hauser wrote:People have suggested opening the rosters of Greek teams to allow non-members to push for them. I don't understand this suggestion. How is this a Greek team and not an independent team that happens to draw its members primarily from a single fraternity/sorority?
The idea is that Greeks could still claim the win for their fraternity (and thus appease the alumni and instill pride for the whole house, not just the buggy contingent) while having the same (more loose) restrictions on pushers that Independents do.
If pusher restrictions were loosened up for Greeks, it would be up to the Greek team to decide how much of their push team they want to be from their own house. Obviously some alums will be miffed if the majority of a push team is non-affiliated, but it may be the only option to get the Greeks back to the top tier of competition.
Membership of a Greek team is currently defined differently for pushers and drivers than it is for mechanics; a fraternity can have women push or drive but not design and construct buggies, and similar for sororities and men. It seems like the explicit exemption for the opposite gender should be extended to mechanics as well.
That is certainly a possibility as well.
shafeeq wrote:It may be that everyone who seriously wants to participate in buggy has already found a team.
For people who are actively interested in pursuing buggy, I'd say so.
The problem is the majority of the campus these days doesn't even know what buggy is (they know it exists, but they don't know what buggies look like, the course, etc.). Furthermore in my experience once you get a new person out to rolls or push practice just once there is a decent chance they'll become more interested in buggy, buggy is infectious like that. I know plenty of people who got roped in by a friend of a friend during sophomore or junior year and end up being super obsessed with buggy.
The problem is convincing people to come out at 7am or 11pm in the first place.
Where do the freshmen who would've pledged KDR go now? A non-buggy house? Or not Greek at all? Either way, they're a demographic that is lost to buggy.
The university's war on fraternities certainly has aided heavily in the decline of buggy participation. It really doesn't help that now 6 of the 8 largest Greek orgs (>80 members each) are sororities.... none of which seem to be willing to start a team, and all of which have a spot on the Greek Quad (which is absolutely essential for any Greek house to grow to large membership).
But would the Greek alumni really be happy when a Greek team wins with a lineup that includes no Greeks?
This is the tradeoff of opening up restrictions for pushers (or even mechanics as Ben Hauser suggested).
So we have PhiKap, DTD, DU, and Beta as ex-powerhouse teams with alumni who remember their glory days. Are open rosters, funding, and a starter buggy enough to lure them back into the field?
AFAIK Beta lost their charter (and haven't regained it), PhiKap doesn't exist, and DU if it even still exists has a membership of less than 20.
DTD is moderately large (not SigEp or PhiDelt large though), however they've refused to participate in Buggy since Delta Force in 2011-2012. Maybe sometime soon there will be enough interest among the members though, especially since they've moved onto the Greek Quad.
Sigma Chi is also moving onto the Greek Quad next year (replacing KapSig), so maybe there's hope there too.
SigEp's mechanical failures wouldn't have been prevented by giving their drivers more practice.
Maybe they could've been prevented if they used their Raceday wheels and bearings even once during rolls the entire year... or given their drivers more practice with full-speed hill 2 shoves...
To me, that says the last-minute teams are getting in enough practice for the speeds they go.
Other than SigEp (and that's just this year, they seem to have had more practice in past years) I'd agree.
Every freeroll practice costs money and effort (from everyone) regardless of how many teams show up.
The only cost for the non-attending teams is the chores they have to do when quorum (>= half the teams show up for practice) is reached. The monetary cost of police officers and road permits is covered by the Sweepstakes budget which in turn is funded by the JFC which draws from the Student Activities Fee. I suppose every day of freerolls maybe adds a few cents to the activities fee.... which is paid by almost the entire undergraduate student body, not just the buggy team members.
Fewer practices would lower the difference between least & most experienced driver. If they knew they'd have to race with little practice, serious teams might make different design decisions, or learn how to make the most of the practice they get.
Are you suggesting we reduce the number of freeroll practices to even the playing field? That would be, in theory, lowering the level of the top competition down closer to the bottom feeders. Teams which are too small and miss a day shouldn't be pandered to, they should be encouraged to get more members involved so they don't miss days.
Teams should be rewarded for their diligence and attendance. The teams which have an active interest in discovering the secrets of wheel prep, perfecting driver lines, mastering pushing/transitions, etc. should have as much opportunity to improve as possible in my opinion.
Wheel escalation is a good way to transfer money from teams to vendors' pockets, but it is an area of useful innovation, without which buggy becomes boring. $600 to ZE seems a fair cost to step up to the fast table, especially considering that the (unpaid) labor that goes into building a buggy is an order of magnitude larger and the difference between best & worst buggies is smaller than between the best & worst wheels.
Agreed on all counts.