Hogs of Texas Provide Transition for Displaced Texans
“Gig ‘em,” “Pony up” and “Texas fight” are phrases that may make some Razorback fans cringe, but there are many students at the UA who are honored to represent the Texas culture of cowboys and howdys while still supporting the Hogs.
Texas pride paired with the transition of college life in Arkansas inspired the idea of creating the Hogs of Texas RSO at the UA campus September 2011.
“My roommate Justin King and I wanted to be more involved on campus and start something from scratch that was community-based,” said Revin Wade, Hogs of Texas president and senior sociology major.
Wade said there are no mandatory meetings, so a member can be as involved as they want in the RSO.
The Hogs of Texas are eager to meet and guide any student adjusting to life in Arkansas.
Wade said the organization helps freshman by mentoring them. The help can be as personal as helping them adjust to college life or as simple as telling them where the nearest printer is located.
The organization’s name, Hogs of Texas, indicates that all members are from the same “Lone Star State” but that the RSO is comprised of many diverse backgrounds.
Wade said that even though the group is called the Hogs of Texas, they have about 40 percent of members from nearby states such as Oklahoma and Missouri. The Hogs of Texas have discussed changing the name of the organization to something describing a broader background, but every year the group keeps voting to keep the name Hogs of Texas, Wade said.
The only requirement to join the Hogs of Texas is showing up to a meeting or event, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I always try to sit down and have a conversation with anyone who is interested in joining the Hogs of Texas so I can get to know them personally,” Wade said.
The Hogs of Texas provides new members with counselors they can confide in about anything, allowing the partnership to grow into a friendship.
“We give freshmen the opportunity to connect with upperclassmen in a mentoring program of sorts,” said Megan Alex, Hogs of Texas officer of media relations and graduate student. “We pair incoming freshmen with an upperclassmen in their same major, which allows them academic guidance as well as a fellow Texan that they can talk to or just hang out with.”
The organization is centered on creating bonds that begin with different cultures from the South.
“I may not wear my cowboy boots all the time or have a thick Southern accent, but I hail from a great state and harbor a lot of pride,” Alex said. “It’s a great thing to have friends who share that simple bond.”
The UA also benefits from the Hogs of Texas, as some members travel back to their hometown of Dallas and recruit future Razorbacks.
Wade said he is involved in the Dallas alumni chapter and talks to high school students about the UA and how they can adjust to college life by joining the Hogs of Texas.
Moving to a new state can be apprehensive, but the state of Arkansas lives up to the reputation of Southern kindness.
“The people were very friendly when I first transferred to Arkansas, and it was just your typical traditional college that I had never experienced because I went to an urban, inner-city commuter university,” Alex said. “So Arkansas was a refreshing change of pace.”
The Hogs of Texas also organizes many social events, including tailgating at the upcoming Arkansas vs. Kentucky game.
More than 30 percent of UA students are non-Arkansas residents, according to the fall 2012 UA enrollment report.
As the Hogs of Texas grows into a larger group, the RSO hopes to eventually become a group centered on bringing together people who have moved from any place to Arkansas, but the organization’s name will most likely remain the Hogs of Texas, Wade said.
While the Texas-based alliance has about 35 members, the group is dedicated to making all of their members feel included.
When degrees are proudly accepted at graduation, UA alumni will remember their academic struggles and triumphs, but the main memories will be comprised of the relationships they built.
“College is scary no matter how old you are or who you are,” Alex said.
At the end of the day, every student wants the same thing: to make real friends and have a great college experience. For students who are proud of the state they come from, Hogs of Texas is a place to meet people and have fun.