Residential colleges duke it out in quiz bowl

By Sally Ann Moyer

The friendly rivalry between the Honors Residential College and Brooks Residential College will go public on Saturday.

The two residential colleges will host the finals of the second annual Residential College Quiz Bowl at 11 a.m. in the Alexander Reading Room.

“It gets pretty intense; a lot of people take it really seriously,” Cottonport, La., sophomore Tucker Blackledge, a member of Team Nightwing from the Honors Residential College, said.

Team Nightwing is hoping to have its name engraved on the trophy for the second year in a row.

Team Nightwing is composed of five students: Austin sophomore Harrison Lemke, Fort Worth sophomore Drew Cody, San Marcos sophomore Kelsey Henry, Covington, La, junior Preston Morton and Blackledge.

“Quiz Bowl really builds a team-type feel, like there’s a real camaraderie to it whenever you have to depend on somebody and it’s just really good at building some kind of communal feeling whenever people come down and watch,” Blackledge said.

The Royal Hippogriffs will represent Brooks Residential College: Houston senior Anson Jablinski, Aledo senior Jennifer Atwood, La Canada Flintridge, Calif., sophomore Ryan Gerlach, Cedar Park junior Emily Goeke and Baytown junior Robin Vander Pol.

“It’s something we all think is a lot of fun so we encourage people to come out and watch,” Jablinski said.

Houston senior Jeremy Goss, senior community leader at the Honors Residential College, has been in charge of organizing the competition since its initial year.

“In the activities that we do, we realized that we’ve challenged students in every way except academic,” Goss said. “We knew we definitely have the audience for academic events.”

While Goss is open to expanding the event to all residence halls in future years, the competition began between the two residential colleges to keep it competitive.

“We’ve already got these sort of unspoken tensions with Brooks because we’re both residential colleges and got our residential college status in the same year,” Goss said.

Organizing the competition included assistance from both residential colleges and Baylor faculty.

Dr. Thomas Hibbs, dean of the Honors College, assisted in emailing professors to submit trivia questions.

As many questions as possible were drawn from faculty submissions, but some were also drawn from online sources and the National Academic Quiz Tournament, Goss said.

“We ask a wide range of questions in hopes that the students have many opportunities to answer them,” Goss said.

Categories include business, accounting, finance, classics, biology, pop culture, art, music, economics and chemistry.

“It always surprises me that it’s not necessarily the person whose major it is who answers the question, who gets it right,” Goss said.

The student leadership team for the quiz bowl verifies the questions and answers, but sometimes controversies arise during the tournament.

“Some of the questions will get contested, just because these guys are certain they’ve got the right answer,” Goss said, “but in every case from last year, our answers were correct.”

Team Nightwing will compete in the finals because of its victory in the preliminary rounds for the Honors Residential College.

Six Honors Residential College teams competed in three rounds.

The Royal Hippogriffs are the only team from Brooks Residential College to compete this year.

“They’re just more intense about it at the HRC than we are,” Jablinski said.

He competed on a team for Brooks Residential College last year that did not make it to the final round against the Honors Residential College.

“There are more of those kind of people who really like quiz bowls at the Honors Residential College, so they’re just easier to dig up, easier to find. At Brooks, we kind of had to shake down and go around and find some people to do this,” Jablinski said.

Atwood also participated on the same team as Jablinski last year.

“I joined because mostly I think the event is important insomuch as building up a sort of friendly, competitive rivalry between us and the HRC,” Atwood said.

Team Nightwing made T-shirts for the finals last year and has done so again this year.

“They made really intense team shirts that were very, sort of, taking friendly jabs at Brooks in a spirit of good competition,” Atwood said.

Blackledge said he enjoys getting into the friendly spirit of the competition.

“There’s a lot of competition, but there’s no animosity afterward,” Blackledge said.

Atwood said she would like to see more future involvement from students at Brooks
Residential College.

“I would hope in years future that we would be able to drum up more spirit for it on our side,” Atwood said.

She said sharing the fun of the competition should create more interest for future years.

“We have the group of people who always comes downstairs and watch ‘Jeopardy’ in the JCR [junior common room] religiously, and it’s just because random trivia is fun,” Atwood said.

During the competition, two teams of five people, with four from each team competing at a time, buzz in their answers to the variety of questions.

The first person from either team to buzz gets to answer, but conferring with teammates is not allowed.

Questions occur in two rounds of 15 minutes each with a two-minute break in between.

The questions occur in randomized order, so those in the second half are worth twice as many points but not more difficult, Goss said.