weew's blog

By weew, history, 6 weeks ago, In English,

According to Wikipedia, "The ACM is a non-profit professional membership group", but that's entirely different when it comes to ACPC (AKA Arab Collegiate Programming Contest) where the contest has been consecutively held in Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh since 2013, that's usually not an issue for the participating teams when it comes to the organization of the contest, but if we look at the costs for each participating team, official teams from the same university have to pay 1500$ to be able to register in ACPC which includes a mandatory 5* hotel, and unofficial teams have to pay 3000$, we can all agree that both official and non-official teams cost way too much, not to mention the flights for teams that come from outside of Egypt and all the costs that follow the traveling process.

To even make things worse this year, now the third team (from the same university) has to pay 3000$ whether it was officially qualified or the team was participating unofficially which obviously shows how ACPC organizers in Egypt are exploiting the contest to fill up someone's pockets.

This thing has caused problems before, some teams in earlier years tried registering but by staying in an outside hotel, the team was disqualified for that, other teams had to raise funds online or by other means for them to be able to participate in the contest. Here are some older blogs talking about the same issue: Blog #1 , Blog #2

I'm even writing this blog from a fake account so my team doesn't get disqualified for no good reason :)

ICPC organizers must take actions to stop this absurd blackmailing for Arab teams.

 
 
 
 
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6 weeks ago, # |
Rev. 3   Vote: I like it +125 Vote: I do not like it

First of all, complaining about ACPC from your real account wouldn't disqualify you. Simply because, no one of the organizers has a CF account.

The fancy 5 stars hotel you're talking about is the same that is hosting the World Youth Forum (Prince of Kuwait will stay in this hotel during the event), is usually booked by the national soccer team, and has hosted a lot of big international events. It should be obvious that its room price would be way too expensive.

It's exactly because every year everyone struggles to get this money somehow, that the organizers continue without any problem. Holding a protest would be a solution but it's totally impossible considering that from the participants point of view, they go to the ACPC just once or twice, why would they risk it. Without a protest, why would the organizers change their rules if everyone is paying (regardless of the way they got that money)!

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6 weeks ago, # |
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A regional contest is supposed to be a stepping stone for teams to get to the ICPC, but currently the ACPC is being only a financial blockade that prevents many teams from participating, and the ICPC Headquarters should take a serious look into this.

Let's take a look at the provided poster shall we?

For reference, you can find the hotel's website here: http://www.maritimjolieville.website

Let's assume that the prices the ACPC Directors get for rooms are the same ones that are found online, while I seriously doubt it.

If a team was to take the cheapest price, which is having all 3 members in a triple room for 4 nights, they should pay $1500, a quick look at the website shows us that it costs $400 for the same nights the ACPC is being held on.

That means there's at least $1100 taken from each team that are being spent somewhere else, we'll get back to that.

Now, if each member was to take a single room, they'd have to pay $3000 instead, which is totally insane. Another quick search shows us that a single room in that same period is $204, giving a total of $612 for all 3 members. So an actual change of price of $212 made the team pay $1500 more. This is especially outrageous because now we know that this team could've paid $1500 and participated normally, but the only change here is the rooms provided, so the other $1288 are going someplace else..

Now the other fun part, there's a legend that says, 3rd official teams from an institution or unofficial ones should pay at least twice as much. But don't dare to question it, as you might get hunted down. Knowing that there's no difference in prices or anything provided again, an unofficial team getting 3 separate rooms for example would have to pay $5100 for rooms that cost $612. No need to comment.

Also, same thing goes for extending a night or so, while we know for sure that the only cost is the room's price, it's also way more expensive for some reason.

I could go on about the coaches, guests and so, but I think you got the point.

I know that the contest has other costs such as the the contest hall and PCs and so, but this never justifies the huge amount of money being taken without any choice. Not to mention that the contest has sponsors and the people working are actually volunteers that do not get paid.

Even if some of the costs are justified, the price should be broken down and people should get the choice of not going into an "expensive" hotel or not paying for a trip they don't want or so. Other regionals are held naturally and this one can too.

Again, the ICPC Directors should not let this slip by.

