2012 Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations go to Lacey O’Connor and Donald Tyson. Both Lacey and Donald were the recipients of this years scholarship. They were each awarded $300 to help with their academic expenses at SUNY Oswego.

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Fall Mini-Con

We will be having our fall event on Saturday November 10 from 11am until 7pm at the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Oswego.

Admission is $10, which will give you access to the event all day and free pizza. The bar in the lounge will be open as well after 2pm (your admission does not cover the bar).

We will be accepting membership dues for the 2013 season and will be announcing the recipients of the 2012 scholarships.

If you would like to run an event, you can fill out the form at http://stgaa.org/choppacon/. We will have board and card games available as well.

We hope to see everyone there!

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Meet the 2013-2014 Board of Directors

Well the nominations have ended. And we had one nomination for each position so there won’t be any voting for positions. We asked the Board of Directors for the next term to provide a brief bio so you can get to know them.

President – Aimee Blair
Aimee attended SUNY Oswego from the fall of 1999 until the spring of 2003; she joined STG during her 2nd year at Oswego. While she didn’t hold any office position within STG she helped out in different areas including the first and second Arcons. Some of her best memories from STG include late night Dance Dance Revolution parties, doing her first cosplay for MTTB (Jesse of Team Rocket!), and being able to hang out with a group of awesome friends. She helped form STGAA by doing some preliminary research on forming a non-profit corporation. She held the office of secretary for the first STGAA term. She is looking forward to having a more active role within the organization as the president.

Vice-President – Pete Sterpe Jr.
Pete joined the Story Tellers’ Guild in 2003, attending Oswego as an undergraduate and graduate student. He’s been on Arcon staff for seven years, and was Archdeacon of Arcon X and XI. He’s also been STG President twice, helped direct the club’s Human vs. Zombies game, and been head storyteller of Harry Potter LARP and two different generations of the NY:SH Vampire LARP.

Treasurer – David Blair
David attended SUNY Oswego from Fall of 2000 through Spring of 2003 where he was a member of STG for all three years. He held the position of Vice-President underneath Alan Gallagher during the 2001 to 2002 season and was one of the handful of members that comprised the Anime subgroup of STG. David served as the Anime Deacon during the first Arcon, ran a Big Eyes Small Mouth campaign during his time with the student organization, played in Deadlands, Hong Kong Action Theater, and countless other systems that were thrown his way. David Blair is a founding member of the STGAA and served as Vice-President during the 2011-2012 term of the non-profit organization.

Secretary – Chris Green
“I am Chris Green, most people just call me Green. I attended SUNY Oswego from 2003 through 2009, taking a year off in between. I majored and graduated with a degree in Information Science after having switched from Computer Science. I was astonished when I attended my first STG meeting and saw dozens of people who switched a lot of interests, until then I regarded fellow gamers as elusive as Bigfoot. I have been on a number of committees and served as Secretary through the 2007 – 2008 term. My biggest STG related interest are probably tabletop games, although I think at one point or another have enjoyed just about everything STG has ever offered.”

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2012 Scholarship Application

The 2012 Scholarship application is live! The amount this year is $300 and the deadline for the application is November 1, 2012.

To qualify, a student must:

  • Be a full time undergraduate student enrolled at SUNY Oswego
  • Considered to have an academic standing of a Junior or First-Semester Senior
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or better
  • Be a member in The Story Tellers’ Guild student organization for at least one semester, prior to the current semester

The application for the scholarship can be found at www.stgaa.org/scholarship.

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Nominations for 2013-2014 Board of Directors

The nominations for the 2013-2014 Board of Directors is currently underway. If you are an alumni then you have until September 30 to send in your nominations. You can get all the information as well as keep track of who has been nominated and what positions have been accepted/declined at www.stgaa.org/2012.html.

As a reminder, anyone can nominate. However, only members that have paid their dues for the year can run for a position on the Board of Directors. And for elections in November, only members that have paid their membership dues are allowed to vote. For more information on these rules, please refer to our bylaws.

