Tune in tonight at 6 PM EDT for a preview of Sweepstakes 2023. Moderated by our long-time play-by-play commentator Will Weiner, current students will discuss all things buggy to get you hyped for Raceday.
Introducing our on-air talent:
- Elena Harllee – She first witnessed buggy as a high school student, when she visited CMU during Raceday 2019 and fell in love with the spot. She joined Apex Buggy as a freshman and was build lead in 2022-2023, where she built Apex’s first forward trike. This year, she is a part of Sweepstakes as the Design Comp chairman, while still maintaining her status as an active mechanic for Apex.
- Ethan Husted – He is a current MechE masters student and resident old person on CIA. He held a number of roles in the org from 2018-2023, including the hill 5 pusher dubbed “Long Chungus”, build lead of Kingfisher, chair during the mid-COVID RD that never wasn’t, and reluctant head mechanic. He is now obsolete and has thus been allowed to leave the yellow tent to enter the broadcasting tent. He will be moving to Baltimore this summer to work on medical devices at Key Tech.
- Julia “Juju” Nieto – A PiKA driver and this year’s Buggy Book Chairmen, she is a School of Drama grad (dramaturgy), currently working on her MEIM at CMU’s Heinz College. In her words, “Buggy has been one of the best things I could have ever gotten out of my time here. What I thought would be a short-lived attempt at becoming an athlete, quickly turned into an unexpected gift. Over the past four years, I have developed a deep love for this sport and a deep admiration for those crazy enough to be involved in it. Being able to make this year’s Buggy Book was a joy and in the words of Jon Hua, ‘the jacket is always a plus.'”
- Elizabeth Zapanta – A buggy legacy herself, she has been watching buggy for as long as she can remember. The first-ever Sweepstakes Marketing and Communications Chair, she is excited to help coordinate and participate in this year’s broadcast.
- Will Weiner (DC’13) – He got into buggy through doing sports broadcasting with WRCT as a freshman at CMU. Somehow, he’s stayed in the play-by-play role for the races ever since. He now lives in nearby Braddock, PA, and runs a company called Xpogo, which manages the top athletes in the sport of extreme pogo sticking, which was a clear next step after buggy.
You can find the broadcast on air locally in Pittsburgh at 88.3 FM or stream it online from wrct.org! Join in the conversation via the BAA’s CMUBuggy Discord (cmubuggy.org/chat). Have any questions for the broadcasters? Ask them in the #wrctracedaypreview channel under Raceday-Specific Channels. You can also send any questions via comments to this post.
After what will be a great conversation, there will only be 17 hours left until Buggy Showcase (Thursday, April 13, 2023, at noon EDT) in Weigand Gym in the CUC. And, don’t forget our Prelims Lead Truck Auction, ending tomorrow night at 11 PM, so get your bids in while you can!
And, if you aren’t a member already, join now to receive this year’s Raceday Preview featuring MechaJockey! Learn more at cmubuggy.org/membership.
See you on the course!
We are rapidly approaching what’s bound to be another awesome Carnival weekend and if you haven’t already, take a moment to register and sign-up for all the great events that are being set up for you! Scrolling through the Spring Carnival schedule, you might notice that a few regular buggy events aren’t listed there… Well that’s what THIS POST is for! Below you’ll find a list of every important buggy event and BAA activity happening this weekend. We know Carnival is a busy weekend with a lot going on, so we hope to see you at what you can make, and if you’re looking to connect with your old team, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll do what we can to connect you!
A brief plug: These races happen because of the generosity of volunteers who are willing to donate an hour or two of their time. Please consider helping us this year and let us know via THIS FORM.
Hey there buggy fans! Spring semester has sprung and already first rolls have kicked off as you might’ve seen. There are a number of important things happening in the buggy and BAA world that we want to tell you about, so let’s dive right in!
Sweepstakes Leadership Update
We might’ve mentioned this at the start of the year, but the fall Chairman (Hunter) has now graduated and the then Assn’t Chair (Joyce) has taken over for the Spring. To fill her place, the first chairman’s meeting included a near unanimous approval of the new Assistant Chair, Willie from Pi Kappa Alpha. The interesting component here is that Willie requested to be allowed to push on Raceday. Under the expectation that additional past sweepstakes members will be on hand during the Races, Willie will remove himself from any judgments regarding the men’s races.
