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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2005
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Auburn's 'holiday tree' root of conservatives' growing ire

AUBURN (AP) — Student leaders at Auburn University were inundated with more than 20,000 irate e-mails and a flood of phone calls from people upset that the campus Christmas tree was called a "holiday tree."

Despite the outpouring, the Student Government Association this week rejected a resolution to rename the tree-lighting ceremony, the latest point of contention in a campaign by conservatives to demand that Christmas traditions be referred to by their traditional names.

The Auburn SGA and other groups began sponsoring a program in 2000 called the "Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony."

The name of the ceremony never got much attention until Laura Steele, a student senator and head of Auburn's College Republicans, heard the "Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony" mentioned at an SGA meeting.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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