Ring dunk. Two words that describe a new beginning for Aggies with their newfound gold.
The timeless tradition of sinking a brand new Aggie Ring into a pitcher and downing its contents is normally something every Aggie looks forward to. This year, the tradition may look a little different thanks to COVID-19 and the 10-person gathering restriction.
Despite the changes, industrial distribution senior Sierra Travis said she still plans on lining up next to five of her closest friends and roommates to complete the most-anticipated tradition.
“We’re doing a really small celebration with some of our friends and family,” Travis said. “We’ve all been really close since our freshman year so as a friend group we’ve looked forward to this, and now we’re just trying to make the most of it.”
With the pandemic to keep in mind, Travis said planning her ring dunk has proven to be difficult. Although she would like for all of her close friends and family to be in attendance, Travis has had to be mindful of how her celebration will be organized.
“Right now I think that it’s really important to be able to experience [ring dunk] because we only get to experience
this kind of thing once,” Travis said. “So finding a way to do that and celebrate with the people we have always planned to, but in a safe and distanced way, is really important to all of us.”
As a first-generation student, sociology junior Nancy Vasquez said celebrating her 90 hours of hard work and dedication with a ring dunk is a tradition she has always wanted to partake in.
“I think it’s extremely important to fulfill this tradition because as a first-generation student and Aggie, I hope that one day I can tell my kids about the traditions I got to be a part of as a Texas A&M student,” Vasquez said.
With her excitement of reaching 90 hours, Vasquez said COVID-19 has played a major role in how she chooses to celebrate.
“My dunk is something that I was looking forward to gathering all my friends and family together to celebrate my accomplishment,” Vasquez said. “So my plan is not like any normal dunk. I’ll only be having my immediate family, and I won’t be having any friends for [their] safety.”
When the day finally comes to dunk her ring, English senior Brinna Gallego said she plans on enjoying the tradition with the safety of her family as her top priority.
“Although I’ve always looked forward to continuing the ring dunk tradition, keeping my family safe and healthy is far more important than fulfilling the tradition,” Gallego said. “I want my grandparents and parents to enjoy the day and stay healthy while doing so. I want my ring dunk to be small, fun, but mostly safe. Even if it means just including family, then I’m open to that as well.”
In preparation to down over 32 ounces of Michelob ULTRA, preferably in under a minute, Travis said she and her roommate have been consistently chugging a pitcher of water to both mentally and physically prepare for the occasion.
“This probably isn’t even going to help us, I’m not sure why we’re doing it,” Travis said. “But I like to think that it’s working even if I know it won’t matter in the long run.”
With high expectations of completing the tradition, Travis said she’s looking forward to seeing how her dunk will play out.
“I feel like I’m going to do really well and I’m also dunking with my roommates so I think they’re going to do really well also,” Travis said. “I think it’s going to be really cool to see how each of us think it’s going to go and then see how it actually turns out. Or if we’re just going to end up pouring beer all over each other or over ourselves.”