ASGCC’s Decathlon Proves to Be Success, Benefits Clubs

Jennifer Tinoco

The first academic decathlon to
be held at a California community
college was hosted by
the Associated Students of GCC
(ASGCC) at the Student Center
on Nov. 18.
Academic decathlons exist at
both the high school and university
levels, but there has never
been anything similar at the community
college level.
ASGCC President David Arakelyan,
who was instrumental in
putting this event together, said,
“I am honored to have the first
community college Academic
Decathlon held on this very campus.”
An academic decathlon is a
fast-paced competition similar to
a quiz game show that tests the
academic knowledge of participants
in rounds of increasingly
difficult questions.
The competing teams of five
people each, represented clubs
on campus. Seated at round tables
with a buzzer in the center,
teams scrambled to be the first to
respond to questions, which appeared
on a big screen via Power
Point. Arakelyan read each question
aloud.
Each correct response earned
the teams five points. The questions
were composed by the ASGCC
and reviewed by Arakelyan.
The competition was organized
into four elimination rounds.
Seven teams competed in the first
round: Alpha Gamma Sigma, the
Cinema Club, The Fantastic Five,
the Japanese Club, the Pre-Med
Club, the Scholars Program, and
the Theatre Guild.
At the end of the round, the
four top teams won the right to
compete in the third round. These
were the Theatre Guild, the Japanese
Club, the Scholars, and the
Cinema Club.
The Armenian Student Association
(ASA), the Honors Biology
Club, the Organization of Latinos
for Higher Education (OLHE),
the Philippine Cultural Organization
(PCO), Speech and Debate,
the Student Team, and the United
Cultural Council (UCC) competed
in round two.
During the entire round, Speech
and Debate made it clear that they
wanted to win. Club president
Robert Cannon said, “I am just
excited to be here with my club
as a team.”
The four final teams with the
most points moved on to compete
in round three. This included
Speech and Debate, at the lead;
PCO; Honors Biology; and the
Student Club.
In the third round, the eight
winning teams answered 40 questions.
The Speech and Debate
group took the lead again during
this round with 40 points. The
other winners, ranked according
to score, were the Theatre Guild,
Scholars and Student Club teams,
and the PCO.
Before the final round began,
Arakelyan spoke about the community
college initiative.
“We need 500,000 signatures
[on] the ballot for spring 2007.
The initiative will lower our class
unit [fees] to $15 each. All signatures
must be signed by those 18
years or over, California residents
only, and they must be registered
to vote,” said Arekelyan.
“Also, every signature provided
by a club will get one dollar per
signature. I think that this can be
a great opportunity to fund-raise
for your club,” he added.
Going into the final round, the
Theatre Guild and the Speech
and Debate Club were tied in the
lead.
The Scholars, the PCO and
the Student team were tied at 10
points each at the end of the final
round. One elimination question
broke the tie.
PCO won third place, and the
team members received medals
and a plaque. Theatre Guild won
second place, and also receiving a
plaque and medals.
The first place award went
home with the Speech and Debate
Club, who scored a total of
60 points. Team members Sarah
Black, Cannon (president), Alex
Kang, Dianna Platero and Tracy
Reed all won one hundred dollars
each. They also received medals,
a plaque, and a giant trophy.
The Speech and Debate Club
also will get $500 deposited into
their campus club account. A total
of $1,000 was awarded to the
club.
“Our club has a very competitive
team. I guess that is why we
have been pounding the buzzer
in the previous rounds. A lot of
these clubs have never been in a
competition, [while] we are used
to it,” said Cannon.
“The ASGCC academic decathlon
was such a success. I enjoyed
it very much and the students
and people who helped organize
it had a lot of fun as well,” said
Arekelyan.
“The clubs enjoyed being a part
of this. We plan to have a bigger
decathlon and more clubs competing
in it for Spring 2007.”
For more information regarding
this event or future academic
decathlons, contact Arakelyan at
(818) 240-1000, ext. 5602.