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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-13-2012, 09:29 PM
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AKA: Erik Boyle
FRC #0068 (Truck Town Thunder)
Team Role: Mechanical
 
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Rookie Year: 2012
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Re: Student presidents

Our team is divided into subteams (known as groups), each with its own group leader. We do have a team captain, who addresses the team on a weekly basis during build season, covering very general topics about what the team has been doing. But the more unique feature for our team is the fact that at each meeting during build season we have one group give a (somewhat) formal presentation about their work over the past week or so, keeping the communication gaps bridged and also doubling as Chairman's Award presenters' tryouts.

One of our staples is trying to keep the students fairly close to equal in responsibility. As hard as that is to do in a de facto manner, we are at least fairly close to such a system de jure. The team captain is a senior, and his most important job is really just being a representative for the team when one is needed.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 04:17 PM
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FRC #0716
Team Role: Mentor
 
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Rookie Year: 2012
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Re: Student presidents

Our group, when it comes to management, has a President, VP, Treasurer, and Secretary. Since we are a rookie team, we had to spend almost a month of build time and time in December to organize ourselves. We held our elections based on a normal candidate/campaign structure with anonymous votes. Merit and popularity dictated who was chosen. We only have about 15 members, so our leaders also must work in a subteam (electrical, build, strategy/rules/fundraising/spirit/scout, Design/CAD, and programming). Many other responsibilities such as Drivers, drive coach, safety captain, and Scoutmaster have to be taken by students who already have multiple jobs. President and VP are mostly in charge of running meetings along with the head mentor. However, we make it a strict policy that mentors are only allowed to teach and help; students must do the work. In general, we are very democratically run, to the point where it takes 1.5-2 hour meetings just to discuss simple issues. As a result, the President and VP are needed to finish their normal work as well as assign jobs and tasks to the other members so that work gets done and members are just sitting there playing games on the computers. VP and President, in the end, choose how much work they can handle for themselves. They can either give responsibility to a mentor who will then give out work or the Cabinet can interact and assign jobs themselves. Our VP tends give out jobs himself because he knows a bit about every subteam and is part of the design/CAD team. However, our President, due to other commitments, cannot always attend whole meetings. Thus, he has the VP take charge or gives the mentors the OK to assign jobs to members of their subteam. Our Treasurer tends to work by himself or has mentor help. Our Secretary works the same way as well. In Retrospect, I believe we should have given them more support rather than avoid them and leave them to their own devices. In Summary, our method has pros and cons.
Cons: Slow, Issues arise in who holds what power, Dependent on only a few people, Takes time to set up, Leaders can get a lot of flak for not listening to public opinion, whether it is right or wrong, and Can be hard to keep discipline during meetings.
Pros: Very much in the spirit of FIRST, Listens to everyone's opinion, Doesn't leave out individuals, and prevents mentors from doing all of the work since the students act as their own police force
In the end, I suggest the rookies and even older teams pick the type of government most suited to their needs. They must look at all of the factors such as number of mentors, students, competence, enthusiasm, location, and work ethic. Just one type of government can't work for them all, as Rookies we were lucky that our government is at least functional and has functioned enough for us to achieve the Rookie All Star Award.
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Unread 04-15-2012, 09:03 AM
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AKA: Rachel
FRC #0103 (Cybersonics)
Team Role: Marketing
 
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Thumbs up Re: Student presidents

103 has a detailed corporate structure. We are a 501c3 and run as close to a business as we possibly can.

We have our head mentors/team advisers as our CEO's:
Cathy Beck (co-founder), Jack Tusman, and Chris Willman.
We also have various other mentors and parent mentors who form an executive board for our team/business.

Then we have student leaders who are elected by their peers. I, myself, am Madam President this year! We have all female officers for the first time this year. Our Vice President is a senior, as is our Secretary and our Treasurer is a junior.

We also have student leaders within our three main departments, as follows:
I have been the Head of PR/Marketing for the past few years. We have a Head of Manufacturing and a Head of animation. They are the role models for other student team members as well as the experts in their perspective areas.

As a leadership side note, something that works well for us is Peer mentor/mentees to help students transition and balance school and robotics.
Every Junior and Senior student is assigned a freshman or sophomore student. They are there for help with fundraising, if the young student needs a tutor in a specific subject, or anything else they may need.

