Tyler Knupp, a freshman studying computer science from Ullin, poses for a portrait as his fursona, "Quasar," Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2018 outside of the communications building. The furry fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Suits can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars, Knupp said.

At its last meeting on Feb. 21, the Saluki Furry Society reached the required number of signatures of interested members to become a registered student organization.

Tyler Knupp, the founder of the Saluki Furry Society and a sophomore in computer science, said he originally came up with the idea of the RSO when he was a junior in high school.

“I wanted to do it because I love the furry fandom for what it is,” Knupp said. “I wanted to contribute to the fandom by making a place where members could connect with each other and have a safe place to talk about the fandom.”

Jessica Smith, a senior studying linguistics said the furry fandom consists of a group of people with a common interest in human-like animals and characters.

Dylan Kaspar, a junior in Psychology, said the biggest misconception about furries is that it’s solely sexual.

“[Other people] see it more as a fetish than a fandom,” Kaspar said. “It’s not entirely untrue because there are people who do that.”

Knupp said that the Saluki Furry Society is not about the sexual aspects of the fandom but is also a break from daily life for students.

“[Saluki Furry Society is] to escape from general social anxieties,” Knupp said. “Being able to put on the persona of your character and enact that.”

Smith said the RSO is an escape from everyday life for her.

“For me, it’s kind of escaping the responsibilities that come with being a human adult,” Smith said. “[To] just go out, just have fun for once. Not anyone nagging at you to do this, to do that.”

Smith said in the furry group, each person creates an animal character called a fursona.

“[It’s] basically themselves as some anthropomorphic character,” Smith said. “It’s being yourself in a way that normally you can’t around other people.”

Knupp said that some furries have their fursonas as human-animal hybrids, animals with human characteristics.

They don’t have to be mammals, either; Reptile, amphibian and insect fursonas are also possible.

Some furries take it a step further is by making or buying themselves a fursuit, Knupp said.

“The fursona comes before the fursuit,” Knupp said. “It’s of an anthropomorphic character. Some animal [other than human], it could be a hybrid, it could be a mythical creature.”

A common misconception within the fandom, Knupp said, is that every furry has to have a fursuit.

“That is very untrue,” Knupp said. “A large majority of furries at any convention do not have fursuits.”

Anna Freeman, a sophomore in animation, said the making of a fursuit is creativity driven.

“It’s very art based because these are handmade,” Freeman said. “The more detailed you get the more expensive they get. There are some that look very realistic, like actual animals with moving jaws and electronics.”

Knupp said if someone were to get a fursuit made by someone else they would usually spend $2,000.

“[That’s] why I made one myself,” Knupp said. “I spent about under $300 on supplies. It took a while, but it’s much cheaper than two grand.”

As far as future events go Knupp said he wants to have all decisions of the RSO made by the group instead of just within the executive board.

Currently, Saluki Furry Society doesn’t have any specific events planned, Knupp said. So far, the first idea is called a furbowl.

“[It’s] a meet-up of furries at a bowling alley,” Knupp said. “Some people might come in suits. I’ll wear my suit if we do end up having one.”