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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘A’ mountain teaches unity

    Dozens of students ascended “”A”” Mountain yesterday to carry on the long-standing tradition of applying fresh coats of paint to the 160-foot tall UA symbol.

    Students used more than 80 mops, paint rollers and brushes to cover the bottom third of the “”A”” in red paint, a feat that took just over half an hour.

    Each year, one third of the “”A”” is painted on a rotating basis.

    “”We just

    It’s great to see freshmen
    involved in things like this so early in their college careers.

    -Brent Hanson, ASUA senator

    had so many people pitching in, and nobody was slacking,”” said Scott Bradley, the honorary A-Day King. “”We got this done pretty quickly, and that really shows the character of everyone involved.””

    The event was organized by Jessica Anderson, executive vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, after Blue Key National Honorary declined to apply for funding of the event.

    Blue Key has sponsored the occasion several times in years past, Anderson said. Noticing that the tradition was in jeopardy, she decided to arrange the “”A”” Mountain face-lift.

    “”This is about discovering tradition and unity on campus so early in the year,”” Anderson said. “”It’s hard work, but everyone is excited to be here.””

    Some campus fraternities and sororities used the occasion to show their freshman members a lesson in cooperation and unity.

    “”This gives our brothers a chance to carry on the tradition,”” said David

    D’auteuil, a pre-business freshman in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. “”Everywhere you look around here, people are working together toward a good cause and having fun.””

    The Sigma Kappa sorority also took advantage of the event, creating a bonding sisterhood activity out of the experience, said Laura Docherty, a biochemistry freshman in the sorority.

    “”This shows that we’re enthusiastic about the freshman class and love to be involved,”” she said. “”It’s a way to feel more pride in the school.””

    Despite battling the early hours of a Sunday morning, about 70 people fervently took part in the activity and made it a successful event, said Jon Engel, chief of staff to the ASUA president.

    ASUA Freshman Class Council member James McKenzie said, “”I’m sure it was rough getting up for everyone, but it’s definitely worth it.””

    “”It’s nice to see students taking an initiative,”” he added.

    The painting of “”A”” Mountain is yet another example of the UA’s enthusiasm in giving students a chance to become a part of tradition, said Jake Smith, ASUA Freshman Class Council member.

    “”There are lots of opportunities to get involved and see what school spirit is all about,”” he said. “”This is one of those
    opportunities.””

    Anderson was not alone in preparing the event, as she received help and support from the Tucson community. John Hiller Painting donated 20 gallons of paint, while Sunbelt Rentals supplied the water trailer.

    “”We really couldn’t have done this alone,”” Anderson said. “”The people who helped us are just amazing.””

    ASUA Sen. Brent Hanson said the event is a key part in establishing school spirit and university pride in the freshman class.

    “”It’s great to see freshmen involved in things like this so early in their college careers,”” Hanson said. “”The commitment from these students is huge. That says great things about this freshman class.””

    The diversity of the freshman class contributed to the bonding and school spirit for those involved.

    “”We have a very diverse group of people here from all different backgrounds,”” Engel said. “”This helps to build some social dynamics … people talking, interacting and moving together toward a goal while having fun at the same time.””

    Since the backgrounds of those involved in the activity differ greatly, Engel said students are learning teamwork as well as school pride.

    Painting the “”A”” is not just a UA exercise.

    It’s an activity that conjoins the UA community and the city of Tucson, Hanson said. “”This is a big statement, because the university is a big part of Tucson.””

    Schmidt agreed and said he sees “”A”” Mountain as a symbol of the city, as well as the UA.

    “”The people of Tucson see this,”” he said. “”This is our way of showing them we appreciate their support.””

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