President Transition

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President Transition Document, UR Baja SAE

Madeline Bedrock

University of Rochester

Mechanical Engineering, 2021

Last Revised: May 7, 2020

Timeline of Responsibilities

April/May (End of semester after elections)

  • Work with current President on finalizing details for competition and be prepared to be in charge for final competition
  • Ask current members what changes they would like to see next year
  • Be thinking of ideas for future newsletters, events you would like to attend the next year, etc.


  • Help Chief Engineer set up weekly Design Board meetings and attend them
  • Meet with Eboard as needed, and ensure that a method of communication is set up between the Design Board and Eboard
  • Send thank you letters to sponsors and donors
  • Depending on the time you have, handwriting anything on the cards is always nice
  • Send out first newsletter (see notes)
  • Edit and update the CCC page (see later in document explaining that)
  • Edit the team website and wiki
  • Register team for Midnight Mayhem

August/Leading up to Fall Semester

  • Register for Activities Fair (see notes)
  • Make recruitment materials (fliers, presentation) for Activities Fair and General Interest Meeting (GIM) and plan with Eboard recruitment strategy
  • Work with Business Manager to update sponsorship materials (sponsorship packet and brochure)
  • Make a tentative plan for driver training so it can happen in the weeks leading up to Midnight Mayhem
  • Ensure at least yourself and the Business Manager are registered for the Fall Leadership Training that will take place the Tuesday before classes start
  • Set time and dates for Design Board, Eboard, and General Team meetings for the semester→ make sure you get schedules from all PTLs and Eboard
  • If you can, start writing/thinking of ideas for another newsletter
  • Hold GIM the Friday after classes start, after the Activities Fair
  • Schedule weekly meetings with Professor Muir
  • Remind PTLs to pick up keys to the basement/Hopeman from Jill
  • Reserve Hopeman Conference Room for Design Board and Eboard by emailing Jill→ if you can, try to have someone on Eboard have a key to that room


  • Host Baja Barbecue at the shop Saturday/Sunday after GIM
  • Send email reminders to team and let them know what’s going on
  • Post updates on team social media pages
  • Work with Eboard to finalize individual registration and attendee list for Midnight Mayhem
  • Help Business Manager navigate SA and ensure that rental vehicles are booked, the team has a campsite/hotel to stay at, GAS CARDS, and that registration is paid for
  • Make a presentation and hold a meeting explaining to the new members what Midnight Mayhem is, what they need to bring, etc.
  • Pick a weekend and hold driver training before attending Midnight Mayhem
  • Make Midnight Mayhem runs smoothly
  • Team has food during the day
  • Vans are picked out with enough drivers
  • Team stops for meals are planned→ No 3 hour Denny’s stops @cpatt


  • Send out newsletter (see notes)
  • Plan team pictures for holiday cards and individual pictures for PTLs/Eboard
  • Work with Alumni Advisory Board to plan an on campus event for the spring
  • Plan for Rochester Maker Faire (event in November)
  • Register for competition
  • Work with team to hold a team bonding event (Party at a suite, watch Dust to Glory, go somewhere off campus, etc.)
  • Work with Jennelle to organize a team merch order→ see people to know for info
  • Work with Business Manager to ensure sponsorship is happening
  • Get signed up and do Spooky Science Day (Physics club)


  • Make sure team attends and is aware about Boar’s Head Dinner
  • Attend Maker Faire
  • Have a team bonding event
  • Meet with Kyle about SOAR and start working on it→ due early December
  • Work with Chief Engineer to make sure Design Reviews are getting done so they can be presented in December


  • Submit SOAR
  • Plan and broadcast Design reviews to alumni using Zoom (see notes)
  • Plan recruitment strategies for spring
  • This is a busy time for everyone, so don’t push the team too hard because everyone is already stressed
  • Finalize details with Alumni Advisory Board for event in the spring→ feel free to meet with Advancement and Kyle (see notes about Advancement)
  • Make sure the team is registered for Spring Activities fair (see notes)


  • Attend Activities Fair and hold GIM
  • Send newsletter
  • Help Business Manager with SA and Hajim budgets
  • Reach out to Rochester ASME to present to them/ask for money (see notes)
  • Team bonding!
  • Vote on what color the car is
  • Plan Design and Sponsorship Day
  • Design and order team polos


  • Work with Eboard to get together rosters for competition
  • Competition Planning
  • Who is in what van
  • Where we are stopping
  • Work with the Business Manager that rental vehicles are purchased, hotels within a reasonable distance of the comp site are booked, GAS CARDS
  • Help Business Manager complete budgets→ try everything you both can to get $$


  • Finish competition planning
  • Work on newsletter
  • Host Design and Sponsorship Day
  • Make sure everyone has renewed SAE membership and are registered for competition
  • Hold elections for the following year
  • Attend Mock Endurance (see notes)
  • Driver training!


