BY ETHAN THORNBRO
Tigers for Trees, a committee founded in 2017 under FHSU Student Affairs, consists of FHSU students and faculty along with Hays community members. The committee’s primary focus involves spreading awareness of the arboreal friends that share the Fort Hays campus with us.
The group came up with the idea for their Tree Decoration Contest with the objective of ensuring a safe way for FHSU students, faculty and staff to celebrate the holidays. The committee also has a strong wish to reach out to the community of Hays.
“Though this year’s holiday season may be different, it will be fun and festive” FHSU sophomore and committee member, Sarah Growe said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having a tremendous effect on the holiday season across the globe, the Tree Campus Committee wanted to provide a community service while spreading the word about their work.
“We wanted to engage with members of the campus and local community through a tree decorating contest. While asking folks to get involved, we want to also inform them about the committee’s work,” Dr. Teresa Clounch, assistant VP for Student Affairs and founding member of Tigers for Trees, said.
Previously, the FHSU holiday season started and focused on the tree lighting ceremony outside of Sheridan Hall. With complications brought upon by COVID-19, Tigers for Trees saw this as the perfect opportunity to start a new tradition of sorts.
“We were having our monthly meeting when the committee members began to discuss the potential of such an idea” Growe said.
FHSU senior and Tigers For Trees Social Media Manager, Kodi Smith said the contest consists of four categories – best outdoor tree, most festive, best theme, and the committee’s choice.
“[The contest is then] divided into three divisions to separate the contestants in each category,” Smith said.
The Tigers for Trees Tree Decoration Contest will run from November 27 through December 26th pushing involvement with the contest deep into the winter break.
Tigers for Trees wants to ensure the public is safe while celebrating this year but they also focus on gaining recognition. Their student representatives agree the concept of starting an annual tradition on campus has the potential to be monumental for the committee’s reputation down the line.
“With the committee getting the achievement of Tree Campus annually for the past three years, the start of this new tradition has the potential to boost the reputation and credibility of the Tigers for Trees Tree Committee,” Growe said.
In order to send submissions in for the contest, Smith said it can be done so by using the hashtag “Tigersfortrees” on both Facebook or Instagram. The contest will have prizes that are yet to be determined but the tradition is said to start simply by implementing bragging rights as the initial prize for the contest’s inaugural year.