Keeping the Bonfire burning



2016 Homecoming Bonfire

Francisco Castro, Contributor

With the Plowboys still on suspension this semester, the Division of Student Affairs has stepped up to build the L.V. Risinger Memorial Bonfire for this year’s homecoming.

“[The] Bonfire is an important Tarleton Homecoming tradition. Students building the Bonfire stack is core to the tradition,” Dr. Laura Boren, Vice President for Student Affairs, said. “Student Affairs staff members are working closely with the 2017 Bonfire student leadership team to ensure safety and completion of the build.”

Because the central focus of the Bonfire is the fact that it is built by the students for the students, it only made sense that the Executive Team, consisting of Tarleton State University students, would ask the Tarleton family for help in this project.

From September 5 to September 12, a volunteer application went live online, allowing students to sign-up for a volunteer position in building the Bonfire. The application included a set of times throughout the week the volunteer can choose to work, as well a series of job levels the volunteer can request to participate in.

With an estimate of 350 applicants on file, from student organizations to individual students, Co-Assistant Director of Stack Build Matt Hill is extremely grateful for the help.

“We’re pleased to have many students from across all areas of campus. We’re here to serve the Core Values and include not just organizations, but all individuals of the Tarleton family.”

Leading this large group of Bonfire volunteers is Student Director, Ansley Jenkins. “I believe that tradition should live on,” Jenkins said. “Tarleton’s traditions are a huge part of what makes this campus so  amazing and it is my job, as a student, to keep the traditions of Tarleton alive when I have the opportunity to do so.”

As Student Director, Jenkins expects that all Bonfire volunteers attend the mandatory Risk Management forums and arrive on-time to their scheduled work period with a positive attitude and willingness to work.

While working on site, Bonfire volunteers will be assigned a job level. What job level a volunteer will be placed in depends on what is required for that day, as well as what that volunteer has requested to work in.

Level One volunteers will work as the support crew and are responsible for hospitality and accountability of volunteers on site. Volunteers for Levels Two through Four will work on the actual building of the Bonfire. This includes lifting and stacking wood pallets and operating heavy lifting machinery. When asked what he hoped to accomplish from the Bonfire, Hill wished, “to show how unified the student body of Tarleton is. Coming together to express the core Values of Tarleton is something I think most students will cherish and will be proud to share with everyone. I’m very humbled to get to work with great people and our Tarleton family. I’m glad to see that the tradition will burn on.”

Alongside with the rest of the Executive Team, Jenkins hopes “that the Bonfire brings the student body together by carrying out one of Tarleton’s most important traditions!”

“This year’s Homecoming Bonfire will be special because of the many students involved with building the stack,” Boren said.

The L.V. Risinger Bonfire is scheduled to ignite on October 27.