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Central University of New Town Student Spotlight

The Student Body of CUNT comes from all over the world and involve themselves in a large variety different programs and classes. It's this diversity that we wanted to spotlight in this section. Every so often we will choose one student or group of students at random, from those submitted by staff members, to feature on this page. These spotlights are more in-depth than the Staff Spotlight, as they are written about them and their experiences here at CUNT by a senior student from our journalism department, and a senior student from our photography department takes the accompanying pictures.

Featured CUNT Student Body Member
For former Featured Students see the Student Spotlight Archives.

Student Spotlight Archive

Danielle Masterson – Chess Club

When most people think of Chess Clubs, it's usually not a pretty mental picture. Most people think about a bunch of socially awkward sweaty nerds hunched over chessboards and shunning all those who aren't intellectually on par with them. Occasionally you get a breakout superstar like Bobby Fisher or events like Deep Blue that elevates the image of the game, but these still don't change the general feeling about these clubs.

Luckily Central University broke this curse many years ago and has a much richer, friendlier, and diverse culture in and around their Chess Club. The first thing you'll notice is that there are actually more girls in the club than guys (much like the general makeup of the college itself). The second is that these aren't your prototypical, socially inept nerds. Most members of the club have well-rounded social lives and are extremely inviting to guests and new members of the club.

Today's Student Spotlight is also one of the Chess Club's current premier members, and one of the reasons they have been so welcoming and friendly the last few years. Her central group of Chess Club "cheerleaders"—as she calls them—has actually grown the group to nearly double what it was when she started here, and their guest game nights—where they invite the public in general to come plan with them—have been huge successes.

The Chess Club has never been as attractive as it has been since Danielle Masterson joined the team.

Danielle started playing chess when she was four, learning from her father—who was a state champion when he was in high school. Unlike most kids, she never grew out of love with the game as she aged, even through her turbulent teen years. In middle school she was the only girl in the Chess Club and often had to struggle to even get one of the guys to play her. Looking back at it now she realizes that they were afraid to be beaten by a girl, but at the time it just annoyed her.

None of this made her dislike the game at all, just the players she had to deal with. When she reached high school she was hopeful things would be different, but found it was mostly the same. Instead of growing more annoyed and withdrawn as she had been getting in middle school, Danielle started to think up new ways to change the way she was treated in the club. She knew she was better than all of them—or at least as good as the best of them—so their fear of losing would still be there. Instead she had to do something to encourage them to try and win, making it worth it to them.

She started making deals with her Chess Club members to get them to be more eager play her, and to do their best to beat her. She knew that since she started to grow breasts the guys became obsessed with them, so she offered any guy that could beat her a chance to see them. At first it was just a quick flash, but as time when on she started to agree to take her shirt off if anyone could beat her in a meeting. Rarely did she end up topless, although she did tell a few stories about times she was left without a shirt for the last hour of the meeting.

It was most likely these experiences that led to some of the popularity the Chess Club has seen here at Central U. She has initiated all sorts of new challenges, events, and side games within the group to make it more fun and exciting for all.

Ending up topless was shocking in her high school club, but around Central U it would seem like something fairly innocuous, so she had to ramp it up. Topless was just the start for the Chess Club here. Numerous members of the club now end up naked and even putting on shows based on how they finish their games within the meetings. Side bets of these kinds have become the standard for the Central U Chess Club. Even the male members are expected to play by them when challenged.

To make things fair, however, the club does have strict a ranking system and all matches, bets, and deals are weighed based on these rankings. This means that a "master" level player will never be able to simply stomp and strip a "novice" level player, but if the lower player happens to somehow win, they get a larger than usual bonus. The whole system is done to encourage challenges at all levels, while keeping things fair for all.

The public challenges are also organized by Danielle and her "cheerleaders"—as she calls her inner circle of organizers—and have their own set of rules. Although mostly the same as the internal group rule, they work a little differently since the non-member guests are not ranked and do not have to follow the rules. Mostly they are set up to have fun, publicize the group, and raise funds for it. All their events are always great successes.

There have always been these kinds of silly games and bets made throughout the years, but it took Danielle Masterson joining to organize it into something that works so well for all. The Chess Club has never been so popular and Danielle is the mastermind behind it.

TruthGirl Was Here

For more Featured Students see the Student Spotlight Archives.
Last modified on 2014/3/8 by Admin
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