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

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
Advertisement
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
Advertisement
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Advertisement
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
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Keep off the grass: MSC Traditions

When the Memorial Student Center reopens April 21, the building and its traditions will be uncharted territory for many Aggies. Those students will quickly become acquainted with a loud and important command: “GET OFF THE GRASS!”
The grass that surrounds the MSC is considered one of its most important legacies. It is a living memorial dedicated to all Aggies, past or future, who have given or will give their lives in wartime. In order to respect the 955 Aggie soldiers killed in the line of duty, A&M tradition prohibits all Aggies from stepping on the grass that surrounds the building.
Following the closing of the MSC, a three-by-five foot section of the memorial grass was removed from the northeast corner of the lawn and transferred to the Bonfire Memorial where it will remain a symbolic reminder to students that the old grass will always be a part of Texas A&M University.
With the reopening just around the corner, students who only had a short-lived experience with the building are both looking forward and looking back. Brian McDonald, senior history major and Residence Hall Association president, fondly remembers his short time with the memorial grass.
“Although the MSC has been closed for much of my A&M career and the grass gone, I still remember that special turf,” McDonald said. “I remember the loud shouts of ‘Get off the grass!’ anytime anyone thought it was a good idea to venture off of the paved path. And I distinctly remember being deathly afraid to step on any grass anywhere my freshman year, fearing that I might get yelled at.”
The grass will again become off-limits with the reopening, and a formal ceremony to officially memorialize the grass is tentatively set to take place in the days following . The old grass, however, which was St. Augustine, will now be replaced with a different type known as Zoysia grass.
Luke Altendorf, MSC complex director, explained the significance of the ceremony and change of grass.
“When the ceremony takes place, what we’re intending to say is that the grass is back and once again is sacred ground,” Altendorf said. “And as for the grass change, we decided to switch to this type because it’s far more environmentally friendly and takes up much less water.”
As McDonald remembered, students who dared venture on the grass prior to the MSC’s closing were frequently treated to a verbal assault from fellow
Aggies. But Jonathan Callaway, Class of 2008, remembers some students who walked onto the grass were treated to even harsher punishments.
“It was really great to have a tradition like the grass that everyone knows and respects,” Callaway said. “Multiple times when I was walking by the MSC, I saw kids get tackled for walking on the grass. That’s how much people cared.”
Students who will be newly introduced to the MSC are also looking forward to the return of MSC traditions. Madalyn Caraway, freshman Blinn team, is a third-generation Aggie whose father explained to her the importance of the MSC and the memorial grass.
“I remember he once told me that the grass was the most well-kept-up part of the campus,” Caraway said. “Being around it just made you feel like part of a big legacy, greater than yourself. I’m really excited to get to experience that.”
Taryn Tipton, executive chair of the Traditions Council, also said she was filled with excitement at the prospect of one A&M’s longest and most cherished memorials returning.
“Since Muster Day in 1951 the grass has been with us as a reminder of the heroic sacrifice Aggies have made to keep fellow students safe,” Tipton said. “When you walk by it everyday, it may seem unimportant. But when you stop for a second to think about what it means, it’s one of the most significant tributes we have on our campus.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *