Here are some conditions that may – indeed, should – apply to its return. I found this by googling “Ray Bowen bonfire recommendations.”
University president Ray Bowen said Friday [I believe the date referred to is September 8, 2001] that when the tradition does resume, in 2002 at the earliest, the bonfire will be far smaller and the construction more “professionally run.” Creating Bonfire under a “more professionally run” basis would mean that major modifications would have to take place such as a professionally engineered design by engineers from major companies, in-depth safety classes participating students are required to attend, university oversight of the construction, and a reduced number of students to construct the mountain of timber. Along with these restrictions placed on the construction of Bonfire, the traditional lumbering of wood by students for Bonfire, better known as “Cut,” will be removed completely from the construction process. Instead, the university will hire a professional firm to lumber the required amount of trees. The point is, Bonfire will undergo a whole new construction process that may transform the traditional methods of student involvement in the engineering of Bonfire.
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In my view, these conditions are necessary and appropriate and will go a long way toward assuring parents of A&M students that their family members can enjoy the tradition of Bonfire without being exposed to personal danger. Another salutory aspect of having Bonfire constructed by professionals is that Bonfire will no longer have an adverse effect on students’ academic performance due to their spending twelve-hour shifts at the Bonfire site over a period of several weeks. These changes will place the focus of Bonfire where it belongs: on the blaze that represents the A&M community’s “burning desire” to beat t.u.
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