Will Texas A&M soon have female yell leaders and join almost every other school in the nation in having male and female cheerleaders? As The Wall Street Journal points out in an article, the Texas A&M student body has a chance to elect not one, but two, female yell leaders for the first time in Texas A&M history today.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas—This week, a student-body vote at Texas A&M University could make Samantha Ketcham the first female cheerleader—make that yell leader—in school history.
“At A&M, we don’t cheer. We yell,” says Ms. Ketcham, a junior biology major.
By any name, the sideline noisemakers at A&M have always been as male as the football players they root for, and Ms. Ketcham’s bid to topple that tradition is no less rancorous than the Republican presidential primaries. Past yell leaders at A&M include Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, who declined to be interviewed for this article.The Texas A&M yell leaders, shown above before a football game last December, have always been men.
To make clear that she would need neither megaphone nor microphone—rarely used among yell leaders—Ms. Ketcham, 20 years old, has adopted as a campaign slogan of sorts: “I’m very loud!” One supporter advised, on a dry-erase board outside Ms. Ketcham’s dorm room, that she lower the pitch of her voice like former British ruler Margaret Thatcher.
Will the Texas A&M student body elect their first female yell leader? We will find out soon enough.