Club Spotlight: Anime Critics Union / CPAC

Estimated to be founded in 2002, the purpose of the Stevens Anime Club is to “provide entertainment to the student body as well as the general public in the form of Japanese animation and live movies, as well as trips to Japanese cultural events in the area.” Every week in Burchard 118, starting at 9PM, there are free screenings of Japanese animated shows, completely open to Stevens undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, as well as the general public, with free beverages and Japanese snacks.

Since 2008, however, the anime club is known to put on an even bigger production each April: Castle Point Anime Convention, better known as CPAC. CPAC was founded by Keith Cassidy to “provide quality programming and social opportunities for anime and manga fans, while also providing event management and industry relations experience to our staff.” This year will be the convention’s 10th anniversary, and is expected to break all former records of attendees. The two day convention will be hosted on-campus from April 29th to 30th, from 2 PM Saturday to 10 PM Sunday this year. In the past, Saturday was seen as a ‘preview’ day, with historically less attendees, but with the change of Dealers Room and Artist Alley, panels, workshops, and guest appearances happening both days, more visitors are expected to come for the entire weekend. Both the CPAC eboard and Stevens administration recognize that carrying capacity of our school is too small for an event of this scale, and have been encouraging online preregistration to gauge how many visitors to expect this year. 1,200 tickets have already been sold through preregistration, and there are plans to cap ticket sales at 3,000 day of.

The convention is entirely run by Stevens students: organized by members of the anime club, with the assistance of some alumni and student volunteers from Greek organizations day-of, including Alpha Phi Omega, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Nu, Chi Phi, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Kappa Sigma, and Theta Phi Alpha this year. Aside from Greek organizations, CPAC also receives much of its audio equipment and assistance from WCPR- Castle Point Radio, and photography coverage from The Stute.

Attendees will have the opportunity to cosplay, sit in on panels and workshops, shop in the Artists’ Alley and Dealers’ Room, play assorted games in the game rooms, go to a dance, and multiple concerts, among many more events. Special industry guests this year include Kyle Herbert, who has voiced the Narrator and adult Gohan (Dragonball Z/Super), and Ryu (Street Fighter/Wreck-it Ralph), SHINNOSUKE of ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D, a Japanese rock band, several Vocaloid guests, as well as more guests who are yet to be announced.

Midnight Movie Movement, the organization known for putting on shadowcasts each semester, will be having a panel at CPAC this year, as well. CPAC is free for Stevens students to attend. You can present your student ID at the registration table to receive a badge, and you must wear your badge at all times at the convention. If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved with CPAC, contact Jeff Corson or Faye Medinets for more information. For more information about CPAC in general, visit its website at castlepointanime.com.