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Use student life funds to build statue

Jan. 31, 2001

This week is Traditions Week at Baylor, a week to learn more about Baylor's traditions and history. And there is perhaps no event in Baylor's history that has had more of an influence than the Immortal Ten tragedy has had.

There has been some talk about using the excess money in the Student Life Fund to help build the Immortal Ten statue. The editorial board members believe that going forward with the statue is important, and allocating funds from the fund could decrease the amount of time until the construction process is begun.

The money in the student life fund is supposed to be used for events that will benefit Baylor students. While it is most commonly used at the request of student organizations to offset the costs of bringing in high-profile speakers, using it to help build the Immortal Ten statue would also greatly benefit students.

The monument will be a landmark on Baylor's campus, and will certainly enhance students, visitors and prospective students' awareness and understanding of the Immortal Ten tragedy, an event that still affects Baylor decades later.

The statue will memorialize the 10 members of the Baylor basketball team who were killed on the way to a game with the University of Texas at Austin when a train crashed into their bus in Round Rock.

The Immortal Ten are honored every year during Homecoming Week and Traditions Week, and there will be a special ceremony during tonight's men's basketball game at 7 in the Ferrell Center to honor them as well.

It has taken several years for the statue idea to take hold, but there is no better time to erect it than now, during Traditions Week and just days after a similar tragedy at Oklahoma State University that killed two basketball players and six basketball staff members.

The memorial is scheduled to be built in front of the McLane Student Life Center in 2002. Using student life money to help fund the statue would speed up the process and finally enable Baylor to have a monument memorializing these 10 students who tragically lost their lives so early.

Almost 75 years after the tragedy, there is still no Immortal Ten monument. There should be, and if allocating funds from the student life funds could speed the process, then Student Congress should approve such a measure.