Fall 23 Endowment Grant Update

We received 15 applications for this round of Buggy Enhancement Grants!!! The committee will meet this Friday to review all of the proposals and submit feedback to each applicant. Applicants will have 1 week to respond to the committee’s feedback before the final vote.

Thank you to everyone who participated! We are so excited to see all of your ideas! Thank you to all of our Golden Goose lifetime members for making this possible!

Rolls Report: September 30 & October 1 – Gimme A Break

Heavy fog rolled in to Pittsburgh this weekend, but even that wasn’t enough to stop CMU students from showing up for both days of rolls. Overall, it was a pretty quiet weekend of rolls, with teams that have been out taking it a bit easier this weekend. But it did include the return to the course for a couple of teams, and one new “organization”?

I’m pretty sure I remember the Cathedral being taller than that

CIAEmperor, EquinoxKingfisher
FringeBaltic, BrimstoneBrimstone, Burnout
PiKABanshee, RaptorBanshee, Raptor
SpiritInviscid, MapambazukoMapambazuko, Seraph

Photos: Saturday Gallery (upload) | Sunday Gallery (upload)

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Rolls Report: September 23 – It’s Like Bane On Your Wedding Day

If rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck, what does it mean if there’s Buggy on your wedding day? With the Great Race on Sunday, there was only 1 day of Rolls this weekend. But with 6 teams on the course, even some more wildlife and vehicular traffic couldn’t stop rolls for too long and teams got a fair number of clean rolls in.

Brimstone running away from the altar

ApexFirefly, Scorch
CIAEmperor, Kingfisher, Roadrunner
FringeBaltic, Brimstone
PiKABanshee*, Cleona*, Raptor
SpiritInviscid, Kingpin, Seraph

Photos: Saturday Gallery (upload)

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Rolls Report: September 16 & 17 – Happy New Year!

Shana Tova to those who celebrate! This weekend marked the start of not only Year 5784 on the Hebrew calendar, but Year 103 on the Buggy calendar! That’s right – We’re back for the 2023-2024 Buggy Season! And what a weekend it was. It was a mix of new and returning this weekend – new and returning students, new and returning teams, new and returning wildlife, and new and returning road hazards.

Some new wildlife: A wild Shelmet appears!

Some new wildlife: A wild Shelmet appears!

ApexMolotov, Scorch, SolarisFirefly, Solaris
CIAEmperor, Equinox, Kingfisher, RoadrunnerEmperor, Equinox, Roadrunner
FringeBaltic, BrimstoneBurnout
SpiritKingpin, SeraphInviscid, Kingpin, Seraph

Photos: Saturday Gallery (upload) / Sunday Gallery (upload)

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Rolls Are Coming — Local Help Needed!

As we get ready for freerolls to begin, the BAA needs the help of folks local to Pittsburgh. We don’t currently have a rolls reporter, but want to continue to bring updates to the rest of our community. To that end, we’re hoping to get notes and photos/videos from anyone local who can show up to Rolls.

So, if you are local a few things you can do to help:

  • First, join our buggy-watchers mailing list — this will get updates about when rolls are and are not happening.
  • Second, in the #assignteam channel on our Discord, claim the Pittsburgh Local rank by sending a message of “!rank Pittsburgh Local
  • Finally, sign up for days on which you can provide notes and/or photos on this sheet.

We’re hoping to have at least 1 notetaker and 1 photographer out each day that students are rolling. You don’t have to create Rolls Reports themselves or anything extensive — we’ll handle that. We just need your insight into anything interesting that is happening on a given day.

Musing About Rolls Reports

As some of you may know, roughly 2 years ago we started the process of replacing the legacy photo gallery system with SmugMug. The results have generally been pretty good, except for one issue — all of the old links in our news posts (and most importantly all of our older Rolls Reports) had their images broken. This was a massive amount of articles — our first post was over 15 years ago and our first freeroll coverage in October of 2008. There’s been a lot of rolls reports in that time.

