Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

A statue of Marshalls iconic M logo just outside Old Main.
University Makes Final Preparations for Campus Carry
Evan Green, Executive Editor • April 22, 2024
View All
Check won the javelin throw with a distance of 36.26 meters.
Track and Field Trounce James Madison Invitational
Wade Sullivan, Student Reporter • April 20, 2024
View All
Walk For Hope Flyer

Courtesy of Phi Alpha
Walk for Hope to Shine Light on Suicide Prevention
Baylee Parsons, Copy Editor • April 19, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter

HerdCon Cultivates Community, Organizers Say

Brooks+%28left%29+and+Alford+%28right%29+pose+with+a+HerdCon+2024+prop+wearing+their+shirts+from+the+university%E2%80%99s+first+HerdCon.
Sarah Davis
Brooks (left) and Alford (right) pose with a HerdCon 2024 prop wearing their shirts from the university’s first HerdCon.

HerdCon is all about bringing alike interests and their people together, the event’s co-chairman said.

“My biggest thing is how many students I’ve talked to who are really big on saying, ‘I didn’t know I fit in until I went to HerdCon,’” said Michelle Alford, library information systems technologist and organizer of the convention. “People are like, ‘They’re people like me who do those things and like those things.’”

That found community is one that enabled her daughter, Alford said, to find peers who enjoyed her hobby of Minecraft as much as she did; a community that ceased to exist in her daughter’s mind until she found it at HerdCon.

HerdCon will return to campus this upcoming Friday and Saturday, March 29-30, for its sixth year; although, hosting conventions at Marshall traces its roots back to the 1980s. 

Story continues below advertisement

Sponsored by University Libraries, HerdCon provides an array of activities and participatory events surrounding pop culture. All programming will take place in the Memorial Student Center and Drinko Library areas.

Monica Brooks, dean of University Libraries, also serves on the HerdCon team. She agreed that HerdCon provides a welcoming environment for students and the local community.

“What makes it worth it for me is just seeing everybody’s faces,” Brooks said. “You can tell that there’s a little niche for people to express themselves and to get excited about the things that they like.”

This year’s HerdCon will feature vendors, interactive workshops, a cosplay contest, panel discussions, food trucks and more. All activities are intended to channel one’s interests in fandom and pop culture, which is a mission point for the organizing team.

“We’re excited about that because some local scholars and people who are into the genre will be presenting some very interesting topics,” Brooks said. “The panels look really amazing this year.”

One new aspect of this year’s edition of HerdCon is a live recording of the event’s podcast, the “HerdCon Popcast.” Hosts Heather Lauer, Meghan Sexton-Harness and Alford have been talking about all things pop culture on the platform since 2022.

“We just started building a studio here in the library,” Alford said. “The iCenter is gifting us some of their old equipment.”

The event also advocates for collaboration across campus. The team said graphic design students have helped them during the planning process. In fact, this year’s t-shirt design was constructed by a Marshall student.

“It’s a great way to give people an outlet for showing off what they’re doing in class,” Alford said.

Others have the opportunity to volunteer online for assisting with all operations during the event.

HerdCon 2024 begins at 10 a.m. on Friday and will continue through Saturday, beginning again at 10 a.m. Admission is free for all who wish to attend and is open to the public.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will help continue the work of independent student journalism at Marshall University. If you benefit from The Parthenon's free content, please consider making a donation.

More to Discover
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Parthenon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *