Speech and Debate team hosts Trivia Night fundraiser

Photo by Maggie Detchemendy. Tables with different teams competing in Trivia Night.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, Webster’s Speech and Debate team hosted its annual Trivia Night to raise funds for its biggest tournament of the season, Pi Kappa Delta Nationals. According to team member Tekoa Bell and coach Tom Serfass, it was a success.

“I think it went phenomenal, actually,” Bell said. “It went really smoothly despite all the difficulties.”

Serfass recounted some of the unexpected hurdles during the night and said the team worked unprovoked to help out in any way they could, resulting in a successful night.

“I thought it went terrific. I was very pleased,” Serfass said. “We overcame a few hiccups that happened. The team worked fabulously.”

Photo by Maggie Detchemendy. Teams compete in a costume contest during Trivia Night.

Additionally, he mentioned that the team worked vigorously long before the event even began, and the team’s efforts in organizing tables guaranteed that the night would be successful.

Bell made similar comments about attendance.

“We really had a good turnout. A lot of people were able to get a lot of tables, so that was really cool,” Bell said.

Serfass reflected on the group’s ability to put on a successful trivia night, as they have hosted around 20 trivia nights in the past. He says their key to success is a tremendous amount of preparation.

Photo by Maggie Detchemendy. Trivia Night attendees play Dead or Alive between rounds.

Throughout the night, Bell was tasked with maintaining the snacks, but her highlight from the night came from a short, in-between game called Dead or Alive where players were asked if the name called was someone dead or alive. Bell’s mom was one of the finalists.

“My mom was up there and just watching them [ask], ‘Oh, are they dead or are they alive?’ It was exciting for me,” Bell said.

The two also reflected on the season so far. Bell, a first-time team member this season, shared her experience first.

“It’s actually been really good. It’s been a little bit stressful just because it’s a lot at once,” Bell said.

Bell is not alone as a new member of the team.

“We have a lot of new people, which is really exciting. People are engaging and getting on board,” Serfass said.

Photo by Maggie Detchemendy. A ticket to Trivia Night.

As she began the team, Bell realized the opportunities that were provided to her and said she wished she had joined sooner. A goal of hers was to improve her public speaking skills, and within a few months, Bell already noticed an improvement.

“I think I’ve definitely gotten better at debating. Beforehand, I was all over the place,” Bell said. “I’ve gotten more concise with my speaking and making sure I’m actually hitting all of my points.”

Outside of her public speaking skills, there was another accomplishment Bell called out. Her memorization skills improved, as she said that she was finally able to memorize her speeches.

Throughout the season, the team has already performed extremely well. Serfass explained that every teammate won something in the team’s first two tournaments.

“In the first two tournaments, every competitor won an award,” Serfass said. In the second tournament, we won Sweepstakes in debate, in individual events, and overall.”

Photo by Maggie Detchemendy. Webster’s Speech and Debate team manages Trivia Night.

With this in mind, the team was able to set high goals for the Nationals, since historically their goal is to be in the Top 10 of Pi Kappa Delta. Even with 75-80 teams in attendance, the team has been successful in meeting that goal almost every year since 2001.

Nationals have always been a highlight for the team, as there is a unique environment that Pi Kappa Delta creates.

“The collegiality is absolutely unmatched. The competition really stays in the competition room, and the moment you leave the competition room, it’s a celebration of the activity,” Serfass said. “That it is not necessarily true in other organizations.”

As the team continues to work hard in preparation for Nationals on March 13-19, there are plenty of opportunities to work towards these high goals including the next tournament hosted by Webster University on Dec. 3-4.

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Rayna Friedman
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