Phi Tau hosts Knock Off the Profs

Lauren Mimms

Phi Tau’s “Knock off the Profs” event last Wednesday was a fun but competitive trivia contest revealing the true intelligence of students and professors in a variety of subjects. Four professors vied against a number of students for a grand prize of $500. If the teachers won, the money would go to charity; however, if a student won, he or she could keep the cash.
The four professors invited to participate were: Assistant Professor of Government Jason Brozek, Assistant Professor of Music Steven Spears, Associate Professor of Physics Megan Pickett and Professor of Philosophy John Dreher.
Students had to give a $3 donation to play, with all the proceeds going to the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. “This used to be an annual event,” said Chuck Demler, Phi Tau’s philanthropy chair. “We didn’t have it last year, but we’re bringing it back.”
In the first round of the competition, 10 students were chosen by a random drawing of raffle tickets to each challenge a professor of their choice by asking him or her five questions in his or her field of interest. Each student received $5 for each question that stumped a professor.
For the second round, teams of five students each were pitted against the four professors as a group. Three such teams competed, and at the end of this round, the students won a question that involved listing all the members of the European Union.
However, the professors correctly named plays written by Shakespeare as well as the names of all Miller/Coors labels, winning the round.
The final round saw 11 students called up, “‘Millionaire’-style,” to answer one question each. Whichever student provided the closest answer won a chance to answer 10 questions, facing off against a professor of choice, and the student could win $500. Cecily McMillan provided the closest estimate of “How many people in the world live with AIDS?” The correct answer was 40 million.
She played against Dreher and tied in a nail-biting finale. They decided to split the money, with the half Dreher won going to charity.
After the game, Dreher said that he enjoyed the event, saying, “I’ve been invited to so many student things and I’ve been so busy that I was starting to feel guilty. It was a good crowd, but I didn’t want to beat anyone.”
The contest was both exciting and entertaining, with students learning from the professors and earning money at the same time. A variety of educational and random-but-humorous questions kept things interesting. AIDS, Lawrence history, Fatbook and Jill Beck were among some of the topics covered in these questions.
Some students complained that the questions should have been outside of the professors’ disciplines but, they still enjoyed the festivities.
“I won $50 and didn’t have to do anything! It was a lot of fun, but next time it shouldn’t be rigged,” said freshman Natasha Pugh.
Many participants hope that Phi Tau will continue to keep this tradition alive so that more students will have the chance to challenge their teachers.