As many Stanford students have heard by now, on September 30th three Cal fans attacked the Stanford Tree, presumably as part of a long-standing rivalry with Stanford. In an exclusive interview with the Flipside this Monday, the assailants, John Battinger, Thomas Graham, and Alex Nguyen pointed to a different motive. “The thing you have to understand is that we are ardent environmentalists” said Battinger. “We really, really love trees.”
“It’s not something Stanford students would understand,” added Graham. “And it was this love, and a fear for the Tree’s well-being, that drove Graham and Battinger to take action. “Year after year, the Stanford Band forces the Tree to dance around at football games. That’s not natural for trees,” said Alex Nguyen, “There came a point when we just couldn’t take it anymore, watching our beloved tree get exploited.”
“She was really our tree, you know?” added Battinger. “She might seem enthusiastic about supporting Stanford, but we’re sure that deep down inside she knows she belongs to us, and she wishes she was with us. I know she’ll come around once we get her back to Berkeley.”
For now, the assailants’ relationship with the Tree is a bit shaky. “I think if the Tree understood just how much we love her,” said Nguyen, “she’d see why we completely lost it that Friday night and, in retrospect, handled the situation poorly. I think she’d forgive us.” It is this hope that drives the Tree’s many lovers at Cal to keep fighting. Rumor has it that some Cal students are planning to sit in the Tree in protest during this year’s Big Game.