Josh Bailey - President
#1
Car People,

I’m announcing my run for President of MM for the 2016-2017 school year. I am a rising senior Intelligence Analysis Major, I have been in MM since freshman year, and hope to leave it in my senior year stronger and higher profile than when I joined. Even though I keep a low profile you can rest assured I have been watching very carefully and I believe there are serious points which need to be addressed if we want the club to reach its full potential. I have been to every possible event or meeting, which gives me a good perspective on the current state of affairs. I want to see MM grow with a more active membership, and consider how we present ourselves to prospective new members and the community at large through events and campus presence. I also have a substantially large garage, lots of tools, and access to a good bit of land where we could do bonfires, fish, etc. Just throwing that out there.

Policy points:

Retaining New Members
How many new members did we have at the first meeting, 35-50? Their enthusiasm level was incredibly high, as it is every year, and MM always does an excellent job of hyping up the club at Student Org Night. Why is excitement for the club so high? Because the people who join have an idealistic view of what a car club is. Like it or not, people want to be rice, people want to have stupid car conversations, and most importantly they want somewhere to go that isn’t a party where there are cars to gawk at and talk shit about. The number one reason a car person never returns to an MM meeting after the parking deck meet in the fall is we don’t deliver on that ideal.

What happened to Top Gear night? What happened to parking lot meetings? Also, I cannot remember a single time where we held a class or promoted an event that taught safe driving. Why say that “We are a club that promotes safe driving and discourages street racing” when we only pay it lip service? It’s fine for PR stuff for the University and whatnot, but why not actually do stuff like that? Host a meeting on driving techniques, rev matching, heel-toeing, maintenance, anything. But we should try and really live up to the slogan.

Track Participation
Alumni will probably hate me for this, but it’s the truth. The emphasis on track days as our thing needs to go on the back-burner, at least until we figure out how to make it more accessible. It is nearly impossible to get existing members out, not to mention a new member who is suddenly going to spend a weekend doing unspecified things with people he doesn’t know at a place they’ve never heard of or been to. I have been to VIR and Summit approximately once. I actually really enjoyed my time at both places, but it was largely because I had established connections within the club with which I could spend my time; it is still a massive time and trust commitment that could use more attention.

If we are going to say that track days are something feasible that new members will go to, it has to be planned better. As President, I am willing to take the time to go over with the other officers, alumni, and committed members on how to restructure our track planning. It IS fun, but largely inaccessible to people. Alumni involvement in this area needs to be significantly higher or reworked to be more accommodating to the MMers who show up and are not driving.

Cruises
Sad to say it, but many cruises come off as poorly planned. We need to put more thought into how we approach the idea of a cruise. A jolly good jaunt up 33 at the speed limit, with a possible stop at the top and 10 minutes of meandering around at the lake and a ride home is I believe wasting the opportunity. We should be viewing it as less of a trip and more of a journey. Maybe a big weekend cruise around the state to scenic spots, maybe a track event, to a big car meet in Richmond or D.C., etc. A little hooning doesn't hurt either, it just takes some personal responsibility on the part of the hooner.

Communication
This club has historically been pretty bad about communicating stuff in a timely manner. I believe that combined with a solid PR Secretary (plug for Matt Wolford) and a better planning infrastructure, we can fix this. Additionally, the Facebook chat is not a good place to announce things. I turned it off months ago and I know many others have too. There should at least be an official Facebook chat that is only used for official club communications, and an optional one for random stuff. Having an active agenda that is updated on the front page of the website or somewhere easily accessible on the forum will help drive member involvement in the forum, and when combined with emails, Facebook chat and the Facebook page, and maybe even a twitter account to announce things and to post reminders, we can hopefully improve in this area.

