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Pizza! Pizza!

USG's Pizzalympics draws mass of guests, 12 vendors run out over 250 pizzas

Melanie Sayre

Issue date: 11/19/10 Section: Focus
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The pile of discarded pizza boxes rested in the back of the Thwing Ballroom.
The pile of discarded pizza boxes rested in the back of the Thwing Ballroom.
[Click to enlarge]
A Dewey's Pizza chef prepares to serve a variety of pizza types. Every pizza would be eaten within half an hour.
A Dewey's Pizza chef prepares to serve a variety of pizza types. Every pizza would be eaten within half an hour.
[Click to enlarge]
A Pizza BOGO chef serves up this year's winning pizzas to hungry consumers.
A Pizza BOGO chef serves up this year's winning pizzas to hungry consumers.
[Click to enlarge]
The panel of judges oversees the swarm of people who flocked to the Thwing Ballroom for free pizza.
The panel of judges oversees the swarm of people who flocked to the Thwing Ballroom for free pizza.
[Click to enlarge]
The line at the fourth annual Pizzalympics was impressive, stretching down the stairs and nearly out the door of Thwing. This year the event was opened to everyone at Case Western Reserve University: undergraduates, graduates, law school, medical school, faculty, and staff alike. To say that it saw outstanding attendance is an understatement.

Pizzalympics was created by the USG finance committee during the 2007-08 school year. Keith Lupton explained that, "We wanted to come up with a list of all of the pizza vendors that deliver to Case's campus called the 'Pizza Directory.' The Pizzalympics was an initiative that we created as a way to determine the order in which the pizza vendors would be listed on the directory... We also thought it would be a great way to please the student body with free pizza." The first event was a success, and Pizzalympics has since been held annually.

This year, the goal was to run out of pizza completely. And at 1:18, less than an hour after the start of the event, the attendees had helped do just that.

According to Lupton "the expected turnout for this year was about 600, and we ended getting about 1000 people. Due to such a high turnout, we ran out of napkins, seating, and pizza earlier than we had anticipated," said Lupton.

Amy Brown, a graduate student that attended the event, commented that it exceeded her expectations. "It was really fun to see how they had improved the event from previous years. They were very organized and good at recruiting the student body to come to the event. However, less of a line and more pizza ready and waiting from the start could have improved the event."

From previous years, the biggest change had been in the judging. While last year only undergraduates were pooled for the voting, this year USG attempted to get an accurate representation of the entire school. Instead of only 10 judges total, there were 32 judges that made 4 panels with 8 judges each. Of the 32, 10 undergraduate students were randomly selected from a pool of interested representatives from various student organizations. Each panel judged a different category of pizza (vegetarian, meat, specialty, and cheese). The judges were asked to rate each pizza for its appearance and overall taste on a scale of 10 without knowing which pizza was which to reduce any potential bias. A weighted average was then computed between the judges, and the rankings were determined.

Andrew Leveto, nominated by the Case Croquet Club, was one of the 10 undergraduate judges, nominated by the Case Croquet Club. "The USG members did a great job of serving all the judges and making sure we always had pizza and water in front of us," he said. "The event as a whole was very well-organized and well-attended. There was a line down the stairs in Thwing for almost two hours."

"We had 325 boxes of pizza this year, compared to the 225 boxes of pizza last year," Lupton said. Leveto commented that, "it was impressive to see the mountain of empty pizza boxes by the end of the event."

More improvements are planned for next year. USG plans to bring in a more diverse representation for the official judging. For the pizza itself, they want to have the vendors cut the pizza into smaller slices, so that more people can sample each and there will be less waste. Lupton commented that, "we hope to have additional seating for the event in Meeting Rooms A, B, and C, in addition to the 1914 Lounge."

"My least favorite part of the event was that I couldn't eat all the pizza." While the turnout seemed to take USG by surprise, the event could definitely be seen as a success. Brown commented as well that, "there were lots of people enjoying the best food out there - pizza."
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    Hopeful Student

    posted 11/19/10 @ 7:40 AM EST

    While this event had good intentions, I did not enjoy waiting in line for an hour and not receiving any pizza. Watching students come down from the ballroom with a plate in each hand stacked high with pizza made me pretty hopeful. (Continued…)

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    Issue Summary

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