Pass it back, grads
Grad students to open wildcat competition
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 00:09
From learning the freshman wildcat at Fish Camp to taking part in Pull-Out Day and getting to “Whoop” for the first time, the four wildcat cheers are a large part of the undergraduate A&M experience. Texas A&M may soon, however, have a fifth wildcat added to that list.
Ryan Beemer, head of the marketing committee for the Texas A&M Graduate Student Council and civil engineering graduate student, came up with the idea for a graduate student wildcat and started the process of making this idea a reality.
Beemer said there are three things that truly show you are an Aggie: wearing the Aggie Ring, cheering on the Aggie football team and doing your Aggie wildcat. Whereas graduate students get to take part in the traditions of the Aggie Ring and go to football games, they have had to make do with using the senior wildcat as their own. Beemer said they are ready now to have a personalized graduate student wildcat.
“I’ve been asked why now is a good time for this,” Beemer said. “It’s been 115 years [of having graduate students attend A&M]. We make up nearly a quarter of the overall student population at Texas A&M Universitym — why not now? We really look forward to the opportunity to try to bring graduate students more into the Aggie Spirit.”
A YouTube video competition will be held to decide the new wildcat. Graduate students wishing to share a potential wildcat will be able to send in a video of themselves performing the potential wildcats to a single YouTube account.
Brittany Bounds, president of the Graduate Student Council and history graduate student, said the idea of a new wildcat for graduate students has gained the support of Student Body President Reid Joseph, along with Head Yell Leader Ryan Crawford and the Traditions Council.
“What we had envisioned was to get together a council of the members who are on board [for the new wildcat], members who represent various classes on campus and organizations, such as the people from Traditions Council, some yell leaders and the Student Body President, Reid Joseph,” Bounds said. “We will have them screen all the videos sent in and then send forth to the graduate students the top three, so that the [Graduate Student] Council could vote on which one we will use.”
The legislation to carry out with this competition and the establishment of a new graduate student wildcat was passed Tuesday at the Graduate Student Council meeting with a vote of 22 for, 15 against and 6 abstentions.
While the legislation passed, some graduate students on the council were not sure making a new wildcat would be the best way to establish their group at Texas A&M.
Lauren Garcia, horticulture graduate student, said the wildcat tradition’s story was rooted in A&M’s rich military history, and she wasn’t sure they should be trying to impose on the customary story, which Beemer has said will possibly be revised to fit the new wildcat.
“I think that by adding on a graduate student wildcat to that tradition, a tradition that already exists, it’s trying to infringe upon something that already exists and is already very well accepted [how it is],” Garcia said. “Instead of looking at something to add to that tradition, which is already established, I think as graduate students we should create our identity elsewhere, perhaps in a new tradition.”
However most graduate students at Tuesday’s meeting met the proposition for the new Aggie wildcat enthusiastically, with a notable number of Aggie undergrad-turned-graduate students joining in the enthusiasm.
John Goertz, ocean and coastal engineering graduate student, said having a class wildcat means having an Aggie identity and this will help Aggie graduate students feel better identified with the University.
“It’s not a tradition because of where it came from, because of the original story behind it,” Goertz said. “It’s a tradition because people still do it. It’s a tradition because we are an Aggie family and we do that together.”
The details of the competition are still under development, but Beemer said now is the time to get graduate students more involved in Aggie traditions.
“Traditionally, grad students have used the senior wildcat but I’ve heard from undergrads that we didn’t earn it,” Beemer said. “We hear ‘Oh, graduate students aren’t real Aggies,’ because we don’t seem as involved in the traditions, but I was hoping now we can get involved in them and show what a big part of the Aggie family we are.”