Section: Features

Q: What should you be doing this Wednesday? A: Trivia

Every week, students receive a fun email detailing the “who, what, when, where, why, attire” of Wednesday Night Trivia (Triv) at the Village Inn. Students and faculty members enter the restaurant at 10:15 p.m. expecting a night filled with community and fun — and Triv never disappoints.

Many residents of the Hill can be found chatting, planning game strategies, dining and drinking in the hours leading up to Triv. Often, the room is filled to the brim before the event gears up, so many stake out a table in preparation. Once it starts, all bets are off and the teams of students are in it to win it. For the Triv rookies, the rules are simple: Each team grabs an index card to write its name (the more creative the better) and submits it to Triv hosts Andrew Hall ’24 and Caroline Schmale ’24. Then the questions begin — ranging from names and numbers to fun facts.

Each Triv night has two rounds, with 10 questions each. Teams have many different approaches to a successful Triv night. Some whisper their answers to each other for the most security against eavesdroppers, whereas others yell the answers to each other for a different take on the fun, competitive nature of the evening. If you aren’t interested in fighting to the finish, have no fear; many teams come for the environment alone. “The atmosphere of Trivia changes week to week for sure. We love our regular players, but there is something fun about having a completely new group of people show up and do really well,” Hall wrote in an email to the Collegian.

After each round, one representative from each team strides to the front of the room to hand their cards off to Hall and Schmale for score tallying. With the quick intermission, Triv-goers can debrief with their team and visit other tables. Then, the hosts read the correct answers, followed by jeers and “I told you so’s!” from the energetic crowd. Of course, everyone becomes even more amped when they find out where they stand in the rankings. The less-promising teams have another chance to get back in the game and the top teams need to do well once more in order to keep their spot on the top of the podium. 

The same process repeats for the second round and once points are tallied, the winners have both bragging rights and the occasional opportunity to win prizes. Even though the game is over, many students stick around to hang out with their friends and relax before heading to bed in preparation for another day of classes. “I love being able to see the Village Inn staff every week. They are awesome people who do a lot to make sure everything runs smoothly. The bartenders, Sarah and Jackie, deserve a special shoutout for everything they do. We love them a lot,” Hall said.

If the trivia questions alone sound enticing, what’s even more appealing is that Triv comes with many themes, crafted by the hosts each week. The themes range from celebrating Earth Day or uniting against the ‘Kenyon Krud’ with “Illness All Around Us” to a special Triv for the Class of 2024. Hall explained, “Caroline and I brainstorm the themes weeks out to figure out what we think will work best. We like to cater them to events on campus or holidays. Our most popular theme was ‘athletes vs NARPS’ by far. It was a lot of fun seeing massive groups of friends and sports teams playing together.”

They’ve also teamed up with student organizations like WKCO 91.9 FM, Social Board and Planned Parenthood Generation Action with themed questions and connections to many different parts of the Kenyon community. “Trivia builds community by bringing people from all ends of campus together in a fun and competitive way,” Bella Tuch ’25 wrote in an email to the Collegian.

The collaborations don’t stop with student organizations — Triv even fosters student and faculty relationships through an annual theme of “Bring Your Professor to Work Day” and for one Wednesday in the fall semester, a 10-point reward to whoever brought President Julie Kornfeld. “I think they meant it as a joke, but I felt brave and emailed President Kornfeld. It was a crazy way to meet her for the first time. She even brought her husband, so my group got 15 extra points!” Tuch said.

“The legacy that Caroline and I have really tried to leave for Trivia is the interactions and partnerships with the greater Kenyon community. Our passing of the torch will be this coming week, where we will introduce our new hosts and say goodbye to all of our loyal Trivia-goers. It will be hard to say goodbye, but it has been a wonderful year and we will be forever grateful for the Trivia community,” Hall said. 

As the school year comes to a close, there are still a couple more chances to attend Triv. Answer some questions, meet new people and relax a little bit before finals at the Village Inn on Wednesday.

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