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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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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Let it

As more than 3,200 Aggies receive their rings Friday, Northgate will be filled with the sounds of clanks and thuds as shiny new rings sink to the bottom of mugs, and mugs slam down against bars.
The unofficial tradition of ring dunking has become a popular way for students to commemorate the day they receive their Aggie Ring.
“It’s pretty exciting, a lot of people come out early on, as soon as they get their rings,” said Kenneth Blake, general manager of the Dixie Chicken. “We sell them a lot of mugs, fill them with beer and let them go have fun. We are there all day long.”
Blake said the tradition, as Aggies know it, started in the late 1980s at the Dixie Chicken when two Corps of Cadets members who had just received their rings were celebrating by ordering a pitcher of beer. One of the Corps members accidentally dropped the ring in the pitcher and his buddy told him he had to drink the whole pitcher before he could get his ring back. That is exactly what he did.
“From there it started everyone deciding that it would be fun to drop their ring in a pitcher of beer and drink it,” Blake said. “Although we keep an eye on people and make sure there is no over-consumption.”
Ring dunking is not an official Aggie Tradition, and Traditions Council does not carry any information on it or plan to. However, thousands of Aggies participate in the unofficial tradition every Ring Day.
Although ring dunking began with chugging a pitcher of beer, laws prohibit drinking out of a pitcher or anything more than 32 ounces, which amounts to three beers.
Alcohol was banned at the Northgate Promenade in March 2005, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission prevents bars from selling pitchers of beer for single consumption. Therefore, Bryan-College Station bars are only allowed to serve pitchers if they are shown two drinking-age IDs.
The Dixie Chicken and other Northgate bars sell 32-ounce pitchers for dunking. Some students prefer to gather friends and family and dunk their rings at someone’s home.
Krista Wills, a junior chemical engineering major, plans to dunk her ring surrounded by family and friends at a house party.
“I’m getting together with a group of friends and we are dunking in beer, even though I don’t like beer,” Wills said.
Many students who do not want to use alcohol have used a variety of resources to keep to the tradition. Alternatives from ice cream sundaes to Freebird’s burritos have been used.
“Alcohol is prohibited in Islam and being a Muslim, I feel I have a duty to uphold this,” said junior electrical engineering major Shafeeq Shajudeen. “Although getting the Aggie Ring is a great honor and I would like to preserve this. A safe alternative, I feel, would be to dunk my ring in apple juice.”
Ring dunking is discouraged by the Association of Former Students, who distributes the Aggie Rings.
“The achievement represented in earning the Aggie Ring is certainly a milestone to be commemorated,” said Kathryn Greenwade, Class of 1988, vice president?of the Association.
She said the Association encourages Aggies to choose a method of celebration that involves friends, is memorable and, most importantly, safe to all involved. She said students should be aware that ring dunking is not an age-old tradition, but a practice that began as recently as the 1980s.
“We hope each Aggie who receives their ring Friday will find a celebration that suits their values,” she said, “and ensures they’ll have the opportunity to proudly wear their Ring until it’s worn smooth from a life well-lived.”

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