Additionally, we need to be in constant communication with JMU, and should be constantly pushing the boundaries of what we consider is acceptable on University property. We may end up surprised by the amount of support we can receive from the University if we engage them in a professional manner and keep going up the chain of command until we get what we want or hit the absolute barrier. Has anyone ever inquired with JMU Police about doing an event with them? There are probably a good number of car enthusiasts in the JMU PD. It’s all about dialogue, and currently our only interactions with the powers that be at JMU are when we beg for something. Engage them immediately at the start of the fall semester, and don’t stop talking to them until the summer.

Autocross
Autocrosses are great, and we should be attempting to organize our own or some variant in whatever capacity that incorporates a spirit of competition. Just set up a slalom with some cones, have a serious talk with JMU about what our limits are at the college and in parking lots. Find an empty field or parking lot to hoon around in. It doesn’t even have to be an autocross, but it has to get butts in seats, and it has to be fun. We need to show the initiative to plan Motorsport events, not just put it on our shirts.

Car Show
The car show is awesome, and every year it gets better. I think we could make it even better than it has been through planning starting at the beginning of the year. Communicate with some big name vendors, lock down a date with JMU within the first month. Talk to local radio and TV stations to see what they can do to help promote the show. If we show JMU that it is a serious event, they will be increasingly likely to give us monetary or just administrative support in the form of letting us use the entirety of the convo lot. Show JMU that Madison Motorsports can be a PR juggernaut to elevate the status of the University and I strongly believe they will be more than willing to help out.

As a club, we need to make sure that we are not taking a new member’s money without putting it to good use. We should expand the public profile of the club to really make MM a leader at both JMU and in the Shenandoah Valley. Alumni, you are integral to the process with your connections and contributions; for those who are willing, I would love to have you more involved in the process. Let’s put that legendary forum nagging to good use. I'm confident that given the opportunity to lead MM during 2016-17 I can increase Active membership, generate positive publicity, and most importantly, get the club back to its roots: be the only place at JMU that allows car enthusiasts, to be car enthusiasts.

Thank you.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#2
I like a lot of what you're saying, but...

jbails39 Wrote:Alumni involvement in this area needs to be significantly higher or reworked to be more accommodating to the MMers who show up and are not driving.

The "track day alumni" - me, DJ, Maeng, Justin, Casey, Rex, Julie, Gerald, Channing, Scotty, etc have done the following in the last several years, all with the intent of being both welcoming and involving of students at track weekends:
  • Invited and encouraged students to come out
  • Discussed at length the options for volunteering, Hyperdriving, or HPDEing
  • Offered up rides in instructor cars and racecars
  • Offered to help get rides with other non-MM instructor cars and racecars
  • Planned post-racing cookouts where we provide the grill, food and beer
  • Set up massive urns of coffee to help with the early mornings
  • Coordinated free MM hotel rooms courtesy of NASA to encourage attendance
  • Coordinated extra volunteer positions for bigger events such as Hyperfest
  • Introduced students to non-MM "key" people at the track
  • Invited students to join in typical post-racing festivities, i.e. VIR Tavern journeys
  • Paid for libations at said Tavern

I'm kind of at a loss as to how much more I and others can do. At a certain point, student officers need to 1. step up, 2. show up, and 3. encourage others to come with them. I was talking to Taylor about this, officers have to be role models and always plan on one officer attending a track weekend, otherwise nobody will tag along. Officers need to talk to Laura Cobetto and figure out some volunteer/work that can be done to help keep students engaged and also allow a taste of the action (i.e. rides, flagging/observing at corner stations, etc).

I'm happy to be the liason between y'all and Laura, and between y'all and the non-MM track junkies that we all know and love, i.e. the Spec3 crowd, the GTS crowd, the other NASA officials, etc.

