Updated November 16, 2013

This information is provided by the Professors & Researchers Special Interest Group of The Naturist Society.  Please discover all of the other wonderful topics available by entering this site through the front door.

    Newsletter # 16
    Professors and Researchers
    Special Interest Group
    The Naturist Society
    May, 2005

    ● Campus Nudity Special Issue ●


[A few articles that appeared too late for this issue have now been added to the internet version.]

Contents:

I  The Streaking Revival
    A.  Hamilton College
        1.  The Naked Truth: Dad Is Son's Biggest Fan
        2.  The Few, the Brave, the Proud: the Streakers
        3.  Get Naked or Go Home
        4.  Buff and Blue: NESCAC Tour a Success
        5.  In a Game of Shirts and Skins, They'd Be the Skins
        6.  Students Make Streaking Film
        7.  They're Going Streaking!
        8.  Coed Naked Nakedness
        9.  Internet Blurb
        10.  Episode IV: A New Hope
    B.  Princeton
        11.  Princeton Varsity Streaking Team
        12.  University of Pennsylvania:  Taking It All Off
        13.  Streakers Strike Princeton University
        14.  Hamilton Streakers Strike Campus
        15.  Streaking Team Disbanded
        16.  An Untimely Ending
        17.  Streaked, Streaking, Streaks
    C.  Williams College
        18.  Varsity Streaking at Williams?
        19.  Students Bare All for Shock Value and Laughs

II  Other Campus Nudity
    A.  Bennington College
        20.  Nude Students Fight to Bare All
        21.  Indiana University:  Nudity Not for Necking
        22.  Letter to the Editor
    B.  Syracuse
        23.  Students Enjoy Nudity Despite Social Constraints
    C.  University of Chicago
        24.  A Word to the Streakers
        25.  Letter to the Editor
    D.  Swarthmore
        26.  This Summer, Strut Your Stuff in Your Birthday Suit
    E.  Rice
        ----Streaking at Rice (added 2011)
        ----More Memories of the Baker 13 (added 2012)

III  Off-campus Nudity for College Students
    A.  Tallahassee:  College Greek Athletic Meet
        27.  Attracting Students: Six Suggestions
        28.  The Tenth Annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet
        29.  Ten Years of Nude College Greek Athletics
    B.  AANR Youth Ambassador Program
        30.  AANR Youth Leadership Camps

[We revisited the topic in 2013.]
IV  The Bigger Wave of College Streaking Back in 1974
        University of Florida
        University of Michigan
            Movie Review: The Naked Mile
        Abstract: Why Conservative Writers Supported Streaking

    College streaking began sometime in the fall of 1973 at the University of Maryland, but was usually done after dark.  On January 15, 1974, just five days after reporting that story, newspaper editors at Florida State University staged a daytime incident--complete with documenting photograph.  From there, the fad quickly spread to campuses nationwide.  Exuberant students jostled with Watergate for the headlines.  Students held mass nude rallies on the main square of some campuses.  Then they went home for the summer, and college streaking pretty much ended.

    A quarter of a century later, in the fall of 2004, the so-called Varsity Streaking Team at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY took their two-year-old group on tour.  It was zanier than before.  Perhaps the best part was their audacious press releases.  They streaked nearby colleges, whose students began organizing their own teams.  Princeton's administrators squashed the effort there.  Hamilton's administration did not.  Why should they?  The streaking team had put tiny Hamilton College on the map.  The idea has so far failed to spread beyond New England.

    Meanwhile, the Syracuse newspaper reported on nudity in the male dorms.  You may well object that none of these campus hijinks have much to do with the spirit of naturism.  True enough.  But that cannot be said of the serious protests at Bennington, when an administrator outlawed that college's traditional tolerance of nudity.  Unfortunately, the protests fizzled, and have not been in the news at all this spring.

    In the last decade, college administrators have ruthlessly stamped out traditional nighttime nude runs at Princeton, the University of Michigan, and other campuses.  That leaves Tallahassee, Florida's ten-year-old College Greek Athletic Meet as the oldest functioning nude event for college students.  Operating on the grounds of a traditional naturist club and attracting students from several campuses, it comes under the authority of no administrator.  Is that the pattern for future success?  The American Association for Nude Recreation's Nude U is growing under similar off-campus sponsorship.

    Recent campus nudity has inspired creative reporting.  The Professors & Researchers SIG here archives some fine press coverage:


    1.  The naked truth: Dad is son's biggest fan

by Reg Henry
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
April 29, 2003

    Let me share with you today the sort of e-mail you don't want to receive from your son in college:

    "Dad, I might join the ranks of the... varsity streaking team.  Wish me luck.  Jimmy."

    This came last week and included an e-mail sent to all students at his college, inviting them to join "the Co-ed Varsity Streaking Team" at noon the next Wednesday--this despite a forecast calling for a chance of snow in that region of upstate New York.  "People of all shapes, sizes and colors are welcome," it said.

    Clearly, he sent it to get me mad.  He knows the last thing I need in my life is a call from campus security telling me he had been caught naked in the quadrangle.

    In my view, it's no time to be naked in America.  Heck, Sen. Rick Santorum sees no constitutional problem in police officers coming into your house and arresting you for having sex not approved by the government.

    If the cop is to be put into copulation, my fear is that officers may crack down on streakers, with a view to making sure that the participants' dating opportunities are not boosted by their having flagrantly advertised their charms.

    So I immediately rose to the bait and e-mailed him back: "Jim, Keep your pants on.  We Henrys do better when we are subtle.  Dad xxxx."

