Respect The Corner
It’s 2:00 a.m. here in Columbia, Missouri.
Following an election, tensions are high on a college campus.
As news coverage is winding down, writing a column about Auburn football just seems a bit insignificant tonight. There will be many articles written and posted about today’s events, and very few will be about sports. I will not make this piece political — you can receive that information from other, much more informed sources. Instead, I will be addressing an event that bothered me tonight; one that affected one of Auburn’s most beloved traditions.
Following Donald Trump’s victory, Trump supporters rolled Toomer’s Corner. And most of those rolling the trees were Auburn students. This is a tradition that dates back to the 1950’s; one of the most storied traditions in all of college football, and one in which Auburn fans take great pride. In the past week, we have seen the trees rolled three times — only once for an Auburn victory. The other two times followed a World Series and a presidential election.
Rolling the trees for anything not related to Auburn University rips the significance of the oaks away. The whole point of the tradition is to be about Auburn and to be representative of the entire university’s pride and achievements.
I think it’s safe to say that not every Auburn student voted for Trump. So by rolling the oaks following the election, that isolates an entire portion of the student body. The oaks are meant to bring people together, not divide.
Some of my most cherished memories are from Toomer’s, and when you plaster political banners in front of the oaks, that taints those memories. The trees were not planted to serve as a symbol for any political agenda or campaign. They are there for Auburn, and only Auburn. The Corner has faced too many setbacks in the past few years to be used for anything other than appreciation for the school and its accolades.
To the students: this tradition has been here way longer than you. Respect it.