Theatre Guild Wins Academic Decthlon

Susan Aksu

The Theatre Guild took home the $1,000 grand prize after racking up the most amount of points during the second annual Academic Decathlon on May 18.

The decathlon, which was held in the Verdugo Gym, was set in a Jeopardy-style format with each team given a chance to buzz-in to answer the question after being asked by the host, ASGCC President David Arakelyan.

Teams that pushed the buzzer before the question was read were given a one second penalty, which could make or break the game for some teams. Teams which gave the incorrect answer had 100 points deducted from their score. Each round had 10 categories to choose from with each question valued at 100 points. Depending on the round, the categories varied, but commonly repeated categories were: capitals, languages, literature, biology, countries and politics.

Sample questions were: Which president was in office during the Cherokee removal? What are the Romantic languages? And who had said “the only thing to fear is fear itself”?

The questions were written as a collective group effort with each member of the decathlon committee writing out questions for categories they had a strong background in. Faculty members had contributed in writing questions as well.

In total there were four rounds, not including a student-faculty round. The student team beat the faculty, who were stumped by pop culture questions such who had Britney Spears recently divorced? Both faculty and students received gift baskets containing GCC memorablia.

“I think its very interesting to watch,” said Andrey Seas, President of Campus Crusade for Christ about the faculty-student round. “You have to separate generations going head to head, win to win. It is quite intriguing to be a student here and to observe this kind of intellectual competition. It’s fascinating,” added Seas.

Each round had six teams competing at a time and the two teams with the highest points advanced to the fourth and final round.

Although there were technical difficulties with the software, the teams were able to show off their smarts.

CCC, which had the lead in the first round with 1,400 points, came into the decathlon without much team preparation.

Seas said, “[we] reviewed some general subjects before the event, literally an hour before and we relied on what we already knew.” CCC advanced to the final round, but were unable to place in the top three.

The grand finale which lasted past 10 p.m., consisted of team El Vaquero, CCC, the Red Team, Conservative Club, Theatre Guild and the Japanese Club. The Japanese Club and the Red Team were runners up in the competition and were awarded medallions in recognition for their accomplishment.

Aside from winning the $1,000 grand prize, the Theatre Guild was also honored with a trophy. At the previous decathlon during the fall semester, the Theatre Guild came in second place. Alexandre Valencia of the Theatre Guild said what helped them win was the “synergy, besides being born smart.”

“We’re going to reinvest the money into the Theatre Guild or maybe give it to a charity. We’re just really excited,” said Valencia.

The Theatre Guild’s winning team consisted of Meagon Ligons (President), Jose Aguilar (Vice President), Amanda Hall (Secretary) and members Chris Beltran and Alex Valencia.
Additional monetary prizes were given as well. The team with the most supporters won a prize of $150 and the winning team, besides winning $500, were awarded an additional $500 for forming an extra team to compete.

This semester’s decathlon had been coordinated since February with meetings each week to discuss the event, according to Lia Thorosian who was part of the coordinating committee of the decathlon.”[The decathlon] was a collective group effort of all the decathlon commitee members,” said Thorosian.

Arakelyan had set his goal to have GCC be the first campus to have host an academic decathlon at the community college level.
He ended the evening by thanking everyone who participated in putting together the Academic Decathlon and the students who took to the time to support their clubs.