    Of course, this advice was nonsense.  This is America and subtlety is a complete loser, for Henrys or anyone else.  Only people who are completely over-the-top make any impression in America (ask Sen. Santorum).  But I had to write something before he threw pants and caution to the wind.

    Jimmy knows his father all too well: If a varsity streaking team really existed, competing in an approved league of athletic nudists (presumably in a summer season), then I certainly would come and cheer for him, although goodness knows where he would pin his number.  

    No matter what sport my children played, I have always been the biggest father fan.

    Now, it would be tasteless to suggest that unathletic people like me only have children so that they can beat other people's children in sporting contests, as a pathetic revenge for all the times we were picked last in childhood pick-up games.

    Still, when a parent reads "Goodnight Moon" to a little kid, it is only natural to wish that one day heaven will reward such excruciating sappiness by having the child grow up and hit a game-winning home run.

    My support for Jimmy started early with T-ball and swarm ball (otherwise known as soccer for 5-year-olds).  

    When he finally got to Little League, no parent was in the bleachers more often than I was, shouting the traditional "Good eye, good eye," when the ball sailed 10 feet over his head and he decided not to swing at it.  You'd think Jimmy was Cyclops Jr., so often was he praised for having a good eye.

    I thought baseball or soccer would be his game.  But when we moved from California to Pittsburgh, he took up ice hockey.  Oh, that was some kind of fun for me, going to games at godforsaken hours in far-flung rinks where devoted moms (most impressively) would howl in the stands and heap abuse on the poor refs.

    Then he discovered a new sport at his school--lacrosse, a sort of land-based hockey invented by the American Indians.  He took to it immediately, and that's no surprise.  What red-blooded boy doesn't respond to being given a stick and being told he can hit people with it?

    Now that he is playing lacrosse in college, I travel 400 miles to see him play every chance I get.  Later, I take him to dinner, and a few friends tag along,
actually about half the team, and of course they all order steaks because hitting people with sticks inspires a hearty appetite, and, hey, Jimmy's dad is buying.  

    No complaints.  The experience is worth every penny.  Jimmy plays attack, which means he must navigate through a thicket of big bruiser defensemen to score goals.  The college paper recently called him the "eclectic dodger," because he has an amazing talent for changing direction in a twinkling--a trait he obviously inherited from his mother.

    All the while, I am up in the stands, beaming with pride and saying to no one in particular: "Look, that's my son, the eclectic dodger."  So it's just as well he has his shorts on as his winning streak continues.


    2.  The Few, the Brave, the Proud: The Streakers

by Andrew Whalen
The Spectator, vol. 35, no. 1
Sept. 9, 2004

    Whether apparent or subtle, showing off our assets is ingrained in every one of our characters.  We are all hard-wired to accentuate what we feel to be our better attributes, while downplaying our perceived faults.  However, it appears that some of the automatons have begun to take on a life of their own.  A bold few in the Hamilton community have learned to reject the harsh guidelines nailed on the door of society.  The few, the brave, the proud, the streakers.

    We live in a society where the nude human form is an object of shame yet intense allure.  This odd conflict in ideology is due largely in part to the human fascination with sex, which is, at the moment, experiencing a bit of a boom.  In a new age where sexual liberation is so often confused with feminism and empowerment, sex has become a hot commodity.  Everywhere we turn there are scantily clad women advertising soft drinks, or shirtless, near-naked men selling clothing, to the point of over-saturation.  Yet the nude form itself is never a part of this deluge.  Sex is the constant insinuation in so much of our media and culture, yet there is still the odd need to cover up the half-nude statues in our nation's capital.  The result is a generation whose knowledge of true nudity is confined to the realm of bawdy sexual fantasy and the occasional sultry encounter, secreted from parents like a cookie from the jar.  It is as if we can no longer separate the human form from its erotic asides.  The human body has become a sex object, rather than being a source of so much beauty and potential in addition to a sexual force.

    So what does all of this have to do with naked men running across the Welsh Hall stage like Adam sans fig leaf, while hundreds of freshmen watched on in disgust and bemusement (perhaps even envy)?  Excellent question, thank-you for asking.  These noble gentlemen are taking the stigma out of nudity.  With appendages flapping like meaty pendulums and wearing only sneakers and goofy grins, these men have introduce us to the human form in a very non-sexual way.  When confronted with pale flesh that seldom sees the sun at a school assembly, it is hard to put the nudity in a sexual context.  These guys are not modeling the newest line of AirWhoever's.  They are genuinely naked.

    Is it really surprising that such a simplistic idea births a strong statement?  Whether intended or not, our campus cape-less crusaders are introducing many of us, myself included, to a fresh perspective.  The human body can be appreciated and revealed in ways other than sexual ones.  It is certainly an odd first lesson to learn, but a valuable one.  As freshmen, it is perhaps the best welcome to college that we could have.  So thank-you streakers, for opening up the proverbial trench coat and giving us a glimpse at the underlying lessons, whether explicit or insightful.  I would thank each of you personally, were it not that you covered your figurative butts more successfully than your literal ones.  Although I may never have the courage to join such brave souls, I will always voice my support behind the cowardly curtain of my words.  May the collective spirit of the Hamilton community (well, minus the whiny dissenters), warm your naked form and quicken your feet, so you may continue to run into our hearts and away from the seeking hands of Campus Safety.


3.  Get Naked or Go Home
Streakers Embark on Tour of New England

Press Release
by the Hamilton Varsity Streaking Team
September 22, 2004

    Clinton, NY--The Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team has announced a five day tour of New England Liberal Arts colleges registered with the NESCAC [New England Small College Athletic Conference], commencing on October 1 and wrapping up back in Clinton, NY on October 5.  

