University celebrates annual torchlight parade and rally

Rachel Freeman

The lights of Texas were upon OU for the torchlight parade and rally Wednesday night.

A UT tradition since 1916, the torchlight parade and rally brings together hundreds of students, faculty, alumni and community members. The group gathered at 25th and Guadalupe streets and paraded down the Drag to loop around to the front of the Tower. At the tower various organizations and speakers performed cheers, dances and gave speeches to the crowd.

Since 1987 the Texas Exes have sponsored the rally and parade. Enrique Jasso, a member of the Austin Texas Exes chapter, attended the event and said the experience was different as an alumnus than it was as a student.

“It feels like, now, I’m the one egging on the current students and getting them to be rowdy and have more school spirit — lord knows we need more spirit now,” Jasso said. “I am 100 percent proud to be with Texas Exes, and I love the rally, and I come out every chance I get. There’s a special energy here.”

Radio-television-film senior Jackie Gomez said she was excited to finally come out and support along with her friends from Texas Spirits.

“I love being a part of something bigger with the University,” Gomez said. “This is a really good way for everyone to come together as one team and it’s great. It’s great to be here with other Spirits. I feel so close to them and it feels great to be here with them at the rally.”

While many students came out to the rally, others such as public relations sophomore Brooke Willis decided to stay home. Willis said she chose not to attend the rally because she was too tired, but she said despite not going to the rally, she still had a lot of Texas spirit.

“Being a college kid, today has been a really long day and I just don’t have the energy or motivation to go out tonight,” Willis said. “I don’t think not going to the rally tonight says anything about my support. I went to the rally last year and had a good time, just this year I’m not feeling it.”