‘BUGS’ provides stress relief


Justin Toumberlin

Sophomore Carly Hassenstab, Freshman Chance Prosser and Sophomore Kaycee Bauer, play Settlers of Catan, one of the many games offered at BUGS. Catan is an analytical game that challenges players to settle different lands and produce civilizations.

Story by Sarah Day, News Editor

The Baker University Gaming Society (BUGS) meets weekly on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Center to play a variety of board games and card games.

Club Vice President and senior Emily Pennington said she joined the club after hearing about it from her friends as a chance to relax from the stresses of the school week.

“I’d heard that it’s basically an excuse to sit back with friends and play games, instead of doing homework,” Pennington said.

Club sponsor John Richards became involved with BUGS under the club’s original sponsor Eric Hays. At that time, the club was just beginning and was the idea of four students, who shared the role of club president.

Richards took over as sponsor when Hays left the university and said the club is a campus-wide group.

“We are open to all members of Baker’s community, students or staff and their families, and the club has seen folks from all of these areas,” Richards said. “However, the students are the heart, and soul of BUGS.”

There are currently around 15 participants each week. Pennington said her No. 1 goal is to encourage all students to join and to make sure the club has a future on campus because of the opportunities that it offers to students.

Sophomore Morgan Toothaker said she joined BUGS as something to fill up her free time, but has found other benefits as well.

“I enjoy playing board games with my friends and meeting new people,” Toothaker said.

Richards said he enjoys being able to help provide students with a venue for an enjoyable time and a community within the club.

“Over the past four years, I’ve had several students tell me that BUGS got them out of their room and allowed them to make connections with other students,” Richards said. “I’ve even had a few who have told me that BUGS was a critical factor in their decision to stay at Baker.”

Richards said the club provides students with an opportunity for a positive atmosphere through a variety of games. Role playing games within the club stemmed from his interterm course that focuses on strategic board game play.

“I teach IE 181: Get the Lead Out: Tabletop Wargaming and History, which is focused on fighting out battles on the tabletop with model soldiers and vehicles,” Richards said.

“Some of the students who took Get the Lead Out also [were involved with] Eric’s board-gaming. They wanted to continue to play both, so Eric and I enlarged the club to include both types of gaming.”

Richards said he enjoys many games he plays, even if he does not win. His favorite are table-top board games. However, Richards said the best part is getting to know the students who are involved with the club.

“So many gamers I have known are genuinely enjoyable people,” Richards said.