TUESDAY 23 JANUARY saw the greatest University Challenge showdown come to a head in Hendrix Hall. The current University Challenge team from York had three rounds to battle against University Executive Board, Academic Officer Julian Porch and faculty representatives, and the Sabbatical officers.
The quick fingers of the York University Challenge team were too fast for all three teams. When asked by Nouse how the Sabbatical officers felt about being thrashed, YUSU President Alex Urquhart said “I think I used the word ‘spanked’ – it was a humbling experience.”
Some present say ‘spanked’ does not completely cover the demolition that the Sabbatical Officers underwent at the hands of the Challenge team.
Probably the most surprising win however came when the University Challenge team beat the staff, as Joan Concannon, Director of External Relations at the University conceded that the students were “strong opponents” and the staff team were in need of a major overhaul and revision prior to the competition if they have any chance of “challenging their title next time!”
York has previously had a superior strength in its University Challenge team by reaching the semi-final in 2015-16 series, only to be stopped by the eventual winners Peterhouse Cambridge, losing 145-100.
The dismantling of each team demonstrates that the York University Challenge team are formidable and are certainly capable of winning the competition. This year’s University Challenge team was selected at a hustings on 16 November 2017, which after a head-to-head battle on topics including Shakespeare, French classical music, and Charles Darwin.