Trivia Night returns for second year with pop culture theme

By Victor Dixon, Editor-in-Chief

Newman is putting on its second Trivia Night on Wednesday as a part of its annual Giving Day.

Organizers say the event is an opportunity for anyone in the Newman community, as well as their friends and families, to spend time together and potentially earn prizes.

Competing teams will get free food, the chance to win merchandise being given away by local comic book store Wizard’s Asylum, and put their pop culture knowledge to the test with up to $300 in gift card prizes on the line.

Giving Day happens every February and is a university-wide effort to raise money for the different departments across campus. Trivia Night is Student Life’s fundraising endeavor and had a Marvel and DC theme last year.

The department wasn’t planning to put the event on again this year, but Director of Student Activities Josh Prilliman said he loved the event and wanted to open it up to more people.

“Andi (Giesen, Dean of Students) started in February last year, and one of the first things she did was she came and hung out at Trivia Night and kind of got to witness me do my weird antics,” he said. “She and I really enjoyed it. We really liked the concept. And I think we saw it being something that could be bigger … If you do something first and you may not necessarily like the result or you want it to be better, just keep going. Try something different.”

This year, the trivia theme is Pop Culture Through the Decades.

Prilliman said he has always had a love for pop culture trivia and fun facts, and he put that passion into the event, which will include seven rounds of trivia about everything from movies and TV to sports and music. The first six rounds will have 10 themed questions each, and the seventh will have 15 questions about anything from the first six categories.

Many different faculty members across different departments helped bring the event to its full potential, Prilliman said.

Both CAB and Katherine Reynoso, director of multicultural engagement, have put money toward the prizes, Prilliman said.

“We’re really taking Student Life as a whole and putting it together … We’re letting me be crazy, do my thing and come up with the questions. We’re bringing the multicultural aspect of student life into this.”

Student Life is also collaborating with Video Communications Specialist James Sanny to make a video that introduces Prilliman as the host with a voiceover by Theatre Director Mark Mannette.

“We’re really looking at this as something that we want to do annually as part of Student Life as a way to, again, just do something different. We don’t want this to feel like a typical Newman event,” Prilliman said. “It’s not a Newman event for Newman people. This is a Newman event for anybody and everybody.”

Sophomore Kassidy Miller has put together a team of both faculty and students involved with the Criminal Justice department and called Team Justice. Ian Lecki, director of residence life, is also putting together his own team with another Newman alumni and several professors in the business and technology department.

“Josh is a big supporter of everything I do, and I feel that I should support him and everything that he does,” Lecki said. “Josh and I both agree that everybody needs to be more involved — not just the students, but campus too. It’s part of being at a small school. Sometimes it’s fun to beat the res life director or take on the business management or the head of the doctoral program or whoever it is.”

Around 40 people from both inside and outside of the Newman community have said they’re going to the trivia event, which is twice as many as last year, Prilliman said.

“I love seeing campus active, and I like seeing students partake in the different stuff around campus, and Josh has great ideas, and I think this is going to be a very successful one. We’ve just got to get people signed up,” Lecki said.

Trivia Night will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Dugan Conference Center, and to compete, it costs $10 a person, $5 for Newman students, and $50 for a full team of six people. Get tickets and RSVP for the event through the campus calendar on

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Lucia Schoenecker-Prilliman