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Student response to the recent game show put on by the Office of Student Life (OSL) is mixed, but mostly positive. The event, which took place on Friday of Week Seven and promised the winning team $1,000 worth of prizes, centered on inter-house competition. Audience members weighed in through iClicker technology on each situation presented. House teams then guessed what the most chosen answer would be or what percentage of the audience would choose it. Freshmen, who were required to attend as part of the revamped moral reasoning seminar, comprised the majority of the audience, though Wanamaker was nearly full.
The program, titled “Whaddya Say?”, was conceived of a “moral courage workshop or seminar” was included in the OSL part of the college’s Strategic Plan. According to Dean of Students Dorsie Glen, the resident counselors “wanted to think of a unique way to present moral courage dilemmas.” Glen said the goal was to “get students to think about every-day challenges they face and how they might handle them, and open the door for future discussions in houses or at dinner.”
“We didn’t want a program that presented OSL answers to these issues,” said Glen. “We wanted students to think them through with each other.”
Some students felt the show was successful in getting students to think about moral dilemmas, and most agreed it was entertaining. Junior James Suber said, “I thought it did a good job of posing serious issues in a lighthearted atmosphere.” Suber also said he felt the show was beneficial because “it got students who may have completed Moral Reasoning a long time ago to think about the issues again.” Sophomore Steve Bailey noted that, “The audience seemed to be enjoying it, and the hosts did a fairly good job of making it entertaining.” Freshman Jake Meier agreed that “the game was fun.”
The discussion generated by the show, according to most students interviewed, has been sizeable. Glen concurred, saying that “based on the feedback we received, and what we have observed, students have been discussing the issues raised, and the answers given, so it appears the show was in fact successful.” Much of the discussion, though, has focused on how the audience responded rather than how to deal with each situation. Junior Lauren Powers commented that she was most interested “to see how people responded to the various questions asked.” Bailey said, “If nothing else, it made people reconsider the popular opinions of the students on campus with regards to moral dilemmas.”
Other students doubted the effectiveness of the program. Freshman Leah Mack said, “I can’t say the game show had a profound impact on me, and I know many other freshmen feel the same. People were having fun, but I doubt anyone felt majorly impacted, in any way, by the experience.”
Bailey said he “got the feeling that a lot of the students were participating simply because of the rewards,” both the monetary house prizes and the individual door and participation prizes, and added that “it bordered on treating morals too lightly.” He also commented that although the show was successful in getting students talking about the issues, “it seemed like a rather extravagant and expensive way to go about doing it.” Meier commented that because some audience members didn’t select the answers that a majority of the audience chose, the game “really just showed what kind of rule breakers we were.”
Despite the concerns, 82 percent of students in the audience responded they would like to do the show again. Glen said OSL is considering the prospect, but would likely have a much smaller budget for prizes. She also said students would probably be involved in creating the questions and that some form of discussion may be included in the future. While it seems that both students and staff are pleased with the outcome of the program, no one is happier than the gentlemen of Buck, who walked away with $1,000 worth of prizes.