The students leaders play a role in decision making and are consulted on our mentors bigger decisions. We also run most of the team fundraisers ourselves, organizing as well as executing the tasks that need to be done. We organize community outreach and a lot of the time our mentors just show up as chaperons. Cybersonics has always been based on student-driven tasks, having a structure with student leaders helps to make sure that continues on year after year. They have authority and are looked up to; students on our team understand that their work won't be done for them. We are a smaller team, being about 30 students, so this also helps to make sure everything gets done that needs to get done before build season starts.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 07:46 AM
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FRC #1311 (Kell Robotics)
Team Role: Mentor
 
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Re: Student presidents

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttldomination View Post
I don't quite understand how a team can have a non-technical president who presides over the entire club, while there's a separate leader for FRC. Unless of course, the club understands that all FRC related calls are under the purview of the FRC captain.
The preference is for the currently non-technical president to have had a rite of passage through technical and non-technical affairs on the team, eventually working their way to the president slot. This slot being focused on maintaining the overall order and direction of the team, internally, and externally being the primary face to stakeholders and certain public affairs.

FRC design and operational issues are the responsibility of the FRC lead.

There is two much work to do to have those two hardly bumping into each other.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 01:32 PM
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AKA: Debbie May
FRC #1023 (Bedford Express)
Team Role: Coach
 
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Location: Michigan
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Re: Student presidents

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNerd256 View Post
We find that student leadership is very successful for a FIRST robotics team. Not only does it teach students responsibility, but adds a sense of authority to the "leading" students.

Here is how we on 256 set up things:

-We have 1 entire team leader, the captain, leader, president, etc. (yours truly)
-Each "subgroup" has a leader. Note: The team leader can be a leader of a subgroup, but also shares the responsibilities of every other group.

The subgroup-leads report to the team leader, and everyone else reports to their respective sub-group lead.
This is very similarly to what we do. We have 2 captains (share the load equally) They are expected to pretty much do anything and everything needed to keep our team "on track". They are seniors. We have 2 co-captains under them. They are juniors. The 4 of them oversee minutes of meetings and financial things similar to a Pres, VP, Sec, Treas. set up, but with a shared accountability.

Under them we have area specific leaders that lead students in specific areas of the team, whether design, electronics, outreach or whatever. It works for us. We tweak it a little each year. Our captains will step in with build if needed there, or they will sweep the carpet if needed there. They try to help the team find direction, stay on task and accomplish our goals.
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  #21   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-15-2012, 04:33 PM
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AKA: David Carr
FRC #3309 (Friarbots)
Team Role: Alumni
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Rookie Year: 2010
Location: Anaheim, CA
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Re: Student presidents

Being President of 3309 for this year was one of the most (if not THE most) important factors in my growth as a person and leader, and I really think that the steps we took to implement a new leadership this year really paid off both quantitatively and qualitatively. Mark Sheridan previously posted in this thread about how our team structure works; have a look at this Google Doc for some more details:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...UPzCrWS7o/edit
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Unread 06-11-2012, 10:41 PM
Euriiko Euriiko is offline
Kelly Yu
FRC #0201
Team Role: Animator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Rookie Year: 2009
Location: United States
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Re: Student presidents

For my team, we have a Lead Mentor and 1-2 mentors per department. The Lead Mentor leads meetings and coordinates activities. There is also a sponsoring teacher who is in charge of applications and helps with PR and fundraising.

After Mentors come Student leaders of each department. Our departments are Electrical Build, Mechanical Build, Field Build, PR (Public Relations), Design, Programming, Website, and Animation.

It's a relatively simple structure that so far has been working well.

Hope this was helpful!
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Unread 06-13-2012, 05:10 PM
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AKA: Michael Lillis
FRC #0177 (Bobcat Robotics)
Team Role: Alumni
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Rookie Year: 2011
Location: South Windsor
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Re: Student presidents

Our team, in the past few years, has been structured as a democracy. At the end of the year students are allowed to run for a leadership position on one of the various sub teams (Mechanical, Electrical, CAD, Media, and Fundraising). The other position is the leader of the team, who takes on various roles. The nominees all write paragraphs about why they are the best for the position. These paragraphs are compiled on a Google Docs Form and the voting is done online.

The team structure is debated heavily every year, but it generally stays the same. The only changes that we've made to the leadership hierarchy in the last 3 years were moving from 2 co-leaders (2011) to 1 leader and an assistant (2012) and next year will be just a single leader and no assistant (2013).

The team leader's role is to start meetings, send emails to the team, plan for travel (i.e. busing, hotels, permission slips), check on different sub teams, keep everyone on task, and carry out various other tasks.

