Students gathered in the main gym at noon on Thursday for an interactive trivia game called Thinkfast. The event was sponsored by the Division of Student Life and the Athletics Department to educate students about sexual misconduct in an exciting fashion.
The event was produced by TjohnE Productions, a company based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that provides “live, interactive and awareness programming” for schools around the country on themes ranging from Disney to alcohol awareness.
Carl Heinrich, Director of Athletics, discussed different aspects of the event, including how it was set up and the department’s shift from working with a non-profit for the same type of training.
“It’s an educational event on sexual harassment fulfilling some of the requirements we have to have for Title IX and Keith [Davenport] came up with the idea of this particular group and I thought it was a good idea,” Heinrich said. “We do student orientations with all our athletes at the beginning of the year and we have several different things that we do in an orientation. In the past we’ve worked with MOCSA (the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault) and several organizations, and we just gave it a little different twist this year.”
Heinrich said he believes the event seemed to be a success.
“This is the first time that we’ve done that … It’s evidently successful. This group that put it on is very busy. They’re going to Salt Lake City, Utah next and then they go to Louisiana, so I would think that the message is … a lot of people think it’s very successful.”
Cyrus Muema is on the men’s cross country team at the college and came to see Thinkfast. Muema said that when he walked into the gym people in attendance were screaming and someone was dancing.
“They asked mostly about rape and stuff like that, which I think is important for younger people to understand. Other than that, just a whole bunch of trivia questions like mountains and ranges and stuff like that,” he said.
Muema said he believes the event could be useful in teaching students about the subjects that were covered.
“Once you get everybody involved in a way where it’s fun and competitive, people learn and they apply it. Once they leave they find a way to apply it.”
Student Brandon Parnes won the game’s prize of $200. Parnes said he thought that while the event’s delivery could have been better, the idea of conveying information in this manner was appealing.
“It was a mix of trivia, education and it was like [a] game show,” Parnes said. “Mostly it was pop culture trivia and then facts about sexual harassment were sprinkled throughout … I think the concept of being able to be infotainment, if you will, is a great concept.”
Keith Davenport, Student Activities Manager, was unavailable for comment.