Why Join Mensa?
Mensa has a lot to offer, both socially and intellectually. No matter what your interests, and whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, you'll probably find something that suits you:
Local Social Events
Western New York Mensa's local newsletter, the Mensana, includes a calendar of social events for each month, some at restaurants and movie theaters, and others at members' homes. Check out our local activities page for a description of these events. They are a great way to interact with fellow Mensans and make friends and aquaintances.
The Annual Gathering (AG) is American Mensa's national convention. It is held over the fourth of July weekend, and hosted by a different local group each year. At the AG, over 1000 Mensans from around the country gather at a hotel to socialize, enjoy great food, and attend workshops and seminars in a variety of topics.
Throughout the year, local groups host more than 40 regional gatherings (RGs). They are usually theme-oriented, with programs and events based on ideas and topics like outer space, Hollywood, or the Wild West. Depending on the theme, activities can include games, dances, discussions, contests and guest speakers.
The Mensa Annual Colloquium is a national gathering with a serious purpose. Unlike the AGs and RGs, its main purpose is not socialization, but discussion. It is designed to provide a stimulating intellectual forum where members may meet with experts to spend a few days discussing a chosen topic. Past topics have included:
- Medicine in the 21st Century
- The Politics of Politics
- The Impact of the Arts on Civilization
Each spring, Mensans from around the country gather for Mind Games, a weekend long event where they rate new games released that year, including board games, card games, and strategy games. Each "judge" plays dozens of games over the course of the weekend, and assigns ratings to each one in several categories. At the end of the event, the top five games of the year are selected based on the judges' ratings.
Each April, nearly 100 teams from local Mensa groups in the U.S. and Canada sit for CultureQuest (a 90-minute test of cultural knowledge) at exactly the same time on the same day. The top 20 teams receive cash awards, traditionally designated for their groups' scholarship funds. Questions range from politics to science and from entertainment to current events.
Special Interest Groups
Special interest groups (SIGs) are groups started by, and made up of, Mensans who share a common interest. Some communicate via a website and mailing list, and others by a printed newsletter. Some SIGs are free to join, and others have yearly dues to cover the cost of printing and mailing. There are currently over 130 SIGs in a variety of topics.
The national website has a many forums available for members to discuss a wide range of topics (including music, fitness, politics, and cooking) as well as several topics specifically relating to Mensa.
As a member of American Mensa, you will receive its national magazine, the Mensa Bulletin, 10 times per year. In it, you'll find puzzles, poetry, book reviews, essays on a variety of topics, Mensa news, and lots of debate in the "Letters" section. As a member of Western New York Mensa, you will also receive our local newsletter, the Mensana, 10 times per year. In it, you'll find the monthly calendar, local Mensa news, as well as essays, reviews, and articles written by members.
Members of American Mensa can take advantage of several discounts and offers. This includes discounts on magazines such as Mental_Floss, Scientific American Mind, and Popular Science, as well as discounts at ThinkGeek, Hertz, Choice Hotels and Office Depot.