    The team is comprised of individuals who wish to make the Northeast United States a safer and more accepting place for humanity.  The team is dedicated to spreading love for and awareness of the body, to enlighten and enliven unsuspecting spectators.  Our endeavors have nothing to do with the crude "Coed Naked Lacrosse" shirts you bought in Tijuana with your buddies last March.  This is well-intentioned nudity, buttocks with panache.  And why NESCAC?

    Well, we were rejected from Middlebury, Williams, Bowdoin and Wesleyan.  Now we cavort in the verdant quadrangles which we have been denied.  We mean no disrespect; we wish only to illuminate, to dazzle, to amuse and astonish.  And, of course, streaking is wicked fun.  We conclude with the immortal words of Meat Loaf: "I'll never forgive myself if we don't go all the way."

Please direct all press inquiries to:

Varsity Streaking Team
3507 Post Street
Clinton NY 13323


4.  Buff and Blue: NESCAC Tour a Success

Press Release
by the Hamilton Varsity Streaking Team
October 5, 2004

    Clinton, NY--The Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team has returned to Clinton victorious.

    From October 1 - 5, the team streaked twelve private colleges in the New England region, including Union, Williams, Middlebury, Colby, Bates, Bowdoin, Tufts, Wellesley, Connecticut, Trinity, Wesleyan, and Amherst.

    "Overall, the tour was a massive success," team member Adam Bedient reflected.  "We streaked the shit out of New England."

    The tour commenced at Union College in Schenectady, NY, and finished in a blaze of glory at Amherst College in Amherst, MA.  The team, comprised of sixteen undergraduates and one graduate of Hamilton College, traveled from school to school in a thirty foot recreational vehicle.  Graduates of Hamilton joined the tour along the way.

    Most campuses embraced the team's presence.  "Bates was definitely a highlight; students from the college joined us as we streaked the main dining hall," member Craig Moores said.

    Although the team realized their goal of streaking twelve schools, a minor setback was encountered when three team members were apprehended by Wellesley police.  "A dark cloud hovered over the RV," recalled Bedient, who was one of the three expelled from the all female campus.  "We kept asking ourselves, 'Can we finish the tour?'  After five minutes of consideration, the answer was 'yes, we can'."

    The entire team was later escorted off of the Connecticut College campus by the school's Campus Safety Department.  Unwilling to throw in the towel, the team persevered and completed its rounds of Connecticut and Massachusetts before classes recommenced at Hamilton on Wednesday.

    The Varsity Streaking Team is comprised of individuals who wish to make the Northeast United States a safer and more accepting place for humanity.  We mean no disrespect; we wish only to illuminate, to dazzle, to amuse and astonish.  And, of course, streaking is wicked fun.


5.  In a Game of Shirts and Skins, They'd Be the Skins

by Mark Fuchs
The New York Times
November 3, 2004

    CLINTON, N.Y., Oct. 28--At a rugby game at Middlebury College recently, cheerleaders had taken the field to urge on the home team with timeless perkiness when they were silenced by a drove of naked students running a parade line through the middle of the field.  At Connecticut College, a tour of the campus was conducted in the typical formation, with the guide walking backward, pointing to everything from the library to the dean's office.  The only wrinkle was that those taking the tour, both men and women, were without a stitch of clothes.  

    Both proved victories under the belt of a team that doesn't wear any.   At colleges across New England and upstate New York, a band of naked students from Hamilton College, who call themselves the school's varsity streaking team (and consider themselves undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation, though it is not clear--or even probable--that there is any competition), has been spotted tiptoeing through college libraries stark naked, forefingers on noses, advising people to shush and running down campus hills in a Flying V formation, also naked, flapping their arms and making "caw" noises.  

    Proudly describing themselves as more narcissists than naturalists, the streakers, most of whom say they are on the fringes of campus life and washouts from youth athletic programs, are not authorized in any way by Hamilton College or the N.C.A.A., and they obviously do not have the more common trappings of team play, like uniforms.  All they come equipped with is deadpan humor and sneakers.  

    Theater of the absurd, meet intercollegiate sports.   

    The streaking at Hamilton started several years ago, but it was a more loosely aligned group that did most of its streaking on campus, generally during school events.  But at some point in the last year--no one is sure precisely when--they had a collective brainstorm.  

    "We kept referring to ourselves as a team," said Craig Moores, a senior studio arts major, "and then it dawned on us that if we were truly a team, we'd have to have away games."

    What constitutes victory when they play other colleges is open to some discussion.  Pete Holzaepfel, a lanky and affable senior government major with political ambitions, said that on the one hand, if a member of the other school joins them in streaking, Hamilton loses, or at best plays to a draw.  On the other hand, he added, he has ambivalence about this as an accurate measurement of performance, because as they streak they shout to encourage others to join in.  

    Matthew Himmel, a biology major in his senior year, said the essential element of a victorious streak is that it be done in front of a lot of people.  "After all, if no one saw you, did you, in fact, streak?"

    As eager as the team was to test its mettle at other schools, some of the roughly two dozen members admit that they went the route of intercollegiate sports only because streaking at Hamilton had grown stale.  Alex Klivecka, a junior majoring in religious studies, said that even when he ran in a mask, people on the school's paths were greeting him by name.  

    The team members still streak their own campus on special occasions, but their focus has turned outward.  The team spent fall break in early October together in a 30-foot recreational vehicle, streaking at all the schools in Hamilton's athletic league, the New England Small College Athletic Conference.  Three team members were detained by the police at Wellesley, but they have not yet been charged.  

