Texas A&M Woman Hopes to Be First Female Yell Leader

Texas A&M is built on tradition, but a few traditions have changed in recent years.

Bonfire is no longer a university sanctioned event and the A&M-UT rivalry is no more.

Now an A&M student wants to change the tradition of all male yell leaders leading the 12th Man.

News 3 spoke to Samantha Ketcham to find out why she wants to be the first female yell leader.

It's one of the most famous organizations at Texas A&M and junior Samantha Ketcham wants to be a part of it; the yell leaders.

"Well I'm a third generation Aggie so I was more or less raised to bleed maroon and love all the traditions at A&M," said Ketcham.

Ketcham has launched a Facebook page and website and says she's getting lots of support. But not everyone is cheering for her.

"A lot of people of course that think I'm destroying the tradition or don't like the idea of having a woman run for yell leader so there's been a lot of support but there's also been a lot of hatred," she said.

While this wouldn't be the first time a woman ran for yell leader many people we spoke with wonder if students are even ready for a change.

Students like Brent Osborne were unaware she was even running.

"I have no problem with having a woman as a yell leader but it would change tradition and be a little different. I guess we are going through a change as a school though going to the SEC and everything," said Osborne, a finance sophomore.

"I think it would take a while to have the student body warm up to the fact having a female out there just cause we're so used to seeing the guys," said Elyse Turley, a Texas A&M junior.

Yell leaders are typically made up of corps members. So we asked sophomore Daniel Barnes and some other corps members about whether she has a shot.

He doesn't expect the current tradition to change.

"We're one of the only universities that has someone going out and going nuts with the unified yells instead of cheerleaders," said Barnes a chemical engineering sophomore.

"I'm not gonna change anything. If I was a cheerleader I'd join the dance team here. I want to be a yell leader," said Samantha Ketcham.

Students will decide who'll be their next yell leaders in two weeks time.

Several women have run for yell leader at A&M including last year and all the way back to 1981.


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