Chairman Chat: Meet Chris

Chris is a junior Electrical and Computer Engineering major, who has become a Chairman this year after previously having been a buggy mechanic.

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GIVE YOUR BUGGY HISTORY IN 10 WORDS.

I choose to use five:  this is my family. Forever.


THOUGHTS ON HOW LAST YEAR WENT? WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ARE THE TEAM'S BARRIERS TO SUCCESS?

Last year was a ton of fun. Personally, I found that there was a lot of learning that happened on every front of the team. From my perspective, being head mechanic was a lot of work. There were many times that the nights would drone on, but finally come to a conclusion. I think that this happens to be one of the team’s barriers from a mechanic standpoint; they don’t really have a full grasp of how much time head mechanics put into buggy. I think that we sometimes can be too relaxed during the year, and we lose the sense of urgency – mainly during the first semester. Finally, I feel the lack of accountability amongst ourselves is what causes things to not get done in a timely manner.


WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE NEW YEAR?

Ah! So many things. I think I am most excited for a new buggy to be the main focus of the year. We finally get to get deep into the process of creating a new buggy and it will be very interesting to say the least. But the other things I’m excited for: meeting new team members, fostering a new family, winning, the list goes on!


WHICH BUGGY IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?

I would have to say it’s either Inviscid or Seraph. Whenever I push both of them, it feels so smooth. However, Inviscid has a better height push bar for me, so I’ll go with Inviscid. The push bar height really helps when you are pushing buggies back to back on Hill 1 at 6am – as a mechanic.


WHAT WAS THE HARDEST BUGGY SITUATION THAT YOU'VE HAD TO DEAL WITH SO FAR?

Physically? Pushing a Hill 1 for Buggy A, then pushing a Hill 2 for Buggy c. Running back down to Maggie Mo, quick break for buggies to come back, pushing another Hill 1 into a Hill 2, all after floating.

Emotionally? This is tough to answer. I think that the hardest part emotionally is for me having everything come to a conclusion in a matter of minutes. Every race day, things end extremely quickly, and those emotions are just impossible to describe. Especially when things don’t end well, it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Figuring out a way to stabilize myself after the Men’s A DQ was one of those moments that just ended in a way described above.

Mentally? Being told I couldn’t help the team due to physical injury. I was placed in the injured reserves from the beginning of second semester to truck weekend.


Kristen SmithComment