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Candidates speak at the Yell Leader Panel

Yell+Leader+Candidates+Grayson+Poage%2C+Ethan+Davis+and+Jake+Carter+answer+questions+during+a+debate+in+the+MSC+Flag+Room+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+23%2C+2023.
Photo by Ebba Turi

Yell Leader Candidates Grayson Poage, Ethan Davis and Jake Carter answer questions during a debate in the MSC Flag Room on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

Three of the seven Texas A&M 2023-2024 Yell Leader candidates gathered and spoke at the Yell Leader Panel for the upcoming Spring student election.

On Thursday, Feb. 24, the event was held in the Memorial Student Center Flag Room from 6:45-7:30 p.m., but the event only lasted 15 minutes due to multiple candidate absences. The event was hosted by the Student Government Association Election Commission. The agenda consisted of opening statements, answering questions and closing remarks.

The questioning period began following each candidate’s opening statements. Each of the candidates were asked four same questions:

  • What inspired you to run for yell leader, and what do you hope to accomplish if you are elected?

  • How do you plan to address concerns about diversity and inclusion at A&M, particularly in regard to underrepresented groups on campus, and what steps would you take to ensure that all students feel welcomed and valued at the university?

  • What do you think is the most effective way to promote school spirit and community at A&M, and how do you plan to implement this approach as a Yell Leader?

  • How do you plan to work with other student organizations and leaders on campus to ensure that all students feel connected and engaged with the A&M community, and what specific measures would you take to foster this sense of community?

Senior Yell Leader candidates

Political science junior Ethan Davis is from Versailles, Ohio and is a member of the Corps of Cadets in company D-2. Davis is running for senior Yell Leader with 5 for Yell.

After attending his first Aggie football game, Davis said he felt at home and a sense of belonging. If elected, Davis said he wants to give every Aggie on campus the same feeling. Davis said Yell Leaders should make every Aggie feel welcomed. Davis said every interaction he has with Aggies would be intentional to make them feel special and a part of the 12th Man.

“Yell leaders talk to a million different organizations across campus, and with that, we have the ability to go and talk with other people and make sure that they know the different traditions …,” Davis said. “With that, make sure everyone feels at home and like they have a place.”

During his closing statement, Davis said, if elected, he wants to make everyone at A&M feel welcomed like he was at his first football game.

Philosophy junior Thomas Greve and construction science junior Trevor Yelton are both currently junior Yell Leaders, and  were both absent from the event due to an ongoing women’s basketball game. Both are campaigning with 5 for Yell.

Also absent from the event were independent senior Yell Leader candidates accounting junior Andres Aguilera and electronic systems engineering technology junior Henry Waggoner.

Junior Yell Leader candidates

Civil engineering sophomore Grayson Poage is from Marble Falls and is a member of the Corps of Cadets in company E-2. Poage is running for junior Yell Leader with 5 for Yell.

Poage said he grew up as an Aggie and seeing Yell Leaders while attending football games made him aspire to be one. Poage currently serves as Reveille X’s handler, and he said the natural next step would be to serve as Yell Leader.

If elected, Poage hopes to show every Aggie they have a home here. Poage said he firmly believes, regardless of students’ background, all students are united under the Aggie Spirit and the spirit of the 12th Man. Poage said everyone has a place in the Spirit of Aggieland, no matter who they are. Poage said it’s important to build a relationship with other people to get them to follow you. Although he  won’t be able to meet everyone on campus, Poage said he would show his spirit with every person he can meet. Poage said he would accept every interaction humbly and make Aggies feel like they’re cared for and welcome.

“As a Yell Leader, that’s part of the job description, but I will cherish every moment of that, really take that to heart and not take any moment for granted,” Poage said. “I would get to go in front of people and meet them, and in turn, make an impact on them. Being able to do that would be the honor and privilege of a lifetime.”

During his closing statement, Poage said he felt honored and humble to be at the event. Growing up, the thought of being a Yell Leader was always in the back of his mind, but he never knew it was possible.

Finance sophomore Jake Carter is from San Antonio and is a member of the Corps of Cadets in company E-1. Carter is running for junior Yell Leader with 5 for Yell.

Carter is a first-generation Aggie, since his father and sister went to the University of Texas. After the loss of his father in 2020, Carter began reflecting on his own life to be intentional, make relationships and provide humble service, which inspired him to run for Yell Leader.

If elected, he hopes to ensure every Aggie knows they are welcomed. Carter wants to be at A&M because the traditions and community make it what it is. As a Yell Leader, Carter said it would be his responsibility to be respectful and foster the Aggie Spirit. Carter said A&M is built on tradition; as a Yell Leader, he would continue honoring the traditions, such as Midnight Yell, Silver Taps and Muster, that set apart A&M from any other university in the nation while fostering unity and school spirit.

“As Yell Leaders, there are so many events that we can speak to, whether it be leading the yells [or] telling [people] the traditions and history of A&M,” Carter said. “Those people have to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves … It’s just a privilege that we lead them in that area.”

During his closing statement, Carter said he was excited for this opportunity, and if elected, he promises to cherish every moment and spread the Aggie Spirit.

Students can vote online at vote.tamu.edu from March 2 at 9 a.m. to March 3 at 12 p.m. Unofficial results will be announced no earlier than 7 p.m. on March 3 at the 12th Man statue.

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About the Contributor
Ana Renfroe
Ana Renfroe, Head News Editor
Ana Renfroe, Class of 2025, is a journalism junior with a minor in professional writing from Bryan, Texas. Ana has served as The Battalion's head news editor from May 2023 to May 2024. Previously, she was the assistant news editor for the spring 2023 semester. Ana has covered breaking news, politics, and more. She typically covered the Texas A&M System and university administration, Texas and Bryan-College Station politics, student government and more. Ana previously hosted and produced episodes of The Batt Signal, The Battalion's news podcast. Additionally, she was a copyeditor and feature writer for Maroon Life magazine, and helped contribute to the Aggieland Yearbook.
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