  • Competition! (hopefully)
  • Send out newsletter
  • Get team feedback after competition so the next one is planned better
  • Help transition the next Eboard and Design Board by having them shadow


  • More competition
  • Have new Eboard/Design Board be prepared to take on their new roles
  • Have them run most of/all the final competition
  • Throughout the year
  • Make sure team is staying on top of its goals
  • Update social media and be taking pictures of what Baja is up to
  • Email team/keep team updated
  • Send out reminder emails on meeting days
  • Be responsive and check email→ interested people will email you throughout the year, so make sure they feel welcome to join anytime
  • Approve orders through Blackboard (see Account Overview)
  • Work with PTLs and Chief Engineer to make sure workshops are being held (Solidworks, NX/FEA, CAM, etc.)
  • Try to keep alumni involved and updated
  • Help Business Manager with the fundraising efforts
  • Host team bonding events→ aim for once a month, every other month
  • Keep CCC updated
  • Create events and keep track of what we do
  • Do activity reflections for those events→ EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR SOAR
  • Approve new members
  • Go through every so often and make sure people listed as “members” actually show up/are on email list
  • Get to know people on the team→ make an effort to say hi to them on campus and introduce yourself when you see a new face at a meeting

Layout of Regularly Attended Events

Activities Fair

  • Happens in the fall on Wilson Quad (August) and spring in Athletic Center (January)
  • When registering, make sure you say that you need a corner table that will accommodate room to bring the car
  • Have 2 laptops open with a google sheets where people can put down their names, emails, and class years
  • Print out team brochures and bring old parts, the Baja sign, duct tape, and the car when possible
  • Make fliers that say when/where the GIM is, and advertise shop hours/Baja Barbecue

General Interest Meetings

  • Make sure to have members outside Hopeman to direct students
  • Make a fun PowerPoint that explains Baja and shows that we are fun/cool/funny people because we are
  • Hold shop tours and tours of the track afterwards→ fall only for the track
  • Get to know people→ talk to them, see what majors they are, sell Baja by telling fun/crazy stories and keep it PG because we’re a family show

Midnight Mayhem/Competition

  • Begin planning EARLY

--> What you need to plan --> Competition roster --> Van placements --> Stops along the way --> Who will be driving which events --> When vans and truck leave campus --> What roles people will have during endurance --> Making sure the team has food to eat when at the comp site and after and that team dinners are at places where everyone can eat (yikes our team has all the allergies)

  • Make presentations explaining what people need to pack, what it is, and what to expect
  • Work with Business Manager to make sure hotels/vans/truck/GAS CARDS are worked out and paid for beforehand

Spooky Science Day

  • Cute event held in Rettner by the Physics club where little kids dress up and learn about science/engineering
  • They usually email President email or you directly
  • They will let you know if you need to bring your own candy
  • We get a table on the end where people can sit in Big Blue→ you can bring the newest car, but you don’t have to
  • Bring the Baja sign and some kid friendly parts that look cool
  • Have 2-3 members attending and bring some Baja brochures

Maker Faire

  • Large event held in Downtown Rochester where “makers” bring and sometimes sell stuff
  • Coordinate transportation for the car there
  • Bring the Baja sign, duct tape, parts, and brochures to the event
  • Usually 9am-5pm, so have two sets of 3 people to be at the event
  • You can buy food at the event from individual makers, but better to have groups switch at lunchtime and bring snacks so no one has to worry about buying food there

Design Reviews

  • 20-45 minute presentations done by PTLs about the design they have done on their system where anyone can ask them questions
  • You will need to ask IT for an upgraded/pro version of Zoom
  • Email alumni, sponsors, friends, and family a link to a Zoom meeting so they can listen in to the Design reviews
  • You will be taking notes during each one
  • Include who is attending, what questions they ask, and any other important comments that are made during them

