Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Students to host tailgate before Texas women’s basketball Senior Night, aim for 10,000 fans in the stands

Skyler Sharp
Freshman forward Madison Booker prepares to take a shot as senior forward Taylor Jones blocks opponents on Feb. 4, 2024. Booker and Jones contributed 33 points combined to the 61-54 upset win over Kansas State.

On March 2, a group of students responsible for the student section The Charge will host a tailgate outside of Moody Center to gather students before the final women’s basketball regular season game.

No. 3 Texas women’s basketball will honor senior forward Khadija Faye and graduate guard Shaylee Gonzales after the game. Faye and Gonzales both transferred to Texas in 2022, Faye from Texas Tech, and Gonzales from the game’s opponent, BYU.

Head coach Vic Schaefer has pledged to donate $10,000 to the Neighborhood Longhorns Program if 10,000 fans show up to the game. The NLP provides a “premier educational outreach program for the University of Texas at Austin,” offering economically disadvantaged students the opportunity to attend college through incentives and scholarships, according to their website.

Texas Athletics director Chris Del Conte told Schaefer, via X, to count on a matching donation if the goal is met. On top of the $20,000, the Texas Silver Spurs donated $80,000 to the program.

“(I) really appreciate (Del Conte) matching our $10,000,” Schaefer said.

In 2023, Schaefer made the same pledge and Moody Center was sold out with 10,763 fans in attendance on senior night. 

“He posted (about the donation) after the tailgate was planned,” said Maggie Mullen, The Charge’s Accounts Services director. “(Schaefer) is just so awesome and a donation is a really big deal. We’re hoping the tailgate has people stay and then show up at the game so we can get 10,000 people.”

The Charge, previously known as The Herd, is a student-run student section started in The Lab, a capstone class in the School of Advertising and Public Relations. Along with the Longhorn Hellraisers, The Charge will have music, activities and free Raising Canes at the Dell Plaza. Fans will be able to call a Fetii, a rideshare platform’s van, for 25% off from 24th and Nueces to the Moody Center.

The tailgate will start at 5 p.m. and last until around 30 minutes before tip-off at 7 p.m. In that time period, Schaefer, who will be celebrating his 63rd birthday, will stop by for a birthday cake. The coach is also signing a basketball that will be entered in a raffle along with some gift cards. 

Mullen and her team hope people who already love the team and those who want to get more involved join them before the game. They expect their student section to grow and carry over into next year’s season. 

The team hosts an autograph session at Moody Center after every win.

“I love that we’re able to talk to our fans and see them after games,” senior forward Taylor Jones said. “You see all these little girls and boys coming up to you and it always puts a smile on my face. And it puts things into perspective that there is a bigger picture, there’s a bigger reason why we do this.”

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