Students Revive Bonfire at Hot Rod Hill

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Now that Texas A&M is no longer supporting Aggie Bonfire in an official capacity, students are taking on the challenge all by themselves and construction is now underway at Hot Rod Hill.

"It's what the Aggie tradition and spirit is all about you know, it's a lot of work but we do it anyway," said Austin Lange, Aggie Student Bonfire.

In 2002, a group of students decided to revive bonfire and each year the effort has grown. Now the group has a name, Aggie Student Bonfire, and they have gained support from the local community.

"All of our equipment comes from donations of businesses and land owners and the land here we're allowed to use this land just from the generosity of the community," said Jack Shallock, Aggie Student Bonfire.

Even though bonfire is no longer sanctioned by the university, students say the main reason they want to continue the tradition is because of the unity and friendship that comes from bonfire.

"This tradition brings all of the students together, It builds something that is bigger than any of us could build individually," said Shallock.

"A lot of these guys in the dorm I had never met them before and now we're close as brothers," said Lange.

Before any student can get in on the building action they must first complete a safety training course.

"We cover safety aspects of everything they need to be doing cutting trees in the woods to working here at the stack sight," said Shallock.

Another important safety consideration students have a strict rule on is alcohol.

"There's not going to be any, we made that very well known that has no place in this tradition," said Shallock.

Construction began early this morning and by the time the group is finished, more than 1500 logs will be part of the new bonfire that continues an old Aggie tradition with a new twist.