Thousands begin school year, football season with Big Yell

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About 4,000 students gathered at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium for the Big Yell on Wednesday afternoon to kick off the new football season.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

From the powerful sound of the Longhorn Band to the cheers of “Texas, Texas, yee haw,” a contagious excitement rocked the north side of the stadium. 

About 4,000 people attended Wednesday’s Big Yell, the seventh annual event kicking off the start of the new school year and football season. For the second year in a row, the event took place at the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Psychology senior Rita Holguin, Texas Exes student chapter president, led the crowd of new students through UT’s traditional cheers and chants, and presented them with a recap of the history and tradition of the University.

Holguin said she remembers her freshman experience because of Texas Exes events, including the Big Yell and Camp Texas, a three-day retreat for incoming freshmen.

“As a freshman, I went to Camp Texas and loved it, Holguin said. “I knew that it was something I wanted to be involved in.”

Business freshman Maddy Flores said the variety of opportunities offered to new students amazed her. 

“Instead of feeling like you’re one in a million, it’s like you’re one in a few,” Flores said.

Flores said she is interested in being a part of Texas Exes and several business organizations, although she has only been on campus for a few days.

Student members in Texas Exes were encouraged to attend Orange and White Welcome for free barbecue and door prizes and then walk over to the stadium for the Big Yell.

“I think it’s really gotten to be a bigger thing in the past couple years,” said Tim Taliaferro, Texas Exes Alumni Association spokesman.

Taliaferro said 500 people attended the first Big Yell event in 2007, which was one-eighth of Monday’s crowd size.

The Big Yell included a Twitter Q-and-A from head football coach Mack Brown and a photo of the Class of 2017 to kick off their freshman experience.

“There’s a crazy amount of opportunities here,” economics freshman Matthew Szymanski said. “I just look forward to participate in as many campus events as I can.”

Holguin encouraged students to consider becoming involved on campus and learn UT history.

“We definitely need to support school traditions because we are all about burnt orange pride,” Holguin said. “Our logo and colors are known world wide, and we want to make sure our students know why they are representing such a prestigious university.”