So they were broken, but we’ve now relinked the images. I won’t claim the formatting on the posts is universally pretty (15 years is a long time on the Web, and the style of rolls reports has certainly evolved over that time), but effectively all of the old gallery photos should now point at their SmugMug equivalents. As a result, though, I’ve had the opportunity to get a glimpse at a broad cross section of how freerolls have gone for a decade and a half in very short order. Having never really read them in detail before — it was a broadly different experience from reading through the 100 Years of Buggy articles for those years — in that it had not just the highlights, but all the daily details of what was going on with rolls. Along with that, there’s frequently a bunch of comments from teams and other alumni discussing what happened — and the result is a great snapshot into each week.

So, with much thanks to Sam, Ben, Shafeeq, Natalie, Josio, Tishya, Ethan, Connor, Tom, and the many other contributors and coordinators through the years, I wanted to share a few of the more interesting bits I found through this process.

First — did you know that not only have we had a Raceday Video Broadcast since 2003, but also that for several years we experimented with livestreaming freerolls? That’s right, from roughly 2011 and sporadically (“at least when it is on YouTube there are no ads”) though 2012 until a cellular plan change forced its end in 2014, you could occasionally watch freerolls live (example stream here).

Rolls Reports are also a great place to find out about things you might otherwise have forgotten. For example, for a few years, CMU didn’t have Homecoming, it had Cèilidh. Or maybe you might want to learn about orgs that made a go of it on the course, but only briefly, and key events for them such as DeltaForce, NROTC, KapSig’s return in 2011, or maybe KKG-ZBT.

Looking backwards, its also fun to learn something new about an org or buggy that has lasted through the years, such as the first leak of the name of Malice, the first self-built buggy for Apex (or, for that matter, did you know that Apex rolled Camo originally, but never on raceday?), or maybe just a year with a lot of new buggies including Krait.

The photographers that contribute to Rolls Reports Past also seem to have great fun documenting the state of the roads. For example, in 2018 and 2013:

Beyond that, there’s a large number of other things that have caused problems for rolls. We’re all familiar with the trouble of squirrels and geese, and in more recent years deer (but apparently deer were on the course as early as 2012!). Beyond that, you might be surprised that things that stopped rolls included not just mysterious discharge from Porter Hall, but also the G20. Sometimes, the best of intentions isn’t enough to avoid cancellation.

However, there’s an equally surprising list of things that didn’t prevent rolls from happening, despite what you might expect. This includes bus detours related to The Great Race (or just busses parked alongside the freeroll), vomit across the chute, and even (to the surprise of anyone who has gotten used to weather calls being made before 8pm) late night rainfall and wet roads. It turns out, if Sweeps and the organizations want to roll badly enough, it is entirely possible to make good come from a bad situation.

I also got an enormous amount of amusement about the creativity that teams have displayed with their pushers and buggies through the years by costuming them around Halloween. Some particularly good years included 2010‘s pusher costumes, along with buggies in 2017, and 2019.

Finally, in the interest of keeping things light, I haven’t covered many crashes/incidents here (but there is no doubt they are there throughout the reports) — but I will call out one from November 2016. Since, when the robots inevetibly rise up, it seems likely they’ll consider this an attempt at a first strike against Transistor. Please don’t drive antibuggyward around the course once the roads are closed during freerolls.

After EMS was confirmed, the morning got off to a panicked start. After Robobuggy pushed off, a Fringe car set off against traffic to deliver their flaggers and coffee. The safety chair immediately gave chase, but was unable to stop the determined Fringe motorist. The vehicle and Transistor crossed paths in the Chute, but by an act of the Buggy Gods, no contact was made. For safety reasons, we encourage all orgs to never drive vehicles against the flow of buggy traffic.

