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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Homecoming week kicks off with ‘A’ Mountain set ablaze

    From the left, Alison Macur, graduate philosophy student, Dona Carmen Lopez, a social and behavioral science junior, Luke Wollin, a freshman pre-business major, Raul Poncey-Ponce, a sophomore psychology major, Hersh Goel, a molecular biology senior, all members of the Zona Zoo crew look at the A on Sentinel mountain glowing from the light of over one hundred road flares. This homecoming tradition ended years ago until it was literally ignited once again Sunday night in a combination effort between the Zona Zoo crew and the UA Bobcats.
    From the left, Alison Macur, graduate philosophy student, Dona Carmen Lopez, a social and behavioral science junior, Luke Wollin, a freshman pre-business major, Raul Poncey-Ponce, a sophomore psychology major, Hersh Goel, a molecular biology senior, all members of the Zona Zoo crew look at the ‘A’ on Sentinel mountain glowing from the light of over one hundred road flares. This homecoming tradition ended years ago until it was literally ignited once again Sunday night in a combination effort between the Zona Zoo crew and the UA Bobcats.

    The Bobcats Senior Honorary Society along with ASUA Zona Zoo resurrected a tradition last night that has not been carried out in some time: they lit A Mountain – also known as Sentinel Peak – on fire. Up to forty students from both organizations lit flares and placed them onto the A on the mountain, under the watchful eye of the Tucson Fire Department.

    “”This is a tradition that used to happen many, many years ago. The seniors went up and they lit the A on fire,”” said senior Charles Wollin, the Bobcats Senior Honorary club president. “”Then the freshmen would go and paint the A. That established A-Day.””

    The event was used to kick off the festivities for homecoming week. The Senior Honorary Society club, which is part of the Arizona Alumni department, is in charge of nearly every event associated with homecoming.

    Before the group lit the flares on the A, the students gathered at Old Main for speeches by Wollin and ASUA President Tommy Bruce.

    “”It’s all about heritage and tradition,”” Bruce said, “”and at a time at our university and our country where there is uncertain things and uncertain futures and nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen, you can always fall back on heritage and tradition. You can fall back on what you know, which is cardinal red and navy blue. You can fall back on the block A. You can fall back on the University of Arizona. We’re adding this tradition to that history.””

    Wollin said he was not sure why the tradition disappeared, but the idea had been brewing ever since he was chosen to be a Bobcat.

    David Roost, Zona Zoo executive director, said this tradition is part of student identity.

    “”When you identify yourself as a Wildcat, part of what that means and part of what goes into that tradition – that makes our university so great and so unique.”” While Roost said the loss of traditions was certainly something to be mourned, he celebrated the Bobcats’ and Zona Zoo’s goals to preserve them and create a spirit and passion for UA pride. “”We’re bringing back this old tradition that hopefully will become something that we keep doing from now on.””

    Chrystean Page, assistant director for student relations and Bobcat advisor, said that despite the event coming together at the last minute, she was happy with the end product.

    “”I’m extremely proud for how up in the air the event was and how short notice it became,”” she said. “”I mean, we got clearance literally in the last hour … I’m extremely happy and proud of Charles for putting it together.””

    “”This is … a tradition that I think is pretty cool. And just to see the A on fire is a really cool beacon of what this university is and what this fine institution is,”” said Wollin.

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