But don't try to tell me that alumni haven't been welcoming and accommodating, as I just don't know how much more I/we can do while also working and competing myself.
Now:
'16 Ram 1500 | '97 BMW M3 | Some Press Loan

Then:
87 BMW 325e | 91 BMW 535i | 96 BMW 328i | 95 BMW 325i | 95 Mazda Miata | 13 Focus ST | 09 BMW 128i | 00 Pontiac Firebird | 05 Yukon Denali | 96 BMW 328iC | 11 Ford F-150 | 06 BMW M3 | 10 Range Rover SC | '03 Ford Ranger | '18 Ford F-150 | '01 BMW X5 | '98 Volvo S70 T5M
#3
Quote:But don't try to tell me that alumni haven't been welcoming and accommodating, as I just don't know how much more I/we can do while also working and competing myself.

Maybe there isn't really anything else to be done then on the alumni side, I'm sorry if it came off as disparaging to the work you all have put into getting students to the track. You're right, at the end of the day the buck does stop with the officers to get students to the track. Perhaps the part I'm missing here is the knowledge of all the options available to students getting to the track. That can likely be attributed to a break down in transferring the information from alumni -> Officers -> rank and file.

That's why I said maybe we need to take a good, long look at track days, and rework it from mainly our end, and perhaps coordinate with alumni better on this issue, and then once we have it solidly worked out we can push it to the forefront again.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#4
I really like a lot of what you have to say Josh.

I do disagree with putting track days on the "back burner" but I understand what you are saying about the need to rework it somehow. My own first track experience was very similar because of the vagueness involved, and if Matt Walker hadn't been there as the only person I really knew, it wouldn't have gone nearly as well. Do you have any ideas on how we could make it more accommodating for new students to come out and have a good time (and get hooked) while avoiding the discomfort of all the vagueness involved?

I also appreciate how optimistic a lot of your ideas are, I think we could use some of that.
#5
Quote:I do disagree with putting track days on the "back burner" but I understand what you are saying about the need to rework it somehow. My own first track experience was very similar because of the vagueness involved, and if Matt Walker hadn't been there as the only person I really knew, it wouldn't have gone nearly as well. Do you have any ideas on how we could make it more accommodating for new students to come out and have a good time (and get hooked) while avoiding the discomfort of all the vagueness involved?

Like I said to Jake, I think if I had known that they were doing all of the things he listed, and that there was a resource that made this stuff more available, be it officers or facebook or forums or w/e, we could make attendance much higher. The goal should be to make MM track days the event that people blow off other events for, not the other way around. Right now, it is hard for a newcomer and even some established members to see the benefits and cool shit involved with track days.

And logistically it is really hard too, so I would love to work that out.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#6
:thumbs up:

Well stated introduction. There are things I disagree with but you have the right idea and I don't want to discourage.

We can come across as "know-it-alls" but I hope potential officers know they can come to alumni. We are here because we care. I am not much one for throwing money at a project but you prove to me it can be fun or worthwhile and I am sure we can put it together. Just asking me for money will get a "yeah right" reaction.


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2020 Ford Raptor
2009 Z06
1986.5 Porsche 928S
#7
Quote:There are things I disagree with but you have the right idea and I don't want to discourage.

I would like to hear what you disagree with, because a lot of this is accrued frustrations and ideas from over the years that require a good bit of thought to address properly. I would prefer the dialogue to start sooner rather than later, even if I'm not elected.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#8
I recommended a separate chat on FB and it was a big shit storm that caused a few people to cry and whine when I left the current chat. Good luck on that. May have been a time when people much more less liked me or weren't used to how I expressed my opinions. Idk.

I like your enthusiasm though and you make some good points. To be honest what's your plan on putting weekly meets together, etc...?

Also, JMU will not allow us to lay a date out for the car show until around two months out. It has been like that for the last 2 years that I knew about how the car show works. I don't think you can change that but good luck trying.

We should setup an auto-x of our own as we have cones now we just have no timing equipment which is expensive...

JMU consistently loves giving us a run around so if we can earn some respect and a good connotation then that's always good.

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#9
rherold9 Wrote:I like your enthusiasm though and you make some good points. To be honest what's your plan on putting weekly meets together, etc...?

