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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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Burn+Night
Photo by Photo by Aimee Breaux
Burn Night

Thousands gathered Tuesday for Student Bonfire’s twelfth annual Burn Night.

 

An introductory speech by former A&M linebacker Brian Gamble and a yell practice led by Student Bonfire members led up to the ceremonial ignition of the Stack at 8:50 p.m.

 

First ignited in 2003, the lighting of the Student Bonfire Stack serves as a continuation of the Aggie Bonfire tradition that concluded with the 1999 Collapse. Preparation for Burn Night kicked off with First Cut in September, during which Student Bonfire members and volunteers cut down trees for the building of the Stack.

 

Taylor Messenger, mechanical engineering major and an “old” in the Kruger crew, first joined Student Bonfire as a sophomore. Messenger said her crew started cutting during the second week of school.

 

“We cut down logs for a month and a half, and stack for about two weeks,” Messenger said. “During Cut we only go on the weekends, every Sunday and on away games we go on Saturday, too. We start Stack and that’sophomoreay of the week from 6 p.m. to midnight.”

 

Kyle Walton, sophomore and member of Corps of Cadets Company N-1, said Tuesday’s Burn Night marked his second year participating in the tradition.

 

“We started cutting in October and most weekends we’d come out on Saturdays and Sundays and cut from seven or eight in the morning till 4 p.m.” Walton said. “It’s a good Stack this year. I’m happy with it.”

 

Messenger said Bonfire serves as a testament to Aggie tradition.

 

“I’ve learned so much about what it means to be an Aggie. It’s amazing to physically build something and see your progress,” Messenger said. “You learn so much about teamwork and trust and you rely so much on your crew. Your crew becomes your family.”

 

Messenger said Student Bonfire has gotten more exposure in the past few years, from being covered by ESPN and being livestreamed  on TexAgs in 2014 and 2015.

 

“It’s really exciting especially since so many people don’t realize that Burn still happens,” Messenger said. “They think that after [Bonfire] collapsed, it was finished. So it’s a really exciting tradition and I’m looking forward to the future and hoping that it stays alive a long time.”

 

Charles Jackson, Class of 1961, attended his first Bonfire in 1957. In 1959, he proposed to his wife at Bonfire.

 

“Bonfire means the ever-loving and never-ending Aggie spirit,” Jackson said. “[Bonfire] is a combination of the football season and the ever loving desire to beat the hell out of [The University of Texas].”

 

Caitlin O’Connell, engineering freshman and first generation Aggie, attended her first Burn Night Tuesday.

 

“I wasn’t sure what I was expecting — just to see everybody in one place,” O’Connell said. “After the Bonfire Remembrance Ceremony, it was a solemn event and this is just a completely different vibe of remembering the lives of those before us. But, we’re also looking towards the future and getting excited for the LSU game.”

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  • Burn Night

    Photo by Photo by Shahd Elbushra
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