BAA Leadership Terms Ending
We’ve mentioned this before, but a reminder never hurts, this year we will have 3 officers ending their second 2 year term and a few others finishing up their first. After Raceday this year, we will be looking to elect new people to be our: Head Reporter, Communications Lead, and President. At this point, we have a solid team where each person only has a couple responsibilities throughout the year so if you have any interest in what we do behind the scenes, please feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to tell you more!
The BAA only exists thanks to our devoted membership and the few that are willing to put in a little extra for just a couple years, and thanks to these people, our impact has made huge differences in the sport that we all love!
Carnival Registration is now OPEN
That’s right, if you’re headed back for Carnival this year, you can now register HERE. We’ve got another slate of great events for you this year as well as a few surprises in the works for #99! Here are a few highlights for you to whet your appetite:
- Showcase Panel is back! – Last year’s panel was a great success, and we can’t wait to hear more stories, keep an eye out for when we put out the call!
- Finals Auction in Person – We tried this last year and, though low attended, was enough fun for those that made it that we’re giving it another go.
- Tom’s History of Buggy – The perennial favorite, Tom Wood will be back with his fantastic talk with focuses on each of the reunion years.
- Reunion Races – We are working to coordinate a new race this year between the major reunion years, so if you’re headed back for your 5, 10, or 25th reunion, we would like to hear from you!
That’s all for now, more great info to come soon!
As many of you have likely seen, the Mechanical Engineering department has a new makerspace/machine shop “TechSpark” which has brought some conversations and scrutiny on existing student shops. There has been a letter circulating which includes some very frightening language claiming that they aim to shut down and remove all student equipment, stifling innovation, and potentially killing the sport as we know it. Until recently, this is all the information we’ve had to go on as CMU hasn’t put out a statement on the topic. To that end, I would like to take some time to talk about what is going on, what we know currently, and where this is headed. I had a chance to talk with Kaycee, who, on top of being the sweepstakes adviser, also helps run the student shop registration process which has been in affect for the past 3-4 years.
*Disclaimer, this is not an official statement by CMU, this is purely my take-aways from my conversation, which I would love to discuss in more depth with those that are interested.
*EDIT- I was informed of some misunderstandings and have made corrections below. Continue reading
We are still looking for one after the last election cycle. We will be reaching out to those who were nominated last year, but if you or someone you know has an interest in being an active BAA officer to help support everything that we do, please let us know. More info on this will be posted in the coming weeks.
Updates from campus
Sweepstakes has landed on a start date for fall rolls finding a balance between the various marathons/charity runs/other road closures. Weather permitting, first rolls will be September 30th, a bit later than usual, but will avoid some challenges and costs that past Sweepstakes have dealt with.
Many teams still need to complete capes, but they’ve still got two weeks to fit them all in. During capes, we saw the reveal of a new buggy from SDC named Inferno sporting a slightly darker red than their standby workhorse Rage. From first look, Inferno follows the form factor trends of their last few builds, so we can’t wait to see how it performs on the course, and with senior and veteran A-team driver Annie Black potentially behind the helm, we have some great expectations.
At the end of last year, the incoming Sweepstakes committee expressed an interest in a full rules committee to clear up some rules that have been modified over the years and also update procedural matters to align with the modern format/changes that haven’t been formally written down.
During Orientation, Sweepstakes held another iteration of “What is Buggy” to introduce the freshmen to our beloved sport. Several teams participated and brought out a buggy to show off on the cut drawing eyes and interest from passersby.
Notes from the last committee meeting
Some time ago, BAA HQ had our Fall meeting and caught up with each other and our projects so here’s a quick update on our progress and plans going forward.
- Krishan has been making some great progress and should have fixed the account sign-up issue that we were having. If you’ve been waiting to sign up give it a try now and let us know if you run into any issues.
- As we did last year, we are planning to release a kickoff/wrap-up newsletter before the start of fall rolls (which now has a date) to all members.
- Fall rolls reports will continue this semester and we are looking to add some new reporters to further expand on the weekend events. If you are in the area and come out to rolls, let us know and we would be more than happy to include any notes you might have!
- Because of the vital role that cmuTV plays in Raceday, we’ve been talking with a few of their alums and are starting to organize a alumni support group specifically for them. Given how busy the group gets in the spring with their numerous shows, any support we can send their way will come back as support for us.
- We are continuing to make a push to reach out to possible new teams and following up with the outreach that was started by last year’s sweepstakes. Along those lines, we are working to compile a list of available buggies that new teams could rent, please shoot us a message if you know of some in the area.
