Battle of the scholars

Stephanie Robledo, Managing Editor

It’s the battle of the scholars, as The Redwine Honors Program and the Priddy Scholars compete in a variety of competitions. This began with Joshua Ysasi, coordinator of Priddy Scholars, who noticed that both scholar programs have never worked with each other.

“The summer when I was planning [the Priddy Scholars programming] for this school year, I was going for a walk…and I thought…we have the Priddy Scholars, there’s Redwine Honors Scholars, they’re two really great programs for students that are expected to be excellent inside and outside of the classroom, with community service, academic achievement things of that nature, and just being engaged on campus. They do nothing with each other and I was like ‘wouldn’t it be so cool if there was a kind of rivalry?’ A friendly rivalry between the two scholarship programs and just kind of push each other in a fun and competitive manner,” Ysasi said.

Ysasi then pitched his idea to Steve Garrison, director of the Redwine Honors Program, who agreed. This was an opportunity for both programs to become involved with each other and the campus.

“Both of our programs are a little bit more academically minded than maybe some of the other organizations on campus and this was a way for the two programs to interact with each other and just become a little more acclimated to campus and be involved,” Garrison said.

There were a total of five competitions: trivia, kickball, window decorating in Legacy Hall, and the competition will bleed into homecoming with the cardboard boat race and art banner. Ysasi said when creating the events they made sure to include an athletic, creative and academic aspect and as they are planning for the future they want to add a service competition as well. The goal is to have something for everyone to participate in and Ysasi says this by remembering the kickball game.

“What was great about the kickball and I just come to that because the idea of having a kickball game kind of came from a lot of my students who wanted a softball game…they just wanted to do something athletic just release energy compete and have some fun…but kickball is more accessible, more open to everybody versus something like softball…What I was able to do…when I filled out my roster…because we have 53 Priddy Scholars I said  ‘I need 15 of you committed to playing the kickball game but I need 10 committed to show up…y’all are committed to show up and cheer the team on and participate’ So even those that feel insecure about doing an athletic event in front of people, those who have no desire to compete in athletic things are still included,” Ysasi said. “I think that’s been the best part is that kind of focusing on trivia with academic side of things…having elements of creativity with building a boat…Being able to have these fun events and make sure that there’s elements that everyone can participate in and play to their strengths and take on leadership roles, I think it empowers students. Ultimately when you’re empowering students and they’re having a good time, having that positive feedback and gaining that confidence then everybody just has a lot of fun.”

Both Ysasi and Garrison hope to continue these competitions in the future and make a new tradition. As long as both sides are interested they plan to host different competitions every semester.

“Josh and I talked about trying to continue [the competitions]. We talked about the possibility of having a service challenge in the spring and doing similar type of competitions. Hopefully, we’ll continue, I think both sides are interested in continuing,” Garrison said.

Students such as Kara Rodgers, chemistry freshman, have been participating in the competitions. Rodgers is both a Priddy scholar and a Redwine Honors student and has been helping out both teams.

“I’d say it’s healthy competition and it’s really interesting how they have two scholar programs going against each other and it’s also interesting for me because I’m in both Redwine and Priddy so I’ve been having to take sides in different competitions but I think it’s been fun,” Rodgers said.

Not all students are part of both programs and competed for their respective side. Addison Elliott, business administration sophomore, is a Redwine Honors student and was part of the winning trivia team, The Power Rangers. Elliott has enjoyed the competitions, both socially and competitively.

“I think we all love competition and it’s fun too. I know Priddy Scholars and I’m friends with them but it’s nice to be able to meet all of them and hang out as organizations,” Elliott said.