So for weekly meets, the simplest way, but perhaps not ideal, is to get a group of MM guys out and head to a local spot. There are some people who meet at Sheets next to Wells Fargo on Rt. 11., other random events happen in Waynesboro that I would like to participate in if only for the exposure, and I have a good rapport with the Subaru guys, so perhaps talking with them and just getting communication between the groups would be nice. I really want to bring in non-students or at the very least have MM on their minds when they think of car meets.

The more complicated idea is to either, A) Talk to JMU PD/parking and make sure we can use one of the parking garages to host a bi-weekly meet for any and all, provided they follow rules etc. Details can be worked out if I can get enough support in office. B) We find a local business, much like what was tried with local Cars and Coffee, that is willing to let us meet in their parking lot or find an empty lot we can meet in without too much hassle from local PD. The goal here would be to not necessarily go out of our way not to irritate people, but deal with those irritations or inquiries from local PD in such a way that we aren't run out of every where. We can just move spots if people object to our presence.

It's largely a Fast and Furious thing. Secretly, deep down, every car guy wants to go to and see cool car meet shit like they do in F&F. If it doesn't work, fine, but as a car club we should try and attempt it.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#10
I love your optimism, Josh! Glad to see that you're running! I love your ideas, but they are all very good "paper plans." The problem with weekly meetings is that there are too many things too close together and that will cause you to lose interest and the attendance suffers. Just to let you know, we had a few outdoor "meets" that weren't official classroom meets whenever the weather was warm enough to hand out shirts/collect dues/etc that you didn't make it to, but I like that idea. These are all fantastic ideas, though, that should be implemented regardless of election results. (We could have used some of them this year as well Big Grin)

Best of luck!
Current:
2011 F150 Platinum | 1995 BMW 325i 1983 BMW 320i  The MMoped | 2008 BMW 128i
Past:
1996 Toyota Tacoma: | 1992 Mazda Miata | 2002 BMW 325i |
2003 Toyota Tacoma | 1995 Miata M Edition | 1997 Subaru Outback |
1992 Mazda Miata | 1990 BMW 325i  | 2007 Toyota 4Runner | 
1995 Ford Windstar 1987 BMW 325i | 1987 BMW 325 | 1990 BMW 325i Vert |
2018 VW GTI | 1990 Mazda Miata | 
1989 BMW 325i Vert 2015 Fiesta ST | 1983 BMW 320i parts car
#11
Senor_Taylor Wrote:I love your optimism, Josh! Glad to see that you're running! I love your ideas, but they are all very good "paper plans." The problem with weekly meetings is that there are too many things too close together and that will cause you to lose interest and the attendance suffers. Just to let you know, we had a few outdoor "meets" that weren't official classroom meets whenever the weather was warm enough to hand out shirts/collect dues/etc that you didn't make it to, but I like that idea. These are all fantastic ideas, though, that should be implemented regardless of election results. (We could have used some of them this year as well Big Grin)

Best of luck!

Thanks Taylor,

The idea is that they are good paper plans as a basis for events, i.e. the ideal for what we should strive for. I would really like to try a bi-weekly MM car meet that is not an informational thing but just a time for everyone to come out, bullshit, and look at cars. This ideally would include going to other car meets or hosting locals at our own.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#12
My only problem with some of your plans is they involve so many external individuals = more people to coordinate/give attention to. There are already complaints that people don't feel welcomed despite what we do. How can you engage people that have been around previously but haven't been active?

There are over 200 people on our email list, some who are old, some who are new and over 50 new sign ups from student org night. Some of them never return, some do, like Matt Wolford who i remember speaking to at this past years student org night. I personally ran out of ideas other than just personally hunting them down and asking them out (and even then i miss people i can only talk to so many people - that includes the other 3 officers), so what are some other ways you think you can reignite inactive members? What about from our showker meet? There are always tons of people but it seems some always dwindle. Even Ryan, Taylors "little," ran off to go join a frat. Are you going to circumvent that?

