Trivia Weekend celebrates birthday in XL way


by Maggie Helms
The Lawrentian, January 28, 2005.

The hour is fast approaching when LU Trivia will once again be loosed upon the world. Trivia weekend — the one time a year when Lawrence is able to flaunt its oddities and wit to an audience that stretches as far as Japan — will commence at 10 p.m. on Friday.

At this time, trivia masters will again invade WLFM and begin their bizarre and obscure line of questioning, launching two taxing days of mind-numbing trivia and ruthless competition. But this time, the infamous contest will play out on a far greater scale than it has in years past. For its 40th anniversary, LU Trivia has gone bigger, broader, and better than ever. Says Grand Master Jonathon Roberts:

"The 40th edition of the contest is a milestone, and we're going to rise to the occasion with harder questions, more extreme action questions, more ridiculous skits, and more celebrity guest spots."

The essentials are the same: Students will once again segregate themselves into teams, online search engines will again find themselves inundated with queries, camps stocked with computers, phones, and snacks will crop up in every dorm, sleep will be sacrificed campus-wide for team glory. In short, all the events and rituals associated with LU's wackiest time-honored tradition will transpire as anticipated.

Still, there will be changes. In order to endure and evolve over the past 40 years, the contest has adopted new features and built upon old ones. In the way of advertising, for instance, trivia masters have truly made leaps and bounds; this year, promo banners decorate College Avenue where they hadn't previously. Frequent Trivia XL commercials air on WAPL (105.7 FM), and both Grand Master Jon Roberts and Master Meara Levezow will appear on the Fox 11 Morning Show. As a result of this substantial increase in publicity, the trivia masters expect the participation of off-campus teams to climb to an even higher level than it has in recent years, and competition to grow even fiercer.

Perhaps the most notable change though, will be the addition of a Trivia "kick-off" party. On Friday the 28th, from 7:30-9 p.m., Riverview Lounge will accommodate the official beginning of Trivia festivities — among the party's attractions are: birthday cake, live music, and a chance to meet this year's trivia masters, as well as the man who started it all, Trivia founder J.B. deRosset. All in all, the 40th anniversary of Trivia weekend, complete with its new "kick-off," will be quite an event to witness, if not to participate in first hand.