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The BAA and new orgs - Page 2 - Buggy Alumni Association

The BAA and new orgs

shafeeq
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:40 pm
Organization: CIA
Graduation Year: 2000
Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: The BAA and new orgs

Postby shafeeq » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:06 pm

The other people to ask are KapSig and SAE who appear to have built decent buggies and put in decent performances. Why did KapSig decide it wasn't for them?

The obvious problem with pushing another team's buggy is when you get a bunch of Betas behind a SigNu buggy and all hell breaks loose. Putting them in their own division at least avoids competing against the primary team.

IME, it is not that hard for new mechanics to get used to their daily tasks as long as everything is working. It is when something breaks that an inexperienced mechanic gets stumped on how to fix something they didn't build, that an experienced team would fix without much effort.

I think SigEp got a trophy with Genesis. I bet there are houses that could put a modern day Limo into the top 10. All that requires is someone applying their booth skills in the fall.

Are there really not more Pioneers buggies that can be repaired?
Will we see another KDR buggy back on the course before KDR itself?

gimli
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:34 pm
Organization: Pioneers
Graduation Year: 2013
Real Name: Robert Marsh

Re: The BAA and new orgs

Postby gimli » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:59 pm

To my knowledge, there aren't any rollable pioneers buggies left - if they were, we might still be around. Keres and Valkyrie were dead on arrival, and Chaos was on its last legs for raceday 2011. It's probably repairable, but it's not significantly different from Phoenix, and Apex has their eye on something lighter and faster for a fall build.

aepibuggy
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:27 am
Organization: AEPi
Graduation Year: 2008
Real Name: Bryan Arsham
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: The BAA and new orgs

Postby aepibuggy » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:27 pm

My biggest concern is that the highest barrier to entry (or at least one of the highest) is willing participation. Back when I was a freshman in AEPi, we had manpower problems weekly. At least one of our brothers ironmanned the back hills on multiple occasions, our chair hopped out of the follow car to push hill 3, we had to share flaggers/follow cars with other teams, etc. We were a small fraternity at the time (somewhere in the 20-25 brother range), but even now it looks like AEPi is struggling to find enough people to go out weekly, and they have over 50 brothers. Unfortunately, there isn't really anything the BAA can do about this, other than to make buggy more widely known and loved.

Now onto what the BAA can actually help with...

I like the idea of the "build kits". In reading Connor's thoughts though, I had another similar idea. The BAA could actually build a buggy. This buggy would be relatively modern and stable, though it would be a very basic model (I'm thinking Kamikaze-esque). Then, if a new team is interested in starting, the BAA would loan that buggy out to the new team for the year. In addition, the build of the buggy could be filmed, and the footage could be given to the new team as well. The goal is to give the new team the knowledge to put together a build throughout that first year, then have their own new buggy to start rolling in the 2nd year (when the BAA gets back the buggy it built, and can loan it out to another new org). The mechanics would get a good sense of how a modern buggy actually works, and they could even go about taking apart the components and putting them back together again. This would, in theory, be more useful than an "old" loaner, which is probably very beat up, needs a lot of work, and might not be very useful to a new team going forward.

As I was talking about this to Zatchmo, these two ideas seemed to come together pretty well. Some teams might be interested in the "loaner-for-a-year" idea. But some teams might want to roll their own buggy, where they actually get some say in how it works. So what if we combine the two ideas? Basically, the BAA builds a buggy (based on the build kits) AND puts together build kits. Then, a new org has the option: Either they can get the loaner buggy for a year and build from scratch, or they could get the Build Kit to start off the build but do the build on their own. If they take the buggy, they can jump right in, and they get a video showing how to make a buggy. If they take the kit, they get to build immediately, and also get a video showing how to make a buggy using the kit (because they would also get the video of the BAA loaner being built).

The particulars of how this works would need to be figured out by actual mechanics/builders. I imagine the shell would need to be built in Pittsburgh, but the other components could be built elsewhere and then shipped in. As for the cost of the build, or putting together the kits, that is again something for mechanics to figure out. But the fact that there are mechanics who put together this kit, and a buggy made from the kit, means that any questions that arise can probably be answered by those mechanics (plus, there is a video of the actual build). The option of 1 year loaner vs. build kit also covers those who feel like they want to jump straight in and those who feel like a loaner isn't really theirs and instead want to create something of their own.

