Maya Gayler Managing editor
The Apache Chiefs were all geared up and ready to host their tailgate, when a storm rolled in. They had high hopes for sunshine, but Texas had other plans. The Chiefs had just made it to Rose Stadium when the down poor began. They tried waiting it out but it looked like it might rain for a while. As soon as the tailgate was called off, the rain let up for the rest of the night. Lauren Tyler and Murphy Turner discussed going back to the stadium, but ended on rescheduling for the homecoming game. It is an appealing idea because the alumni tailgate is not happening this year, and students have asked if there is a tailgate for the game. The homecoming game has a large turnout from students and community already, so it the perfect opportunity for a great Gold Rush.
TJC is well known for its rich culture of traditions. Last fall, the Apache Chiefs introduced a new tradition to the campus. Many colleges carry the tradition of students running onto the field before one of their home football games, and TJC has joined that list. The Gold Rush is a gathering where students are encouraged to wear their Apache gold and run onto the field before kickoff.
“We wanted it to be more like a true tailgate that you would see at a university, with different booths set up” said Student Life Director Lauren Tyler. The tailgate is a good opportunity for students to build community.
“It’s also an opportunity for the Apache Chiefs to reconnect with their orientation students and new students they’ve met on campus, in an effort to help them find a home here at TJC,” said Murphy Turner, Apache Chief Sponsor.
This event allows students to experience several organizations in action. The organizations are encouraged to come out and set up a table either for their group or for the community, which allows them to recruit new members.
Rushing the field is not the only thing on the agenda for this event. Free hamburgers, hot dogs, and cold drinks are served, along with games to play. This event was created to strengthen the attendance at TJC athletic events because of the noticeably low support.
“The food was great. It was a lot of fun getting to connect with the Chiefs, and I got to meet new people” said student Emilee Rogers about her experience as a freshman at the first ever TJC Gold Rush event. The students that take part in the gold rush together will forever share a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“It’s an opportunity to get involved in the game and to come out and support the athletes. Who doesn’t love to be the superstar, to get out on the field?” said Tyler.
The Gold Rush is a new tradition TJC hopes to keep for generations to come.