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The Stanford Tree, one of the best (and craziest) mascots in college sports, has been suspended. The decision comes after an on-field statement that stems from a larger control controversy at the university.
On October 22, as Stanford hosted Arizona State in front of an embarrassingly small crowd, the Tree joined the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band on the field at halftime. During the quirky band’s performance, the Tree helped hold up a sign that read ‘STANFORD HATES FUN.’
A week later, as the Cardinal played UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, the Tree was not on the field.
The reason being that the Tree has been suspended, which it announced on Sunday night.
While the current Tree mascot has been suspended, it appears as though his/her predecessor will return to his/her role in the current mascot’s absence.
Heyo, previous Tree (#43) here. Some of y’all have been asking, so I’ll clarify that @lsjumb leadership reached this decision as per established Band policy. But don’t worry, I’ll be coming out of retirement until #44 returns in the winter 😤☮️— Stanford Tree (@DaStanfordTree) October 31, 2022
The suspension stems directly from the sign that read “STANFORD HATES FUN.” The sign stems from the university’s handling of social life as students fight for their right to party.
Over the course of the fall semester, Stanford administrators have cracked down on social functions. It all started when they forced the Kappa Sigma fraternity to postpone the first all-campus party of the year.
There is a bigger issue at bay as Stanford’s war on fun continues.
The cancellation of one single event is not that big of a big deal and students agree. But it goes deeper.
Students claim that Stanford 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 appear to back up their allegations.
An extremely informative piece from Stanford’s student-run newspaper, ‘The Stanford Daily,’ breaks down the entire situation from a first-hand perspective. It says that just 45 parties were registered on campus during the first month of the fall quarter. That total is 113 less than the 158 parties that were registered during the same timeframe in 2019— the last year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Concern about Stanford’s social policies is not only coming from the Greek organizations on campus.
“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.
In addition, according to sources, the university has tried to take more control of the band and its performances. Stanford’s marching band is intentionally goofy and it has a lot of fun. The university has reportedly been more involved with its day-to-day operations than every before.
When all of the factors were combined, the ‘STANFORD HATES FUN’ sign was born. Now the Tree is suspended.
It’s as if the university officials don’t see the irony of the suspension and how it reflects directly back on the administration as fun-haters who take themselves too seriously. #FreeTheTree