Winners declared at E-week events

Kristin Scudder

A two-day “Guitar Hero” competition, the “Mr. CEER” contest and a trivia bowl comprised this year’s annual Engineering Week.

E-Week kicked off on Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. with the first four rounds of the second annual “Guitar Hero” competition. Students from all disciplines were invited to join. The tournament was broken up into two brackets. Participants in the hard bracket competed in Tolentine, while those in the expert bracket battled in CEER. Upon arriving, the participants were given the name of their first song and opponent. As the competition went on, only the most serious competitors remained.

“It was challenging experience – a good demonstration of ‘Guitar Hero’ ability,” second-place winner of the hard bracket Thomas Gacka said.

Since songs were randomly chosen from all three “Guitar Hero” games, many students were playing songs for the first time in the competition. Participants would watch songs on YouTube to get an idea of the rhythm.

Opponents played their songs in separate rooms. Results were displayed on a TV in a room where students could grab pizza and sodas. The first four rounds ended around 11 p.m. with many students looking forward to the second half of the competition on Friday.

On Feb. 19, students gathered in the Connelly Cinema at 7:30 p.m. to cheer on the 10 contestants in the first-ever “Mr. CEER” competition.

“The event was a riot; everyone went all out,” Stephen Augustyn, winner of “Mr. CEER,” said.

The competition included a talent portion. Some of the talents included David Rounce performing “Evolution of Dance”; Mateus Santos, covered entirely in tattoos, showing off his CEER-bonging skills with water; and Stephen Augustyn doing a martial arts act.

“Even though everyone brought true skills, the atmosphere backstage was about having laughs, making fun of each other and watching each other do funny stunts on stage,” Augustyn said. “We were just brothers out there having a good time, pleasing the crowd however we could.”

The crowd constantly erupted in either cheers or laughter. Some members of the crowd even got involved in the show. Augustyn called on four members from the audience, whom he jumped over in his martial arts act.

Jordan Sarruda served as the master of ceremonies. She performed comedy skits during intermissions. The Irish Dance Team also performed at intermission.

The final part of the competition involved a surprise event. The contestants had to build a statue of the Oreo out of Oreos and a tub of icing and then eat their creation.

“Things got real messy,” Augustyn said. “Dan Tully’s textbook and calculator got splattered with icing when he jokingly used them to engineer the statue.”

Augustyn finished first, followed by Dan Tully and Dave Rounce. The first-, second- and third-place finishers received an iPod touch, $100 gift certificate to King of Prussia and a Nintendo 64 with games, respectively.

“The ‘Mr. CEER’ competition was a huge success and [is] definitely on the docket for next year,” Margaret Tsudis, secretary of Engineering Student Council, said. “It will be a great way to unite the engineering school in the future as people come together to cheer on their friends and classmates.”

E-Week events resumed on Feb. 21 with a speech about innovation by Peter Fong, a sale’s executive for Ford Motor Company. Fong spoke about how he graduated from Villanova with a degree in mechanical engineering. After college, he realized that he did not want to do design engineering his whole life. He used his background in engineering to become a top sales executive for Ford.

“It was eye-opening and inspiring to see how you can apply your engineering degree to different areas and career fields,” sophomore civil engineer Nick Tumolo said.

Many students said the subject matter was intriguing and asked questions following Fong’s talk.

The speech was followed by the third annual trivia bowl. The five engineering departments competed.

The teams were made up of three to four students and one professor from their respected disciplines. The trivia bowl was set up in a “Jeopardy” style. The categories were about Villanova, pop culture and engineering.

Civil Engineers were sweeping the competition until a controversial end. The final question was, “In what year was CEER dedicated?” The Civil Engineers answered 1997, while everyone else answered 1998. The judges awarded the Civil Engineers with first place. On the way out, someone noticed the plaque that stated that the building of CEER was completed in December of 1997, but it was dedicated in January of 1998.

The judges admitted their fault and stripped the title from the Civil Engineers, and the win was given to the Mechanical Engineers.

“It was a heart-breaking loss, but we took it like good sports, unlike some of the other departments,” Tumolo said.

The crowd for both these events was very small.

“Despite the small crowd, the trivia bowl served its purpose perfectly, which was to spark competition between the different disciplines of the engineering college,” Tsudis said. “We are looking into ways of improving the trivia bowl next year with a buzzer system.”

The snow delay moved the final event of E-Week, the last three rounds of the Guitar Hero competition, to the following Wednesday night. The second part of the competition was much more competitive than the first. Organizers threw participants a surprise in these rounds. They had to play two songs that were custom made by the Engineering Student Council, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the “Halo” theme song.

“I thought the custom songs were a good concept, but the execution wasn’t that good,” Gacka said. “The songs just weren’t challenging, which put a lot of emphasis on hitting all the notes.”

First-place finishers in the expert bracket received a 22-inch flat-screen TV, and the second-place finisher received a Play Station 3. The first-place finisher in the hard bracket received a PSP, and second-place finisher received a $100 gift certificate to the King of Prussia Mall.

“We are hoping that the final day of Engineer’s Week will turn into a time for the whole college to come together and show that we are unified,” Tsudis said.