Dara DeFreitas has always had a passion for all things nerdy.
So when she arrived at Mount Royal University to study journalism she discovered that numerous clubs existed, but there was nothing specifically for nerdy individuals.
In September, 2011 she took a risk and used her crafty networking skills to create, and become the president of, ClubN3Rd.
“When we had our first club days to recruit members I was only anticipating that maybe 50 people would show up but 200 people showed and we were amazed at the turn out,” said DeFreitas.
ClubN3Rd caters to many interests including video games, costuming, table top games, comic books, and more. The club also accepts non-students as members.
“Originally the club was only campus based, but to get around that we invited the general public out to our fund-raising events or any weekly events that take place for ClubN3Rd.”
Over the last year the club has become increasingly popular because of DeFreitas’ networking skills, Facebook, and word of mouth.
“The club has been designed as a way for nerds to socialize or become more sociable and participate in interests they share with others. It’s a safe place for them to come and be accepted for who they are,” said DeFreitas.
Caitlin Bennett became an active member of Club N3Rd in 2011. She began playing some Dungeons and Dragons games, then gradually began meeting new people within the group.
“It sounds really cheesy but I have made some really amazing friends and although I had been at MRU for five years before joining ClubN3Rd and I had met many people, I never really cultivated a real friendship. Thanks to ClubN3Rd I found a place where people share the same interests as me,” said Bennett.
Recently DeFreitas has collaborated with local Calgary businesses to develop discount cards that can be purchased by members for $5.
The cards can be shown at numerous places such as: Sentry Box, SwitchBox, Alchemy Apparel, Redd Skull Comics, Famoso Pizzeria, Bikram Hot Yoga South, and Ceilis Irish Pub South. DeFreitas has future goals of expanding the club into a local business after she graduates from MRU.
If people wish to join ClubN3Rd they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.