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2011 Scholarship Recipient

We received 5 applications for the 2011 STGAA Scholarship. Two of which were incredibly close contenders with two more right on their heels. Because of this, we ask our Junior year applicants to please apply again next year during their Senior year. Incredibly good stuff! Amazing the amount of time, effort, and goodwill that you have already provided to The Story Tellers’ Guild! We thank you all.

Ultimately, because of his dedication to STG, both promoting and supporting the organization, Mark Edward Smith Jr. is this years recipient of the STGAA Scholarship worth 250.00. Congratulations!

We apologize for not being able to make the announcement at the final STG meeting. Bad timing on our part. We will aspire to be better coordinated this next year (and have a backup and tertiary plan in place) .

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Fall Event: November 5th

Our fall event will be held on Saturday, November 5th at the Price Chopper Community Center in Schenectady, NY. We will have more detailed information within the coming days. So spread the word and save the date! We hope to see you there!

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Fall Event

We are trying to plan an event in the fall of this year. We are looking at holding it around the Albany area. We would really like feedback on when you could attend. So please take our poll on our Facebook page and let us know if early October, late October or early November would be better for you.

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Looking for Newsletter Chair

We are looking for an individual to fill our Newsletter Chair position. This position is unpaid, but would be a great resume builder!

Newsletter Chair Responsibilities:
1) Produce a bi-annual newsletter in both print and electronic format for distribution amongst STGAA membership.
2) Solicit ideas for articles and features within the newsletter.
3) Establish firm deadlines for articles and exercise editorial control over article content and quality.
3) Create a layout for the newsletter that is professionally designed.
4) Supervise the activities of any newsletter committee members in regards to tasks related to the newsletter.
5) Arrange for the printing and distribution of the newsletter with strict deadlines.
6) Report to the board of directors regarding the progress of the newsletter during the monthly meeting.
7) Work towards increasing the publication of the newsletter to a quarterly publication.

Newsletter Chair Qualifications:
1) Familiarity with a layout program such as InDesign, Quark, Pagemaker etc. on a professional level is preferred but not required. Knowledge of some of these programs can be taught.
2) Professional experience in a field related to journalism or web design is preferred but not required.
3) Is able to establish and maintain deadlines set by themselves and members of the board.
4) Is able to self motivate and set goals for themselves and a team of people under their supervision.
5) Is capable of appointing members to their committee as needed to help balance the work load involved.
6) Is an alumni of SUNY Oswego and a former member of the STG.

How to apply for the Newsletter Chair position:
Send an email detailing your qualifications and experience to jlahnum@gmail.com
Provide a brief introduction to yourself and why you feel you would be a good fit for this position.
Applications are closed on 6/30.
The appointment will be made on 7/4.

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Arcon Retrospective by Rob Kirker

As a former English major at OSU, I’ve always enjoyed that Arcon is a homophone for “our con,” because it really is our convention. It’s a big, messy, collaborative nerdfest that has its roots in a large group of gamers deciding, “Hey, yeah, we can do this!” And while I’m not on Arcon’s planning committee any longer, I’m guessing it still works pretty much the same way.

Let’s face it – gaming is a pretty isolated hobby. You and a handful of friends get together and tell some collaborative stories, but it’s not like going to an NFL game where you’re surrounded by thousands of other fans. It’s only at gaming conventions where we can join the larger gaming community, play different games, and meet new people.

That’s why conventions are so important. We can take gaming out of the basement, dining room, or study lounge and game with newcomers to the hobby, long-lost buddies, and new friends.

Plus, they’re a lot of fun.

For all these reasons I’d always wanted to start a gaming convention at Oswego. I’d been to plenty of college cons before, and I thought to myself, “Hey, we could do this!” Through my years at OswegoI watched STG grow from a handful of people to a veritable horde of dedicated and organized gamers.

