2015 Races

shafeeq
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby shafeeq » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:53 pm

Historically, other big independents have dropped off the map rapidly after a period of success - late 80's CIA and early 2000's Spirit. Both cases correleted with the rise of another big competitor - Spirit & Fringe respectively.

I thought we'd removed the constraints on sorority drivers years ago, and there still seem to be to a lot of sorority shirts on pushers these days, so how to convince them that they want to run their own team rather than be someone else's women's team?

I really hope PhiDelt liked thier first buggy experience enough to return. KapSig put in an impressive appearance a couple years back & vanished. What would it take to bring them back? What other houses are left that are big enough to run a buggy program? There's probably enough potential "loaner" buggies to support one more team, so that's a barrier the BAA can help overcome. The independents aren't at full capacity, and it's far easier to grow by adding an Apex C than it is to start a whole new team without an existing organization.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby buggypusher » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:02 pm

shafeeq wrote:Historically, other big independents have dropped off the map rapidly after a period of success - late 80's CIA and early 2000's Spirit. Both cases correleted with the rise of another big competitor - Spirit & Fringe respectively.

I thought we'd removed the constraints on sorority drivers years ago, and there still seem to be to a lot of sorority shirts on pushers these days, so how to convince them that they want to run their own team rather than be someone else's women's team?

I really hope PhiDelt liked thier first buggy experience enough to return. KapSig put in an impressive appearance a couple years back & vanished. What would it take to bring them back? What other houses are left that are big enough to run a buggy program? There's probably enough potential "loaner" buggies to support one more team, so that's a barrier the BAA can help overcome. The independents aren't at full capacity, and it's far easier to grow by adding an Apex C than it is to start a whole new team without an existing organization.


I'm not overly familiar with the fraternity scene right now in terms of membership numbers, but I heard that KapSig barely has enough to retain their house right now, and were under threat at some point last year to give up their quad house (but then rushed enough in the spring to pull through).

DTD is probably the next best bet in terms of fraternities to start a buggy team, they were big enough (read: bigger than SigChi and Lambda) to be first in line to get a quad house after Beta's suspension. They are big enough to place in both Greek Sing (2nd or 3rd, can't remember) and Booth (3rd) so they are big enough to start a buggy team.


However, those sororities.... all of the quad sororities had over 100 members last I checked (FMR keeps total membership numbers very well spread among them). I think the BAA/Sweepstakes should focus heavily on trying to get even just one of them to start a team for next year. They have more manpower at their disposal than any potential independents or Greeks other than say, ASA, and I know that ASA is traditionally booth centric.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby hvincent » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:21 pm

PHG wrote:Also, I don't really understand why so many alums are upset at what they think is a slow speed. Who cares? Would it be terrible if no one ever beat the course record? It's a game. Ultimately people participate to have fun and learn. Students participating in buggy aren't doing it for the spectators. It's like complaining that your kid's T-ball team isn't setting any hitting records at Random Suburban County Public Schools. So what?


A+

It's not an alumni race. It's a student race. Every year, the people participating in it change, and every 4-5 years there's a pretty much a complete turnover of the population. The fact that the overall spirit can perpetuate through undergraduate turnover at all is still amazing to me, and I don't think it's fair or reasonable to hold people up against performance standards from several years back.
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby shafeeq » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:42 pm

buggypusher wrote:
And yeah, I agree that the Sweepstakes Chairs have done a good job this year. Very few incidents where teams were mad at sweepstakes, and they got the second or third biggest fraternity on campus (in membership numbers, IIRC) to start a buggy team.


I'll grant that getting PhiDelt in was a success, and the races actually happened and nobody got hurt. But the fact that teams weren't mad at sweepstakes more often is another symptom of the decline in obsession level across the field. Sure the weather was bad this year, so you'd think teams would want as much practice as they can get, and yet they put up with Sweepstakes and other teams wasting valuable time, and starting late and quitting early. The new requirement to perform capes again after a crash, even if the brakes played no role, is yet another useless waste of everyone's time. But it's "doing something about safety," so all good.

I recall someone at the BAA lunch saying that DTD's alums would like them back in buggy too, so maybe that can happen.

IIRC, Spirit got into buggy because the university ordered them to. There used to be the assumption that one had to do Booth in order to do Buggy, until we realized that it wasn't written down anywhere, putting PiKA booth out of its misery. Maybe it makes sense to bring it back in the other direction - if you're huge, you must do Buggy to compete in Booth. Or ar at least tweak the scoring to provide some incentive to participating in buggy and compensate for the fact you're splitting your effort. I suspect the most compelling incentive would be for the university to cut buggy houses some disciplinary slack.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby PHG » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:55 pm

shafeeq wrote:I suspect the most compelling incentive would be for the university to cut buggy houses some disciplinary slack.

