On April 14, in a galaxy not so far away, some selected Campuswide Honors Program students were put to the ultimate test in Crystal Cove Auditorium. In a battle against the brains and wits of UC Irvine alumni and professors, the students attempted to prevail over what some consider the ‘Dark Side.’ The two opposing teams went head-to-head in a hilarious match to put to rest the age-old question of who is smarter: students or professors?
This year’s ‘Battle of the Brains: The Professors Strike Back,’ sponsored by Kaplan, marked the sixth installment of the CHP’s attempt to promote student-faculty interaction. This quiz bowl type event’s theme was inspired by the sci-fi pop culture phenomenon, Star Wars. Since the students won last year it was appropriately titled, ‘The Professors Strike Back.’
Erkki Corpuz, the CHP advisor and founder of the event, explained that the event was inspired by a similar high school experience. At his high school they would prepare for the quiz bowl by practicing against their teachers during lunch. Later, as a UC Irvine third-year student in 1998, Corpuz thought it would be an effective means to promote enriching student and faculty relationships in a college setting.
The faculty team consisted of any faculty members or alumni that wanted to participate. The student team, on the other hand, was taken from a batch of interested CHP students who went through a selection process led by Corpuz.
‘Corpuz asked a 15-question quiz and judged people on their ability to answer the questions quickly and right. Also he looked at background, like public speaking experience,’ said Matt Slentz, a first-year philosophy major and participant in the battle.
Ryan Lombardini, a third-year psychology and social behavior major who is vice-president of the CHP Student Council and headed the event this year and last year, described the logistics of the game.
‘The questions are drawn from a variety of sources. This year we got the questions from online trivia sites, trivia books and questions left over from last year,’ Lombardini said. ‘The contestants have no idea what questions are going to be asked of them. All they know is that they will be given a mix of both academic and pop culture. We try to keep a balance.’
The game consisted of three rounds lasting 25 minutes each. There were two-minute halves and a one-minute break in between in order to give sufficient time to work out any kinks that might be encountered. The most appealing aspect of the game’s format lay in audience participation. If the questions were not answered by any of the two teams, then it was turned over for the audience to answer. In turn, if they gave the correct answers they would be awarded with candy and five points would be given to the team that was positioned on their corresponding side.
‘My favorite aspect of the event was the audience participation because a lot of times you have these competitions and you know the answer but you never really get the chance to get it out there,’ said Laksmi Ganesan, a first-year biochemistry major.
In addition to the audience involvement, each audience member received a raffle ticket, which were later drawn to award prizes from In-and-Out, Cornerstone Caf