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Gamers gather for a cause

Students Against Lack of Education (SALE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) hosted their first game night fundraiser in the University of Massachusetts Student Union on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 19.

SALE board member Nathalie Regis originally came up with the idea for the event. Since it was an experimental endeavor, Regis and her fellow board member Lanai Noble hoped to see the game night become a success.

“We are learning from it, and seeing what we can do differently,” Noble said. “We’re putting our hands in the pot.”

The night’s events featured a Street Fighter 4 tournament, a Rock Band tournament, pool games and chess competitions. The two tournaments were playing for a “mystery prize,” which will be awarded at the next general body meeting of SALE.

Rock Band allows players to form a virtual musical group including instruments such as guitar, base guitar, drums and vocals. It was five dollars to enter the tournament as a group, with a two song set list for each round.

Street fighter 4 is a two-player game which pits contestants against one another in a virtual fighting match. This tournament was intended to have five rounds at 60 seconds each, with a $2 entrance fee.

While the turnout for the Rock Band tournament was not substantial, Street Fighter had quite the crowd of participants. Seven players battled to win the tournament and the mystery prize, with the initial six rounds cut down to just three.

One of the tournament’s hopefuls was junior Yinan Shi. As president of Free to Play (FTP), a video game club that is new to campus, this event was a good opportunity for him to recruit new members.

“It is always fun to see new players,” he said. Shi is also an avid tournament participant, and is always looking to get involved in them.

Another Street Fighter contestant was junior Viet Nguyen. He has been playing Street Fighter for a year and this was his second tournament. In his effort to win the tournament, Nguyen said he was, “trying his best.”

Half of the profits of the evening will go towards education in Africa through another organization called Teachers for East Africa Alumni (TEAA). This organization uses the money to provide items to East African secondary schools.

The other half of the profits will go towards the NSBE’s national conference. NSBE is an organization who’s goal is to “increase the number of black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community,” according to the group’s mission statement.

This is SALE’s first big fundraiser, other than their semi-annual book drive. At the end of each semester, SALE raises money by collecting books, ranging from text books to novels. They then take the books they have compiled and sell them back at a discounted price at the beginning of the fall semester.

The main goal of the night was allow students to socialize and have fun for a good cause. SALE, a relatively new Registered Student Organization after only two years of existence, is “still gaining more support and more awareness,” said Noble, who added that the event was a good opportunity for them to further branch out to the student community.

Krista Wiberg can be reached at kwiberg@student.umass.edu.

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