According to SUS President Diane Nguyen, the only member of the society involved with organizing the event was VP Academic Sarah Park, who did not enter the competition.
SCI Team has always hosted the event, but had decided not to go through with it last year since not enough returning members had experience planning it. The SUS stepped in to help with promotion and logistical issues, but not the selection of judges — according to Nguyen, who personally thanked two members of SCI Team on Facebook.
In the event, students competed to find solutions to a global health crisis. Teams presented their projects to a panel of UBC professors and graduate students who assigned points to determine a winner.
“I was so intimidated,” said Nguyen. “All of them were chemistry, biotech and [microbiology] people, but we’re all integrated science students with commerce and psychology minors. So it was completely out of our realm.”
Nguyen said that the event communications could have been clearer about the divisions between SUS members who were organizing the event and those who were entering as contestants.
“A lot of the rules were explained in the contestant packages, so anyone who was competing was aware of how the judging process was. But I think a bigger effort [is needed] to make that clear from the start — on our event page, and our promotions, and all that,” she said.
A previous version of this article stated that, according to Nguyen, SCI Team did not organize the case competition last year due to poor turnout. She has since clarified that the reason was due to not enough returning members with experience planning the event.