free to message me on Facebook, send a tweet/DM to @VmKid or send an email to vmkid95 {@} gmail.

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