What is the R.A.T. Program?
posted June 11, 2016
Happy Summer and War Eagle! It's Do'Nyal and I'm here with the second blog of the summer. The summer is starting to pick up and the R.A.T. Leaders are so excited for Preseason Camp! The AUMB has had many traditions over the years, but one has stuck throughout much of its history: the R.A.T. Program. This long-standing tradition has garnered some of the greatest relationships and friendships Auburn has ever seen. It's also nationally ranked as one of the best college football traditions! R.A.T. (or Rookie Auburn Tiger) is the name given to all new members of the AUMB. It is not a derogatory name as we have a ZERO TOLERANCE for any type of hazing in the AUMB. It is rather a term of endearment.
In the past, every freshman on campus was named a R.A.T., but the tradition died out after World War II. Each R.A.T. was given an orange and blue ball cap with a blue “A” embroidered onto the front and was given instructions to write the score of every football game during their freshman year and get “x” amount of signatures from the VETs in the band until the ‘80s. R.A.T.s wore these to every practice and band function until “the Auburn Tigers defeated those pachyderms known as the Crimson Tide.” Today we do not have any hats (you do get a cool T-Shirt though that you can wear whenever you’d like) but one still retains the R.A.T. nickname until we beat Alabama in football. Hopefully we will not have any R.A.Ts in the band at the end of the season but as it stands now we have two R.A.T. classes.
At the beginning of Preseason Camp every new member will be assigned to a group; this is now your group for the rest of Preseason Camp and consists of 10-15 other new members led by two Veteran members. This group will be your team to compete in R.A.T. Drills in the morning and R.A.T. Activities at night. R.A.T. Drills are mostly icebreaker/get-to-know-you games; the point really is to get to know as many people as possible, to learn the different cheers of the school, and have the chance to wake up. The R.A.T. Activities at night include different social activities. Some activities are tied to your R.A.T. group, like the Campus wide scavenger hunt during which we learn to sing the Alma Mater. Other activites are with your section, like section dinner night. However, some of them are just a lot of fun like BBQ Tailgate night or Bowling night. Yes, we do indeed rent the entire bowling alley for the entire band. By the way, all of these activities are completely optional but it doesn't hurt to meet new people and have a lot of fun while you do it. My closest friends came from R.A.T. activities. It really is worth it to get involved!
Every R.A.T. is also given a parent; males will get a R.A.T. Mom, and females a R.A.T. Dad. It’s important to note that this is not a dating service! We are just providing another veteran member in the band who is not necessarily in your section but can be a mentor to you throughout the year. Me and my R.A.T. Dad would study at Starbucks and he was always so helpful. I'm also really excited for this season as I'll have the chance to be a R.A.T. Mom for the first time!
So, I guess that about wraps it up for the R.A.T. Program. It really is a great way to get to know people, whether it be a fellow group member, your group leaders, or a R.A.T. Parent or twin! Please let any of the four of R.A.T Leaders know if you have any questions. Email us, find us on social media (snapchat, instagram, facebook, and more), or even send a carrier pigeon. We want to hear from you!
We can't wait to see you all, but until then...
- Do'Nyal Webb
Last Updated: 06/21/2016