    "They kept asking us what cause we were streaking for," said Mr.  Moores, "so we finally had to start throwing some causes out there, but look--we're just not nudists for Nader."

    As with varsity football teams and even the marching band, an away game offers the opportunity for team members to bond on the road.  

    Mr. Holzaepfel, who said he had a creeping feeling that this is just the sort of youthful discretion that will get him in trouble on a future campaign trail, is currently trying, with his teammates, to formulate some sort of catch-all to explain away his actions.  

    Sean Tice, a junior who is majoring in both English and religious studies, said that talk also circled toward how philosophers like Heidegger might interpret their acts before coming to the realization that harnessing Heidegger to naked sprints in public seems, at best, a reach.  Said Mr. Tice: "It's just getting an adrenaline rush without having to play two and a half hours of sports."

    Lauren Thomsen, who started streaking only this year, as a senior, concurred.  She said she was more than hesitant at first, though intrigued, and figured that in her last year and with a career in architecture, not politics, in front of her, she had little to lose and a liberating feeling to gain.  

    The team starts by arriving on campus and formulating a plan of attack while fully clothed, disguised as that school's students.  

    At Colgate recently, they first figured that they would run through the main portion of campus, and two floors of the student center, before going into the woods to undress.

    Mr. Holzaepfel gave the team a pregame talk, though it was a short and modest one.  The team was fearful of being caught, not to mention somewhat chilly.  

    Off they went, imploring Colgate students to strip (none did), and then back to their cars, which, as bad luck would have it, were parked in a lot next to a building where Colgate's president was holding a meeting.  

    "We've done a lot of bad planning historically," said Lydia Kiesling, a senior comparative literature major.  "That's usually the X-factor."

    The team was hemmed into the parking lot by three campus security vehicles, backed by the Hamilton Village police.  

    Andy Glossner, a junior chemistry major, looked ashen.  If this police matter delayed him, he would miss an exam in physical chemistry, he wailed.  

    "Physical chemistry?" repeated Ms. Kiesling.  "As opposed to what, mental chemistry?"

    Jeff Verry, one of the campus security officers, was on his first day on the job.  One gets the sense that if it were up to him, the streakers would go free.  

    "It was probably a bad judgment call," he said, "but you are only young once."

    Another security officer offered paternal advice.  "Next time," he told them, "think before you act."

    "That's the problem," answered one of the streakers, "we did."

    Then the Hamilton Village police charged everyone with disorderly conduct.


6.  Students Make Streaking Film

by Brad Vivacqua
Channel 10, Syracuse
2/25/2005
        
        
    It was a ritual of sorts on college campuses in years past and today it appears streaking is making a comeback.  It’s been so much so that a group of Hamilton College students put together a documentary on the subject featuring themselves.

    In October, about 20 students known as the "Streaking Team" traveled to about 12 campuses and ran around naked.  The film is called "Buff and Blue."

    Hamilton College officials did not comment on their feelings toward the group but they believe the group is done with their streaking activities.

    "We had a dream that we wanted to streak all the NESCAC schools to be really serious about it and we got a Winnebago together.  We had about three or four cameras running during fall break in the beginning of October and we set up and we streaked every school.  It was about 12 of them," said Carrie Turvey.

    The film is open only to students and faculty tonight in Wellin Hall.  


7.  They're Going Streaking!

Part Punk'd episode, part First Amendment statement and part (we suppose) sport, the Hamilton varsity streaking team has been on one helluva run lately, as our nakedly ambitious author found out:

By Adam Duerson
Sports Illustrated
April 28, 2005

    I'm having that dream again.  The one where I'm in public and naked as a Vince Young bootleg, covering my bits 'n' pieces with all the effectiveness of Lil' Kim's latest VMA gown.  It's an out-of-body experience in which the eyes of the world are focused on me.  But then an air horn blows and a voice cries out, "We're going streeeaking!"

    This is no dream.

    I'm the anti-Frank the Tank.  Where I go, the 20-member-strong Hamilton varsity streaking team will follow ...  or so I'm assured.

    And so begins the team's streaking "meet" at Princeton, the only other school with an organized streaking squad.  The meet is likely the only athletic event you'll read about this year involving Hamilton, a tiny liberal arts college (enrollment: 1,700) nestled in the wooded foothills of Clinton, N.Y.  Hamilton's streakers are a prolific bunch.  They streaked 12 New England campuses in a five-day tour last fall and have received--and declined--offers for their own reality TV show.

    On this day in April I've been invited to streak by team leader Pete Holzaepfel.  A 22-year-old poli sci major, he is a former student body vice president, speaks Swahili and talks in Pete-isms like "Let's rip it!" (Read: Let's go.)

    First comes exhaustive game-planning.  Most of the six-hour drive (20 people in a seven-person Winnebago) is spent poring over campus maps (for escape routes and well-populated areas) in addition to the class schedules of Princeton streakers, obtained by a Hamilton team member who's in grad school at Princeton.  There is also a review of the fundamentals.  ("Know your route." "Underwear only slows you down when you're redressing." "Getting caught is not an option.")

    At 2 p.m. our group of 14 men and six women arrives at the declothing point outside Nassau Hall, the cry of "Let's rip it!" goes up, and we explode into the open, appendages flapping and megaphones blaring, "You have been struck by the Hamilton varsity streaking team!"

    Donning only costumes (mine a beard and a straw hat), shoes, backpacks stuffed with clothes and that which God gave us, we flap our arms in birdlike form, cawing and shrieking while sticking to the route: First the main quad and a series of footpaths.  Two streakers announce our arrival via megaphone, and Princetonians curiously pop their heads out of classroom windows.  Then it's on to the Frist Campus Center, a combination student union and cafeteria filled with horrified witnesses.

