Pioneer Public: Lulu James


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Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

With the start of the spring semester, COVID-19 cases began to rise on campus. Numerous clubs on campus applied new coronavirus protocols to accommodate this spike, but one says it made safety its main priority when it came to resuming club activities this semester.

The Point Park Role Playing Game (RPG) club is run by president and freshman acting major, Lulu James. As a big fan of board games and RPGs, James joined the club to share that passion for games with other students and help create a safe place where people could meet each other.

“I wanted to create a way to meet other people with similar interests,” James said. “I also wanted to give people who were interested in role-playing games like D&D an opportunity to try their hand at playing them.”

The club meets to play different games and currently is completely virtual to keep club members safe. James saw some safety measures in Pittsburgh disappear as she noticed fewer people wearing masks and a greater number of exposures on campus.

“I’ve been to a good number of establishments where employees haven’t worn masks, which makes me uneasy,” James said. “It sometimes seems like people aren’t taking things as seriously as they should be.”

It’s not just the way that the city is handling coronavirus that upsets James, she said, it is the way the university is handling the situation as well. She said she wished for a virtual option when the university announced classes would still be occurring in person. The university protocols are a part of the reason the club is currently virtual.

“I was admittedly apprehensive when we were informed we’d been returning to campus,” James said. “Two of my professors have gotten coronavirus, and that doesn’t make me feel great about the fact that we’re in person. I understand why the university would prefer us to be in person, and no one enjoys virtual classes, but I would definitely feel safer if I was taking virtual classes.”

Some of the changes the club has enacted to keep away from large gatherings are online primary campaigns for D&D, virtual meetings and online events such as board game nights. James made the decision so that the club could still be active while encouraging safety on campus.

“I really wanted members to feel safe and to encourage them to play virtually so that they could still have fun playing games as a group and still have a chance to socialize,” James said.

James isn’t sure where the future of the club lies but hopes that the club will eventually meet in person. In the meantime, the club will continue to hold everything virtually and communicate through its Discord server.

“I honestly have no clue [what the future looks like for the club],” James said. “I’d like to be optimistic, but for now, I think it’s just best to focus on keeping things safe and fun. It seems unlikely that we’ll be back in person this semester, but hopefully, things will improve before the next one.”