A UMCA member stitches together a piece to bring their cosplay to life. Photo by Jane Goodman for the Alabamian.

The University of Montevallo Cosplay Association (UMCA) is beginning its first semester on campus. The Cosplay Association is a campus group for character costume enthusiasts.

According to Skylar Acton, the president and founder, the Cosplay Association is intended to be a place where people who are interested in cosplay feel safe and welcome. “When I started cosplaying, I gained a family. I learned what it meant to be unconditionally loved, and I wanted to provide a space where anyone who walks through the doors of the Cosplay Association is protected. I will do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true,” said Acton.

The association president started a similar organization at Auburn University before transferring to the University of Montevallo. He describes the process of starting an organization on campus as fairly easy. Student Life requires that a group has 10 members before it is officially recognized. So far, the Cosplay Association has 45.

The group meets every Thursday at 8 p.m. in Comer 308. “We try to vary it up,” said Cosplay Association secretary Farrah Harper, “We’ll have a panel and a workshop every month. We’ve [also] got some fundraising events planned. We’re doing Cosplay Chess, which is going to be partnered with the Chess Club, so that will be interesting.”

Freshman Prima Hall and sophomore Jessica Ledford both look forward to being involved with the Cosplay Association throughout this academic year. “I hope to gain a beginners primer of cosplay fundamentals, maybe sewing, possibly leather work.” According to Hall, “They seem really nice, like a family. I hope that I can learn some tips while also building relationships and having fun.”