To conclude: I hope this has given you a taste for the diversity and quality of what the rolls reports provide to the history and cultore of Buggy. And, you can help! The BAA is still looking for a Rolls Reporter and local-to-Pittsburgh contributiors to help with reports this year. If you’re local and come out to rolls, consider signing up to the buggy-watchers list and/or grabbing the “Pittsburgh Local” rolerank on Discord to hear more about contributing. If you’d like to find out more about being the Rolls Reporter, come find one of the officers on Discord. Either way, I’ll see you on the course once freerolls start (permits start Sep 16)!

Fall 2023 Enhancement Grant Applications Open

Apply Here:

It is time to submit your ideas for Buggy Enhancement Grants for the fall semester! We have over $6,000 available for this round of funding. This money belongs to you as a member of the buggy community, to enhance your enjoyment of the sport! If you have ideas that you think will make buggy better, we want to hear from you.

September 13th and 19th, we’ll be hosting a virtual brainstorming and grant writing session on the BAA Discord. We’ll be live in the ⁠#general voice chat from 5PM to 6PM Pittsburgh local time. If texting is more your thing, reach out any time in the buggy-tech forum (more specifically, this thread).

Submissions are due by the end of September, and will be reviewed by the Buggy Endowed Fund Committee in the first week of October. Applicants will have 1 week to respond to committee feedback before the final vote. Approved grants will then be announced October 15th.

Apply Here:

For our Spring 2023 campaign, we approved $6,268 to fund 9 projects from 7 different organizations. Details about these projects can be found here.

Please feel free to take inspiration from these suggestions from the Buggy Endowed Fund Committee:

  • Improve the experience of driving a buggy by improving visibility, safety, or the quality of the roads.
  • Improve the quality of life for the people that help support buggy around the course with a warming hut, covered storage, or better tools (ie. higher flow leaf blowers).
  • Make a new addition to the BAA’s historical data by professionally digitizing old photos or course footage, buying software to upscale low resolution photos and videos, or hiring a professional to capture an event.

Proposals can even be specific to your team. Please include some details on how the community as a whole will benefit from funding your project. For example, you might share documentation of your process, publish a video, or give a talk summarizing your results. You might build something to collect better data during rolls, test out a new material, or design a wheel mold that can be shared among teams.

Apply Here:

BAA August 2023 Newsletter is Out!

Hello CMU Buggy Fans,

Raceday 2024 is fast approaching.

Last weekend, the incoming class of 2027+ moved into their dorms. This past week, during Orientation, Buggy organizations showcased their buggies and teams to all of the new students (and the campus community). See this and other photos on our SmugMug.

Buggy orgs showcase buggies in 2023

As the 2023-24 academic year kicks off, the BAA would like to share our newsletter with some key dates to look out for and ways to get involved. There’s also a membership survey and an intro about the new Sweepstakes Advisor inside.

Plus, if you missed this past year’s WRCT Raceday 2023 preview show, you download and listen here.

Stay tuned. Fall rolls are coming soon.

See you on the course!

BAA Election Results

Congratulations to our newly elected BAA Board members:

Rob Siemborski, Webmaster

Sam Connor, Graphics Chair

And congratulations to Connor Hayes on his reelection as President!

The BAA Board has also voted to create the position of Events Chair, and has appointed newly graduated alum Sam Thompson to that role for a term of one year. Events Chair will be responsible for planning, organizing, and holding any official BAA-sponsored events, such as Happy Hour, Buggy Bash, and any other official social gatherings or info sessions throughout the year.

Nominate your friends to the BAA Board!

Raceday is over, May is almost here, and BAA elections are right around the corner. But before we can have elections, we need candidates! This year, we will have elections for President, Graphics Chair, Reporting Chair, and Webmaster.

Click here for the submission form, and for details about the roles. Nominees can be any graduated CMU alum who has not already served two terms in that position. Nominations will be accepted through May 5th.

Current BAA officers and chairs can be found here if you have any questions.