Take a look at last falls event list (its in your email) and I think you'll find plenty of events to build on. I like the new ideas you're going for but don't get lost in trying to organize new things and then end up not doing that many things. We have tried and proven fun times so you have something to fall back on just in case.

I also love the idea of plenty of outside time but that really only applies in the first few months of fall semester and the last month of spring which includes finals week. Most of the academic year is spent during the winter and no one wants to stand around in the cold outside if they don't have to. I recall showing up to a convoy in R1 when it was cold once and we all sat in our cars and stared at each other instead of getting out in 20 degree weather lol. What inside time ideas do you have to bring members together in the cold months, sorry if you mentioned this, i just tried to quickly skim your ideas.

Other than that I really look forward to seeing more of us out at the track since you seem pretty serious about that and so do the other guys running! Awesome Josh! Good luck brother, i like it!

ALSO, regarding doing our own auto-x... If y'all can pull of renting out Shenandoah next year :bow: :bow: :bow:
2013 Honda Fit, 1991 Mazda Miata, Princess Blanca, Mystery, 1993 Volvo 940 - sold, 2003 Mazda Protoge5 - carmax'd, 1996 BMW 328is - sold, 1996 Honda Accord - sold
#13
You can't run your own autox for insurance reasons. This has been talked about every year. The closest you can get is partnering with BRCCA like the college solo.
2019 Accord Sport 2.0 A/T
2012 Civic Si - Sold
#14
JPolen01 Wrote:You can't run your own autox for insurance reasons. This has been talked about every year. The closest you can get is partnering with BRCCA like the college solo.
And like I told you in our private chat this year Shenandoah's pricing includes insurance, hence why it's so expensive. Don't you remember anything I tell you #whydontyouloveme
2013 Honda Fit, 1991 Mazda Miata, Princess Blanca, Mystery, 1993 Volvo 940 - sold, 2003 Mazda Protoge5 - carmax'd, 1996 BMW 328is - sold, 1996 Honda Accord - sold
#15
I'm admittedly terrible at using quotes and forum gadgets and whatnot, so I'm just gonna go down the line and expand on some stuff.

Starting: Obviously at this point those members who have decided they don't want to actively participate in the club are long gone, and the time+effort needed to attempt to reign them in for even a single event would prove too costly in terms of manpower allocation. They are on the mailing list, fine, its a mailing list that doesn't cost us anything to send out, they can block it if they choose.

Involving external individuals is not a problem from my point of view, in fact not having them is probably the source of a lot of the club's issues/shortcomings. What's the point of 4 officers if they don't coordinate and communicate with people? As President I'll willingly take the lead in branching out to the community both official and pedestrian, and I would expect that the VP would have the available time to assist me in that, otherwise why run at all? I have a light course load next semester (9 credits) so time isn't going to be an issue.

Engaging the members once again comes down to both availability on the part of the officers (for questions, rides, etc. take your pick), and value provided by the club. Many people don't feel welcomed because the club lacks in socially open events. The Kline's meet only happens once; what if it happened every weekend or every other weekend? That's the kind of thing I am championing. Nobody wants to sit in a classroom and take time out of their week for informational stuff that is best suited for an email chain and a google doc yes/no checklist.

Things like Ray Schumin's Autocross intro, actual driving technique classes, those are what provide value and will make members feel they are getting value out of the club. The more value they see in the activities we promote, the more willing they will be to step out of their shell and engage us, and as always we have to be more proactive in engaging them hard from the beginning, identify those who seem tentative, and hit them even harder.

Additionally, I don't see how it being cold outside means the club needs to shut down. Every saturday night I drive by Sheetz on Rt. 11 and see numerous car people, who we need to formally engage, having a meet. Even if its 0 degrees they are out there because they can, and if it becomes too much, then lets meet somewhere and go to dinner, or brainstorm something else to do. 3/4 dead months in MM is in my opinion simply unacceptable, and while it will be difficult, through trial and error we can figure out what works and what is appealing to people.