    There is an array of reactions: The shock of cafeteria lunchers.  The blushing male student reaching to shield an elderly couple's eyes.  And the same elderly couple's fighting his advances for a peek at the passing parade.

    And with that, the streak is over.  In reality it's five, maybe 10 minutes, but it feels like it's been only 30 seconds when four of us duck behind a bush, extract pants and shirts from our bags, and mosey on along like nothing's happened.  "Streakers?  What streakers?"

    Scott Welfel, founder of Princeton's team, would concede in the Daily Princetonian, "[Hamilton] completely rocked our world.  Our team was put to shame."  (Princeton's team was disbanded the following day after school officials threatened its members with disciplinary action if they streaked again.)

    After Hamilton's 15th streak in its three-year existence, team founder Matt Stringer climbs to the front of the RV to put a fine point on the, ahem, "sport."  Stringer, a Hamilton grad who traveled from Denver for the event, recounts the time the team streaked a Colgate frat party and took a serious beat-down for it.  "We got roughed up pretty bad," he recalls.  "Thrown to the ground.  Kicked.  One of the funnier things I've ever seen."

    Read the Princeton version of this same event below.


8.  Coed Naked Nakedness
You May Have Streaked in College, But Did You Streak to Win?

by Greg Veis
GQ [Gentlemen's Quarterly]
May 2005

    When I heard that Hamilton College had a varsity streaking team, I knew I had to join.  I was capable of taking off my clothes, and more important, I'd never been varsity anything before.

    Hamilton's team was founded in 2002, when a couple of smart-aleck students decided that their occasional nude scampers across the Clinton, New York, campus deserved a better-sounding title (you know, something they could put on a resume).  They came up with the Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team, and soon the club's ranks swelled to an average of twenty, about a third of them women, who claimed a "win" every time they streaked en masse.  Though they've been ticketed for disorderly conduct, the team has never lost in their three-year history--a stretch that includes several dashes through rival campuses like Amherst and all-girl Wellesley.

    "Man, the administration loves us," says Adam Bedient, a recent graduate who's still a team member.  "It's not as if we bring the school publicity by selling crack or anything."

    On the chilly Monday night I join up with the team, they've decided to streak the campus library.  After a prerun meal of steak, pasta, and macadamia-nut cookies, and some logistical planning (what music to play, etc.), we enter our target fully clothed.  It's the night before finals, so the place is packed.  We head into two rooms tucked way back on the third floor, undress, stuff our clothes into backpacks, and...wait.

    This part is all sorts of awkward.  We're huddled in there--tochis to tochis, naked and a little cold--and we're trying to piece together something like a normal conversation.  A girl across the room looks my way and starts giggling for reasons I'm left to assume are hateful.  But finally we're ready to begin.  A streaker cues the opening cowbell of "Mississippi Queen" from a boom box, signaling showtime.

    Like a marathon, a good streak needs a proper pace.  Our first strides are measured and short, as our elbows (at least I hope that's an elbow) and ankles collide.  Finally, the hallways widens and the charge is on.  I follow a guy named Sean, who has my clothes in his backpack, and despite all the jumping and yelling and Caucasian flailing going on around me, I maintain composure and focus squarely on his upper back.  As we make our way from the third floor down to the lobby, zipping through stacks and darting around study tables, all I hear is the same panicked thought--I'm naked...I'm naked...I'm naked...I'm naked--jangling around in my head like a busted 45.  Everyone in the library goes nuts, of course.  Hamilton's streaking-teamers are practically celebrities by now, and it's almost an honor to see their pasty limbs jiggle by.  Students take leave of their notebooks to congregate on the second-floor landing, where the view's the fullest.  The cheers and applause carry us out the library's glass doors triumphant, and for a moment it almost feels like scoring a touchdown at Notre Dame or splashing a three-pointer at Duke.  I said almost.

    The whole dash lasts about ninety seconds.  When it's over, we duck into a nearby building to reclothe, and at a postgame huddle everyone agrees it was a great streak, a smashing victory.  Now there's talk of a big, delicious road trip for Hamilton Streaking: a tour of the Ivy League.  Says my teammate Pete Holzaepfel: "Those guys are just begging to be streaked."


    9.  Internet Blurb

si.com  (Sports Illustrated)
9/1/05

1. Are you a college student who would like to play a varsity sport but has more enthusiasm than talent?  Then perhaps streaking is for you.  It seems that Hamilton College in upstate New York has so far dominated competitive streaking after compiling a 12-0 record last season, all on the road.  Whichever side fields the most streakers wins, so yes, size does matter.

    10.  Episode IV: A New Hope
    
Excerpt from a story by Richard Morgan
Playboy
October 2005

    Which brings us to Hamilton College in upstate New York.  Past the now-dry SUNY Binghamton lies the tiny village of Clinton, where some kids carry the torch for an era of mindless fun that seems dead but may be only power-napping.

    One day in late February Pete Holzaepfel, who graduated from Hamilton this summer, was busy hanging a banner promoting the debut of his documentary film.  Nearly half the campus showed up to watch Buff & Blue, a seat-of-their-pants video made during fall break as the self-titled Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team competed cheek-to-cheek with unsuspecting rivals.  The conference tour, by the numbers: 12 colleges, five states, five days, one 30-foot RV, 18 students (men and women), three campus-security arrests and some dumbass fines that were quickly dropped.  Unlike fake Michigan-style streakers, the Hamilton team went full throttle.  Squawking and maintaining a V formation, it swooped down on campus lawns across New England like an Abercrombie & Fitch photo shoot gone horribly insane.  The team ran naked through rugby and soccer games.  Through classes.  Through cafeterias.  Through libraries, being sure to hush gawking bookworms.  On one campus it led a naked fake orientation tour, using a bullhorn to offer typical, vague comments about what such-and-such building was used for, as the team sauntered along, casually taking in the campus as if the members were actual prospectives.

