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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Burn 2004

 
 

A rain-soaked and mud-covered crowd of 7,000 Aggies gathered Saturday night for the third annual off-campus bonfire burn, watching as the flames struggled to engulf the 45-foot stack of drenched logs. After more than half an hour of uncertainty over whether the bonfire would burn, the flames made their way to the top of the stack, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
Barry Bateman, Class of 1965, has been to all of the off-campus bonfires and said he can’t remember how many of the on-campus Bonfires he experienced.
“The thing about Bonfire isn’t the burning, it’s the building,” he said. “Which is good since it’s not burning too great right now.”
Kendale Young, a sophomore poultry science major and black pot – a rank given to students who have been a crew chief the previous year – said about 1,000 participants helped build this year’s off-campus bonfire. Of those workers, Young said, about 250 worked at almost every opportunity, while others only worked a few times.
First-time bonfire worker Amanda Lampton, a senior aerospace engineering major, said building an off-campus bonfire brought her new friends and a renewed sense of pride.
“It’s not just about burning Bonfire or beating the hell outta’ t.u., it’s about making friends that are going to last forever,” she said.
Lampton said the mud at the rural Bryan burn site – which at some places on the field was as deep as a foot – also made the night memorable.
“The mud is great, it’s one more challenge,” she said. “It’s a little dangerous, (but) the only really bad thing is maybe it’s a deterrent for people coming out here.”
Matthew Maddox, Class of 2004, was one of the original organizers of off-campus bonfire in 2002. He said the financial burden of off-campus bonfire, which is financed entirely by the participants, was another concern.
“It’s expensive for students to run up their credit cards,” he said. “Bonfire should never come down to the money.”
With the Bonfire Memorial dedication just two days earlier, many students present at off-campus bonfire had mixed feelings about Bonfire returning to campus.
Senior construction science major Chris Hammonds said he had thought until recently that there was no chance of Bonfire coming back to campus.
“I went to the memorial dedication and I was really impressed with how pro-Bonfire it was; it seems like there is at least a possibility (of Bonfire burning on campus),” he said.
Junior electrical engineering major Andrew Arnold worked on off-campus bonfire the past two years and said he has reservations about an on-campus Bonfire returning.
“I’ve heard that the administration wants to bring it back with no student cut,” he said. “The whole point of Bonfire is to have students building it and working on it – otherwise it’s just a pep rally with a campfire.”
Maddox said it was rewarding to know that off-campus bonfire is growing in popularity.
“It’s a really good feeling to know that it wasn’t just a one-time shot, but that (off-campus bonfire) caught on and keeps going,” he said. “It wasn’t about the people who were here at the time to start Bonfire up again, it’s about the spirit that doesn’t die and will always be a part of A&M.”

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