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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

American Sign Language Scene hosts Deaf Trivia Night

The second Wednesday of every month, members of the American Sign Language Scene organization meet at Company Brewing, 735 E. Center St., to host Deaf Trivia Night.
Ben+Pipkorn+signs+at+the+Nov.+8+Deaf+Trivia+Night.
Photo by Jack Belmont
Ben Pipkorn signs at the Nov. 8 Deaf Trivia Night.

The second Wednesday of every month, members of the American Sign Language Scene organization meet at Company Brewing, 735 E. Center St., to host Deaf Trivia Night.

Helena Meyer, senior in the American Sign Language/English Interpreting Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said the ASL Scene started off just being Deaf Trivia but grew into a larger organization. 

“The point of it was to create a Deaf-centric environment that both deaf and hearing people could be in without worrying about a communication barrier. We wanted something that wasn’t heavily focused on Deaf culture and ASL, but mostly just an open and casual environment that people can chill in and have fun,” Meyer said.

Meyer said each Trivia Night is open to anyone, and interpreters and PowerPoints are available to those who don’t know sign.

“The whole point of Deaf Trivia is to have deaf and hearing people in the same place,” Meyer said. “One of those benefits is that the hearing community gets exposure to the Deaf community. When you go to Deaf Trivia, we talk to the bar staff and every month they are picking up more signs and are learning to communicate with people, that is another goal is not just the Deaf centric environment, but to get that exposure to hearing people.”

Jon Thomm who interpreted for Katie Tyre, a member of the ASL Scene, said Tyre felt growing up attending mainstream school — a hearing school — allowed her to not feel isolated growing up.

I am lucky that I grew up with a deaf program there because I always had interpreters with me. I went to UW- Milwaukee, and again they provided interpreters, I made friends and I was involved in the SSA which is the Signing Student Association. It is all very deaf friendly,” Tyre signed. 

Tyre said she hopes that through the Trivia Nights hearing people who come are able to see how much the Deaf community does.  

“Really we can do anything. We want them [the hearing population] to have patience with us as well and we all need to have patience with each other,” Tyre signed. 

Brandon Radke, who interpreted for Ben Pipkorn, a member of the ASL Scene, said each Trivia Night is hosted by a deaf person.

“Another big point of Deaf Trivia is that the host is deaf, and they can typically create their own questions if they want to. It is very nice to have that different feel and experience, because we all have experienced hearing trivia through texting, but it doesn’t feel the same as deaf trivia where it is all in sign. You feel an instant connection and you feel at home,” Pipkorn signed. 

Pipkorn said the local trivia company “America’s Pub Quiz” — which is a Milwaukee-based company that hosts a variety of quiz games in different bars and restaurants — helped organize and facilitate the Deaf Trivia Nights. 

“The organization has so many questions with hosts everywhere, so it is really nice to have one catered to the Deaf community that allows the hearing people to come,” Pipkorn signed. 

During the Trivia Nights Pipkorn said Meyer is able to bring the hearing community and Deaf community together.

“[Meyer] is good at building bridges between people and showing that deaf people are just the same as hearing people. Working on that collaboration has been a very cool experience,” Pipkorn signed. 

This story was written by Sophie Goldstein. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sophie Goldstein, Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sophie Goldstein is a sophomore from Glenview, Illinois studying journalism and is the Executive Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching reality television and playing with her dog. She is excited to begin her journey at the Wire, while exploring the stories everyone has to share at Marquette.

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