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It's Northeastern's Turn to Push for a Club

As I settled into college life here at Northeastern University, it quickly dawned on me that I cannot make a run at the Collegiate BridgeBowl without a club. Lucky for me, I found out that one of the local players I know Robin Hillyard is a professor and the U26 USA2 player Yichen Yin just happened to be starting Graduate school for the first time. Suddenly, we have a chance to make a strong program here. All we need are enough people to be recognized as a club.

Now, let me stop for a moment because I don't want to be the next Jonathan Baumel and have my next article be titled, "Why Does NEU Hate Bridge?" While I would like to think that my university is more rational than its neighbor across the Charles river, I don't want to get my hopes up too much. As I am in the process of writing a proposal for a new student organization, I want my case to be airtight. With that in mind, I seek advice from the bw community on the following.

How do I go about convincing non-bridge players that Bridge should be separate from a "Playing Card" club?

It's obvious to us here at bw that bridge is a whole different animal from poker games like Texas Hold-em or slap games like ERS, but I need to make that argument to non bridge players. I know Harvard rejected their bridge club on these grounds so I want to be ahead of this issue. Hopefully nobody at NEU thinks we belong with the extraterrestrial club.

How do we make a club that lasts after the founding class graduates? This is a question on the proposal form, so if we cannot convince the university that this club will last, we won't be approved. This will be an important issue anyway if the club is to be successful.

How do we recruit people and keep them interested? Similar issue that appears as a separate question. I, once again, must convince the university that this can be done?

Honestly, I think that the biggest issue here is the steep learning curve of bridge. It can seem like a long time is spent in the drudgery of learning to count points, make basic bids, learn simple conventions and card-play techniques. If the time spent learning to a level where more interesting types of plays get made is too much, we're going to lose people. We cannot take for granted that everyone will just get it and start seeking out Life Master status. I think a successful bridge club is possible here, but I need the bureaucracy to agree, and I know of a nearby example that this is far from guaranteed.

Stay Tuned

-Jack Donaghue II

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