Last year I decided to stand for a student society executive for the first time in well… actually only four years but the webmistress position for the old Pagan Society wasn’t exactly an active role. So it felt like more like over ten years. Certainly it’s over ten years since I was a university student (and that of a postgraduate flavour).
I’ve passed through a period (in my late twenties) of believing myself to be far too old to get involved in a student society and that I should actively remove myself from any perceived position of authority within it. many of my friends adopt this position, many others in their late twenties continued to plunge themselves into the societies that they had been members of as students and sometimes it does look as if they’re just trying to hang on to something. Certainly for a while that was the attitude I took (whilst regularly attending the roleplaying society to get my weekly fix).
Then last year all the conflicting ideas I have regarding how former and current and have never been students in one nominally university society came to a head and I decided to stand for Live Action Roleplay Representative on the society executive.
I genuinely believe that actually it’s usually better for students to be at the head of a student society but I also felt like LARP was in something of a rut and one thing I’ve noticed about students, especially student roleplayers, is that they like to keep things the same. “We fear change” isn’t just some humourous meme. I’m not a student and though I’ve been a regularly LARPer at that society for six years or so (certainly over the usual student’s three years) I’m still an outsider. I’m the tabletop GM who liked dressing up, I’m the Horror Ref who decided she liked hitting things with latex weaponry and above all I’m one of the children who got to play the UN’s refugee game whilst they were still promoting it.
I have a much broader notion of what roleplay is than a lot of people, especially students who’ve only just started out and though my idea of roleplay is far too broad to be encompassed in a student society but then I’m also a believer in shocks to the system. So I tried to cram everything I possibly could into my year, not because I thought that that was a good idea necessarily but because I wanted to expand the types of games that were available. More importantly I wanted whoever would become Live Rep after me what was possible in the hopes that some of my changes might stick.
Tomorrow and over the course of the next month, I get to find out ifit worked.