UT kicks off ‘Longhorn Fridays’

Jessica Regan

UT’s newest tradition aims to turn the whole campus burnt orange every Friday.

The campaign is a campus-wide effort encouraging current and former UT students to show their pride by wearing burnt orange on Fridays. The kickoff of the event featured students and faculty decked out in burnt orange all across campus and a pop-up shop in front of the tower.

Religious studies freshman Gerard Apruzzese said the idea is a great way to enhance the sense of community on campus.

“In a campus of 50,000 students, it’s hard to remember that we are all a family,” Apruzzese said. “The Longhorn Friday initiative has the ability to remind us that we are all Longhorns, and that is why people should participate.”

The idea was created by Rachelle Hernandez, the senior vice provost for enrollment management. UT spokesperson J.B. Bird said Hernandez was surprised by the lack of school spirit around campus.

“Hernandez wanted to see more burnt orange throughout the year, not just during football season,” Bird said. “She’s really interested in helping to make sure people feel like they belong here.”

Hernandez came to UT in 2017 after working for the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She said the main initiative is to connect the Longhorn community and bolster school pride.

“The whole campus community has really embraced the idea of demonstrating our pride in being a Longhorn,” Hernandez said. “We want our students to be able to see that our faculty and staff are really connected, and when they’re out in the community, we want them to see that alumni maintain the pride they have.”

In order to spread the initiative and its message, Apruzzese said the University needs to promote it more online.

“The University needs to take advantage of their social media,” Apruzzese said. “I know that most UT students are constantly using their phones and checking all their social media accounts.”

Bird said he cannot wait to see Hernandez’ idea grow and spread in the next few weeks.

“Hernandez’s vision has really come to fruition nicely,” Bird said. “We’ve seen a lot of the administration picking it up and getting excited last year, and now with the launch this Friday we see students also getting excited, too.”

Longhorn Friday will continue every Friday throughout the school year.