By Ariele Macaluso
At first glance, a walk by the Oviatt appears to be lovely. It is a beautiful library and the trees are blooming pretty white flowers. But wait…what’s that smell? Your perfectly nice walk on campus has been ruined by something mysterious and horrendous.
The question is where is this smell coming from? The answer is the Bradford pear trees with the pretty white flowers that line the path many students walk along when they are passing by the library. The smelly trees on CSUN’s campus should be removed.
According to the Internet tree database “What Tree Is It?” which is a service of the Ohio Public Library Information Network, Bradford pear trees are planted mostly for looks. “Unlike most other pear trees, this form is grown mainly for its ornamental features.” So it is understandable why our university saw fit to plant these trees in the first place.
However, a major consideration our university overlooked is something the Bradford pear is also known for and that is its smell. The tree database also states, “These flowers are often described as having a very unpleasant smell.”
A very unpleasant smell is putting it lightly and each person you ask about it describes the terrible smell these trees produce a little differently.
CSUN sophomore Risa Isogawa said, “It smells like death. When I walk past, I try to breathe through my mouth, but that doesn’t even help all that much.”
“That smell is the trees?” asked Candace Yu, a freshman majoring in journalism. “I thought it was the sewer.”
Our campus should smell like neither of these things.
These Bradford pear trees are so offensive they have even inspired a Facebook group called “Petition to Uproot Every Jizz Tree On The CSUN Campus,” which is dedicated to the trees’ removal. The group’s name comes from the comments made by many students who compare the odor of the tree to semen and the scent of porn sets.
Not only do these trees offend the noses of CSUN students and faculty but they also are potentially keeping CSUN students from coming together. Given that CSUN is a commuter school for many students, we have a harder time getting our community to engage in campus activities. These trees are located at a major focal point on our campus where we should be promoting activities and socializing. However, the horrendous odor of the trees encourages nothing but a quicker pace as students pass by.
It’s true that removing the trees would cost money. Money, some would argue, that our school doesn’t have to spend, but this is a problem that can be solved in a variety of ways. For example, a fund could be started, donations could be made, or students themselves could remove the trees free of charge for the university.
Options exist and this problem can be solved. As students of this university, you should take a stand and grasp the opportunity to change your campus for the better. After all, looks aren’t everything.
By Vanessa Rosalez
Beautifully bloomed Bradford pear trees in front of the Oviatt Library greet CSUN students every spring. Why would any faculty or student wish to rid the school of such an amazing gift of nature? Although they are infamous for their stench, I believe CSUN should consider keeping them regardless of the tree’s odd aroma.
People tend to take these defenseless trees for granted and not see their true value on campus.
Trees act as caretakers by constantly recycling the nutrients in the soil creating a system that can independently maintain the rest of the surrounding plant life. The trees will slowly but surely decrease global warming by providing oxygen, as well as rid the earth of harmful carbon dioxide, both harmful effects of deforestation. Also worth noting is the shade they provide to students who prefer to study in the open air instead of being cooped up in the overcrowded library.
Another thing to consider is who would pay for getting rid of the trees? Even though students petitioning for their removal believe in their cause, it could cost them. It would be too much of a financial burden on the school given the current budget crisis and that could lead to increases in tuition. It is highly unlikely the students complaining about the offending trees want to personally pay for their removal.
The fact there is an entire group named after the foul odor emitted by these beautiful trees, gives people something to talk about on Facebook or remember CSUN for. It merely brings students from various grade levels together to discuss something frivolous.
The Bradford pear trees have a right to remain in their spots. They add scenery to the university campus, provide oxygen and shade to faculty and students and they aid in preventing global warming.
Would it make sense to petition for your removal if you smelled horrible?