Between the fall of 1998, when I first attended Oswego, and the fall of 2001, we had grown from less than ten members attending each meeting to over three dozen. I’d just stepped down as STG president as I began graduate school. We had a great president in Alan Gallagher who was supportive of my crazy schemes. I decided it was finally time – let’s start our own convention!

Gaming conventions aren’t organized by just one gamer, however.

We assembled a committee of those brave enough to organize a huge undertaking – or spectacular failure. Shamus Hair designed our preregistration packet and organized registration. Dave Blair put together the anime schedule and handled the logistics of the movie room. Bob Manning solicited board games and card games, while Mike “Godfather of STG” Virgo handled the collectible card games. Sean Treacy was our PR Czar and got the word out about our little convention through the local community and other nearby gaming cons. Jeremy Lahnum was my right-hand man, handling the roleplaying games (the bulk of the schedule). Alan Gallagher coordinated with our vendor, Boldo, and managed the vendor room. Lastly, Bret Gillan was responsible for our war games and miniatures.

Without these few, these happy few, there would have been no Arcon.

Our first order of business was coming up with a convention name. I’m not sure what apocryphal tales are circulating about the origin of “Arcon,” but the truth is probably far less interesting. I remember sitting in my dorm room with a couple of friends and using a dictionary website to find every word in the English language that ended in “con.” Once ideas like “Bacon” and “Deacon” were thrown out, we discovered the term “Arcon.” It was a variant spelling of “Archon,” a Greek word for ruler or lord. A little research revealed that Athens had once been ruled by a council of nine archons (which lead to creating a “council of nine”). That seemed to carry some geek cred. I seem to recall several possible names we voted upon, but in the end, Arcon prevailed.

The inside joke of calling the convention “Deacon” lead to the names of the positions. At first we had the Archdeacon as the convention committee chair and the Subdeacons as those who handled the various staff positions. Later the subdeacons became deacons, and it’s a title that persists to this day.

There were many bumps along the way. SUNY Oswego had never seen an event quite like Arcon before, and it took a lot work convincing the Student Life staff that we could pull it off.

I remember long conversations with Barbara St. Michel and Holli Stone about logistics. I remember selecting Laker Hall for its huge ballroom and smaller dealer room, but balking at the huge overnight janitorial charge (over half our budget). I remember having to rent tables and chairs from some local business and renting a truck to transport them back and forth. I remember buying walkie talkies for security and playing with them all con. But most of all, I remember the pride I felt when I saw the event come together. People were actually showing up!

We had a whole bunch of people gaming, buying stuff from the dealer, watching anime, LARPing in the cavernous hallways in the basement, eating junk food, and sleeping in strange places. In other words, we’d created a convention.

Mistakes were made along the way. I once thought Hewitt Union would be a bad place for a convention, with all the student traffic. I originally wanted our gamemasters to create modules for their games in case they couldn’t make it to their slot. We were overly optimistic and offered too many games per slot, causing some to not have enough players. But in the end I can only consider that first Arcon a great success.

I still remember Boldo, at the end of a very long and tiring weekend, said that Arcon was the best first convention he’d ever been to. That success would never have happened without a hardworking dedicated staff and the supportive members of STG.

That success continues to this day. We have a different staff and a different STG (though Virgo will always be there!), but they’re no less dedicated and no less supportive. I’m proud to say that I’ve been to every Arcon and I’m always impressed by how well the convention has been organized. It’s not just a weekend of gaming fun – it’s an STG reunion, a chance to see old gaming buddies I’ve missed over the years.

I hope to see many of my long-lost friends at Arcon X this year. I hope to play some fun games, go out and share a meal with old friends and new, try something different, buy something from Boldo, and share memories and make a few new ones. But most of all, I’m looking forward to celebrating this strange, crazy hobby of ours and looking to the future of “our con.” Who’s planning Arcon XI? I may just have a game to submit…

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