The annual Red Rally brought out several hundred students to Johnson Field last week, looking to catch a glimpse of a 25-foot New Mexico State Aggie burn to the ground.
The effigy — made of piping, chicken wire and newspaper — took weeks for student volunteers to complete. Once ablaze, the mascot only stood for a few minutes.
“This is absolutely UNM’s most recognizable tradition,” said Kaylie Huizenga, executive director of the Associated Students of UNM agency, Lobo Spirit, which spearheaded the event.
Numerous security personnel were patrolling through the night, including the Albuquerque Fire Department, who were charged with controlling and extinguishing the blaze.
The 12th annual event was held two days before the UNM-NMSU face off on Saturday.
In total, ASUNM spent over $16,800 on Red Rally, according to budgets. That budget included: $7,500 for the stage and sound equipment, about $3,000 for security, $2,000 for volunteer Red Rally T-shirts and just over $100 for off-campus “build parties.”
“We could cut Red Rally. But if we did, there would be an uproar from students, because it’s such a long-standing tradition,” said Noah Brooks, ASUNM president, while talking with the Daily Lobo about money going toward the event.
According to security, there were 15 instances of alcohol confiscation through the night. A security personnel at the event noted many students had concealed their drinks to avoid detection. When confronted, event-goers were asked to pour out the liquor and were allowed to remain at the rally, he said.
Brendon Gray is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers ASUNM. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @notgraybrendon.