Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Longhorn Bridge Club to pay students to learn classic card game

Skyler Sharp
A student holds a deck of cards in Austin, Texas on Sep. 17, 2023.

New student organization the Longhorn Bridge Club will pay members to attend meetings and learn to play bridge.

New members will receive $15 per meeting they attend as long as they are University students and go to at least half of the semester’s meetings. The initiative is part of a collaboration between the club and Mitch Dunitz, development chair for the American Contract Bridge League. The league aims to “promote, grow and sustain the game of bridge,” according to their mission statement.

Longhorn Bridge Club President Matthew Rippin said he learned bridge to pass the time during the pandemic, but it was family who really encouraged him to pursue the game. 

My granddad has actually been playing for 50 years or so,” said communications freshman Rippin. “When COVID started and everything began shutting down, I reached out and asked if he’d teach me to play.”

Rippin first encountered Dunitz during a national tournament in Chicago. Dunitz’s talk on promoting bridge within college environments inspired Rippin, who, in late August, sent an email to Dunitz asking if he could receive funding to start a bridge club at the University. 

Rippin said he wanted to start the club to introduce more people to the game and the community that comes with it. 

“Bridge is a slowly dying game,” Rippin said. “The short term goal is trying to get as many UT students and establish the bridge club … the long term goal is introducing people to this community that a lot of people don’t know about.”

Dunitz said he hopes to continue funding the program past its first semester.

“As long as I have money, I plan on doing it,” Dunitz said. “I have plenty of money for this right now.”

However, Dunitz said money isn’t the only variable to consider — great teachers and a passionate community are also critical to the program’s success. 

“What we really need is, if Matthew is a great teacher, he’s going to teach people for the next couple years, so we will extend the program,” Dunitz said. “Then somebody who really loves bridge, who’s a year or two younger than him, will take the baton and continue it.”

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