As this year’s campus Muster draws near, hundreds of students will prepare to represent Texas A&M to the families of honorees as Muster hosts.
Hundreds of Aggies are honored at the Campus Muster on April 21 after their deaths in the past year, and hosts make sure their family’s every need is met before and throughout the ceremony. Students interested in applying must attend a host informational, the final two of which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday.
Muster media coordinator Ali Martinez said hosts act as liaisons to welcome families that may not be as familiar with Aggie traditions as current and former students.
“A lot of the time the families who are honored may not necessarily be Aggies themselves, like their loved ones that are Aggies, so it’s a way to help welcome them into the Aggie family and to understand the importance of why we do Muster and help them know that they’re a part of the Aggie family too,” Martinez said.
Electrical engineering senior Madeline Kinnaird has served as a host before and said it is the hosts’ job to represent Texas A&M to the families of those being remembered.
“Muster hosts are the face ofTexas A&M to the families on the night of Muster,” Kinnaird said. “So it’s just so important to have great hosts to understand Texas A&M at its core and understand Muster, so that they can express the Aggie family to the people and families that we’re honoring.”
Josiah Bezet, Muster Committee chair, said the hosts will often simply act as a friend to their family in its time of mourning.
“For me, being a Host is sharing a smile with a family the night of Muster, and then just listening to them talk about whatever they want, which is usually the life of the person they are honoring that night,” Bezet said.
Bezet said he overcame uneasiness during his first time as a host by realizing that he had to be the one to comfort his assigned family, rather than vice versa.
“When I was a Muster host, I was nervous that I would not do a good job,” Bezet said. “Then I realized that my family was about to honor their son who had died that summer. They were more nervous than I was — that gave me the confidence to walk them through Reed Arena and show them what to do during the Muster Ceremony and when to say, ‘here’ for their son.”
Hosts are assigned to families and help them find a seat, bring them water or tissues and act as their guide throughout the ceremony. Throughout the host process, students learn more about the family’s deceased loved ones and help comfort families in their time of grief. Martinez said the host program helps participants see A&M in a different light.
“Serving Muster is a very humbling experience just to realize that, yes this is a university we come to for academics but we leave with so much more than that — just a family of support and an awesome community in general,” Martinez said.
Any Texas A&M student is eligible to apply for a Muster host position after attending an informational and picking up an application. The last informationals take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Koldus 110 and at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Rudder 601.