Students showcase academic prowess


Photo by: Elodi Breg

Thessalonia Thomas adds names to the bracket as President Carter draws the names and Mark Blackwell calls them out.

Kaitlyn Luna and Alex Turbeville

FMU hosted the opening of the second annual President’s Bowl on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., and the first rounds of the competition on Feb. 4-6, in the Lowrimore auditorium inside the Cauthen Educational Media Center where students gathered to showcase their academic skills.

FMU President Luther F. Carter said the event is for students who want to compete on campus, but in an academic way.

“We really wanted to develop an intellectual competition on campus,” Carter said. “An intellectual competition that would be fun. This is providing us exactly what we needed.”

The competition features 16 teams which are composed of at least three current undergraduate students, who competed against each other in a tournament-style bracket. The winners of each round will move on until only one team remains to claim the grand prize and the coveted President’s Bowl trophy. Players believed they would be competing for $1,000. However, Carter announced at the opening event that the winning team would now receive $2,000 and the runners up would receive $500.

Carter said the competition is tough and students will have to work hard to be the champions.

“People sometimes refer to this as a ‘trivial trivia game,’” Carter said. “There is nothing trivial about the nature of the questions here. They’re tough questions; they’re rigorous questions.”

During each round, various moderators give two teams of three people a question, then a member of either team must buzz in to answer the question. These questions are called toss-up questions, and are worth 10 points, unless a team answers them fast enough, at which point they will receive 15 points. If a team answers the toss-up question correctly, they are given a chance to answer three bonus questions, each worth 10 points. If the team answers incorrectly, the other team has a chance to answer the question. Each round is made up of 24 toss-up questions, with an intermission to allow the teams to switch teammates if they desire. If a match is tied, there is an overtime round of three questions, and a sudden death round if the teams tie during overtime.

A panel of judges oversees each round. These judges determine if a team’s answer is worth points when a student should be prompted to elaborate on their answer and make sure the audience is not whispering answers to contestants.

The first round was held on Feb. 4 between the Society of Physics Students and Non-Trivial Pursuits, with Non-Trivial Pursuits winning. After that, the American Chemical Society beat The Quizzically Challenged to advance in the bracket.

The second set of rounds began the next day, with The OG’s from the school of business beating the FMU Education Club on the last bonus question of the round, ending with a score of 110-105. The Physics and Engineering team beat the FMU Honors team 160-140.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, The Returning Champs beat Team RAs 2.0 205-160. Baptist Collegiate Ministry won the second round of the night, beating Snow Island Review 185-145.

Junior James Parra, a supply chain management and marketing double major, attended the opening event to show support for his fellow classmates and coworkers.

“I came to support the organizations on campus,” Parra said. “The school of business specifically. I’m an RA as well so I wanted to support them. It was also good to see friends.”

Parra also said the quiz bowl was a great way to spend time with friends on campus and that he was excited to see how each team will do.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what people know,” Parra said. “Seeing how people will react when they are asked off-the-wall kinds of questions that they are not exactly sure how to answer.”

FMU will hold the semifinals of the President’s Bowl on Feb. 26. After this, the final two teams will compete on March 4. Both events will be televised and begin at 7 p.m. in the Lowrimore Auditorium inside of the Cauthen Educational Media Center.