We can also find other activities that don't have to be formal events, not necessarily an autocross but maybe someone has a field we can hoon around in or something. Anything to get butts in seats.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#16
jbails39 Wrote:Involving external individuals is not a problem from my point of view, in fact not having them is probably the source of a lot of the club's issues/shortcomings. What's the point of 4 officers if they don't coordinate and communicate with people?

Every saturday night I drive by Sheetz on Rt. 11 and see numerous car people, who we need to formally engage, having a meet.
What i meant by external people was the sheetz crew and locals. I think you can spend more time on MM internally first before expanding to groups outside. I like ideas on that kind of stuff before I hear about who we want to mix with. Every year people always want to get MM to mix with another group thinking it will somehow up the club participation but from what I can tell it only blurs the line with "so who's in MM again?"
2013 Honda Fit, 1991 Mazda Miata, Princess Blanca, Mystery, 1993 Volvo 940 - sold, 2003 Mazda Protoge5 - carmax'd, 1996 BMW 328is - sold, 1996 Honda Accord - sold
#17
Oh the other stuff is good as well. You're going to face a complication or two but you have the attitude to figure it out and that's what i like the most about your ideas and what you have written. You seem flexible, positive, open and mature. That can go a long way. Good luck tomorrow man!
2013 Honda Fit, 1991 Mazda Miata, Princess Blanca, Mystery, 1993 Volvo 940 - sold, 2003 Mazda Protoge5 - carmax'd, 1996 BMW 328is - sold, 1996 Honda Accord - sold
#18
*insertusernamehere* Wrote:
jbails39 Wrote:Involving external individuals is not a problem from my point of view, in fact not having them is probably the source of a lot of the club's issues/shortcomings. What's the point of 4 officers if they don't coordinate and communicate with people?

Every saturday night I drive by Sheetz on Rt. 11 and see numerous car people, who we need to formally engage, having a meet.
What i meant by external people was the sheetz crew and locals. I think you can spend more time on MM internally first before expanding to groups outside. I like ideas on that kind of stuff before I hear about who we want to mix with. Every year people always want to get MM to mix with another group thinking it will somehow up the club participation but from what I can tell it only blurs the line with "so who's in MM again?"

I don't think that spending time with one group or the other has to be exclusive, the external guys are more of an avenue for activities rather than potential new members. In my opinion it is at this point pie in the sky, because we have to first get that sort of thing organized and out the door, then we will see. I don't see the blurring of affiliation lines becoming a big issue unless we start to get MASSIVE turnouts at these things. Again, its all dependent on driving participation from the beginning.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold
#19
These ideas are great, but how do you plan on convincing members to involve themselves in these things? That's always been the biggest hurdle. It's easy to plan something, but then no one comes to the first time you do it and then you don't do it again.

edit: Apparently this has been answered. My bad
Current:
2011 F150 Platinum | 1995 BMW 325i 1983 BMW 320i  The MMoped | 2008 BMW 128i
Past:
1996 Toyota Tacoma: | 1992 Mazda Miata | 2002 BMW 325i |
2003 Toyota Tacoma | 1995 Miata M Edition | 1997 Subaru Outback |
1992 Mazda Miata | 1990 BMW 325i  | 2007 Toyota 4Runner | 
1995 Ford Windstar 1987 BMW 325i | 1987 BMW 325 | 1990 BMW 325i Vert |
2018 VW GTI | 1990 Mazda Miata | 
1989 BMW 325i Vert 2015 Fiesta ST | 1983 BMW 320i parts car
#20
Like I mentioned in my response to Matt, its all about value. Making sure we meet expectations or at least attempt to meet expectations will go a long way, hopefully to the point where we dont need to work as hard to get people mobilized.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT- Cosmic Blue
2005 Yamaha R6 Raven- Sold
2009 Mazda 3- Sold


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