Over 150 people attend Brock trivia event

Photo by: Brock University Historical Society

On Feb. 8, a trivia night hosted in Isaac’s had a turnout of over 150 people, much to the surprise of the hosting organizations — the Brock University Historical Society (BUHS), the Brock University Medieval and Renaissance Society (BUMARS) and the Brock University Archaeological Society (BUAS).

The executives from each club expressed that they had not anticipated such a high attendance.

“The event certainly exceeded expectations considering that history trivia is a little more niche,” said Matt Martins, third-year classics major and BUAS president. “It was really fantastic to see the outpouring of support from the faculties and just how much fun everyone was having.”

“This was the largest turnout BUHS, BUMARS and BUAS have had in many years,” said Ashley Rydzik, fourth-year classics major and BUHS vice-president. “To compare, BUHS’ online trivia event had about 40 attendees; this year we had nearly 150 students come out.”

“It was great to see how many students were eager to participate,” said Elizabeth Colantoni, fourth-year Italian major and BUMARS president. “However, what truly blew me away was the excitement on behalf of professors and TAs from the classics, history, and medieval and renaissance departments. It was very encouraging that many professors joined us that evening and participated on the trivia teams with students.”

“When I became president of BUHS, one of my main goals was to produce a large-scale event following the pandemic,” said Jesse Masterson, fourth-year history major and BUHS president. “When I first started planning for the event, I would have been pleased even if 50 students had attended the event. The fact that around 150 students and faculty members participated was certainly a tremendous turnout.”

Despite how unexpected this turnout was, the executives felt prepared to manage an event of this scale.

“I believe all three of our clubs were sufficiently prepared to handle this high of a turnout, as all three clubs worked together cohesively to make sure each task was completed,” said Masterson. “On my end, BUHS prepared by making over 100 trivia questions for the event, and each executive member knew their role before the event started. We also ensured there was enough food and drinks for everyone in attendance, as BUHS and BUAS ordered a significant amount of pizza for the event.”

“The clubs were prepared for the large turnout,” said Colantoni. “We closely monitored registration and were able to watch attendance increase. Because of this, we were able to ensure we had sufficient pizza, snacks and drinks. BUMARS worked with the registration list to make sure the teams were created in advance. As Jesse mentioned, each club was responsible for a third of the questions. Dividing the work in this way made compiling the questions easier to manage.”

“Being BUAS’ first event since before the pandemic, I do not know that we would have been able to do an event of this scale on our own,” said Martins. “BUHS and BUMARS were phenomenal collaborators and were invaluable for their combined experience. We had definitely planned ahead for a turnout of that size, but I’m not sure that I can say we were entirely expecting what we got!”

The executives also mentioned that they had help planning the event from several faculty members from the history and MARS departments: namely, Professor Samson, Professor Ojo, Professor Breitenstein, Jayne Zarecky and Elaine Aldridge-Low.

Looking forward, the executives said that the success of this event will likely influence their upcoming events.

“This event has helped show the Brock community that these three clubs are capable of hosting large-scale student events,” said Colantoni. “While these clubs have been successful with past events, the History Trivia Night was an opportunity to display the potential of these clubs. It was also a chance to promote these clubs and their activity on campus. One of the goals has been to rebuild after the pandemic, and this event was a huge step in that direction.”

“As this was the first event for the new BUAS,” added Martins. “Every aspect of the planning and running of the event was an incredible learning experience for when we are prepared to tackle larger-scale events on our own again, as BUAS has in the past.”

“This event will shape future events because more people now know about BUHS, and will be aware of our future events,” said Rydzik. “Additionally, I believe the turnout has proved to both students and professors that we are a successful club that is capable of hosting large events. BUHS is currently planning a book sale alongside BUMARS on March 14, and we hope that many of the people who attended the trivia night will also show their support at the book sale.”

The high turnout for this event is an indication that Brock student clubs are now able to provide experiences akin to those before the pandemic, and these executives are looking forward to keeping this momentum going.

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