AU fans urged not to roll Toomer’s Corner

by Stefanie Tiso

An email went out to students today from the Vice President of Student Affairs.
It says throwing toilet paper on the trees will hurt their chances of recovery.
After the soil around the trees tested positive for a lethal herbicide, the tree's chances of survival became uncertain.

Here's a copy of the e-mail that was sent:

Dear Auburn Students,

On Wednesday we learned of a horrendous crime that was committed on our campus. An individual administered a lethal dose of a toxic herbicide to our beloved Toomer's oak trees. It is too early to know the extent of the damage to the trees in the area. I am sure you are as shocked and saddened as I am about this turn of events. I have worked at several institutions of higher education and none have a tradition as special and sacred as rolling Toomer's Corner. This season my three-year-old daughter and I rolled Toomer's Corner after a few home football victories. She is always amazed at the beauty of this tradition. I assured her that one day she too will roll the corner as an Auburn student. In spite of the recent events, I still believe this to be true.

Throughout the history of Auburn University our students and alumni have faced challenges with class and integrity. What occurred was the act of a single individual. Let us uphold Auburn standards by not taking out our frustration on any individual or institution. Let us be congruent with the words of our beloved Creed — “I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all” — and conduct ourselves with class. Remember, this past football season teams and their fans visited Auburn and commented on the first-class hospitality of Auburn fans and students. Stories appeared in newspapers all over the country about how well Auburn fans treated their guests. Auburn parents and alumni expect us to uphold the tradition of excellence they worked so hard to establish. We will not let the actions of an individual change the character of who we are. Any act of retaliation by an Auburn student against an individual or institution would be inconsistent with who we are and tarnish the reputation of the entire Auburn family.

I would like to commend the Auburn Police Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation and state police for their thorough investigation and efforts to apprehend the alleged suspect. We honor their work by trusting the process and not creating additional burdens for law enforcement.

In the coming weeks, Auburn administrators and students will have opportunities to share their thoughts on what we should do next. As we learn more about the condition of Toomer's Corner, our faculty experts and landscaping officials strongly recommend we not roll the trees while we assess their health and treat them. It makes recovery chances even more challenging.

Thank you for continuing to make me proud to be a member of the Auburn family.


Ainsley Carry
Vice President for Student Affairs
Auburn University

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