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

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Same spirit, different campus

PROVIDED%0A%28From+left%29+Justin+Schwartz%2C+Bobby+Macko+and+Dylan+Mann+are+junior+yell+leaders+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+at+Galveston.
PROVIDED (From left) Justin Schwartz, Bobby Macko and Dylan Mann are junior yell leaders Texas A&M at Galveston.

In College Station, the yell leaders conduct Midnight Yell and keep the Aggie spirit burning during football games. Just a few hours to the south, another five men clad in white work to keep the Aggie flame alive in Galveston.
Seniors Jake Dumaine and Garrett Payne and juniors Justin Schwartz, Bobby Macko and Dylan Mann comprise the five yell leaders for Texas A&M University at Galveston.
“I think one of the main duties of a Galveston yell leader is we are the keepers of the spirit,” Macko said. “One of the main duties is we go around campus and we spread the Aggie spirit, we tell people to say ‘howdy,’ we go and we rub the anchor for good luck. We just keep the pep and the traditions flowing here on campus.”
While Galveston adheres to many of the same traditions as College Station, there are some variations. Midnight Yell is held on Thursday evening so students who want to can travel to College Station for Friday’s Midnight Yell and Saturday’s game.
One tradition unique to Galveston is the anchor, which students rub before exams for good luck. Only seniors can walk between the anchor and the anchor chain.
“We have all of the traditions that you have on main campus, the only difference is we have an anchor that commemorates the Texas Clipper, which was our first training ship,” Macko said. “We hold that tradition very dearly.”
The Galveston yell leaders will be recognized Friday night at Midnight Yell along with the Galveston Corps of Cadets, an event that Dumaine experienced last year.
“I went up to College Station last year for the Auburn midnight yell, and it was unbelievable,” Dumaine said. “It was amazing to see everyone be so appreciative that they respect us so well. We got down there, and when they introduced us they cheered us just like Aggies, and it was a great experience.”
Mann said the smaller size of the Galveston campus influences the way the yell leaders interact with the student body.
“[In College Station], I know I’ve heard from friends that have been there since freshman year, if they saw the yell leaders up there they’d be like seeing a unicorn,” Mann said. “It really doesn’t happen that often and is a big event when you do see them. It’s a lot of fun. Down here, there’s a much different dynamic between us and the rest of the campus. It’s a smaller campus and there are so many fewer people, it’s not so weird to see the same person on the same day, same class. You’re going to see just about all of campus every day walking around.”
Patrick McGinty, head yell leader in College Station, said the busy schedule the yell leaders at College Station keep helps them stay in touch with all areas of the student body.
“I still feel very connected with all parts of campus, and the reason being is that we are busy, and a lot of those events that we go to are different parts of campus that I would not be associating with if I didn’t have the opportunity to go and serve students in the capacity as yell leader and get to know them,” McGinty said.
All five of the College Station yell leaders are Corps of Cadets members, but only two of this year’s yell leaders, Swartz and Macko, are cadets. Macko said this is because the Corps population is much smaller.
“When [non-regs] run for yell, they are more likely to get it,” Macko said. “And it’s actually really good because a lot of our non-reg yell leaders know just as many people on campus and they bring a lot to the table. It’s good for the community and for the yell leaders.”
Even though there are variations between the two sets of yell leaders, Joe Hoff, adviser for the Galveston yell leaders, said the Galveston group still spreads Aggie spirit, just like in College Station.
“I think as a whole our students and our yell leaders, they just want main campus to understand that we are just as red-ass down here,” Hoff said. “Our yell leaders put in lots of time practicing, making sure that they’re doing everything right. They make sure that they go up and we model everything exactly off of the College Station yell leaders to make sure we are providing, as close as we can, the exact same experience down in Galveston.”
McGinty said he has enjoyed communicating between the two groups, as it has allowed him to meet and get to know the Galveston yell leaders.
“They’re a great group of guys who have a heart for service, love Texas A&M, and I’m thankful that they get the opportunity to serve the students on the Galveston campus,” McGinty said. “The Spirit of Aggieland is powerful, real, and I’m happy to know these guys are committed to making sure it’s felt at the Galveston campus.”
Macko said both sets of yell leaders share similar goals.
“We are very much alike,” Macko said. “There are little differences here and there, but we all uphold the same Aggie traditions, we all hold the Aggie honor code dear to our hearts.”

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