The weeks before the UNM-NMSU “Rio Grande Rivalry” football game, music can be heard playing from the basement of the Sigma Chi house near UNM’s main campus. At first, it sounds like any other party, but at this time of year, it’s a party with a purpose – to strengthen the university’s morale in preparation for the school’s annual face-off with New Mexico State University.

That morale boost takes the form of a 25-foot-tall, papier-mâché effigy of “The Aggie,” NMSU’s mascot. The annual project is overseen by Jordan Scott, this year’s Executive Director of Lobo Spirit.

“The Burning of the Aggie means a lot to me on a personal note because I take rivalries incredibly seriously. Being a former collegiate athlete and having the football team see all of these students come and support you.

“It just kind of looks like a big bonfire but the fact that students work on this, they bring it over and they build it and that night everyone’s cheering, saying ‘Everyone’s a Lobo!’ It really sparks a fire in the football players, because we want to prove that we are the better school.”

Scott wants to encourage her fellow Lobos to not only support the university’s sports team, but to be proud of being part of the cultural fabric of New Mexico. As a transfer student, Scott believes that UNM’s campus pride is second to none.

“I think Lobo Spirit is important because UNM has a ton of tradition. Not only with the city of Albuquerque, but the state of New Mexico. Highlighting those traditions, especially from an undergraduate level, really shows how important this school is to the people of New Mexico.

“I love being here because UNM Is my home away from home. The people that I’ve met here, and the opportunities that I’ve been given, I wouldn’t have received from any other university. I can say that being at another university before (coming to UNM). Being here gives pride to students, because while we take academics incredibly seriously here, we also take extracurricular activities and our involvement in Albuquerque seriously.”