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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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Breaking barriers at a branch campus


Vivian Guilfoyle is running for junior yell leader at Texas A&M Galveston.

For the first time in four years, students at Texas A&M Galveston can cast their vote for a female yell leader, as two women have entered the race.
The Aggie yell leader tradition made its way to Galveston in 1993, and the campus maintains a group of three junior yell leaders and two senior yell leaders. There has been one female yell leader in the school’s history, Aj English, who served as a junior yell leader for the 2005-2006 school year. This year, marine biology license option sophomore Beth Trumm and Vivian Guilfoyle, a marine biology and marine fisheries sophomore are both running for the position of junior yell.
Guilfoyle said she was inspired by marine biology and marine fisheries senior Joshua Porter’s service to campus during his time as senior yell leader. Additionally, she said being far away from home as an out-of-state student was frightening, but she immersed herself in university traditions after her experience at Salt Camp, the Galveston version of Fish Camp.
“I’m from Minnesota, so A&M had to be everything for me or I had no other option to move back cross country,” Guilfoyle said. “During Salt Camp I got super invested in all the traditions and JP really kind of took me under his wing.”
Even though there are currently seven students competing for the three junior yell spots, Guilfoyle said they have all been supportive of each other throughout the election process.
“It’s been an amazing experience for me,” Guilfoyle said. “Especially given the fact that a lot of people on our campus have become a lot more accepting about women running for yell.”
Trumm, academic officer of the Corps of Midshipmen Maritime Academy Charlie-2, said she was inspired by Jack Clark, marine transportation senior and yell leader. Clark was also Trumm’s commanding officer in Delta-2 when she was a freshman.
“I’ve had a lot of support from my peers, the other females in the Corps, because just being in the Corps as a female we’re a severe minority, especially in Galveston,” Trumm said. “My freshman year, I was on the first set of females to be in our company, so it was me and three other females in our company freshman year. We were the only freshman females and it was really intimidating.”
Both Guilfoyle and Trumm said they have faced people who do not think that women should be yell leaders. Guilfoyle was told directly when she was getting her petition to run signed, while Trumm has had posters torn down from dorm advertising boards.
Porter said he believes that anyone can be a yell leader as long as they are prepared and able to be a vessel of the Aggie spirit.
“While it’s predominantly been a male position, to me it’s not about who you are, it’s about your heart for the university and your willingness to serve and help spread the Aggie Spirit,” Porter said. “That’s my perspective on it. If you care about the campus and you have the enthusiasm and you have the red-assery, you’ve got all you need.”
Porter said he and fellow yell leaders have been working hard to build the program on campus and he is excited to see how the next yell leaders carry everything on.
“I am fully confident in these capable candidates that we have,” Porter said. “I am ready and excited to pass the baton off.”

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  • Beth Trumm is running for junior yell leader at Texas A&M Galveston.

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