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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

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Prospective Yell Leaders voice why they should be new faces of A&M

Senior+Yell+candidate+Kipp+Knecht+speaks+during+the+yell+leader+debate+on+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+22%2C+2022.
Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior Yell candidate Kipp Knecht speaks during the yell leader debate on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.

Students gathered in the Memorial Student Center’s Flag Room to listen as Yell Leader candidates worked to win over voters in lieu of this week’s student elections.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, 10 prospective Yell Leader candidates attended a debate hosted by the Texas A&M Student Government Association, or SGA. The 10 candidates were represented by two different parties, 5 for Yell and Ag 5 Yell. 5 for Yell is made up of five candidates who represent the Corps of Cadets, while Ag 5 Yell is composed of non-Corps members. Although this is the fourth annual Yell Leader Debate, it is only the third debate attended by 5 for Yell.
The debate opened with each candidate answering what motivated them to run for a Yell Leader position.
Zac Cross, a construction science junior and current Yell Leader, said he came to A&M not knowing anything about Aggie tradition.
“Being in the Corps, I really got to experience them all, Silver Taps, Muster [and] Bonfire,” Cross said. “There’s generation after generation of Aggies here that have come in knowing all these things … I want to give back to a kid just like me [who did not come in knowing the traditions].”
Petroleum engineering junior and Ag 5 Yell member Michael Mubarak said if elected as Yell Leader, he will act under the assumption that every interaction he has with someone is their first and last interaction with A&M.
“I want to assume that they are never again going to hear about the 12th Man, and I want them to look at us as Yell Leaders and think, ‘Wow, there is something different about Texas A&M,’” Mubarak said.
Communication senior and 5 for Yell candidate Nathan Drain said coming from a long line of Aggies, but being a first-generation member of the Corps, motivated him to run.
“I’m a third-generation Aggie, so that’s been a big part of my life, but the big thing for me is none of my family was in the Corps and I was able to find out why I love Texas A&M, not why my family did,” Drain said.
Computer science and mathematics junior and Ag 5 Yell representative Andrew Plant said he’s always looked for a way to serve.
“Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve been searching for the opportunity to give back to this university,” Plant said. “I just want to really emphasize tradition here because it is what brings all Aggies together.”
Kipp Knecht, an industrial engineering junior and current Yell Leader, said seeing the Yell Leaders during his New Student Conference motivated him to one day hold that same position.
“I thought that would be a really cool position to give back to those kids who felt like I did in their shoes during their New Student Conference,” Knecht said. “I never thought I’d be in these shoes, but here I am and it’s been an opportunity and a blessing to serve in this role.”
Despite A&M’s student population, everyone feels like they’re part of a family, mechanical engineering junior and Ag 5 Yell candidate Parker Wagner said.
“The Aggie family is real,” Wagner said. “On my tours I give to prospective students, no matter where they’re from, no matter what their hobbies are, no matter what their passion is, they feel welcome at Texas A&M.”
Philosophy senior and 5 for Yell candidate Thomas Greve said Yell Leaders unite the Spirit of Aggieland.
“Yell Leaders are representatives and leaders of the university through the spirit, and they have such a unique ability to take a 70,000+ school and make a united front. That’s incredible,” Greve said. “I want to be one of those five guys who can unite such a powerful group.”
Ryan Jablon, an industrial engineering sophomore and Ag 5 Yell candidate, said his defining moment as an Aggie was when he was in the third grade.
“I went to my first Aggie Muster, I stood for Day Gray Class of [19]41,” Jablon said. “I’d never met that man, yet I called ‘Here’ for him, and that’s the Aggie Spirit I want to embody everyday.”
Yell Leaders are what makes A&M feel like home, construction science sophomore and 5 for Yell member Trevor Yelton said.
“You can look at these Yell Leaders and feel like you’re wanted,” Yelton said. “After my first football game when I first came here … I saw those Yell Leaders and that’s what really motivated me to run for Yell.”
Agricultural economics sophomore and Ag 5 Yell candidate Blake Schur said growing up in Aggie culture has meant a lot to him.
“This is why I want to be on a platform to impact people as much as I can and just make people smile,” Schur said.
Voting for Yell Leaders will open on Thursday, March 3 at 9 a.m. on vote.tamu.edu, and will close on Friday, March 4 at 12 p.m. Results will be announced at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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