Mugdown Low Down: How to Represent Texas A&M
As the class of 2016 prepares to leave dear old Aggieland, The Mugdown has done some digging to find out what it means to be a real Aggie. By sharing this tell-all guide, we want to ensure that those who come behind fill the shoes that came before.
Based on our research, which included longitudinal studies of administrators, observational data, opinion surveys, and intensive GroupMe infiltration, we have concluded that one unique value permeates everything we do here at Texas A&M. Led by the Board of Regents and campus leaders, and adhered to by the 60,000-member student body, Aggies do hypocrisy better than anyone else.
In addition to excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service, students at A&M exemplify hypocrisy in all we do.
According to Chancellor John Sharp, “Our Core Values help Texas A&M achieve its purpose of developing leaders, and hypocrisy is an integral part of modern leadership. Additionally, hypocrisy truly captures this institution’s mission, the real purpose for which is actually to make money. We found that all of our core values already had some element of hypocrisy— so much so that it warranted it’s own recognition.”
Honor Code Only In Person
One of our core values, integrity, dictates that An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do. However, most students are aware of the official university stance that this statement does not apply to our online courses, take-home quizzes and exams, or online homework assignments. Why should integrity apply virtually? With handy resources all over the Internet, it is all too simple to find all your course’s answers somewhere on the web.
“Why even try to combat the epidemic of collaborating?” said freshman Frank Abagnale Jr. “It makes more sense to just accept that the Honor Code is for select places. Ya know, kind of like selective hearing, but for ethical stuff.”
Loyal to Only the Redass
Part of what makes A&M so great are the traditions that foster a sense of loyalty within the student body. However, if one is more adherent to tradition than another, they are given the authority to discount other Aggies’ experiences. Never mind that some people want to focus on grades or need to have a job— if you have time to devote to repeating archaic actions to profess your school spirit, then you are bestowed the divine right to create in-groups and out-groups. Forming divisions is one of the most valuable skills a leader can have— definitely better than loyalty. Not only is being redass encouraged, but anything less is discouraged.
Respect for the Similar
Every Aggie knows that when they attend Texas A&M, they aren’t just going to school, but joining a family. A&M students are known for their friendliness, which can be seen in the way they greet each other with a warm “howdy.” Aggies respect each other— that is, unless that person is different. Everyone knows that inclusion in the Aggie family does not automatically extend to students who are not white, straight, cisgendered, Christian, or Texan. After all, respect would lose its value if it was all-inclusive. Differing views and beliefs can be tolerated at Texas A&M, but certainly not respected- that is reserved for Christendom. In 2013, the student senate even gave voice to the students when they encouraged opting out of funding for the LGBT resources — how respectful! Remember, we’re all a family here, but every family functions better with a little resentment and hatred for one another.
Selfless Service is Only Important for One Day
There is nothing more emblematic of Aggie Spirit than storing up all that selfless service for the biggest day of the year. The Big Event is a massive service project, where for one day only, over 22,000 students gather to give back to the community. Thankfully, this day absolves students from having to do any more selfless service for the rest of the year, and precludes them from doing it before. The dedication it takes to wake up early, wait around in a crowd, fight traffic, and then do gardening work for a middle-class family is an incredibly high bar of altruism, done only from the kindness of our hearts (and free shirts. . . we demand our shirts Big Event . . . we will not be denied). An integral part of The Big Event is social pressure- A&M students especially love to be selfless when they can gain social validation for it. The Big Event fixes everything and makes all of College Station’s problems go away… if only there were other nearby communities that could benefit from volunteer efforts.
C’s Get Degrees
Excellence is an important part of any Aggie developing into a leader, except for when it comes to excelling at school. Students at Texas A&M are encouraged to do just about anything to detract from their schoolwork: join seven organizations to occupy valuable weeknight homework time? Go for it. Spend an entire day on football that could be used for studying? You would be crazy not to. Drink on a Thursday night and skip all of your Friday classes? You’re only in college once. The old adage that ‘C’s get degrees’ rings true to this day, so wouldn’t it make more sense for our core value to be mediocrity? 4.0 and Go and A+ serve as a reminder of how mediocre the typical student at A&M is; instead of attending class and paying attention, we pay someone else to spoon feed test answers to us. Remember Ags, excel at everything you do— except school, then you’re just ruining the curve for the rest of us.
Texas A&M prides itself on the high quality leaders that it produces. This is so important to Texas A&M that there are not only leadership positions in normal organizations, but leadership organizations that exist for the sole purpose of developing members into leaders. These organizations are so popular that when it comes time for the members to apply to be in a leadership position in the leadership organization, the competition is so intense that almost all of them are denied the opportunity to lead. Leadership organizations at A&M love to incorporate the core value of Selfless Service into what they do, emphasizing the concept of “Servant Leadership”. With the addition of hypocrisy, campus leaders will be able to officially incorporate something they have been doing all along, “Hypocritical Leadership.” Students serving in leadership positions will be able to stop pretending to care about the mission of their organization or the general members, and focus on what really matters— their own self development and resume-boosting experience.
Graduation is a bittersweet time for many students, but the student body as a whole can rest easy knowing that we, as an Aggie Family, are able to wave goodbye to our fellow Ags knowing that their legacy will be carried on. Whether it is cheating on that online exam, or simply ignoring the weird kid in Chem Lab, we will continue to teach future Aggies the value of hypocrisy, just as the generations before have taught us.
-GingerbRedass, Metta World Pizza, GigSaw Puzzle, Panda Expressions, and Commons Lobbyist