April 12, 2011 - 12 AM

R.B., 1L

Every Monday night at 8:30, I set aside a few hours to kick back and exit the legal world. Instead of immersing in textbooks and court cases, I find myself in the basement of the Graduate and Professional Student Center of Yale (GPSCY), a bar that’s frequented by grad students from every department at the University. Over a few pitchers of Miller Lite and endless bowls of free popcorn, several students and I participate in GPSCY Trivia Night. The competition usually pulls about 10-15 teams of up to six students, some of whom play for fun and others who take it pretty seriously.

The questions are always a mix of history, science, geography, math, literature, politics, and pop culture. Some are relatively easy and others are insanely difficult. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in that room during the last few months. There was the night we squandered our big lead on the final question (we correctly guessed that nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor were among the ten most abundant elements in the Earth’s atmosphere, but unfortunately our guess of “ozone” was wrong). But there was also the time we correctly listed and ranked the five largest countries in the world by total area (Russia, Canada, United States, China, and Brazil) to pull off a last-minute come-from-behind victory. We felt like heroes that night.

The prizes are a pretty nice deal, too. If you win, you get to use one of their rooms for a private party of up to fifty folks. When my team amassed two consecutive victories, they also agreed to throw in free karaoke for the night.

And GPSCY has more than just trivia nights. Their Halloween party is one of the flagship events on campus. They also host wine tastings, crawfish boils, martini nights, DJ contests, Mardi Gras parties, and all kinds of other activities. Last week they provided free pizza and a giant TV screen to watch Connecticut’s hometown heroes knock off Butler in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. A few days before that, they hosted Salsa lessons followed by a giant dance party.

As much as I love hanging around other law students, it’s nice to leave the legal world every once in a while and meet students from other departments in the university. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is: if you’re looking to have a few beverages and meet some new folks, GPSCY is around to help you do that.