RSCO Feature: Puzzle Club

Madeleine Plourde, Staff writer

Last September, Nadia Stronkowsky and Jakquelyn Gauker founded Mercyhurst’s very first puzzle club. Stronkowsky and Gauker are both sophomore Dance with a love of puzzles. They wanted to share this interest with others in the Mercyhurst community. “We created Puzzle Club last semester sort of
spontaneously,” Stronkowsky said. “We thought it’d be fun for us and a lot of other people who enjoy puzzles.” Stronkowsky and Gauker now serve as co-presidents of the club. As co-presidents, they hope to bring people together through a shared love of puzzles, Gauker said. Typically, Puzzle Club meets once a month on Sundays. However, the exact Sunday is subject to change based on the academic calendar. Puzzles are the focus of the club, but the meetings consist of a lot more than that. “At our meetings, we do puzzles of course, eat snacks, watch movies, and just hang out for a couple hours,” Gauker said. The club can also be a healthy way for students to enjoy themselves and take care of their mental health. “One of our main goals is to create a low-key and fun environment
to distract from the stresses of being a student,” Stronkowsky said. Around holiday seasons, the club likes to give their meetings a specific theme to make it more festive. They have hosted both a Halloween and a Valentine’s Day themed-meetings. Their Spooky Shenanigans meeting had everyone attending dress up for Halloween. The club only started a few months ago but there are many plans on the horizon for its future. “We are currently working on having a puzzle trivia night that will have prizes for our next meeting in March,” Gauker said. The co-presidents also intend to have friendly puzzle competitions and to do more community outreach to help their club grow, Stronkowsky said. The club also likes to focus beyond the community here on campus. “In the next few months, our plan is to donate the puzzles that we have completed to local community programs,” said Stronkowsky. The club is open to all Mercyhurst students whether avid puzzle lovers or not. “If you enjoy doing puzzles you should absolutely join but even if they aren’t your favorite, coming to a meeting is a
great way to de-stress and just chill for a couple hours,” Gauker said. But for those who love puzzles it is a great way to hang out with others and it’s fun to share a hobby with so many other people, Stronkowsky said. Best of all for busy college students, it’s easy and low stress to get involved. “As a member, you can be as involved as you want and there really isn’t much commitment required to be a part of it,” she said. Gabrielle Harris, a faithful member of the club loves the social aspect of Puzzle Club. “Puzzle Club is a great community as well as a good way to de-stress with friends at the end of the month,” she stated.
Those interested in getting involved can do so by contacting either Nadia Stronkowsky or Jakquelyn Gauker directly, in person or via email. Otherwise, you can join on Laker Launchpad on the Student Hub. This is a new club, so they are actively welcoming new members!