Eucalyptus Grove Marches on Geiselgard


Written by: Amit Roth

“To all the students who think they can support the Ent uprising, I have one thing to say to you,” said Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “You shall not pass… your classes.”
Photo by Amit Roth

UC San Diego’s Capital Program team and exe­cutive staff were heavily criticized following a newsletter announcing the groundbreaking for Ninth College next Spring Quarter. The construction map details the Library Walk Living and Learning Neighborhood, which will replace Eucalyptus Grove from the library past the old Student Center. This move was dubbed “anti-green, a red flag even” by a majority of student groups on campus, but the most vocal opposition to the proposed construction were the trees.

“We were old then, when we set root here, yet old were we upon coming from the lands of Australia,” recounted Treestache, one of the talking trees. “The plot of Khosla to outroot us, if seen through this coming April, spells out the last March of the Ents.” Treestache later interrupted the groundbreaking ceremony for Ninth College, where participants say that his “thundering voice and message” caused them to rethink the implicit symbolism behind their commemorative UCSD-branded shovels.

With mounting pressure from the “united army” of StudEnt-Kind, a newly founded activist organization, Chancellor Khosla and much of his staff instead commandeered the eighth floor of Geisel Library. Hasty fortifications were completed around the ground and forum levels of the building before Khosla resumed press conferences. “The nets didn’t work, and the Talking Trees walk again. But who now has the strength to stand against the faculties of Geiselgard? The old world will burn in the fires of industry. Forests will fall. We will drive the machine of war with the shovel and the permit and the iron fist of the law,” said Khosla.

What followed was a two week long Ent siege on fortress Geiselgard. Lectures were disrupted by “the groans of concrete, the crashing of wood, and the echoing wails of the fallen.” The Talking Tree Goatree led the frontal assault on the READ/WRITE/THINK/DREAM gates while the Singing Tree, Treesolpach, drowned out all communications in the fortress. The chancellor’s forces deployed catapults firing flaming projectiles, while the chancellor himself deployed timely warning messages threatening to use Ents for Ninth College’s lumber. The decision to plant Eucalyptus Grove in “bland rows” benefitted the trees’ formation in battle. Despite heavy losses on both sides, the siege continued to a stalemate. Towards the final days of the conflict, Treestache remarked, “The Chancellor of Geiselgard bides in his silence. In that silence, he may unheed us, and idle longer. Yet we must abide with our war. We Ents never do anything unless it is worth taking a long time to do.”

After a week of quiet on the library front, a campus-wide email signed by Kholsa stated, “Constructing Ninth in the center of campus was and continues to be the most fitting place to complete our family of colleges, at least until we get the permits for Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth. In compromise, UC San Diego will strive to clear some ugly local trees and plant another monoforest of eucalyptus. No trees with speakers, however, as some find them to disturb the peace. We don’t want to listen to voices on campus.”

The long-term effects of past months’ events manifested as a splintering of student opinions. Many condemn the violence, while others such as StudEnt-Kind members continue to plant trees as future reinforcements. Many more call for a follow-up siege on South Parking Structure to revert the SR spaces, questioning what side the Ents take on a variety of campus issues. Treestache replied, “Side? We are on nobody’s side, because nobody is on our side.”

Amit is a cog in this machine. But doesn't everything run on optic cables or something?

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