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Algonquin student volunteers flock to Ottawa Geek Market

I’d definitely say being a geek is more accepted now. People may not understand it, but they can understand why people like it.”

At least, that’s what first year Algonquin computer science student Tyler Cooke, himself a self-described geek, said in the midst of the Ottawa Geek Market on Oct. 15 and 16, which played host to patrons, exhibitors and volunteers.

This year, there were a number of Algonquin students that had decided to volunteer at the event.

“A lot of the exhibits have things that interest me,” said Cooke.

Another geek who was enthusiastic about the event was the medic for the event.

“When I choose events that I’m going to volunteer at, I mostly choose things I’m interested in that I would go to anyways,” said first year paramedic student Alison MacKay.

Since it is a relatively safe event, MacKay explained that she mainly does public relations.

Patrons and exhibitors are pretty stoked that I am here,” said MacKay. “Every once in a while I will go around the floor to make sure that everyone is doing alright. If any of the exhibitors tell me that they have any severe food allergies or diabetes I will mark that on my map and check in to make sure that they are remembering to take care of themselves.”

Even though she has a serious job, she has a lot of fun with it.

“I mostly just dick around to be honest,” said MacKay.

MacKay has also volunteered at Ottawa Comiccon in past years.

“There’s usually a few (more serious) things that happen at Comiccon. I’m the lowest trained at that event,” said MacKay. “I like a bloody trauma, I will fight them for a bloody trauma.”

Even though this is only her first year in the paramedic program, this is her third year acting as medic for Ottawa Geek Market. She was able to do this because she has taken the medical wilderness first responder test, which makes her more qualified to act as a medic.

“I am rich in experience,” said MacKay. “It’s also something that I enjoy doing.”

The Ottawa Geek Market, now in its fifth year, focuses on gathering community groups and local vendors in order to provide patrons with unique trinkets.

The event, held at the Nepean Sportsplex just south of the college, is convenient for Algonquin students to volunteer at.

“I enjoy giving back to the geeky community, giving back to vendors and patrons,” said first year game development student Emily Woodcock.

Woodcock is drawn into the community through anime, Japanese live action, and cartoons.

“I like Pokemon too. Pretty fun stuff… no shortage of accessibility. There are lots of people to like it with me,” said Woodcock.

Woodcock has only volunteered at the Ottawa Geek Market and not Ottawa Pop Expo or Ottawa Comiccon.

“It’s mainly because I like the community,” said Woodcock. “Other groups could always use help.”

The geek market is not the same as Pop Expo or Comiccon. It is in a noticeably smaller venue and does not have any celebrities waiting for pictures or signatures.

This didn’t deter any volunteers, whose main interests were the vendors.

The Algonquin Times is a newspaper produced by journalism students for the Algonquin College community.

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