by Austin Giles
Students enrolled in communication theory simultaneously become members of the communication club and because of this can take what they learn and apply it, hands on. The weekly meeting begins in Cascade 131 with barely an empty seat in the room.
The president, Melisa Nelson, addresses the group and explains that all the theories they’ve been learning will be put to use specifically at their trivia bee.
“We get to make up cool names,” she says as she points to titles that will be appointed to members. “Project manager, director of finance and director of hospitality,” are among some of the positions written on the board behind her.
“You’re able to say I did this and oversaw this project or operation and managed this many people,” says Nelson. “Not only does that look great on admissions applications but it looks great when you’re applying for a job.”
Nelson was recently accepted to Western Washington University with distinction and said that her involvement with the communication club is responsible. While filling a requirement by taking introduction to communication, she found herself to be intrigued and excited about the subject. That sparked her involvement with leadership in the club, in other organizations and even student council. Without that inspiration, she said, “I would have just gone to class and then gone home.”
“Above all, they are enhancing their academic resumes and experiencing various aspects of communication through practical experience,” said Guy Smith, communication instructor and advisor to the club. “My approach is to create an environment where students can succeed beyond the confines of our school – for those who are willing to make the effort and take the time.”
Participation in the upcoming trivia bee is a requirement for the course as it offers students the opportunity to network and practice interpersonal skills. All other participation with the club is extra credit. “It depends on what you want your involvement to be,” said Nelson. “Everybody wants extra credit and this is a great way to get it.”
Jarred Tyson, a Whatcom student, volunteered as a cashier two years ago, selling concessions at home games for both volleyball and basketball. The concessions booth is one of the club’s main fundraisers and is an interactive learning experience for students.
Tyson said that he wanted to step up and take responsibility this school year and is now project manager for the trivia bee that is to take place Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Syre auditorium. Tyson has been working to advertise the event to the campus and is overseeing its operations. “It’s not just bookwork,” he said.
Their goal is to have 20 to 30 teams compete. To register, a table will be available outside of Smith’s office with forms to fill out and registration fees will be made payable to the business office or the process can be done the night of the event. Each team consists of three people and is $30 for the group to participate. All proceeds will be going to fund the com club in their activities.
“The bees have greatly contributed to the communication club’s ability to attend and present at regional, national and/or international conferences,” said Smith. If this trivia bee goes well, they’re considering having another one during winter quarter.
Past trivia bees have gotten “crazy,” said Tyson, especially during the final round when contestants become much more competitive. The final round is the last of three with 15 to 20 questions in each.
Top placing teams will receive what the communication club calls “fabulous giveaways.” Past giveaways have included one-night jacuzzi suites at La Quinta Inn, two-month passes to Anytime Fitness and season passes to Mt. Baker.
To win, teams will have to prove themselves to be, as Tyson describes, “the kings of randomness.”
The communication club meets Thursdays at 9 a.m. in Cascade 131. Membership is open to all Whatcom students.