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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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Bonfire preps for First Cut

First+cut
Photo by Dion C. McInnis
First cut

Scores of Aggies will gather at an off-campus location in Hearne Sunday to begin on a two-and-a-half-month Bonfire season.
First Cut is Student Bonfire’s kickoff for the season, marking the beginning of cut season, which leads to Stack season and ultimately to Burn Night, the ignition of Bonfire. During First Cut, Aggies congregate at a different off-campus location each year to chop down trees that will be used to construct the Stack. Bonfire will burn the Tuesday or Wednesday before the Thanksgiving football game.
From First Cut until mid- November, Student Bonfire will cut and stack 32, 25, 20, 15 and 10-foot logs from around the area to use for Burn Night.
When Senior Redpot Sid Wegert begins his fourth First Cut Sunday, he will continue a sacred tradition of Bonfire with the names of the Head Stack leaders who came before him on his helmet, or “pot.” 
“From what I have been told, the first name on [the pot] is B. Smith Class of ‘71, and it is my understanding that this is a pot that has been passed down ever since that first name in 1971,” Wegert said. “There is not much room left. Each year it gets smaller and smaller font.”
Lexi Brandt, Legett Hall chair and landscape architecture sophomore, said one of the most satisfying sounds during First Cut is when a tree cracks and falls.
“Your ‘first kill’ is the first tree you swing in and where you’re the one that hits it last and it cracks and breaks,” Brandt said. “I have a piece from [my first kill] and I kept a wood chip from the dorm log.”
Senior Redpot Donny Olmos said the common goal of building the Bonfire will transcend time through the friendships made.  
“The most rewarding part is being able to call on these friends no matter how long it’s been and just pick up like you had seen them yesterday,” Olmos said. “A bunch of these guys I will be friends with for the rest of my life, and it is such a different type of person who will volunteer their weekends to go cut down trees and spend endless hours at night for Stack.”
The process and months of hard work and dedication are what make Burn Night worthwhile, Brandt said. 
“So many people ask me why you do this and you’re like because I can,” Brandt said. “When I watch it burn, I think, ‘I put all this time and effort for this one moment, and it was worth it.’”

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