February 08, 2012

University to host 14th Accounting Challenge

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Are they up to a unique and spirited challenge? 

That’s what hundreds of students from throughout the region will find out at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 14th annual School of Accountancy Accounting Challenge.  The event, featuring tests of skills and knowledge for individuals and teams, is set for Friday, Feb. 10, at the Student Recreation Center’s small gym.

“I attended the Accounting Challenge last year as a senior at Nashville Community High School.  It’s a great event to meet faculty and staff from SIU Carbondale.  The Accounting Challenge was one of the factors that helped me decide to come to SIU and major in accounting.  Now, as the student coordinator for the event, I want to make sure everyone has just as good an experience as I did when I attended,” said Scott Polczynski, a freshman accounting major.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the team competition at the annual Accounting Challenge at SIU Carbondale.  The best time to attend is between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. at the Student Recreation Center’s small gym.

Following a 9 a.m. welcome by Chancellor Rita Cheng, nearly 400 students from 23 area high schools and five community colleges will get to business with an academic competition testing their accounting knowledge and skills.  Then, it’s on to the team competition where they’ll work together to take on a surprise “challenge.”

The team building challenge is a closely guarded secret but it’s always fun and unique.  One year, each team got a handful of supplies, including four sheets of paper and a yard of masking tape, to create a capsule that would keep a pendulum hammer made of four 4 by 4 blocks from crushing the fruits.  Last year, they used a few meager supplies to build a container that would protect an egg from breaking when dropped from the gymnasium balcony.

“Larry Busch, associate professor emeritus from the SIU Carbondale School of Art and Design, always surprises us with the challenge event,” said Marcus Odom, director of the School of Accountancy.

Competitors are vying for more than a title and bragging rights during the Accounting Challenge.  College scholarships are at stake.  Students winning the individual competition get certificates of recognition and can claim scholarships if they attend SIU Carbondale and major in accounting.  Winning team competition schools take home trophies for their schools and for each team member.  The awards presentation is set for 1 p.m.

Accounting Challenge sponsors include Caterpillar, the SIU Carbondale College of Business and the school’s alumni group, the Accounting Circle.  Area businesses are donating prizes as well. 

Participants and the teachers accompanying them will enjoy breakfast and lunch, meet faculty and staff, and have the opportunity to tour the School of Accountancy.  Organizers say the popular annual event is an exciting day for all involved and a great way to introduce students to the College of Business and its School of Accountancy.