ASME Presentation

  • Reach out to the Professor who is involved in Rochester chapter
  • Ask Professor Muir who that is if you don’t know
  • Create a brief presentation that describes who we are and why/what we need money for
  • 2 people will go to one of their meetings and present
  • Have Eboard and/or Muir look over it before attending

Design and Sponsorship Day (Car Unveiling)

  • Held on campus (usually Munnerlyn Atrium) before the first competition where we unveil the car and PTLs present first draft of their design posters
  • Invite professors, sponsors, alumni, friends, family, etc.
  • Order food and drinks through Meliora Catering (can use declining)--> Bring containers to take extra food home ;)
  • Have a slideshow of pictures/posters, brochures, etc.
  • Be prepared to say a few words about the work that was put in throughout the year and how proud and excited the team is to run the car at competition
  • Have students wear Baja merch/polos if they are received in time

Mock Endurance

  • Usually the Saturday of Spring Break
  • A day where local teams go to RIT’s track for an unofficial 3-4 hour endurance race
  • Good for team bonding and bonding with other teams
  • Will need to coordinate transportation for the team and the car
  • RIT’s Team Manager will send an email in February asking if we will be participating

Newsletter Tentative Schedule and Ideas

  • Newsletters are extremely important, as they keep alumni, sponsors, friends, and family up to date and in the loop with what the team is doing (which is good for getting money)
  • You can use Mailchimp which sends them like an email (see President password document for password information) or you can use the template that the Design and Communications Department have given us

--> Template is really nice, but you need Adobe programs to update them, so good to use if on campus, looks really professional --> You can have the Communications department send it out to a bunch of people, but need it done almost 6 weeks in advance which isn’t too realistic

  • Up to you what you want to do with them, but make them interesting and fun→ imagine what you would want to see and hear about after you graduate
  • Post the newsletter on the website!


  • Introducing yourself
  • Review the year
  • Recap competition
  • Farewell to seniors
  • Tentative plans for the next year


  • Introduce new Design Board and Eboard
  • Midnight Mayhem
  • Progress on the car
  • Recap recruitment
  • Present what competitions the team will be attending
  • Events you plan on attending?
  • Introduce new Sponsors?


  • Manufacturing updates
  • Invite to on campus event
  • Recap of Design Reviews
  • Freshman story


  • Completed car
  • Competition plans/Recap of first comp/Mock Endurance
  • Recap of Design and Sponsorship Day
  • Thank sponsors
  • Interview Chief Engineer or other PTL

Baja Accounts Overview

Baja is messy when it comes to finances, so here’s a quick guide to how they work Note that the Business Manager will have a document that keeps track of all of the purchases and current balances of each account Mech E Account This account is run through Mech E and can be used to purchase anything for the car and last minute purchases that you can’t wait for SA bureaucracy for or something to be purchased that will be reimbursed by the team Money comes into this account from the Hajim budget Purchases are made by submitting PDFs of what you want to purchase Templates and how they work can be found through Blackboard→ Baja→ Purchasing→ Your Year All purchases must be approved by a member of Eboard and if the order is over $300, Muir has to approve it as well Approving orders As President, you are the main person approving orders Download PDF-XChange Viewer→ under the comments section there should be a sticker that you can find that says approved Download the PDF in inbox, review it, put the approved sticker on it, remove the original file in inbox, and upload the approved version into the approved folder If the purchase falls under the category of “last minute purchase that you can’t wait for SA bureaucracy for or something the team will reimburse” (ex: Baja polos) Email Chris Pratt (see notes) to set up an appointment to purchase it, then collect money from the team and donate it back to the team through the donate online link listed on the website Reimbursements You will need to bring a receipt or an invoice that has proof that you paid for it to Jill (see notes) and she will help guide you through the annoying process it is to get your money back If the purchase was below $75, she can send you to the office in Meliora where they will give you the money in ca$h If the purchase was over $75, the forms have to go through a different office and you will get a check sent to the Mech E office a few weeks later Jill will email you when your check has arrived THIS ACCOUNT USUALLY RUNS NEGATIVE and YES it’s okay For questions about the Mech E account, speak with Muir, Chris Pratt, or Jill SA Account This account is run through SA and is used for travel/registration costs Money comes into this account from the SA budget THIS ACCOUNT RUNS NEGATIVE EVERY YEAR Purchases This is the Business Manager’s job, but you need to understand how this works too The Business Manager has to submit a green form with what the purchase is, the vendor, and an approximated cost To purchase something, the green form must be submitted 2-3 days beforehand and an online appointment order must be made (make them through SA website) Go in for your online appointment and order it (appointments are in 20 minute blocks) Most clubs have a set budget, so sometimes there’s issues with purchasing because we run our account negative, so you might need someone who has experience in purchasing with Baja to come with you If you have issues, SEE JEN NICHOLSON (see notes) because she will solve everything Gift Account This account is run by Advancement and is used to zero out our accounts Money comes into this account by donations made to the club PURCHASES ARE NOT MADE BY THIS ACCOUNT You want a roll-over of at least $7,000 after zeroing out any negative balances in the other accounts

