The Varsity Pub was packed with USD students and Vermillion community members on Thursday night for “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” themed trivia.
This event was organized by the USD Dakotathon, which is a yearlong fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. The organization estimated they raised over $700 that night.
Students made teams of four to six people. Each participant paid $5 to play. The winner of the event received a tab to the Varsity. Past trivia themes have been “Netflix” and “Name That Lyric.”
The Varsity Pub frequently hosts these trivia events for organizations like Dakotathon, occupational therapy, physical therapy and for groups of medical students.
Diane Wirth, general manager of the Varsity, said they host trivia nights a couple times a month.
“Different student groups will host trivia nights here,” Wirth said. “They set up their questions and a PowerPoint and we let them use the basement to host their event.”
Meghan Kunkel, a senior strategic communications major and a member of the executive team of Dakotathon, has been involved with the organization for three years. Kunkel said that pop culture trivia events always bring large crowds.
“This is actually one of our best fundraisers and I think it’s great because it brings so many people in,” Kunkel said. “It’s for a really great cause, so people love it, and who doesn’t love ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation?’”
Shanelle Gornowski, a senior psychology major, is an avid watcher of both television series. She said she couldn’t pick which show is her favorite, or which character is her favorite.
“‘The Office’ has better relationships between the characters, but ‘Parks and Recreation’ is wittier,” Gornowski said. “In ‘Parks and Recreation’ my favorite is Leslie Knope, but Ron Swanson is a close second. In ‘The Office’ it’s hard not to pick Michael, but Dwight makes the show hilarious.”
Gornowski said these trivia nights are a perfect way to get students to support a good cause.
“I think it’s good because both of these shows appeal to college students so well, I think it’s a good way to reel them in and then tell them about a great organization,” she said. “Not everyone wants to go out and do something right off the bat.”
Austin Shriver, Dakotathon president and psychology and medical biology double major, said events like these are important to the success of Dakotathon.
“Events like this tie the community together and have a successful turnout,” Shriver said. “They really benefit Dakotathon by raising a lot of money.”
Students can get involved in Dakotathon by attending their various events.
“Our events kind of vary by the semester and how our events are doing, but we have a handful of trivia nights,” Shriver said. “But we also do a 5k and a pancake feed.”
Dakotathon is April 21, 2018, and families from Children’s miracle network in Sioux Falls are invited to attend the event.
“It’s a great day because kids who suffer from child illness are invited and can just spend the day having fun and getting to be kids,” Shriver said.