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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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Over 8,000 prospective students to attend Aggieland Saturday

‘Fall in love with different aspects of campus’
The+Academic+Building+on+Thursday%2C+July+27%2C+2023.
Kyle Heise
The Academic Building on Thursday, July 27, 2023.

Texas A&M is opening its doors to thousands of visitors for its largest annual open house event.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aggieland Saturday will offer a wide range of informational presentations, tours and live performances, providing attendees and their families a glimpse of the culture at A&M. Hosted by A&M Visitor Center, the event will be self-guided and free to the public.

Director of Visitor Experience at A&M Kelli Hollinger said this event gives more opportunities to see things not normally offered on a day-to-day basis.  

Online registration and the guidebook app will be mandatory for check-in and will also show times for all activities.

“It will make it easy for prospective students and families to sort through the hundreds of events, demonstrations, resource tables and performances,” Hollinger said. “They can [put] together what will make a great day for them.” 

In a first for 2024, President Mark A. Welsh III will start the kick-off to this event, Hollinger said, along with Student Body President Andrew Applewhite and the Yell Leaders.

“You can think of the tone as a pep rally and the opportunity to engage with A&M’s traditions and values,” Hollinger said. 

For the first time at Aggieland Saturday, there will be a student marketplace hosted by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, located in its parking lot on West campus. Free parking is available in Fan Field across the road. The Bush School bus, route No. 5, will offer free transportation for all the vendors. 

Communications Manager for McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship Lara Robertson said the vendors are open to anyone, whether or not they are participating in Aggieland Saturday.

“One of the unique things is every vendor at [the] student marketplace is an A&M student running a side business,” Robertson said. “This year we are excited to have 34 student vendors and it is everything from artisan crafts, sweet treats and products they service.”

Academic departments, The Association of Former Students, Destination Bryan and the Corps of Cadets are some of the many organizations contributing to the event, public service and administration graduate and Howdy Crew captain Lisa Cantu said.

“The Corps of Cadets will be stationed at different ports on campus, and they will be having a ‘Ask me’ sign,” Cantu said. “Leaning on the different collaborations with the Corps of Cadets helps us have more manpower throughout campus and help visitors get a positive experience even when they are arriving on campus.”

On the other hand, Cantu said the Howdy Crew,  a greeting committee, partakes in different roles — answering phone calls, responding to emails, marketing, giving customer service and guiding tours. 

“As far as the campus tours, the Howdy Crew makes the backbone of the experience, [since] they get to know each visitor as they are doing their tour,” Cantu said. 

Tours will start every 10 minutes and conclude at 2 p.m. Due to the event’s size, Cantu said Howdy Crew members are required to work Aggieland Saturday and split into morning or afternoon blocks. 

“We currently have about 100 tour guides on our Howdy Crew and they will give as many as possible tours in an individual block,” Cantu said. 

The organizers of Aggieland Saturday evaluate each previous event to improve for the next to maximize the benefits, Hollinger said. 

“Preparation for Aggieland Saturday is a year in the making,” Hollinger said. “We want it to be a success for academic colleges, campus resources, campus partners and Destination Bryan, and we have many stakeholders that contribute.”

Cantu said her laser focus on ensuring the event is successful comes from her desire to ensure visitors fully experience A&M.

“What I am most excited about is having prospective students see the magic of Aggieland and have them fall in love with different aspects of campus,” Cantu said.

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About the Contributor
Ashley Acuna, Senior News Reporter
Ashley Acuna is a communication senior from San Antonio, Texas. Acuna joined The Battalion in June 2023 and now serves as a senior news reporter.
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