The first annual Knight’s Bowl Dorm Challenge kicked off in mid-January and allowed dorms to compete against one another in the one category that means the most on campus: behavior. For years, dorms compete for the coveted Knight’s Achievement Award each month as one of the four monthly awards given out at each assembly. This award reflects the best Knight’s Club at the time and is largely based on qualitative evidence. But there are times when a larger carrot is needed to keep everyone focused and motivated on the positive momentum that is happening on campus. For this 4-week challenge, that incentive was an NBA basketball game for the winning dorm.
The points for the challenge were set up partially like a golf scorecard with negative behaviors gaining points, and identified positive behaviors subtracting points: the dorm with the lowest score after the four weeks winning the competition. Weekly winners were also identified with mini-prizes for each week. Examples of some of the items being scored include being on time to school, recruiting new pledges and Knights on the dorm, having successful weekends an home passes, and positive forcefield ratings.
“We came up with the Knight’s Bowl to create a fun competition after Rush Month in which the dorms could compete against each other in a behavioral challenge to prove who really has the best dorm,” said Group Living Director, Trent Fleshner. The Rush Month activities Fleshner alludes to is the annual holiday push to get non-Knights fast-tracked into the club. The biggest difference between this Knights dorm challenge competition, and others on campus, was the use of data as the determining factor. Assistant Group Living Director, Glen Miller, used a spreadsheet and meticulously tracked the categories. Each week, that spreadsheet was shown to the student government members of each dorm at Dorm Report, providing instant feedback to the student leaders on campus. “When dorms compete against each other… dorms and campus become better,” said Miller. He added “All of the results were factual and from data. No gut feelings were used. Dorms either performed or they didn’t.”
One dorm in particular performed and on February 14, the students and staff of Navigator Hall traveled to Minneapolis, MN to experience the NBA when the Minnesota Timberwolves hosted LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Target Center. Overall, the feedback received across campus was positive and the 4-week Knight’s Bowl Challenge will return again.
Reflecting on the competition, Fleshner said “the tool was a huge success as numerous dorms saw overall progress and growth during the activity. We had zero big ticket items over the month and there was a feel that school improved drastically.” Another big success was in staff development. The week served as a great training tool for newer staff members, providing them an opportunity to be engaged with a campus project with a student culture emphasis. Fleshner noted that “we will definitely pull this tool out to use it again as the kids and staff had fun with it and it improved campus as a result.GO KNIGHTS!