Student Spotlight: Barrett Ahlers

Photo by John Nakano

With the football team starting their season, the return of “Georgia Tech: It’s Friday” gold-and-white days, and the audible echoes of band practice across campus, it is clear that the Tech student body is prepared for yet another spirited semester.

Perhaps the best way for enthusiastic students to show off their school spirit is through joining the Reck Club.

So, the Technique sat down with Barrett Ahlers, a fifth-year Civil Engineering major, member of Ramblin’ Reck Club and, last but not least, driver of the one and only Ramblin’ Wreck.

Technique: How long have you been a member of The Ramblin’ Reck Club? What made you want to join the organization initially?

Ahlers: I joined in spring 2010. I had been coming to football since 2004 and saw them coming down the hill. I asked my sister what they did, and she told me the were heavily involved in sports. As soon as I heard this I was hooked.

Technique: What other organizations are you involved with on campus?

Ahlers: Nothing anymore.

Technique: Reck Club has a history of keeping Tech traditions alive. What is your favorite school tradition?

Ahlers: Other than the Ramblin’ Wreck? The Freshman Cake Race. I like the bonding it can produce among the freshman. I thought it was bad getting up that early as a freshman, but now as a member of Reck Club I have to get up even earlier! But I love it, I even still have my cake race number.

Technique: Do you have any personal traditions that you have started here at Tech or kept up with throughout your five years here?

Ahlers: Not really. I always try to make it to at least one away football game and one away volleyball game in the fall.

Technique: Besides taking care of the car, as the name suggests, what other things are club members ultimately responsible for?

Ahlers: The most visible thing we do other than the Wreck is write the T-Book. Reck Club has been writing the T-Book in its entirety since 2008. We also are involved in ticket distribution, Homecoming events, Georgia Tech It’s Friday and numerous other things I could list off.

Technique: College football season is obviously a busy time for the club. What is your favorite part of game day at Tech?

Ahlers: Busting through the banner! Other than that, driving around to different tailgates and seeing how excited all our fans are to see the Wreck.

Technique: This year you’re the driver for the Wreck. What was the selection process like? What made you want to become the driver?

Ahlers: First I had to become a member of Ramblin’ Reck Club. After that, Driver is an elected position within the club. I wanted to be the driver because I realized how much I loved the Wreck. I didn’t think anyone could love and take care of it as well as me.

Technique: If you could drive anyone in the car for a day who would it be and why?

Ahlers: My grandpa. He is no longer with us, and he would have loved to ride around. He always loved to tinker with stuff and the Wreck is by far the greatest toy I’ve ever played with! I’m sure we would have had a blast just rolling around campus and working on the Wreck.

Technique: How does one go about becoming a member of Reck Club?

Ahlers: Look out in the spring for announcements. A prospective member must fill out a simple application, come to a few meet ‘n’ greets, and go through an interview with members of the club.

Technique: What advice would you give to someone who is going through the admissions process for the club? [Recruitment does not take place until next January.]

Ahlers: Be yourself! If you are fake and happen to get in then you probably won’t like it. If you are fake and don’t get in, you’ll second guess yourself. Be who you are and what happens, happens. If you happen to not make it this year, try again. A lot of our members didn’t get in the first time. When you come back a second time it really shows the club just how much you want to be in the club, and you work hard.