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I think we should put a little more calculations into our perspective there is also the booking of the convention center and the excursion day now i am not sure how much do these cost but let's assume that 2/3 teams pays 1500$ and the rest pays 3000$ last year 114 teams took part in the ACM ACPC let's say that 76 paid 1500$ and 38 paid 3000$ that's a total of 342,000$.

    now what i we say each team took 2 double rooms so each team took 228 room with each room costing and now remember that we where half board not full board here it says that it costs about 600$ / room for 4 nights which gives a total of 136,800$ now i am not sure if my calculations are correct but i think we are missing on a total of 205,200$ now i am not sure if i am 100% accurate but do we reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally need ~200,000$ to make a contest i mean come on of course all of that is without factoring in the sponsors.

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      6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Yet one of the organizers talk every year about how they struggle to get those sponsors and that AAST is paying more than a million L.E (~50K$) to host the contests every year.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    As far as I know, PCs are a grant form the ministry of communication :D xD

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6 weeks ago, # |
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ICPC organizers must take actions to stop this absurd blackmailing for Arab teams

Have you already tried to contact ACM ICPC organizers? Bill Poucher is quite active on Quora, and I think you can probably find his email somewhere. They also have Twitter, Facebook, lots of contact..

Probably best to share this on all social platform (Facebook, Twitter, VK..) and ask people to upvote/share. If many people support this, I think the issue won't be ignored.

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    6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    2 years before some team had the same problem and contacted Bill, and then it found itself out of the competition, and they spend too much time so they can return and at the end they returned and paid the price mentioned

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      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Ok this makes me super mad now. I've asked on Quora: link. If you want answer to this issue please follow the question & requires ICPC and Bill Poucher to answer.

      This sh*t is obviously against ACM ICPC mission to allow students all over the world to compete (And ACM ICPC used this excuse to qualify many undeserved team from Asia regionals). As a community we cannot let this ruin the experience for a whole region.

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        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        Thanks for the effort!

        BTW, don't limit yourself to A2A'ing Bill only; asking people related in any way may help to both raise awareness and collect more data and insights. There is already a nice answer by naggarlink.

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          5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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          Yes i know Essam he had the same problem as us, and the he was the coach of the team mentioned in my comment

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        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        Thank you for your support, we are preparing to send an email to Bill, we hope he won't let us down because he will know everything

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          5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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          There have been no new answers to the Quora question or anything, so what's your next step? Have you sent the e-mail?

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            5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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            Yes, no one answered on Quora and we sent email 4 days ago but no one answered too

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6 weeks ago, # |
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This is crazy, the first two teams has to pay more than 25000 EGP and the third team has to pay more than 50000 EGP.

This is crazy, why these people are greedy like this ? we only want to compete and do things we love, why they want to take this away from us ? and why the ICPC organization let them do this, i am sure they know about this.

I know my comment won't do anything but i just want the world to know our problem, we won't be able to afford this amount of money and this will make all our training and hard working go for nothing

If anyone can help us to stop this crime please help

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I think that $500 registration fee per participant is too expensive, even if the Conference activities include free Shisha smoking and watching belly dance live shows, which are definitely not recommended for health and ethical reasons.

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5 weeks ago, # |
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Isn't a whole ICPC just a business?

But still, these prices are extremely ridiculous.

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5 weeks ago, # |
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MikeMirzayanov can you please put this post on the home page so many people see it and know our problem ?

The more people of this community know the more it can reach the ICPC community

thank you

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5 weeks ago, # |
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I am just being curious about something, how much money teams from other regions pay??? If anyone has any information it would be really helpful to share.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    CERC 2018: the fee is 50 euro / person (or 70 if you pay late).

    The fee does cover the contest itself, a t-shirt, a lunch on practice day, refreshment during the contest, and the banquet after the awards ceremony.

    The fee does NOT cover the remaining meals and accommodation. Teams have to book and pay for their hotel on your own. (They can choose any hotel, but usually there are some recommended ones that are near the contest site, and sometimes there are arranged deals that give contestants discounts in those hotels.)

    With a reasonably-but-not-too cheap hotel the total cost for three contestants + one coach is probably somewhere around (800 eur + travel costs). This fluctuates from year to year as the contest site rotates, but not by much.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    In NWERC, there is no fee, and you will get a t-shirt, one lunch and dinner, and some other stuff. Depending on the location, it may also be possible to sleep at the university for free or for a small fee.

    This year our team's trip will cost about 1500€, including flights and accommodation in a hotel (for three contestants without a coach).