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Leave a mark

Published: Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

Matt Woolbright

The Battalion

Matt Woolbright, 2010-2011 editor in chief

TEXAS A&M is a special place. It's filled with both incredible faculty and ambitious students, and its halls echo with traditions honored for decades. I want to tell you about one tradition with which I have fallen in love. Like many other things at Texas A&M, this tradition centers on service. However, unlike most traditions, it is 117 years old.

The Battalion was here before the Aggie Ring design we know and love, before the Ross Volunteers and even before Silver Taps, the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band and Yell Practice. The only tradition older is Muster. The Battalion is the student voice of Texas A&M University. And I am honored to serve as its editor-in-chief for fall 2010 and spring 2011.

I began writing for The Battalion before attending classes my freshman year, and I knew long before that I would be serving Aggies by reporting when I arrived in Aggieland. This will be my third year on staff, and I have learned so much. In the beginning, I did not realize the hard work that goes into making a single issue.

The Battalion staff devotes about 100 man hours a day to produce the paper. It is completely student-run and student-produced. We are the student voice and, as such, we want to know what you have to say. If you have a story idea, e-mail it in; if you have a suggestion or complaint, give us a call. We serve you. We need to hear from students to learn what happens in their lives.

That is my favorite part of the job. Every issue, a story reminds me of the uniqueness of A&M, its traditions and its students.

Consider the resolve and strength of those at the turn of the century when one of the greatest traditions of Aggieland became one of its greatest tragedies, the day Bonfire collapsed. Even though we lost 12 family members, we became stronger.

Two years later, we saw the patriotism and love for country inherent at A&M when Kyle Field became a symbol of American pride days after Sept. 11, 2001.

Fundraising for victims of the Virginia Tech shootings and Hurricane Ike relief are only two examples of the volunteer spirit prevalent at this university.

Take advantage of your time here. You've heard it a million times, but it's important. There are more than 800 student organizations at A&M, and I'm sure one of them matches your interests and passions. Maybe it's The Battalion.

Perhaps you love knowing what's going on at A&M and want to keep students informed. Or you relish the idea of improving your writing, photography or video skills. Maybe you want to share opinions with a column or podcast. Regardless, you will never be bored. Every day is different. If we have piqued your interest at all, shoot me an e-mail and we can sit down and talk.

Whether it's with The Battalion or another one of A&M's phenomenal groups, we want to encourage you. Make a mark on Aggieland while you are here, and then make a mark on the world when you leave. Your time here is so short, and we are fortunate to be here. There are thousands wishing they were in your shoes, but you have earned the right to be here. Make the most of it.

To contact Matt Woolbright, send him an e-mail at


500 hours a week in the fall and spring to produce the paper
350 hours a week in the summer to produce the paper
7,000 hours a semester in the fall and spring to produce content for the paper
3,500 hours a semester in the summer to produce content for the paper
17,500 hours annually
1,850 pages produced each year by students

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