Students express outrage over an attack on Vassar’s most beloved tree

Charles Ladder/The Miscellany News.

On Friday evening, I was saddened to learn some unfortunate news about a certain weeping willow located between Chicago Hall and Raymond House. It was the sort of news that I needed to experience in person, so later that evening, Humor Editor Madi and I took a walk over to assess the damage. I was devastated by what I saw. A major branch of this tree had been cut down, exposing the interior. The air was quiet. The tone was somber. This wasn’t just any tree. It was the Sex Tree. 

 Due to its wide shape and dense, curtain-like foliage, for many years, this tree offered privacy and space during the most intimate of acts, earning its name. It didn’t judge. It didn’t critique. It simply provided. Now it has been permanently disfigured, and what was once private is now public.  

I believe this is the sort of tree problem the Lorax was fighting for; if he had been there with us that night, he would have had some strong words to say about this. In place of said fuzzy orange man, I decided to interview some students on the street who could speak for the tree we so greatly hold dear. The brief interviews that followed touch on feelings of depression, anger, acceptance and every stage of grief in between. 
I initially talked to Garrett, who was unaware of the tree’s current condition before our conversation. Staring out at the damages, Garrett told me, forlornly, : “It’s kind of sad to see. It’s a landmark… I gotta find a new place to have sex.” Garrett was right. It is a landmark. It’s like the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Lincoln Memorial all rolled into one, with the bonus of being sex-positive. 

Next, I talked to Ava, who was equally distraught by this very serious matter. “Devastating,” Ava told me. “I’m a freshman, so I don’t know if I have much to say, but [it’s] definitely devastating. I feel like upperclassmen probably really feel it in their hearts.” This was a very accurate assumption from Ava. 

Jackson is one of those upperclassmen who spoke to us that night with a heavy heart. 

“It’s a deeply tragic day for all of us—those of us who have had sex in the Sex Tree and those of us who were waiting for the right moment. All of us are deeply, deeply moved,” Jackson told us. In times of rising tuition, brutal droughts and dead queens, you would think one could minimally rely on the protections of a certain sex tree. 

“I don’t think I was ever gonna have sex there, but, just in case, I would like [it] to still be around, as a [beacon],” an anonymous student shared.   

Some students were more blunt on the matter.  “We need to riot,” an anonymous student suggested. As much as I’m in favor of (safely) burning down the entirety of Noyes, I’m not sure if that will prove to be a long-term solution.

Lastly, our Humor Editor Madi had a hopeful statement on the future of arboreal fornication at Vassar. “It’s an icon of our beautiful campus. It reminds us of the beauty of college life… and I think its removal is really sad,” Madi expressed. “And I hope a new Sex Tree can grow bountiful over this campus.” That is certainly my hope as well. I see potential in the Class of 1891’s tree in the coming decades. In the meantime, I’ve walked all through campus, from Walker to Jewett, anxiously searching for a surrogate tree like a lost child in the supermarket, but such attempts have been admittedly fruitless. Trying to find a new sex tree is like spending the night searching for two identical snowflakes. In the middle of June. 

 

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