Anyway, this is just the outlines of an idea. Those who are more knowledgeable than me can fill in specifics over time. The BAA will obviously need a little bit of manpower to get this stuff done. But I wanted to throw the idea out there for now.

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McCue
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:35 pm
Organization: Sweepstakes
2nd Organization: KDR
Graduation Year: 2007
Real Name: Adam McCue
Location: New York, NY
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Re: The BAA and new orgs

Postby McCue » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:36 pm


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Carl Nott
Posts: 313
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Organization: Spirit
Graduation Year: 1998
Real Name: Carl Nott
Location: Seattle

Re: The BAA and new orgs

Postby Carl Nott » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:30 pm

I think that the BAA should help facilitate independent alumni assistance with new teams. I do not think that the BAA should give buggy kits to new teams as it opens the BAA (and, potentially, CMU) up to liability concerns if a 'BAA Buggy' explodes and kills somebody.

Now a bit of a history lesson. Spirit has been around a very long time. Far longer than Spirit has had a buggy team. In 1985 Spirit was 'asked' by the university to start a buggy team so that Spirit members participated in more campus activities. I think this was a great success.

There are a number of independent organizations, fraternities, and sororities who are large enough to participate in buggy. Based on the Spirit model doesn't it make sense to talk to the university about pressuring those organizations into participating in buggy and offering the BAA's help (and contact list of alumni willing to lend assistance) in making it a positive experience for these orgs?

shafeeq
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:40 pm
Organization: CIA
Graduation Year: 2000
Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: The BAA and new orgs

Postby shafeeq » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:32 pm

Yeah, I'm not sure the BAA should open the kit can of worms either. There's only going to be at most a couple of interested new teams per year, so there don't need to be a huge number of first year loaners. Plus CIA, SIgEp, etc. are probably going to push decent buggies off the bottom of their lineups in coming years.

Most of the people talking here were mechanics, and so "build a whole new buggy" is what gets us excited, but building a shell takes a lot of time time, makes a mess, thus can't be done in your booth garage or dorm lounge, is expensive up front, and you're stuck with any mistakes. On the other hand, starting with an existing shell with busted steering, axle, etc. and building what needs to be replaced can be done by a couple of people with access to one of the student shops, a hardware store, and an empty spot in their living room. Plus, you can throw away your steering and start over when you realize you could've done it better.

Ben
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:36 am
Organization: CIA
Graduation Year: 2011
Real Name: Ben Matzke
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: The BAA and new orgs

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:43 pm

We had a mini-BAA meeting on Sunday between Aiton, Shafeeq, Zatchmo, and myself. Lots was talked about, but concern about kit buggy liability came up often. the good news is, I think there are a few other large issues aside from the buggy that might make things more enticing.

Recently, there's been a huge shift from Frat Dominance to the independents. There are still a couple that do well, but SDC, Fringe, Spirit and even CIA now are filling the top 10. This came up at our meeting, and I think aepibuggy hit on it too, manpower has been getting harder and harder to come by for Frats.

It's possible that house culture is part of it, but the rules are also against them by the fact that all members aside from the driver or opposite sex teams must be members of that frat. This could cause some issues for raceday, but in my poking through the rules, I couldn't find any other restrictions on membership which is to say that mechanics, flaggers, or non-racing pushers could be non-frat members. It's possible that I just didn't look hard enough, but it sounds like things might be a lot less restricting than is currently perceived. There's also weird funding things, but it sounds like that has more to do with the greek budget system v. JFC, ect.

The other thing that we touched on was Carl's comment about getting established orgs to participate
which is basically good all-around if they have the interest. There should be plenty of people, they're already recognized, potentially have a space, and could get funding. This applies to both frats and independents of course.

So basically, it sounds like there are two areas of things that we can help with that would remove all liability.
1. Adjust the rules to allow frats to be a little more open in who they race with.
2. Reach out to many or a few specific orgs that already exist and get them involved.

On the kits themselves, I like the idea of at least having a bill of materials and where new teams should look for tools and building supplies. Some of this might already be done with Apex's build video.


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