Western New York Mensa

Niagara Gazette Article

Mensa test is Saturday

Niagara Gazette
October 17, 2007
By Paul Lane

Got smarts?

If so, you have a chance to join your fellow brainiacs Saturday by taking an evaluation during Mensa testing day.

The Western New York chapter of the club will conduct tests Saturday in Niagara Falls, Hamburg and Cheektowaga. With about 250 members in Niagara, Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, the club offers members a chance to achieve both intellectual and social stimulation, said Jaclyn McKewan, the local testing coordinator.

“While many people may have heard of Mensa, they might not know what it’s about. We are a very social organization, and we have a monthly events calendar with lots of activities for members,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Many friendships have been made in our group — I even met my husband in Mensa, and we have been married for over a year.”

Mensa — “table” in Latin — is an international society of more than 100,000 people who score at or above the 98th percentile on any of several standardized IQ tests. Only 2 percent of the general population gets in, while about 60 percent of those people who take the test are admitted; the test involves a series of logic and reasoning problems, but scores from other tests can be used for acceptance.

That might sound like a big deal, but Mensa members seek the same good times as anyone else, said Don Sementilli, president of the local chapter.

“Other than having qualified for membership in Mensa, we’re all regular people, working regular jobs, and we all enjoy a wide variety of social activities,” he wrote in an e-mail. “If there are any differences, I guess they’d be that you are able to engage in a really stimulating conversation on a wide variety of subjects if you wish (but be prepared to support your viewpoint, because Mensans love a challenge).”

Members also get the local newsletter, national magazine, access to various special interest groups with Mensa and invitations to video nights and other networking events.

“You’re able to engage in thought-provoking conversations and discussions while still socializing and having a great time,” Sementilli said.