AUBURN, Alabama — The Student Government Associations and student leaders of the University of Alabama and Auburn University announced that they will hold a joint news conference today on the Auburn campus to “announce a joint venture that will be an expression of renewed unity.”
The event is to take place at 1 p.m. in front of Auburn’s Samford Hall.
SGA Presidents Kurt Sasser of Auburn and James Fowler of Alabama are to describe a project planned for both campuses. In the wake of the poisoning of the Toomer’s Corner trees, which has created ill will between some Auburn and Alabama fans, the student leaders say they hope the project “will create a permanent and visible representation of a mutual respect for our age-old rivalry.”
“We will make a public announcement regarding an exciting joint venture initiated by students leaders at both our universities,” Auburn SGA President Kurt Sasser said in a news release. “We want to capitalize on this opportunity to renew the sense of respect in this rivalry. Moving forward, I can’t think of a better way to do so than a joint project between our university and Alabama.”
James Fowler, president of the University of Alabama student government, said UA students “were terribly disappointed by the vandalism,” but are “excited about working with Auburn to underscore the honor of the Iron Bowl.
“I know this joint venture will be a lasting monument to our rivalry for generations of students, alumni, and fans to come.”
A self-proclaimed University of Alabama Crimson Tide fan, Harvey Updyke, has been charged with poisoning the famed Toomer’s Corner trees, which Auburn Tigers fans traditionally festoon with toilet paper after a bit sports win. Upset about the negative image that the event cast upon Tide fans, a group of fans set up a “Tide for Toomer’s” web page, which has raised at least $40,000 to date. Last week, Sasser and Fowler both called for “mutual respect” between the 2 fan bases.