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The Bad Ideas Competition has become part of EC only in the last decade. The first annual Bad Ideas Competition was started by some EC residents as a spoof of the famous Ideas Competition at MIT. Bad Ideas is an event open to all of campus, and participants are encouraged to come up with unusual and humorous ideas. An example of such an idea was the real‐life incarnation of the popular videogame, Mario Kart, complete with tricycles and costumes. Bad Ideas happens during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), and thus is a time when students can pursue projects that they haven’t had the time or enthusiasm for during term. There is also grilling in the courtyard, and in 2008 we rented a spit and roasted a whole pig.
Bad Ideas includes food eating and drinking contests. The ingredients for these contests are determined creatively every year. The Green Building Challenge also happens during this time, which involves the different halls in EC in an athletic contest which involves climbing the Green Building stairs as many times as possible in 4 hours. Other living groups like Pika (an ILG), Tau Epsilon Phi (tEp), and Random Hall also participate in this event.
There was much discussion about Bad Ideas at The Great East Campus Retreat during IAP '06. Here's what we came up with:
- Elect a Bad Ideas Chairperson. In addition, have appointed persons take care of food, lumber/materials, and money.
- Come up with a really large, repetitive construction project that can be going on in the courtyard all weekend. One thing that has been observed is that there are many people interested in taking part in Bad Ideas, but don't feel experienced/confident/unlazy enough to do a project of their own. If there were to be a large project always going on, a la rush, involvement in Bad Ideas could be significantly increased.
For Bad Ideas 2007, sean_m was chair. His thoughts:
- Having a Bad Ideas Chair is a Good Thing. It was very useful in that someone was officially responsible for funding applications and lumber ordering and such.
- Getting people involved/out in the courtyard is still an issue. Need to find a way to make the big project(s) happen.
- Safety: Get in touch with EHS people *early*. There was little to no contact with them last year -- this could have been bad. Luckily, not much happened, and no one got hurt. It
may not beisn't realistic to have safety proposals weeks/months beforehand, but we do need to somehow get safety people involved.