Yell contest, the Purple Poo’s 100 Year Celebration and the Tarleton bonfire

By: Taylor Kaluza

Multimedia Journalist

This past week, Tarleton State University students and alumni came together to celebrate homecoming week. While traditionally homecoming week is in the fall, the events were moved to the spring semester this year in wake of COVID-19.

Tarleton hosted many events during the week, including Purple Pancakes, the Purple Poo’s 100 Year celebration, yell contest, the annual bonfire and the homecoming game against Midwestern State.

One of the events was the yell contest, which took place Wednesday, March 17. Yell contest was a tradition that started during the 1980s by the Student Government Association. During this event, student organizations, such as the fraternities and sororities, make up their own chants and lyrics about Tarleton. Along with the chants, they have certain dance moves based on the theme or their team and have five minutes to “perform” their yell in front of five judges. The winner out of all of these groups gets to beat the drum following the contest.

Lambda Chi Alpha competing in the small group division at Yell.
Photo by Taylor Kaluza.

This year, the competition consisted of seven groups in the small division and four groups in the large division. The small groups consisted of Phi Kappahe Sigma, Phi Mu, Alpha Gamma Rho, Lambda Chi Alpha, Delta Chi, Sigma Alpha and Kappa Delta Rho. The large division consisted of Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Zeta, Pink Ladies & T-Birds and Alpha Gamma Delta. From the small division, the winner was Alpha Gamma Rho and the winner of the large division was Pink Ladies & T-Birds.

On Thursday, March 18, the Purple Poo 100 Year Celebration and concert took place. Earlier in the day, the Purple Poo celebrated with a birthday party that took place at Barefoot Outfitters across from Tarleton.

The concert for the Purple Poo 100 Year Celebration started at 6 p.m. and took place on the intramural fields. At this event, there were different food trucks, Bang sponsors handing out drinks and a Purple Poo tent where you could purchase T-shirts. There were also small books provided to the guests for those who wanted to get the autographs of our beloved Purple Poo.

One of the Purple Poo signing an autograph.
Photo by Taylor Kaluza.

During the celebration, the Purple Poo were given three different honors to celebrate the 100 Year anniversary of the TTS and TTP. They were presented with two flags, along with Tarleton President James Hurley declaring the third Thursday of March Purple Poo Day from now on. There were also concerts put on by both Courtney Patton, a former Purple Poo member, and Jimmie Allen.

Lastly on Friday before the football game, Tarleton’s very own Plowboys hosted the bonfire. This tradition was started in the 1920s and has quite the history. Back in 1939, L.V. Risinger defended our bonfire after NTAC, now known as UNT, tried to light the bonfire the night before it was supposed to be. After protecting the bonfire from being ruined, it has since been commemorated to Risinger for his bravery and saving Tarleton’s beloved homecoming tradition.

The Tarleton Plowboys huddling up as the bonfire begins to burn.
Photo by Taylor Kaluza.

While Plowboys have always been in charge of building the bonfire, the group had several challenges while building this year. From having a limited number due to COVID-19, the winter freeze and classes to attend, the group had many challenges they had to overcome. But in spite of it all, the Plowboys finished the bonfire on time. To honor the boys overcoming all of this, the President Hurley and First Lady Kindall Hurley presented them with a coin that had the six Tarleton core values on it.

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