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Stanford students are fighting for their right to party. On Saturday, that movement continued into the football stadium.
Earlier this year, the school’s “war on fun” garnered national attention when the famous Stanford Tree mascot held up a banner that read ‘STANFORD HATES FUN’ during a halftime performance. In response to the anti-administration sign, the university suspended the Tree indefinitely earlier this week.
That did not go over well with the students, who took matters into their own hands.
Stanford students are fighting for their right to party.
It was not a large group that attended Stanford’s 38-point blowout loss to Washington State, but they made themselves heard. Wearing ‘Free The Tree’ shirts, they chanted “Stanford hates fun!” They even unfurled the same banner that got the Tree suspended in the first place.
As they did, security converged on the student section to make sure that everything stayed under control.
The sign and corresponding chants stems from the university’s handling of social functions. Stanford administrators have cracked down in recent months.
Students claim that the administration has exerted pressure to restrict student social life through lack of communication, an adversarial approach to party registration and funding, and strict policies.
The numbers back up that claim.
113 less parties were registered on campus during the first quarter of 2022 than in 2019. That was the last year without COVID-19 regulations. And it goes beyond parties.
“You feel like you’re being audited by the IRS to get boba for people,” said one Voluntary Student Organization leader to The Stanford Daily. The same student said that Stanford is “excessively bureaucratic” and implemented a ruleset that “has expanded and [adds] challenges that don’t need to be there.”
In response to the administration’s tightening of the reins, the students have pushed back. It started with the Tree, and by suspending it for speaking out, the conversation will only get louder.