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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Nerds get fired up about WTH!? Con

“Do you like walruses?” said sophomore Ward Sandberg. “Well, come to What the Hell!? Con. We do just about anything.”

This year, Yachting Club’s annual What the Hell!? Con took place in Duke Hall and Dana Auditorium from March 6 – 8, though the planning process started months earlier.

“The work for the Con starts when the academic year starts, probably before,” said senior and Yachting member Alex Trout.

There is no shortage of work for anyone to do.

“We need to find guests and figure out how much we need to pay,” said junior and Vice Commodore Ryan Siebens. “We need to make reservations, make a schedule and get members of Yachting involved.”

Every year, new members of the Yachting Club organize the Con. This year, the club elected Sandberg and sophomore Sam Knecht as con runners.

“It’s a very high-stress thing to do, running the Con,” said Adrienne Mattson-Perdue ‘13, who ran the Con in 2012. “It feels like a massive wreck behind the scenes, but people have fun and that’s really what matters.”

All Yachting’s hard work paid off, culminating in one of the coolest, yet nerdiest, events of the year.

“The Con allows a coming together of people from the wider Guilford community and people from the nerd community that lets us get our geek on in a safe environment,” said Associate Professor of Mathematics and Yachting Advisor Ben Marlin. “More than anything, it spreads a net that pulls people in and lets us know about one another.”

The unofficial theme of this year was a throwback to the old Yachting Club, inspired by this year’s special guest.

“We have the founder of Yachting coming back, J. R. R. Blackwell,” said junior and clerk Eva Sutton. “She’s a writer, and she made a couple of games.”

Blackwell graduated from Guilford in 2002 and now leads what she calls the “creative life.”

“She’s a well-known photographer and developed an RPG that won an award,” said Sandberg.

Yachting has been around now since 2001.

“It’s pretty big now,” said Blackwell. “A lot of clubs dissolve, so I’m excited that 14 years later, (they’re) doing their thing.”

Other features of the Con included the board and card game room and a bad movie room.

“The bad movie room is always good,” said Trout. “It’s just a place to watch terrible Korean knockoffs of Jet Li and Jackie Chan movies.”

Additionally, vendors, performers and artists sold and displayed their work.

“The Dealers’ Room and Artists’ Alley always feature cool stuff to empty my wallet, (like) comics, games, miniatures and costumes,” said Marlin.

One of the favorite events is the Geek Auction, after which, all proceeds go to Child’s Play, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospitals through toys and games.

Participants dress up in costume and auction off anything from homemade cookies to hugs to art pieces.

“I would call the geek auction (a) must-see for the Con,” said Mattson-Perdue.

Ultimately, the Con opens doors for people who are nerdy about all kinds of things.

“You can be very involved and involved right away,” said Blackwell.

Want to get involved next year? Join Yachting at their 10:30 p.m. meetings in the Community Center every Thursday night or contact senior and Commodore Patrick Withrow.

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About the Contributor
Nicole Zelniker, Editor-in-Chief
English major, Environmental Studies and Communication minors
Nicole loves newspapers, social justice and Harry Potter.

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