    Asked what he thinks his streaking career may do for his future, or what he ever plans to do postcollege, the tall and charismatic Holzaepfel (who was also student-body president) laughs.  "I'm going to be a senator," he says while hanging a banner depicting a naked masked man running from a ball of fire.  "Well, I dunno, but maybe a senator."

    For the first time, I felt as though I was talking to a college student.  Thank God.

    Something else that makes the Hamilton situation heartwarmingly bizarre is the reaction of administrators to the streakathon: They were cool with it.  So cool that they allowed the streakers to use the school's world-class auditorium, then signed off on an on-campus afterparty and after-afterparty that plowed through five kegs and 30 cases of beer from nearby Utica, a brewing town.  At one point the afterparty band made an open call for nudity; about a dozen men and women obliged, stripping and drinking and having fun.

    Watching the party run its course, two of the team's top streakers--Adam Bedient, a 2004 grad, and Craig Moores, class of 2005--wondered what it all meant.

    "Maybe this'll fizzle out," said Moores.  "So what?  Who cares?  We're not trying for a legacy.  It's just stupid.  We get naked and run around.  How stupid is that?"

    "We didn't want to do something to last for the ages," Bedient added.  "We just wanted to have a good time for ourselves.  It's hilarious that we just showed a movie about our streaking to half the campus, and tonight we're having two parties and a band paid for by T-shirts we sold about this dumb hobby.  That's fun."


11.  Princeton Varsity Streaking Team

by JM
Trentonian
2/7/2005

    PRINCETON -- When 212 Princeton students enrolled in the Abnormal Psychology course, they did not know that their semester would end with an actual example of bizarre human behavior--in the flesh.

    During one of professor Michael Litchman’s final lectures last December, four undergraduates strolled into the auditorium and up to Litchman’s podium, wearing nothing but sneakers, hats and belts.

    They handed Litchman a note explaining that they represented Princeton’s Streaking Team, a recently formed group of students who get together to have naked runs throughout campus.

    "We regretfully apologize that we will be unable to streak your lecture today," the note read.  "Due to inclement weather we were not able to get sufficient numbers to field a full team.  We had hoped to streak for the cause of legalizing streaking.  Apologetically, the Princeton University Varsity Streaking team."

    The note, which Litchman read out loud, accurately characterizes the Streaking Team: they are a quirky bunch, usually decorating their nudity with odd costume accessories, who regard their activities as light-hearted competitions to see how many streakers they can amass.

    "A lot of people are unclear about how we win," said Danny Brome, who helped found the Streaking Team last November after reading about a similar endeavor at Hamilton University.  "Its sort of like the Clarence Thomas explanation of pornography -- you just know it when you win.  In Abnormal Psychology we forfeited, but still pulled off the moral victory because of how well things went."

    By well, Brome means that none of the streakers received disciplinary action, and most of the students in the lecture hall thought the event was a funny distraction from class.

    "Most of the majority of the class just laughed it off as part of the university experience," Litchman said.  "There were a couple of students who expressed their dismay over the incident and suggested that I call public safety, which is our [campus] police department.

    "But that was a very small number out of the 200 or so kids."

    Litchman did not call public safety at the time, and since then, three competitions have taken place in the past month.  For the most part, the Streaking Team runs at night, in hopes that the cover of darkness will encourage more people to show up.  In addition to the psychology lecture, the only other daylight run took place last week when seven students streaked central campus, in front of the Frist Student Center.

    "I think all of us are of the opinion that a little nudity goes a long way towards lightening up the campus, being a little less constrained and a little more willing to laugh at yourself," Brome said.

    But this is not the first time that students have invoked nudity as a means towards livening up Princeton.  The tradition dates back to 1970 when the first Nude Olympics took place in Holder courtyard.  For 30 years students congregated at midnight on the night of the first snowfall, until 1999 when several alcohol related hospitalizations and rumors of inappropriate sexual behavior led the University to ban the iconic event.

    Today, participation in the Nude Olympics is punishable by a one-year suspension.  Brome and other Streaking Team members have taken pains to distinguish their activities from those of the Nude Olympics.

    "It’s sort of like a throwback to the Nude Olympics, but that was related to alcohol," said streaker Ara Parseghian.  "We think the university would come down on us a lot harder if they thought we were running around drunk.  We are always sober."

    In its heyday, the Nude Olympics inspired hundreds of students to take off their clothes.  The Streaking team has an e-mail list of 30 people, but only about 15 have actually streaked, according to Brome.  So far, the biggest turnout occurred last December when eight people showed up for a nighttime streak down Washington Road.

    "Its pretty tough to get a bunch of people to do it, especially girls," Brome said.  "It’s mostly male.  In the three most recent ones that we’ve done there have been three, five, and six guys [respectively], and one girl at each of them.  It’s hard to say whether it will keeping going."

    Despite the fact that the Streaking Team is only nominally coed, the team stresses the fact that--unlike many other Princeton teams and clubs--they are not exclusive or elitist.

    "We actively recruit people," said Parseghian.  "Before we do a streak, we say, ‘Do you want to streak with us’ to as many people as we can.  Anyone is welcome to streak with us.  We are really open."

