Homemade quizzes enthralled the student body this week

by Rebecca Szkutak / Beacon Staff • January 27, 2016

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A sample question form one of the quizzes.
Courtesy of Caitlin Brown
A sample question form one of the quizzes.
Courtesy of Caitlin Brown

BuzzFeed’s “Quizzes” tab notoriously thieves—stealing minutes off the clock from innocent internet dawdlers’ time. In the past week, many students clicked away on new campus-centric content. 

Emerson students can now take personalized BuzzFeed quizzes created by classmates to answer their dire questions about which Colonial resident assistant they are, which member of Piano Row suite 606 they are most like, or which singer in Achoired Taste with whom they share a pitch. 

Caitlin Brown, a senior visual and media arts major and co-creator of the “Which Colonial RA are you?” quiz, said that similar posts on her Facebook newsfeed inspired her creation. 

While working a desk shift at the Colonial Building dorm, Brown and Matthew Williams, another RA and co-creator of the quiz, decided to make their own—theirs features every assistant in the building. 

“Honestly we just made it as ridiculous as possible,” Brown said. “That’s basically how I try to live my life. Most of the RAs didn’t get themselves, probably because we made it so silly.”

The quiz asks students to pick their Harry Potter patronus with options including a robot, a minion, or an old lady in a rocking chair. Another question inquired about what the user would bring to a deserted island with choices ranging from alcohol to a tranquilizer gun. 

With the nature of the quiz being so arbitrary, Brown said she was really surprised to see that within a few hours over 500 people had taken it. 

Sophomore journalism major Jessica Kasparian said she took Brown’s quiz even though she really didn’t know any of the Colonial RAs. Despite that, she said she still enjoyed the questions and answers.

“I think it’s funny to see the dynamics of different groups on campus, and what’s funny to them,” Kasparian said. 

Kasparian said she was inspired by both Brown’s quiz and others she saw, and decided to make one for Achoired Taste, an a capella group where she sings soprano.

“We all have such unique personalities, [so] I thought we would be a great BuzzFeed quiz,” Kasparian said. “I originally was like, ‘No I’m not doing it. I’m not wasting my time.’ Then, somehow, I sat on my bed for hours making a quiz.” 

Kasparian said that with the help of some friends, crafting it took almost four hours. She said she’s gotten good feedback from her friends, and it has almost 300 views. 

Erin Cook, a junior visual and media arts major, also took the humor she found in the Colonial quiz and made her own featuring her suitemates. 

Cook said she found herself figuratively dragging her suitemates across the floor by picking out individuals’ flaws and writing personalized questions about them. 

“I honestly think it’s hilarious,” Cook said. “I spent like three hours on this quiz, and it was the best thing I did all day. My suitemates might make me move out, but it was worth it.” 

The trend came in quickly, as both Brown and Kasparian said they went from seeing none of these quizzes to several all at once. Both said they predict this phenomenon will exit in the same fashion. 

“I think it’s going to be short-lived,” Kasparian said. “But while it’s still a thing, I think it’s funny.”