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Idea to Expand Participation - Page 2 - Buggy Alumni Association

Idea to Expand Participation

the cook
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Graduation Year: 1987
Real Name: Duane Delaney

Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby the cook » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:42 pm

>>>Do you really think Zoo or Pika will offer wheels to the masses?


I might if I have to watch much more of that shit

hauser
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Real Name: Ben Hauser

Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby hauser » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:44 am

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? Similarly, why do Greek organizations only try to set up "independent" racing teams when they are facing disciplinary action (Fishing Club, Kool Dudes Racing) when it appears to be to their advantage in terms of both recruitment and funding to do this all the time?

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.

Finally, how much can we actually expand participation among CMU students? This year, 48 teams entered, so 240 pushers participated. Adding some drivers and mechanics who didn't push, it's still less than 300 people total. If we somehow are able to return fraternity participation to its level from 10 years ago without decreasing independent involvement, we might be able to get to 350. Is that what we mean by "expand participation"? Maybe we should instead try to expand the pool of eligible participants, for example by allowing students at other universities (i.e. Pitt students) to compete as well.

shafeeq
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Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby shafeeq » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:51 am

CMU has 6300 undergrads (and an equal number of grad students who, except for those who were CMU undergrads, will never care about buggy). So we have 4% of the eligible students, which sounds like a lot. But peak buggy was 1988 with 72 entries, and it stayed above 60 for much of the 90's. So almost 10% of the (then smaller) university.

Stronger teams are good, but we need more teams. Each team pulls from a different recruiting pool - the independents each appeal to a different kind of person, and PiKA takes different pledges than PhiDelt does. It may be that everyone who seriously wants to participate in buggy has already found a team. But there's all the people who want to do something (buggy/booth/whatever) and happen to land in buggy because the rest of their social group does it. E.g. the Greeks who don't particularly love buggy, but show up to fill out a push team because their more buggy-serious brothers persuaded them. 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 membership requirements came about to prevent a strong Greek team from getting even stronger. That's not the main concern now, so, sure, allow free choice of pushers for everyone and if it creates a monster, deal with it then. It only requires convincing one independent that it's in their interest to vote for the rule change next year. But would the Greek alumni really be happy when a Greek team wins with a lineup that includes no Greeks?

It used to be that Greeks could get $1000 for their buggy programs with no strings, I don't know if that's changed - certainly funding for independents was tighter when I last paid attention than it is now. Parity would require the student senate to change their policies, but I would think the Greeks have sufficient pull there. But for full parity, Greek buggy programs should be subject to all the same strings that the independents are, which might have undesired consequences - the Fishing Club can't refuse anyone who shows up wanting to be a mechanic. Though nobody seems to use that trick to get into independent buggy rooms.

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?

The teams that put in the bare minimum qualifying effort this year drove reasonably well - SigEp's mechanical failures wouldn't have been prevented by giving their drivers more practice. Despite the lack of practice days last spring, 2015 wouldn't have had a unusual number of crashes if not for the wet roads. To me, that says the last-minute teams are getting in enough practice for the speeds they go. Maybe they could get by with even less. More practice helps the serious teams get faster, which is why it is worth the effort to them to get up for every practice. But a small team that can't round up enough bodies for a day misses out and never gets to catch up. Every freeroll practice costs money and effort (from everyone) regardless of how many teams show up. 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.

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.

buggypusher
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:04 pm
Graduation Year: 2013

Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby buggypusher » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:02 am


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Elmo Zoneball
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Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:08 pm

"I love the smell of solvents in the morning -- they smell like... victory."

Zatchmo
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Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby Zatchmo » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:13 pm


jeremytuttle
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Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby jeremytuttle » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:55 pm

Those publicity ideas seem like the easiest and least controversial way to improve participation and visibility. Like Elmo said, Getting proper Buggy reports into The Tartan is a great first step-- compare the content you'd imagine in a good weekly page to . With some keen observation at rolls, a few quick interviews every week, and the new freeroll timing system in place, I could see year-long narratives taking shape around different teams, buggies, and even drivers. Who's picking up surprising speed? Who's having trouble with the chute? While we're partway there with the rolls reports on this site, they're a bit too dry to be enjoyed by anyone but an enthusiast. To expand the audience, it should have a bit of journalistic flair, and convey genuine enthusiasm for Buggy. Make it clear to everyone on campus that Buggy is something they are expected to know about, and then show them that it's something worth caring about too.

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Elmo Zoneball
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Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:53 pm

"I love the smell of solvents in the morning -- they smell like... victory."

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Elmo Zoneball
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Location: Bottom of Flagstaff, watching the chute, collecting samples...

Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:59 pm

If you really want to raise awareness of Buggy, invite Jeremy Clarkson and his two side kicks from the no longer known as "Top Gear" show to cover the 100th Anniversary Sweepstakes.

Put the little guy, RIchard Hammond (listed as being 5' 7" tall,) in a buggy with decent wheels and send him on a hot lap with a camera and mic in the cockpit, and see if he can make it around the corner in one piece.

The historical tie-in to Carnegie being from from Scotland would be irresistible to the show.
"I love the smell of solvents in the morning -- they smell like... victory."

Pope on a Rope
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Real Name: mark estes

Re: Idea to Expand Participation

Postby Pope on a Rope » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:13 pm



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