In less than a month, students at Texas A&M University will get the chance to voice their thoughts on reinstating the historic rivalry football game against the University of Texas.
The Texas A&M Student Senate voted unanimously Wednesday night to support the inclusion of a question on the next campus-wide opinion poll on Feb. 21.
The question would very directly ask, "Do you support reinstating the Texas A&M University vs. University of Texas rivalry game on our nonconference football schedule?"
Executive Director of Operations for the Student Senate Connor Hull, a junior at A&M, presented the resolution with fellow student Chipper Adams, who was one of the people encouraging Hull to propose the resolution.
"I just think that it was a sign from both the Senate and the student body that we would be open to looking at this game being brought back," Hull said about the unanimous vote.
The resolution comes less than a week after Texas A&M President Michael K. Young met with University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves for an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, during which both presidents spoke about the rivalry game, among other topics.
"It's a storied rivalry of a hundred years or so. We're supportive," Fenves said of renewing the rivalry.
Young had similar sentiment during the same interview, saying, "Absolutely," noting the school has been in favor of facing off against Texas since A&M left the Big 12 Conference to join the Southeastern Conference.
The last game between the two schools was in 2011.
State Rep. Lyle Larson, a 1981 graduate of A&M from San Antonio, also proposed legislation in November that would require the return of the rivalry game around Thanksgiving.
Though the idea of bringing back the game was on Hull's radar since starting at A&M, he was not originally interested in the idea because of the effort required. However, he got a call from a group of people from the University of Texas, including the student body president and vice president, about gauging student interest.
That, paired with Young's support to the Statesman, was enough to convince Hull to write a resolution that would allow the Senate to get a true understanding of student interest in reviving the game.
"I think it's kind of critical right now that we hold an opinion poll so the students' voices can be heard and just see if they want it back or not," he said.
This will be the first official poll on the topic conducted through the elections process, Hull said. The Senate has conducted smaller polls that showed support for the game, but those have been with about a 1,500-student sample size. The poll on Feb. 21 will allow all 60,000-plus students to weigh in on the subject.
If the votes are in support of bringing back the rivalry game, he said, the Senate then can take those results to the university's administration to show them there is backing from students.
Hull said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp has asked the Senate do something on a university-wide scale to allow all students to voice their opinions.
"It'll be good to show him something," Hull said.
The ballot will go out Feb. 21 at vote.tamu.edu. Then, Hull will present a second bill, likely during the March 6 meeting, to ratify the results, making them the "official opinion of our body," he said.