    Participation on the team is not limited by physical appearance.  In fact, the wide variety of athletic ability helps ensure that the streaking team does [not] fall into the pattern set by the Nude Olympics and become a forum for lewd behavior.

    "Its not a sexual thing, " Brome said.  "A, we are not the most attractive bunch of people.  B, removing the suspense and mystery, and running around screaming and wearing silly hats and generally being really goofy takes that element out of it."


12.  Taking It All Off

By Cici Zheng
The Daily Pennsylvanian
February 23, 2005

    The competition is fierce and the players are determined.  They're also naked.

    Though Hamilton College and Princeton University rarely face each other on the basketball court, a new rivalry is brewing between the two schools in the form of "varsity" streaking.

    The two streaking teams display their skills--and bodies--in public locations such as dining halls, athletic fields and even large lecture halls.

    Although there are no official rules, the streakers consider themselves victorious when they have a large turnout.  In competitions between schools, whichever team has more streakers wins.

    Members of Princeton's streaking team decided to form the group after learning of Hamilton's new form of recreation.

    "When we heard that this upstate New York tiny little school had a streaking team ...  we were not going to let them show Princeton," junior Scott Welfel said.

    But at Hamilton, members still claim their team is "the single greatest varsity streaking team in America and possibly the world," senior Craig Moores said.

    "They can't textbook their way through streaking," Moores said of Princeton, calling the New Jersey team "kind of a joke."

    Moores and about 15 other Hamilton streakers went on a five-day tour last semester to 12 colleges in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, including Tufts, Amherst and Williams.

    Sean Tice, a Hamilton junior, declared that his team was "undefeated," although it did encounter some setbacks when three of its members were arrested at Wellesley College and had to pay a $200 fine at Colgate University.

    Princeton's team is still relatively new.  It has not competed against other schools but has had "a lot of training sessions," according to Welfel.

The members' experience includes streaking a 200-person abnormal psychology class and one of Princeton's eating clubs.

    Team members from both Hamilton and Princeton are extremely passionate about their "sport."

    "We streak to win, and that's the bottom line," Tice said.

    Welfel echoed Tice's sentiments.

    "We treat ourselves as varsity athletes.  We take our trade seriously," Welfel said.

    Danny Brome, a senior at Princeton, said he streaks "to make people laugh and mostly to win.  ...  It's much more amusing to see people running naked than running with clothes on."

    In addition, Brome said he finds streaking invigorating, liberating and exciting.

    Carolyn Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the American Association for Nude Recreation based in Kissimmee, Fla., said she thinks that "it's great that students feel comfortable with their bodies."  However, she does not recommend streaking.

    "We always go with 'Nude when possible and clothes when practical,'" Hawkins said.  "If you're in college, the logical thing would be clothes."

    But Janine Jaffe, a Princeton senior who created a documentary for her film class about the streaking team, disagrees.

    "Personally, I think that it's a worthy endeavor," Jaffe said.  She believes that the streaking team will benefit the campus.

    "The fact is a lot of people at Princeton have sticks up their asses.  It's the truth.  I think a lot of this activity is geared towards loosening people up, making people more comfortable with things that are fun and free," Jaffe said.

    For Eileen Hwang, a senior at Princeton, streaking is not about winning.  "I'm just there for fun," said Hwang, who joined the team after much persuasion from several male friends.

    Members emphasize that streaking is purely about streaking and not about making a statement or being sexual in any way.

"There's no endorsements, there's nothing political about it, or social even," Tice said.  "All we really yell is, 'Naked time is special time.' ...  It's a special time because most people keep their naked bodies to themselves."

    But Penn students have not yet been able to experience the "special time" that Tice describes--at least not formally.

    No streaking team currently exists on campus, although people have been known to streak as part of some Penn traditions.

    Andrew Pollen, a freshman in the College, streaked the night before his first microeconomics midterm last semester.

    "Streaking is a wholesome practice ...  It's liberating and healthy," Pollen said, adding that he would definitely join a streaking team if it existed.

    Although only time will tell if Pollen will have a team to call his own, some Princeton team members have already set the challenge.

    "We look forward to competing against Penn," Brome said.  


13.  Streakers Strike Princeton University

by Scott Frost
Trentonian
4/12/2005

    PRINCETON BOROUGH -- The Princeton University Varsity Streak Team is at it again.

    This time, police said, four white males and one white female darted across campus, in broad daylight, wearing only bright orange children flotation devices on their arms with university personnel looking on.

    The exhibitionists were never arrested, police said.

    Lt. Dennis McManimon said the students fled the scene before arresting officers arrived.

    He said two university officials, looking down toward Prospect Avenue from the Woodrow Wilson building where the dean of student office is housed, spotted the naked group running past a large group of people at 12:25 p.m. Friday.

    Whoever called the cops was not offended, police said, but the caller did note there were a lot of people in the area at the time who all got a clear look at the students’ private parts.

    By the time police were on the scene, witnesses told authorities the naked students ducked into a university eating club on Prospect Avenue.

    Last December, four undergraduates representing Princeton’s Streaking Team strolled into professor Michael Litchman’s final lecture wearing nothing but sneakers, hats and belts.

    They handed Litchman a note, explaining they represented a university-based organization who get together to have naked runs through campus.

    "We regretfully apologize that we will be unable to streak your lecture today," the note read.

    "Due to inclement weather we were not able to get sufficient numbers to field a full team.  We had hoped to streak for the cause of legalizing streaking."

    The note, which Litchman read out loud, accurately characterized the Streaking Team as a quirky bunch, usually decorating their nudity with odd costume accessories like the "swimmies" worn Friday, who regard their activities as light-hearted competitions to see how many streakers they can amass.

