Limitless Campaign: Keep the Season Alive

Hi Teams,

We have just submitted to FIRST our Limitless Campaign. The campaign is an opportunity for FRC teams to appeal to FIRST to petition for the reinstatement and awarding of certain awards with asynchronous and digital parameters: the Chairman’s Award; the Engineering Inspiration Award; and the Dean’s List.

We are asking for other FRC teams who would like to see this come to fruition to also submit letters to FIRST in support of the Limitless Campaign. We have posted our letter as an example/template for other teams to use. You can find it here: Example Letter

Part of this campaign includes continuing the season despite these cancellations and suspensions. Please continue to share about your season, your work, your goals, your successes, and use the hashtag that we started that has already gained momentum: #FRCstrong

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I’m not saying don’t continue your campaign. But keep in mind that thousands of jobs are being lost in cities across the nation, with more closures every day. Oh, and the deaths from coronavirus. So don’t get upset if continuing a 2020 FRC competition isn’t on the top of people’s priorities. #FRCStrong and all, but things are going to get messy in the coming weeks/months.

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Do you really think they don’t know that? Can you just let people work on something positive without casting a shadow on it? Trust me, everyone is aware of the pandemic and its effects on our daily life, you don’t need to remind us.

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I’d put FIRST HQ very high on that aware list and I’m not sure I’d count a letter writing campaign to them just 5 days after they’ve made the decision to stop events as a positive thing.

I think FIRST will make decisions on events in 2-3 weeks which will make the award situation clearer and may then decide what to do. My own thoughts are that if events aren’t reinstated that I’d like to see Dean’s list get awarded somehow. To me it holds a little higher value each year as an individual student award. The awards going to mentors and volunteers, while nice, we will be alright. The team awards like chairman’s and EI can be validating and I know how heartbreaking it can be for the students working on it but what efforts were put in will continue with the teams into the future and there will be more opportunities. So if I was appealing to FIRST in a few weeks from now it would be asking for Dean’s list nominees to be interviewed and judged, even in an eventless format.

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Judging by the threads asking the same questions over and over, threads asking what to do next, threads trying to organize events, and threads requesting FIRST reverse their decision… maybe not?

I’m not convinced that’s the case.

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The main issue here is that FRC doesn’t have staff judges who can evaluate things over weeks and weeks - they have volunteers who take one day off of work and judge for two days total. Sure, you could do virtual Chairman’s presentations and interviews, virtual Dean’s List, etc. but organizing judges, students, etc. is a very large effort when FIRST should probably be focusing in more important things.

The letter writing campaign seems misplaced - it’s not as if FIRST isn’t aware that students wish the robotics competition could continue in one form or another.

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You may be surprised.

I’m still at work waiting for the higher ups to send everyone home. When I talk to people in charge, I can tell the top of their list is how do we respond to this situation without putting people out of a job.

Most other conversations I hear in the office and on the shop floor has been how this whole thing is being overblown, despite stricter policies in place.

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FIRST HQ is very much aware of the situation. After all, they are the ones who suspended the season and cancelled the CMP’s.

What they are NOT aware of, nor is anyone, is just when this epidemic will be over. And if it seems to be over, will it come back?

They can’t make any definitive plans until they know what becomes of the world situation.

If competitions can be rescheduled, then the awards can be given there. If not, I’m sure FIRST will have a partial backup plan. Everyone just has to be patient.

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