- Priority for the website is cleaning up some security issues and cleaning up some of the underlying architecture. If you spot any issues please shoot us a message or post a comment. Thanks to those of you who continue to send us these notes!
- There has been talk of doing a short mid-season newsletter this year as a recap of the fall and make some predictions for the spring, so keep an eye right here for more info on that. If you would be interested in helping, or have a topic that you want covered, don’t hesitate to let us know.
- Homecoming – CMU is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the merger between Carnegie Tech and Mellon College of Science this year.
- Tom is preparing a special version of his History of Buggy Presentation for homecoming this year.
- We are also planning to have our doughnut and coffee tent out for rolls that weekend, so come by and say hi if you’re in town!
- Carnival – We are starting to make plans for Carnival this year and will again be looking for volunteers to help keep things running and up-to-date through the races. The officers will be busy managing other BAA tasks, so we are looking to find some leads to help us just during that weekend.
- Local Meetups – We’ve attempted these to some success over the years, but we would love to have more Buggy Alumni meetups in other areas. The BAA has large concentrations in New York and Silicon Valley and will be making some outreach to those chapters, but if you are interested and would go to a local meetup, we’d love to hear from you and provide whatever support your area might need.
The discussion that happened a week ago was an interesting one, though with low attendance, it’s hard to tell how informative or how much it will affect the future conversations on this topic.
In attendance: SigEp, PhiDelt, SAE, SDC, Sweepstakes, BAA
- The greek teams seem to have a different philosophy when it comes to buggy in that it is more of a group activity rather than a sole focus as is the case for some independents.
- Because of #1, current greek teams don’t seem to have an interest in taking advantage of the situation if this rule were lifted.
- Teams didn’t see a huge advantage of the “ringer” pusher. While independents have used this “advantage”, competitive teams, use it only to fill out their few positions on lower teams.
- One point that came up is that this type of rule change may be more desirable by new teams, so Sweepstakes will be reaching out to them to get there opinion.
- Due to low attendance, there should be interest in having a larger discussion with more teams.
This discussion is far from over, but this is the current information we have from teams.
Greek Pusher Restrictions have been a hot topic of late and Sweepstakes will be having a formal discussion this Saturday at 1:00pm. We will have some alumni in attendance and we would like to have your input if you are not able to join us in person this weekend.
Please comment below with your opinions about these issues.
Questions that will be covered during this meeting:
- What are the pros and cons?
- How many non-Greek pushers would it take to no longer be seen as the Greek organization’s team?
- What are the differences between Greek and Independent Teams?
- What is the effect on both Greek and Independent teams?
- How does it help/harm the organizations/Buggy as a whole?
Given some recent trends, sweepstakes has a renewed vigor in their focus on increased participation and we would like to assist them in any and every way we can.
Heat selections happened last night and went pretty smoothly. No one was wondering about hill 1 times at all, so either everyone has done some fantastic scouting, or we will have some very interesting hill 2 races. The big shenanigan of the night was PiKA attempting to run 3 men’s teams with only Banshee and Chimera. By removing that, a whole heat was removed and the whole thing had to be redone, not that it made much of a difference in the end.
Sweepstakes is allowing 24 hrs for teams to make any swaps as they need them. Because of that we will be launching the Auction tonight when heats become final. In the mean time, enjoy these videos from Rolls a couple weekends ago. Continue reading
The same group that is working on the updates to design comp has also been doing some tinkering with Raceday. And for those of you that are worried, no we are not changing the rules, we wouldn’t touch that with an eleven foot pole, but we hope some of the flow will be improved a bit this year (pending the usual weathery culprits of course).
As the buggy fanatics that we know you are, we feel like you deserve to know as much as we do. A lot got covered in the last meeting, so this is a meaty post. If you need to, wait till you’re more hungry, or take in a bit now and take the rest home in a doggy bag to eat later.
Of course, we’re still a few weeks out, so nearly all of this is potentially subject to change.
Hey guys, it’s been around 2 months since the last post went up, so it’s time to get back into the rhythm before rolls start up. This is a big year as Carnival is celebrating its 100th year, and it’s only 8 weeks away! Because of this, the buggy organizers are working hard on making this year special. There are some special additions as well as a few major changes that we’re looking at.
The design comp chair this year, Connor Hayes (Apex founder), has some pretty awesome ideas to improve design comp and make it a bit more interesting, BUT he’s looking for some feedback from the community and has written the following…