Horns Up Night goes virtual for UT-Austin freshmen

Athena Hawkins

Ninety-five people tuned in live on Thursday to watch the annual Horns Up Night, a traditionally in-person event that went virtual this year.

Horns Up Night is a part of Longhorn Welcome, an annual series of events designed to introduce incoming undergraduates to UT. In the past, Longhorn Welcome events have allowed students to gather on campus to learn about UT traditions. But this semester, the pep rally-style event was made into a video and streamed online.

The 10-minute video, streamed on Texas Orientation’s YouTube channel, opened with a series of clips of individual Longhorn Band and Spirit Squad members cheering to the tune of “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” 

More clips feature a mask-clad and socially distanced UT Spirit Squad encouraging students to prepare for Saturday’s football game against Texas Tech.

The video also contained a message from newly named UT President Jay Hartzell regarding the University’s first Big 12 football game of the season.

“Longhorns, things may be a little bit different in 2020, but there are certain traditions that cannot wait for another year or some other time,” Hartzell said. “One of those is squaring off against Texas Tech.”


According to figures released by the University earlier this week, 8,459 freshmen students are enrolled at UT this semester. As of Thursday night, the Horns Up Night video had 177 views.

Business honors freshman Jose Herreria said he thinks the event being online likely played a factor in the student turnout.

“I really wish the events could have been in person,” Herreria said. “Virtual events can feel like such a pain because so much Zoom in a day can be exhausting.”

Texas Athletics Director Chris Del Conte gave the final message in the livestream.

“In athletics, we need you, we need your spirit, we need you to be present, we need you to be part of what we’re doing,” Del Conte said.

Del Conte said although classes have looked different this year, students made the right decision in coming to UT. 

“I truly believe you are going to be the future that is going to change how we do things in our world because of this experience,” Del Conte said.

The Texas football team is set to play Texas Tech this Saturday in Lubbock.