People to Know

Professor Muir→ current Baja advisor

  • Email:
  • Set a time at the beginning of each semester for you to meet with him once a week
  • Before meeting with him, you should write up your meeting notes on your laptop and keep a folder of meeting notes on your drive
  • Send the notes of what you want to talk about during your meeting to him before the actual meeting→ he might not read it, but it keeps things organized and efficient

Professor Gracewski→ previous Baja advisor

  • Email:
  • Would like to be involved in alumni events
  • Keep her involved on when Design Board meetings are

Kyle deManincor→ current SA advisor

  • Email:
  • He will help you with everything in SA
  • Meet with him as needed→ he is very nice and understanding, so also feel free to email him anytime with questions you might have
  • Also you should meet with him at the beginning of the year to introduce yourself

Chris Pratt→ Mech E Purchaser/Assists with Testing

  • Email:
  • She will help with purchasing through the Mech E Account
  • You can set appointments with her with purchases you need made
  • She also helps PTLs with material tests,etc.

Jennelle Hart→ Head of the Design Department

  • Email:
  • She will work with you to make team merch and setup an online store
  • She is incredibly nice and has past Baja logos
  • Reach out in October to hopefully have merch before Winter Break

Advancement Office They can help you plan on campus events, help wording with fundraising emails, and help organizing newsletter→ anything that has to do with money or alumni

Christina Sleve

  • Help with anything involving alumni
  • Really nice and can easily get you in touch with the right person
  • Sends out monthly updates on the Gift Account

Jessica Baldwin

  • Email:
  • Help with fundraising wording and crowdfunding

Derek Swanson/Tyrone Jimmison

  • Emails:
  • Help with Endowment

Jen Nicholson→ Staff accountant for SA:

  • Email:
  • She is almost always in the SA office in Ruth Merrill (First floor Wilco)
  • She understands Baja stuff so you can also go to her with purchasing questions for Baja→ should introduce yourself in the beginning of the year because you will have questions for her

Jill Morris→ administrator in Mech E office:

  • Email:
  • If you need reimbursements for any purchase for Baja that you made with your own money, bring the receipt to her and she’ll walk you through the process
  • She will give you keys to Hopeman and the shop at the beginning of the year, but you have to go to her and ask for them→ introduce yourself, she’s super nice

John Miller aka “Johns Miller Shop

  • Runs the shop in Taylor
  • Usually close with PTLs and Chief Mechanic, but make sure he knows you and know how much he helps us out and appreciate him
  • Include him on Thank You cards

Other General Tips

  • Example presentations and newsletters for anything listed in the timeline can be found in previous President’s drives
  • Start with most recent Presidents when looking for examples
  • Hold team bonding events
  • Take initiative and get the team signed up for any events you can that you think will improve the team image
  • We have an agreement with RIT that since we paid them $1 a bunch of years ago, we have unlimited access to their track

-->Email the Team Manager in advance -->Take advantage of this

  • West Coast competition→ we pay RIT $1000 to drive our car and tools across the country

-->Speak with Muir and RIT’s Team Manager to coordinate this -->They leave a week early so make sure you’re ready and talk with them in advance

  • Team was founded in 1979→ be aware of anniversary dates so you can plan properly
  • Keep your drive organized→ it’s going to be where you keep all of your baja documents and it makes your life and the lives of future business managers better
  • Keeping the alumni involved is extremely important to the team→ they did the same things you’re doing right now and most of them have input to say that can help make the team better→ don’t forget about them