After Auburn's win on Saturday against Tennessee, the members of Spectrum and the Auburn Justice Coalition gathered on Toomer’s Corner with one goal in mind: rolling the trees. Any Auburn fan on a game day wakes up hopeful for a win, so they can roll Toomer’s in celebration. These members, however, had a slightly different idea in mind.
Instead of the streaks of white that usually paint the trees, they envisioned a little more color.
Roll Toomer’s Rainbow was born from the many “challenges and discomforts minorities face on campus,” said Lucas Copeland, programs director for Spectrum and the LGBT+ Equity project manager for the Auburn Justice Coalition.
“I was thinking of a way that we could do something provocative, do something interesting and start a conversation about the experience of the marginalized on campus,” Copeland said.
With the support of the community and the Auburn Justice Coalition, the event took a little over a month to plan and execute.
The goal, Copeland said, was to provide a visual representation for the marginalized identities and their place on campus and in the community.
The hardest part was trying to find rainbow-colored toiled paper.
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“That’s actually a really interesting story,” said Hannah Krawczyk, junior in public administration and AJC executive director. “Lucas said it traveled through Spain, and I’m pretty sure it came from somewhere in the U.K. That was literally the only option we could find on the internet. They sell it! We just had to look far and wide.”
The clubs set up tables and blankets to tailgate during the game on Saturday. The members sat with crossed fingers on Toomer’s as the minutes and seconds ticked down until an Auburn win. While they sat, they had competitive corn-hole and an opportunity for people to express themselves by painting on a board that featured their purpose statement on it.
“Representing and empowering the diverse voices of our community, ejecting the erasure of our identities,” it read, with various pride flags, rainbows, and other symbols surrounding it.
“Does anyone know how to do this?” said one group member, as the seconds ticked down to Auburn’s win. When Google updated with the final score, the members excitedly grabbed reds, blues, pinks, browns, and more and ran to the trees.
As fans came to Toomer's Corner from the game, they were faced with a slightly unfamiliar sight of colored toilet paper draping off the trees. The first girls that approached, though, were happy to partake the the slight variation of the tradition.
Fans came armed with white toilet paper, but didn’t seem to have any issue with the new colors that were already on the trees. Many people stopped to take pictures exclusively with the colored paper.
“I’m so happy that other people joined in on the celebration,” Krawczyk said, “I can’t really put into words how I feel, other than that it’s just a great, amazing feeling. It feels like that recognition is there.”
Roll Toomer’s Rainbow is an event that members hopes will happen again.
“I’m graduating soon, and this is kind of a test pilot,” Copeland said. “I really hope they’ll carry it on in the fall, and next year in the spring.”
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