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Clash of Classes Not Rigged, Scores Show

Senior+Danielle+Satterwhite+loses+her+chance+to+grab+a+chair+as+junior+Teddy+Conover+steals+the+seat+at+the+last+second+during+musical+chairs.
Senior Danielle Satterwhite loses her chance to grab a chair as junior Teddy Conover steals the seat at the last second during musical chairs.

Senior Danielle Satterwhite loses her chance to grab a chair as junior Teddy Conover steals the seat at the last second during musical chairs.

Lucy Law

Lucy Law

Senior Danielle Satterwhite loses her chance to grab a chair as junior Teddy Conover steals the seat at the last second during musical chairs.

Aleck Mardirossian and Olivia Fu

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Originally, the intent of this story was to expose the corruption in Clash of the Classes, and get justice for the class of 2018. However, after talking to Valderrama and the judges, and carefully going over the score sheets, it’s clear that the system is not “rigged”.

Many students have noticed that seniors have consistently taken the title over the past couple of years causing many juniors, sophomores, and freshmen to become skeptical of the reasoning behind these victories. Some wonder whether the seniors win every year out of tradition or just because it is their last year engaging in the activity.

Although many students believe the seniors have been the titleholders of Clash of the Classes every year, they, in fact, have not. According to the plaque trophy that ASB attains, seniors have won five out of the nine years Clash of the Classes has existed.

The first year Clash of the Classes was initiated there was only a freshmen and sophomore class. That year the freshman, class of 2012, took the lead in the 2008-2009 COTC competition. In the 2009-2010 COTC event, the same class, took the lead against the freshman and junior classes, giving the sophomores a win.

The next year the seniors, class of 2011, took the lead. Then it was the class of 2014 that three-peated from 2011-2014.

As stated by Activities Director Brooke Valderrama, seniors have won a majority of the years because, “[seniors] have the most experience… and they want to dominante.” Although the class of 2017 believed they were disqualified last year, they came in last place because of the lack of spirit and effort, according to Valderrama.

The point system created for COTC is very detailed and thought out on an excel sheet in which the main judge enters the points that are won during the pep rally based on decorations (4 points possible), spirit (16 points possible), videos (30 points possible), and the heads and tails game, which is worth a possible 4 points, and is added to the end to each class’s average score. As far as the points received during lunch and break activities, the score is based on a four point system.

The way the pep rally scores are awarded are that judges are given four score options per category, and can award each score only once. For example, the options for the video are 30, 26, 22, or 18 points, and judges decide which of the classes they believe deserve each of those options.

If I had to pick a category that I think should be the heaviest it should be spirit.”

— Mrs. Serio, English Teacher and CoTC judge

In the lunch activity, the first place class wins four points, second place wins three points, third place wins two points, and fourth place wins one. According to Valderrama, ties are decided by the ASB members.

A reason the juniors may have felt robbed this year in Clash of the Classes is because they felt that throughout the week and at the pep rallies, they outdid the senior class in spirit. Since it’s so difficult to accurately quantify spirit throughout the week (dress up days, class treats, geotags), it’s not necessarily factored into a class’s pep rally score. Additionally, since spirit is worth about half of the points of the video, it is less of a determining factor than students might think.

Some have suggested that spirit should be weighed at least as much as the videos since it is a more accurate representation of each class, as more people are directly involved. Danielle Serio, a COTC judge and English teacher at SJHHS, said, “If I had to pick a category that I think should be the heaviest it should be spirit.”

Another idea that Valderrama brought up was the idea that the bribery element of bringing the judges snacks or treats should be eliminated, and it should be emphasized that judges should vote for whatever class they objectively believed deserved to win, not whatever class nominated them.

While many students may believe Clash of the Classes is automatically rigged for the seniors, it is factually based off of points that are fairly tallied.

If you have any suggestions as to how Clash of the Classes can be improved, contact The Express with any ideas.

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