StompFest entertains, raises money – Wrong team walks away with first-place title after scoring mix-up

The Baylor Transfer Society participates in StompFest 2013 at Waco Hall on Friday, April 5, 2013. Baylor Transfer Society stomped for the American Cancer Society. Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer

StompFest Competition Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer
StompFest Competition
Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer
By Sanmai Gbandi

A slip of the tongue lead to the wrong winner to be announced at this year’s Stompfest competition on Friday.

Out of the three groups in the independent category, the Asian Students Association was announced winners while the Baylor Transfer Council were given the award of Audience Favorite.

In reality, Transfer Council had actually clinched first place, but there was a mistake in the announcement.

In an official statement from the event’s coordinators — the Department of Student Activities and Zeta Phi Beta — the groups acknowledged that a mistake was made.

“Contrary to Friday’s announcement, the Baylor Transfer Council had earned a higher score from the judges. Although this mistake was unintentional, we understand the need to clarify the official results,” the statement read.

According to assistant director of campus programs, Cheryl Mathis, the crew members backstage as well as the announcer on stage realized immediately that the announcement was incorrect.
“We instantly realized that the mistake had been made,” Mathis said, “but we did not, however, realize how quickly groups were leaving. Groups had left before we were able to come to a consensus about how to rectify the situation.”

The chair of Zeta Phi Beta simply misspoke the results. However, the mistake was not corrected until later that night when the leaders of each organization were contacted.

“She felt very apologetic for having misspoke,” Mathis said, “but she knew right away that it was just a simple slip of the tongue.”

Despite the mistake, Mathis said that they try to make sure all of the results are correct for every show they put on.

“We make sure we play close attention to all of our numbers,” Mathis said, “We double and triple-checked our scores.”

After meeting together on Monday morning, the department of student activities and representatives from each organization came up with a way to try and rectify the situation.

The winning organization receives $750 to donate to the philanthropy of their choice. The Transfer Council and ASA will both receive the prize money to donate to the American Cancer Society and Fuzzy Friends, respectively. The Transfer Council will be awarded the title of first-place winners in the category. ASA will get to keep their trophy.

Mathis said that student activities and Zeta Phi Beta wanted to remain fair in their decision making.

“We wanted to ensure we were rewarding both groups for their excellence.” Mathis said, “but also ensure that the right group got the correct title.”

Jonathan Tunwar, Senior and president of The Transfer Council, said that they spent about a month preparing for the competition.

“We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t get to celebrate like the other teams did,” Tunwar said, “but we do appreciate that they are trying to reconcile the situation.”

Senior and president of ASA, Angeline Nguyen expressed similar sentiments to Tunwar’s.

“Stompfest is a huge part of ASA’s legacy, so we were upset,” Nguyen said, “but we do think that BTC deserves it. And in the end it’s about the charity.”

Mathis said that immediately after realzing their mistake, they wanted to make sure it was corrected.

“I would like to reiterate that both the department of student activities and Zeta Phi Beta are very dedicated to making sure that the programs we work on together are excellent,” Mathis said.

The statement can be read in full on the Lariat Web site.