Danielle Dobosz ’16, the co-captain of the Morse College team at this year’s Freshman Olympics, said she felt the pressure of maintaining the college’s glory from last year’s olympics when competition began on Saturday. And the Morse class of 2016 did not disappoint.
Morsels racked in 24 points at the Freshman Olympics, edging out second-place Jonathan Edwards College by three. Though the games ran slightly behind schedule because heavy rain made the Freshman Class Council postpone opening ceremonies from Friday to Saturday, all team captains and freshmen interviewed said they are mostly satisfied with the council’s leadership during the event, but three team captains said they think the FCC representatives’ decisions about the outcomes of certain games seemed “arbitrary.”
“We had to make a couple of tough calls and stick by them, even though some people were saying it was unfair — it was kind of like pulling off a bandaid,” said Grant Fergusson ’16, one of two FCC members responsible for organizing the event. “Sometimes, even though people wanted to pause and spend more time on some decisions, we couldn’t do it in the interest of time. It became a bit easier as the day progressed, however, as we really fell into the confidence of leading the event.”
Fergusson and Vicky Chou ’16, the other FCC member in charge of the event, said FCC referees used standardized principles to make decisions throughout the games and tried to accommodate everyone’s interests, but added that ensuring all students are satisfied was difficult given the competitive nature of the event. To minimize misunderstanding, Chou said the FCC created a handbook outlining the rules of each game prior to the tournament.
But Irene Jiang ’16, a co-captain of the Trumbull team, said some of the information the FCC gave teams on the day of the olympics differred from the information contained in the handbook — a discrepancy she said was irritating. Apurv Suman ’16, a co-captain of the Pierson team, said Pierson freshmen competing in the event “weird relay” thought they had beat other teams when competition ended, but FCC representatives later told them that the rules were different than the ones the Pierson competitors used to devise their strategy and Pierson lost as a result. Suman added that Pierson, which finished fifth at the Olympics, was not able to compete in some events because the teams did not know when and where the events would take place.
“There was a lot of communication beforehand, but I wish communication between FCC representatives and players were a little better on the day of the games,” Suman said. “When players are in the middle of a game and one person says one thing and another one says another thing, it can be really tough and frustrating.”
Daniel Hwang ’16, the other co-captain of the Trumbull team, said he thinks many participants would have preferred the events to be more spread out, adding that the tournament’s tight schedule prevented some colleges from participating in more games. Still, he said he thinks all freshmen appreciate the work the FCC put into organizing the event.
Suman, Dobosz and Joshua Rosenfeld ’16, the other co-captain of the Morse team, said they understand the difficulties of organizing such a large-scale event. Though Dobosz said the Morse freshmen were frustrated with some of the controversies surrounding the tournament, she added that she thinks all participants had a good time overall.
Six freshmen interviewed said they enjoyed the games even though their colleges did not earn first place. Most said the spirit of the freshman class overshadowed the olympics’ minor organizational issues.
“There was definitely drama and definitely intrigue, but I don’t think there was any foul play,” FCC member Aaditya Tolappa ’16 said. “At the end of the day, it seemed like people had fun, including the colleges that didn’t do so well.”
Ezra Stiles College came in last with two points.