In recent weeks, students at UT and Texas A&M University have forged an alliance in the name of football rivalry.
Student Body President Colton Becker, the Longhorn Athletics Agency within Student Government and others are working with A&M student leaders to bring back the UT and A&M rivalry game, which was played every year from 1915 to 2011. The administration of Micky Wolf, former Student Body Vice President, and Alejandrina Guzman, former Student Body President, started the movement to revive the game, and the campaign has been rekindled.
“We wanted to kind of keep it up because there was an article in the (Austin American-Statesman) where both presidents, A&M and UT, expressed a desire for the game to be played again, so we took that as a hint, and we … are trying to run with that and create a new, reinvigorated campaign for it,” said Jake Greenberg, Longhorn Athletics Agency director.
In 2017, 96.7 percent of nearly 8,000 participating UT students voted in favor of re-establishing the rivalry game. A&M will present a similar vote to their student body this spring.
“One of the great aspects of this campaign is that we’re working hand-in-hand with the student leaders on the A&M campus, so it’s been really refreshing and nice to get their take on it,” finance sophomore Greenberg said.
In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott voiced his support for a proposed bill that would revive the rivalry game. Becker said that the UT students pushing for the rivalry are now preparing to speak with A&M students about penning a joint letter to Gov. Abbott.
“It was really validating and exciting for us to hear that the Governor supports it because he really has a lot of push and can really lend this movement a lot of momentum,” Becker said.
Despite the campaign’s ongoing efforts, nutrition senior Becker said Student Government’s main legislative attention remains on other campus-wide issues.
“In regards to the Legislature, we’re focused on advocating for UT’s specific needs, so like with the new chair of the higher education committee, which just happened a couple weeks ago, and emphasis being placed on school and property financing and taxing and stuff like that, we’re focusing the majority of our advocacy efforts at the Capitol on those issues,” Becker said. “But … it certainly helps if the Legislature’s talking about (the game).”
Greenberg said scheduling poses a challenge in reinstating the game. This is because both schools have non-conference games scheduled through 2029.
“UT plays non-conference games in the beginning of the year, and then they play in the Big 12 conference,” Greenberg said. “Those non-conference games, since A&M is not in our conference, that’s when we’d have to play them, and those games are scheduled very far out in advance.”
Becker said he hopes the campaign will get a game scheduled by the end of the year, and Wolf said student voices play an important role in the movement.
“I think that the fact that it’s united and student-led hopefully will show students the power of their voices, and I think that no initiative is too large for students to take on,” Wolf said.