Alternate Championship locations

You know what would help the hotel problem?

Split into two slightly smaller (individually smaller) champs.

You know what would help the cost problem?

Lower the required travel for many teams by… wait for it… splitting into two (individually) slightly smaller champs.

You know what would help the problem with low numbers of robots from some regions going?

Split into two champs (with a total of more teams than current, but individually less).

You know what would help the LGBTQ+ / Political issues?

Split into two champs, with one in a more tolerant location.

Bring back Detroit Champs.

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I would welcome the return of 2 Champs.

If FIRST is hesitant to return to this model, many of the cost issues could be reduced for us northern teams if they decided to move the location somewhere more central.

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FIRST, this point, I simply don’t believe you when you say this, as you have said this for nearly a decade now but keep going back to anti-science/anti-education Texas.

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You have to understand, there are only a small handful of venues (probably less than a dozen) in the US that are even physically capable of accommodating an event on the scale of FIRST Worlds, and they pretty much all book 10 years in advance, especially during the spring which is peak convention season.

When you factor in the difference in costs, infrastructure, hotel availability, International Airport proximity, and hundreds of other considerations, that already small list gets even smaller.

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FIRST has been at the GRB since 2017. FIRST has had many years to pick a different location if Texas’ policies bothered them enough.

I am not saying that other sites could provide the same experience as the GRB but I would also argue the GRB doesn’t provide a perfect experience anyways nor are the Houston “costs, infrastructure, hotel availability, International Airport proximity” great either for champs as is.

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Serious question: has there been a single documented instance of an LGBTQ student being harmed at Champs from 2022-2024?

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For sure, but you also have to consider that the calculations for them even wanting to look for a new venue really haven’t changed until COVID ended. Back in 2017-2019 FIRST had two Champs and the Houston location made a lot of sense. COVID threw a wrench in two Champs with the cancellation of the Detroit venue and forcing the event back to a single location. In that sense, they’ve really only had like 2-3 years to look for alternatives.

Oh let’s not reopen that discussion here when there are other threads on the same topic.

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I’ll point out that TSA workers are federal employees. You may certainly be experiencing discrimination, but not because doing so is federal policy. In fact, the TSA has implemented policies hoping to avoid that sort of thing. ( TSA announces measures to implement gender-neutral screening at its checkpoints | Transportation Security Administration )

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I don’t think this is a policy thing but more of a people thing. Sure, the TSA is a federal agency, but the people working for it live locally and thus are more likely to discriminate in this way (no offense, Texans, but this is the case).

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I have lived in Washington and Illinois, and both states despite being a certain way in their known profile, are full of people who would do what was described as well, no different than Texas. There aren’t thaaaaaat big of overall differences between the states. I mean, just look at how well Seattle PD has been run for decades, despite being, in, well, Seattle.

edit: for those who maybe don’t know, Seattle’s police department was so poorly run and at times discriminatory that the feds came in and said, we will watch you for a while, and you will fix yourselves, that was in 2012. AFAIK they still haven’t fixed it. My point is not to throw mud on my birth city here, but to illustrate the point that, bad people live everywhere.

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Certainly the sociopolitical climate in Texas has no bearing on Federal employees who live in Texas.

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I am kinda scared to ask but I was just reading through and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that acronym before

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I think it was just a typo. F is right next to G on a QWERTY keyboard.

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Yep, just a typo. Also forgot to add the + on the end.

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If it was federal, I’d actually experience it everywhere I go. I am from the PNW, and I’ve flown cross country many times. The only other location I got pulled aside was in Washington D.C. because a random swab flagged as positive. This is most certainly an issue of Texas, because those workers have to live somewhere, and with how inconsistent TSA is in the first place, it’s an issue with the culture in Texas.

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Yeah. My point was just that it isn’t the state of Texas telling them to do it. The individuals may just be bigots and bigots in a position of petty power is a bad thing.

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Trying to bring the LGBTQ+ issues into this with “oh if we do what I want, at least some students will be safer!” just makes the whole post gross, sorry

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Can anyone cite any instances recently or in the past where trans people have been overwhelming targeted or acosted at the event in Houston? If there have been numerous reported instances then I would agree with your concern, if not what is the real issue here? What are the facts? From my pov FRC has been fully aware and supportive of the community even my team has had trans persons that have greatly been productive and accepted.

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Yes. In 2023, numerous students who attended championship were verbally harassed by other students for their perceived gender identities or sexual orientations. This has been an issue in the past. This will continue to be an issue for LGBTQ+ students who attend the FIRST Championship. These are not my stories to share, however, they have been shared in safe spaces last year and reported where applicable/if the students were comfortable.

Often times students experiencing targeted harassment due to perceived LGBTQ+ affiliations will not report these instances due to their being closeted for safety reasons, or because they feel like nothing will be done about it, which is far too often the case.

I know in at least one of these instances, the students were removed from the team and sent home early by the lead mentor of the team.

The larger issue at play is less inside the venue, aka “at the event” and more so the history of the state of Texas actively pursuing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation to varying degrees of success.

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