Fall Editorial Board 2016
After Auburn’s win Saturday, amplified by the fact Auburn had lost the game one minute and ended up being declared the winner the next minute, the trees on Toomer’s Corner were rolled.
A tradition that probably began between the 1960s and ‘70s, students roll the trees with toilet paper in celebration.
It’s a tradition that inspires camaraderie among students and non-student fans alike.
Given its position in the hearts of Auburn lovers, it’s unfortunately become a target of spite and hatred.
In 2013, the two old trees at Toomer’s were cut down after being poisoned by Harvey Updyke.
In a similar act of desecration, someone decided to light one of the toilet paper-covered trees on fire in the middle of the night after the Auburn-LSU game.
The alleged perpetrator was arrested shortly thereafter and charged with desecration of a venerable object, public intoxication and criminal mischief first degree.
This isn’t just a slight toward the Auburn Family’s love of football.
It’s a slight against something deeper within Auburn; it’s a slight against our collective desire to stand with our fellow people across all borders.
Toomer’s Corner functions not only as a place for celebration after football games; it also serves as an extension of the common humanity held by students and citizens of Auburn.
In the wake of the Orlando shooting, nearly 100 people attended a candlelight vigil in respect of those who were affected.
We believe this week’s tree burning is an attack on the Auburn Family’s desire to band together through both good times and bad.
Instead of focusing on the perpetrators of such acts, we should focus on the resiliency the Toomer’s Oaks have come to symbolize. How through poison and fire, the Auburn Family’s spirit will not be broken.
This way, we don’t give the perpetrators the notoriety they potentially crave.
The ash of the Oak’s charred leaves littered the ground — some cleaned by cleaning crews.
But ash can’t be removed from earth, just as the Toomer’s tradition cannot be removed from the Auburn Family.