The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday January 20th

TARDIS becomes safe space for UNC nerds

<p>(From left) Alec Niccum, Alex Patmore Marquez and Alan Cat, members of the UNC sci-fi club TARDIS, pose outside Student Stores.</p>
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(From left) Alec Niccum, Alex Patmore Marquez and Alan Cat, members of the UNC sci-fi club TARDIS, pose outside Student Stores.

Niccum recently founded UNC sci-fi club Terrestrial Association Regarding Discourse in Sci-Fi — or TARDIS for short — with friend and junior Alex Patmore Marquez. The idea came after they became close in a fantasy English class.

“Alex came to me and said she really wanted to try and make it last past a semester,” Niccum said.

Marquez found that she and Niccum bonded with other classmates over the shows and books they enjoyed, which wasn’t always easy for them to do in college.

“We want to create a safe and open place for people to geek out and also be able to go to movie outings and convention outings,” Marquez said.

This concept of having an open space is what influenced Alan Cat, sophomore and the club’s treasurer, to become involved with TARDIS.

“Everyone needs a community. Everyone has their own story about how they first experienced sci-fi and what drew them to the culture,” Cat said.

Since TARDIS is new on campus, it will become an official organization at the end of the semester. Niccum said it will become whatever members envision.

“Wherever the club wants to go, we will go,” Niccum said. “We created TARDIS not only to gather people but to help them make the family they want to have in this community.”

Niccum hopes his big goals will leave an impact on UNC.

“My ultimate goal is to get a Chapel Hill Comic Con,” he said.

Niccum cited Raleigh’s Wizard World Comic Con as an inspiration. The convention only began in early 2015 but brought in thousands of attendees and is already selling tickets for its 2017 convention.

“If we can get one or two years where some people show up, we can be the start of something that will last way past our graduation,” said Niccum.

But even if TARDIS doesn’t achieve this goal in Niccum’s time at UNC, he hopes he can establish a vibe similar to the one people experience when they attend a comic convention.

“I wanna make some place that has the same atmosphere as a con on a smaller scale,” he said.

In this atmosphere, people feel comfortable expressing interests in comic books, TV series, video games or other forms of sci-fi media with others who share their excitement.

“A lot of people think nerds and geeks are antisocial, but we just need an open place where we can tell each other, ‘Hey, it’s OK to nerd out together,’” Marquez said.

Cat said he believes forming this sense of belonging is what TARDIS is all about.



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