With the start of the new school year comes the annual RoboJackets General Interest meetings. The two identical information sessions are the culmination of many hours spent tabling and recruiting at events like the Week of Welcome for freshmen, GradExpo, and the campus-wide org fair. Taking place during the first few weeks of the fall semester, GI is the first chance for interested students to learn about RoboJackets in detail and join one (or more!) of the teams. Typically running for two hours, the meeting starts off with a presentation where project managers talk about their team’s robots and competitions. This is immediately followed by a tabling session where interested students are able to ask project managers and subteam leads any questions they might have about the team, and sign up for the mailing lists of teams they are interested in joining.
This year’s GI was very successful, with the highest attendance in known history at 401 unique attendees. The RoboNav team saw the most interest at 155 sign ups. Additionally, the youngest but fast growing RoboWrestling team experienced a major jump in interest, with 87 sign ups, up from 54 sign ups last year. President Shishir Pandit-Rao said, “We were able to capitalize on the tremendous amount of interest we had received through our multiple recruiting venues.”
In order to give potential new members the best understanding of RoboJackets and its teams, officers present a holistic overview of the organization. While this includes discussing the history of RoboJackets and presenting the work of the technical teams, this is also an opportunity for officers to promote the parts of RoboJackets that aren’t directly tied to building robots. These include our outreach program, our IT/software development team, and our promotions/graphics team. Shishir added, “This year, we were able to garner a very large amount of interest for our FIRST outreach events, such as FTC Robot in 1 Weekend, as well as our gender and sexual minority group, RJ Girl Gang!”
We are delighted to welcome these new members to RoboJackets and can’t wait to see what they can accomplish!