Sophomore Class Council hosts ‘Jeopardy!’ battle
Katie McCarty | Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Sophomore Class Council (SCC) is hosting a three-day Jeopardy tournament this week, and so far sophomore class president Jake Grefenstette said the competition has been tough.
“We were really impressed by the competitors’ knowledge of ridiculous facts during the first round,” Grefenstette said.
Sophomore Brittany Sanok, a member of the SCC education committee, said the SCC decided the host the event because of the committee’s dedication to fostering academic involvement on campus.
“Two of SCC’s most important goals are to engage students in Notre Dame’s academic and artistic culture and to foster conversation between students and professors,” Sanok said. “As a team, SCC and the education committee decided to host a Jeopardy tournament because it is a fun event that stimulates the mind and showcases some of the amazing intellectual talent of Notre Dame students.”
Sanok said the semi-finals took place Tuesday, and the final rounds would take place Wednesday.
“We had a preliminary exam on March 5 and over 100 students showed up to take the exam,” Sanok said. “Our plan was to take one person from each dorm [however, three dorms did not send representatives] and we had three wild card spots.
“So, [Monday] for our first round of matches we had 30 contestants, [Tuesday in the semi-finals] we [had] nine contestants and on Wednesday [the finals] we will have three contestants.”
The finalists are senior Brendan Moran of Duncan Hall, junior Rose Doerfler of Cavanaugh Hall and junior Michael Temple of Sorin College.
Sanok said she expects a greater turnout in the audience for the finals than the other two rounds. She said she is excited to witness the climax of the competition and see all of the SCC’s hard work come to fruition.
Doerfler said there were many hard questions in the semi-finals Tuesday, and there is an element of luck in getting every question correct.
“I didn’t know the names of old rock and roll band members, but I knew the facts about the Hoover Dam,” Doerfler said. “It’s a challenge because you never know what’s going to come up.
“In the first round, we had a lot of geography questions, and in the semifinals, there wasn’t any geography, but a whole category about James Bond actors.”
Moran said he thinks the finals will be a highly contested match-up against one another.
“I’m hoping for really obscure categories, because I think it would be fun,” Moran said. “I also want to do a true Daily Double. We’ll see if I get the chance. All in all, I’m looking forward to it.”
Banok said sophomore Kyle Witzigman played a crucial role in the event’s success. (Editor’s note: Witzigman writes for the News section of The Observer).
“The real mastermind behind the whole event is Kyle Witzigman. He has dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to this event and it would not be even close to possible without his expert guidance and meticulous agendas,” Sanok said.
Grefenstette said the SCC has overall been impressed with the number of people that have attended the tournament and already considers the tournament a success.
“An enormous amount of people signed up online for prelims, and we had some crowds during last night’s round,” Grefenstette said. “Some supporters even showed up with decorated signs.”
Temple said he originally signed up for the event because he had been a daily Jeopardy watcher since he was a little kid, making it all the more fun to be a contestant
Grefenstette, who will moderate the finals , said he looks forward to fulfilling his duties.
“[The tournament] has been really fun to watch. I’ve been asking around for an Alex Trebek costume, but with no luck,” Grefenstette said.