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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies lead future Aggies

Photo courtesy of Julia Taylor

Sophomore Clayton Hargrove and junior Jelisha Perera perform a skit for high school seniors with junior Logan Roberts narrating on Nov. 17, 2023 in the MSC Bethancourt room for the Seniors Experiencing Aggie Life conference.

The Aggie Recruitment Committee, or ARC, provided over 130 high school seniors mock lectures, a walk through the football tunnel, campus tours and a yell practice from Nov. 17-19.

ARC hosted an annual conference for high school seniors to experience life as an Aggie. The Seniors Experiencing Aggie Life, or SEAL, conference had seniors attending events and meeting prevalent figures, including athletes, Reveille and former astronaut Col. Michael Fossum.

Eighteen-year-old high school senior Devin Gold said it was interesting to observe the importance of the organizations at A&M.

“It was cool to see college students being put in those situations where they can handle tough [scenarios] … and see how they were able to manage crises,” Gold said.

Communication senior Reed Garbs, who oversaw the finances and meals for the conference,  said it was an honor to host the conference and showcase Texas A&M’s traditions and core values.

“I am mostly proud about being able to share what I love about the university with so many high school students, who either don’t know anything about college or A&M,” Garbs said.

Gold said she was thrilled about attending SEAL because both of her parents are Aggies. She said she enjoyed experiencing what it’s like being an Aggie from a student’s perspective.

“It was my first time going to a football game and midnight yell, and it was a lot of fun to experience that side aspect of Aggie culture,” Gold said. “The academic side was also super fulfilling and interactive.”

Electrical engineering sophomore Chase Grochett, responsible for scheduling mock lectures, said he contacted different colleges based on the participant’s preferred major. He then narrowed down the professors who were engaging, so the short lessons would be interesting for the seniors, Grochett said.

“Students could have a realistic experience of what it is like as a college student,” Grochett said. “It also gave students a great intro of what it’s like in a lecture and [allow] them to have a leg up before they get here.”

Biomedical engineering junior Emily Nelson planned the social events for SEAL and said the conference was beneficial for high schoolers because it provided additional opportunities, like networking.

“[The participants] got to make some friends, ask questions, figure some things out about campus and drink some of the Kool-Aid,” Nelson said. “If they decide to [go to] A&M, then they automatically have friends if they need a support system.”

ARC’s dinner reservation was canceled on the first day of the conference, requiring organizers to find a caterer for 180 individuals. Garbs who oversaw the finances and meals for the conference, said it was the teamwork and communication they had and the other leadership that helped tackle the problem.

“[Having] the passion to provide for these kids and put on a good conference all meshed together to help me come to a decision faster,” Garbs said.

The 2023 SEAL conference director, Claire James, planned the event, deciding on a Taylor Swift theme. Sociology senior Demi Dugas, last semester’s conference director, said it is a stressful job to work because of the planning involved — including activities, transportation, food, hotel rooms and guest speakers

“It was stressful — but also beneficial — because you have other people to help you with everything you need help with, so I was able to delegate the work,” Dugas said. “Having everything prepared for one whole weekend was a lot, but I learned professional skills along the way.”

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