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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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President Young to speak at Elephant Walk

As upperclassmen stop and smell the roses at their favorite spots on campus during the Elephant and E-Walk traditions Friday, they’ll hear from speakers such as A&M president Michael Young.
Coordinated by Class Councils, Elephant Walk and E-Walk will consist of juniors and seniors following designated paths around campus as they reflect on their time at Texas A&M University.
Elephant Walk’s roots go back to 1922, when two freshman Aggie Band members began marching around campus, playing a sad tune after a lost home football game. Eventually many other Aggies began following them, developing a long line.
In 1926, the senior class decided to have one final walk through campus in the same fashion — one after the other with one hand on the shoulder in front. Spectators mentioned that they looked like elephants walking around before they die, and thus the Elephant Walk began.
Albert Saenz, the director of Elephant Walk and communication junior, said the tradition of E-Walk is much younger. The junior classes began harassing the “dying” seniors, which lead to their own walk in 1992.
“The juniors would hide in bushes and they would shoot them with water guns to help them ‘die’ faster,” Saenz said. “They would just harass them and it got to the point to where it got very, very dangerous. They would throw them in the fountain and stuff.”
Organizers decided to break up the two walks in order to “distract the juniors,” Saenz said.
Saenz said this year’s walk, like those before it, helps create memories for the students.
“We have a lot more students graduating early than we did in years past, so essentially for some of these students this will be their last walk across Aggieland, for the ones graduating in December,” Saenz said. “So we’re really trying to spark those last memories so they can really take in all that they’ve experienced here at Texas A&M University.”
Saenz said this year’s Elephant Walk and E-Walk will include a series of stops featuring a variety of speakers and events, including keynote speaker A&M president Michael Young.
Saenz said President Young will add a special quality to the tradition.
“It’s very exciting, especially because of his new role as president,” Saenz said. “He has been here for less than a year, but this his chance to get involved with the tradition and to help us keep that Aggie Spirit alive and to preserve tradition.”
Besides President Young, the walks will also feature Student Body President Joseph Benigno and Frank Cox, former head yell leader and Class of 1965 graduate.
As the years change, so do the t-shirts associated with the tradition. David Novinski, senior construction science major and member of Class Councils, said the shirts will cost $10 with a $12 long-sleeve shirt option for juniors. All proceeds from the shirts will go towards each class’ gift.
“If you want to wear it to Elephant Walk, it’s encouraged. It’s kind of like the Maroon Out shirt you get to keep every year,” Novinski said.
Matt Hidalgo, biology senior and 2016 class president, said it’s easy for students to get caught up with work and school and that it’s important for students to reflect on their time at Texas A&M.
“A lot of the time you’re going from meeting to meeting or from test to test and this is the time to really appreciate what Texas A&M has given to you because a year from now … we’re not going to be around,” Hidalgo said.
Stepoff for the walks will be at 8:16 p.m. for the seniors and 8:17 p.m. for the juniors.

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