I really couldn't disagree more. Buggy is not more important than student safety. I personally would much rather see buggy die off than allow someone to get away with something wrong just because they participate in the races.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby hvincent » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:03 pm

shafeeq wrote:Maybe it makes sense to bring it back in the other direction - if you're huge, you must do Buggy to compete in Booth. Or ar at least tweak the scoring to provide some incentive to participating in buggy and compensate for the fact you're splitting your effort. I suspect the most compelling incentive would be for the university to cut buggy houses some disciplinary slack.


I don't think it's a good idea to require buggy participation just to fulfil some requirement. Having a team that shows up to do the bare minimum in order to tick off boxes is just going to add to the noise, and will most certainly waste more time than requiring safety checks after a crash.
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Carl Nott
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby Carl Nott » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:23 pm

shafeeq wrote:I suspect the most compelling incentive would be for the university to cut buggy houses some disciplinary slack.


Nah, it should be about the long green, cheddar, dolla dolla bill. We should lean on the university to distribute Student Activity Fee funds towards a specific student activity: buggy. Encourage groups to do buggy because they'll get an increase to their funding.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:16 pm

Carl Nott wrote:
shafeeq wrote:I suspect the most compelling incentive would be for the university to cut buggy houses some disciplinary slack.


Nah, it should be about the long green, cheddar, dolla dolla bill. We should lean on the university to distribute Student Activity Fee funds towards a specific student activity: buggy. Encourage groups to do buggy because they'll get an increase to their funding.


Worth thinking about when one is concerned about the lack of Greek participation in buggy: the fraternities have to fund their own buggy programs entirely through their own pockets, and the pockets of their alumni. If Student Activity fees are used to fund independent Buggy orgs, the fraternity members are being nailed twice: to pay for their own buggy program, and to then help fund their independent competitors through their Student Activity Fees. That's manifestly unfair. And if you increase the funding for independents, don't be surprised if fewer and fewer Greek orgs participate.

The fair way to do it is for independents to fund their own buggy budgets out of the pockets of the students who join them, just like fraternities do.

The issue isn't a lack of money; it's a lack of enthusiasm. Buggy needs to do something BIG in the Fall, to generate interest and enthusiasm that gets people to join buggy orgs, and non-participating orgs to start participating, long before Race Day rolls around (no pun intended) in the Spring.

Maybe we need to make the Homecoming weekend some sort of major Buggy event, with pseudo races, Hill #1 grudge matches, etc., to gen up some curiosity and interest. Re-enact the old Sweepstakes Formula One Style Mass Start with baby carriages -- or mock 1920 style buggies -- going up Hill #1 en masse -- could be quite hilarious. Maybe add back in the the old "tire change/pit stop" in the re-enactments. Have the push teams dress in 1920s style athletic clothes as well.

There are many possibilities; the point is something needs to be done to fire up interest, and it needs to happen in the Fall, so new people and teams can get recruited before it's too late that year.
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Re: 2015 Races

Postby buggypusher » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:34 pm

Elmo Zoneball wrote:
The issue isn't a lack of money; it's a lack of enthusiasm. Buggy needs to do something BIG in the Fall, to generate interest and enthusiasm that gets people to join buggy orgs, and non-participating orgs to start participating, long before Race Day rolls around (no pun intended) in the Spring.

Maybe we need to make the Homecoming weekend some sort of major Buggy event, with pseudo races, Hill #1 grudge matches, etc., to gen up some curiosity and interest. Re-enact the old Sweepstakes Formula One Style Mass Start with baby carriages -- or mock 1920 style buggies -- going up Hill #1 en masse -- could be quite hilarious. Maybe add back in the the old "tire change/pit stop" in the re-enactments. Have the push teams dress in 1920s style athletic clothes as well.

There are many possibilities; the point is something needs to be done to fire up interest, and it needs to happen in the Fall, so new people and teams can get recruited before it's too late that year.


I agree completely that they need to do something (or multiple things) to generate more interest in the fall.

I posted this already in the comments part of the cmubuggy frontpage for the raceday preview, but even just getting permits for the roads earlier in the fall would help a lot. The fall activities fair is usually the second week of school, and buggy starts about 3 weeks later, freshmen always sign up for plenty of clubs, including buggy, in the first two weeks of school, but if they don't actually get to see a buggy rolling within a week or two of signing up, chances are they'll just be empty names on a d-list waiting to be deleted.

Furthermore even the Greeks could stand to improve from earlier fall rolls. Some people decide to join certain fraternities over others because they have a buggy team, it's a great way to rush engineering students. If they could put fall rolls as a rush event it would be easier to recruit/rush both engineering nerds and athletic would-be pushers.

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Re: 2015 Races

Postby nbonaddio » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:51 pm

PHG wrote:Would it be terrible if no one ever beat the course record?


Yes, for the same reason no one gives a shit about women's basketball.


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