Dates for Academic Competition extended

It’s finals month at Los Medanos College, and if someone grabbed you and asked you to say the first word that comes to your mind after they say the words “test” and “May,” “fun” is probably not what you would think of.

But the Office of Student Life and Los Medanos College Associated Students sure would like you to, as the two are getting ready to host the 12th annual Academic Competition on Saturday, May 13 in the LMC Gym from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free food and goodies are offered for all entrants, and cash prizes are awarded to top finishers. To encourage more students to enter the competition, the deadline to enter has been extended to May 9.

Registration forms are available in the Office of Student Life, located in the portable on the pathway from Level 2 of the College Complex to Parking Lot A.

The competition date, right in the middle of finals, might seem daunting, but it was chosen for a reason.

“We did it this date specifically because we know that the last two weeks of the semester are very hectic for people,” said Israel Castro Cortez, President of LMCAS Student Government. “We just want to let people know that taking tests can be a fun thing, taking tests can be rewarding.”

“It’s always a fun and successful event,” said John Nguyen, Student Life Coordinator, who coordinating this year’s Academic Competitio. “Many students want to do it, but don’t know it yet.”

Students participate in teams of four, and any and all current LMC students are allowed to register as part of a team. However, if you can’t find a full team to participate with, don’t be discouraged — students who aren’t part of a team or don’t have a full one are placed on a waiting list and joined up with each other to ensure everyone has a full team and is fully able to compete.

“It’s a great opportunity to collaborate and work together,” said Nguyen. “We want to give students the autonomy to find their own teammates, but we also want everyone to participate.”

Four member teams are chosen as a format over singles competition for the sake of teamwork and camaraderie, according to Castro Cortez.

“It allows there to be an equal distribution of work and success,” he said. “If you know someone passionate about a subject, invite them, meet someone new. Anyone can do it.”

The teams compete in four rounds of questions, submitting answers via a Scantron which is graded immediately after each round. The top five teams win cash prizes — $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third place, $600 for fourth place and $400 for fifth place. In addition, there are free T-shirts, certificates of participation and food in between rounds for all contestants.

“We’re not trying to put pressure on you,” explains Nguyen. “It’s supposed to be a very fun event. You’re giving up your Saturday, but at the same time, you’re going to enjoy spending that Saturday with us, meeting new students, meeting new people…”

“And getting dollars,” chimed in Castro Cortez.

“Yeah,” chuckled Nguyen. “And getting money.”