Some students’ dreams of having a face-off with their professors will probably come true – albeit in less adverse methods – through “The Gauntlet” every day during Unity Week, which continues till the end of this week.
The Gauntlet is a competition between Gannon University’s faculty and staff on one hand and students on the other, Angela Coustillac, president of the Student Government Association, said.
The challenges started Tuesday with the Pizza Eating Competition, and will continue this week with tasks such as going through an obstacle course blindfolded at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Hammermill Center, a swimming competition at 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Carneval Athletic Pavilion, a basketball competition at 9 p.m. Friday at the CAP and the grand finale at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hammermill Center.
Several professors and staff members are participating in these tests including Steve Ropski, Ph.D., Jeff Bloodworth, Ph.D., Stephanie Cabarcas, Ph.D., and Matt Ward, assistant director of student living.
Coustillac said “The Gauntlet” is based on CBS’ popular show “Survivor,” as students and professors are required to push themselves to limit in to win.
“The Gauntlet is pretty much a test of your mind, body and spirit,” Coustillic said. “It’s also a team-building activity where you’ve got to support each other and not yell at each other if you want to win.”
The winning team will get $500 donated to a charity of its choice.
Other activities over the week include Mini Activities Fairs in the Waldron Campus Center from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, a Valentine’s Day Party 9:30 p.m. Thursday at The Knight Club, an international potluck dinner at 6 p.m. at the third floor of the Palumbo Academic Center Friday and the Pink Zone basketball doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.
The talk about Unity Week, Coustillac said, started when SGA was interviewing for the position of vice president of student development and engagement when a candidate suggested the week as a solution to Gannon’s closed campus groups.
“Students fall into their niches here; they find where they’re most comfortable and join athletic teams, fraternities, sororities,” Coustillac said. “They get into their clubs and organizations and then they kind of stay there in their group of friends and they never really branch out.
“We wanted to bring everyone back together as Gannon students and unite as one university.”
The task was undertaken by Erica Rider, vice president of clubs and organizations at SGA, who teamed up with Coustillac and SGA’s Executive Board to bring the week to the surface with the help of organizations, clubs and groups on campus like the Activities Programming Board and the International Student Office.
“We’re calling it Unity Week because we wanted something SGA-sponsored but clubs and organizations were in charge of,” Rider said. “So it would be all the clubs and organizations coming together in unity to put on this incredible week for Gannon.
“I wanted something big and great done by SGA, where all Gannon students can participate and enjoy themselves.”
Rider and Coustillac said they hoped to get 50 to 100 different Gannon students to each event throughout this week.
“My goal is to have as many people involved as possible,” Coustillac said. “Especially the wallflowers, the people you don’t see in organizations or at events.
“I would really love all these students to come and to say, ‘Hey, you know, we’re all Gannon students.’”