Each sub team is pretty self explanatory, but from 2011 to 2012 we combined video and website sub-teams into one, called "Media."

On a side note: there are many mentors on the team. Each sub team has at least one mentor, but Mechanical has the most, mainly because the majority of our mentors are engineers.
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  #24   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-13-2012, 05:48 PM
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FRC #1058 (PVC Pirates)
Team Role: Driver
 
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Re: Student presidents

Our team uses a five person leadership board, made up of a Captain, Communications person, Event Coordinator, Team Admin, and an Accountant. I personally like the idea of everyone having equal say in everything, but having each section of our team being led by one person is very helpful. It seems most teams use a simpler one or two person captaincy system, which clearly can work just as well. For those of you that have said you have the one or two person captain system, do you think it works well?
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Unread 06-14-2012, 06:50 AM
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AKA: Keith Buchanan
FRC #1296 (Full Metal Jackets)
Team Role: Mentor
 
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Rookie Year: 2004
Location: Rockwall, TX
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Re: Student presidents

Our team has a student president and a bunch of student VPs for robot construction, non-robot construction, fund-raising and public relations, safety, software, electronics, scouting, animation & videography and chairman award prep. I may have missed a one or two. So the team is very much student-driven and student-led.

The mentors and teachers are not organized in any hierarchical structure, we just help where we are needed.
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Unread 06-14-2012, 08:52 AM
Jon Stratis Jon Stratis is offline
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FRC #2177 (The Robettes)
Team Role: Mentor
 
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Re: Student presidents

Our general structure:
2-3 co-captains
4 sub-teams(electrical, mechanical, programing, and PR), with a sub-team captain for each

The captains can come from any sub-team (and it's usually best when they come from different sub-teams, but there have been exceptions). It's the captain's job to organize the team, run the meetings (which often involves running the beginning and end of the meetings, and breaking into sub-teams in the middle), and in general ensure everything goes smoothly. This isn't necessarily a full time job with multiple co-captains, so they also get to spend time at every meeting working with their "favorite" sub-team.

In the past, we've had captains that have taken on different focuses during the build season. One captain did such a good job leading the programming sub-team, that our mentor for that area didn't have much to do. Another took on overall ownership of the design (where normally the design evolves based on individual decisions made while building it). This past year, the two co-captains put in a dedicated effort towards chairman's.

We handle integration of the sub-teams and robot components through design reviews held every night. Each group (there are often 2-3 mechanical groups, 1 electrical group, and 1 programming group) takes a few minutes to present what they're working on, and how they think it'll interface with the rest of the robot. When we hit "critical points" where we need a decision on exactly how to interface two components, we'll get those groups together to make the decision.

The hardest year we had in keeping everything integrated was Break Away. We wanted to ensure that the robot could fit both fit through the tunnel and go over the bump. In the end, our hook deployment mechanism was too tall to enter the tunnel (but it was also lightly attached, and could be removed easily if needed), but everything else was under that height, and we could easily go over the bump. That all gave us very tight space constraints to fit everything into!
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Unread 06-14-2012, 02:59 PM
JonathanZur1836 JonathanZur1836 is offline
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FRC #1836 (The Milken Knights)
Team Role: Leadership
 
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Re: Student presidents

1836 has two branches: Build and PR, and a Team Captain that unites them. The Team Captain's main responsibility is to act as a spokesperson for the team and to keep everything running smoothly. They should know everyone on the team relatively well and always be in the loop. When there is a problem, they should act immediately to see what went wrong and to make sure that someone is in charge of it and that it gets resolved quickly. The captain should be versatile in that they can lend a hand in almost every part of the team. Under the captain their are two positions: Director of Build and Director of PR. Under Director of Build their are two positions: Mechanical Captain (in charge of chassis, drivetrain, and superstructure mainly) and Controls Captain (in charge of electronics and programming mainly). Under Director of PR there are two more positions: Communications Captain and Outreach Captain. So, just to recap: 7 total leadership positions, three tiers: 1-2-4.
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Unread 06-15-2012, 01:40 AM
Joshuamunson Joshuamunson is offline
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Re: Student presidents

I am the CEO of team 2996 cougars gone
we are a 100% student run
We run our team with a CEO a CFO and business and technical VPs
I was the VP of programming last year, so I am jumping from direct contact with the robot to direct contact with paperwork and sponsors
my job is anyone's guess, to oversee the team and make things run smoothly
as to day-to-day work, I have yet to get there, but I'm sure it's no different from the planning I've done this summer
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