    Litchman did not call public safety at the time, and since then, three competitions have taken place in the past month.

    For the most part, the Streaking Team runs at night, in hopes that the cover of darkness will encourage more people to show up.  In addition to the psychology lecture and Friday’s Prospect Avenue streak, the only other daylight run took place in February, when seven students streaked central campus in front of the Frist Student Center.

    Streaking is an old school tradition at the Ivy League school.

    In 1970 the first Nude Olympics took place in Holder courtyard.  For 30 years students congregated at midnight on the night of the first snowfall, until 1999 when several alcohol related hospitalizations and rumors of inappropriate sexual behavior led the university to ban the iconic event.

    Today, participation in the Nude Olympics is punishable by a one-year suspension.

    In its heyday, the Nude Olympics inspired hundreds of students to take off their clothes.


14.  Hamilton Streakers Strike Campus

by Jennifer Epstein
Princetonian
April 19, 2005

    The campus was calm and quiet.  A few students walked on paths from classes to dorms, and a handful of tourists posed in front of landmarks.

    Suddenly, Monday afternoon's silence was shattered.  Naked bodies, screaming voices and blaring air horns emerged from an obstructed corner near Nassau Hall and started running.  Fast.

    The 20 streakers, members of the Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team, had come to Princeton for a meet.

    "The idea of going to Princeton was to participate in good-natured competition and score a victory," said Hamilton alum Matt Stringer, who founded the team in 2002 and flew in from his home in Denver for the meet.  "Princeton is definitely a worthy rival."

    Streakers consider themselves victorious when people applaud or join in.  Another sign of success is avoiding campus safety officials.

    Scott Welfel '06, founder of Princeton's streaking team--which was disbanded last week after a police investigation--was impressed by the team's turnout and spirit.

    "I think it was basically a shock-and-awe campaign," he said.  "They completely rocked our world.  Our team was put to shame."

    A reporter and a photographer from Sports Illustrated magazine came to campus to watch the Hamilton team in action.

The streak

    From their starting point at Nassau Hall, the mostly male team ran down campus past McCosh Hall and Prospect House at about 2:30 p.m. witnesses said.  They yelled, "Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team" and waved a Hamilton flag, causing some students to run out of their classes to watch.

    Students accessorized with colorful wigs, backpacks, boas, gloves, a cape and ski goggles.

    After running through Prospect Gardens, the team entered Frist Campus Center intent on distracting as many people as possible from their everyday activities, Stringer said.  "It was definitely one of the highlights to see all these government officials taking passport photos look up from their work and give us a round of applause."

    Students cheered enthusiastically as the team ran through Frist, Stringer said.  Others attempted to ignore the streakers.  Matt Sargeant '08 was eating late lunch on the A-level of Frist when the streakers ran through.  "I tried not to look at them," he said.  "It's not really any of my business if they do it but that doesn't mean I have to look at them."

    Evgenia Raikh '07 said she was unfazed by the streakers.  "Naked men aren't so exciting when you realize there's one under the polo shirt of every man," she said.

    The streakers did not attract much negative attention, said Charles Davall, the Department of Public Safety's deputy director for operations.  "They must have been really fast because we didn't get any calls about them [being] on campus."

    By 3 p.m., the clothed team was walking quietly through campus under 1879 Arch.  Their flag was rolled, and the meet was over.


15.  Streaking Team Disbanded
Members Opt to Put Their Clothes Back On

Viola Huang
Princetonian
April 20, 2005

    The Princeton University Varsity Streaking Team was disbanded Thursday after University officials threatened members with disciplinary action, according to a team co-founder.

    The action was in response to an April 8 streak down Prospect Avenue.  Team co-captains Scott Welfel '06 and Danny Brome '05 received emails early the next week from Investigator Charles Peters of Public Safety, Welfel said.  Peters was assigned to the investigation by the Princeton Borough police, he added.

    "We suspected that he was calling us in because our names had been in many newspapers as the founders of the team, and he assumed we would have either been involved or would have known who was involved," Welfel said.

    Peters told him that there would be no punishment for the streakers if the team promised to never streak again, Welfel said.

    "Investigator Peters told us the Borough was pretty pissed and had hired a detective to investigate the incident.  He wanted to be able to give the Borough assurance that we would promise to discontinue our streaking, which we were compelled to do," Welfel said.

    Welfel said he was told the streak was reported to the police by foreign dignitaries who were in Robertson Hall at the time, a fact the Borough police disputed.

    But Borough Police Lt. Dennis McManimon said, "There seems to have been some kind of function that day with school officials but not with foreign dignitaries ...  I don't know why people said that."

    Though University officials declined to comment on the April 8 incident, their policy on streaking is separate from the Borough and is not high on their list of concerns, according to Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students Hilary Herbold.

    "What I can say is that regardless of dignitaries, we are not going to change the disciplinary response on who was there to witness [the event]," Herbold said.  "Were specific students identified and were [it] to be acknowledged that they had been in state of undress, then we would place them on probation."

    The University will not go out of its way to search for the streakers if no reports are made to Public Safety and no students are identified, she said.

    "We basically rely on Public Safety to apprehend the students.  If they don't, we won't actively pursue it," Herbold said.

    Though the Princeton team will not run at the University again, Welfel said he still hopes to compete at Hamilton.  The Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team streaked across Princeton on Monday.

    "We're going to attempt to rally and get enough people to go up there, but we can't get people here to take a half-hour study break," Welfel said.  "People are so serious about their work here and have so many commitments."

    Witnesses to the Varsity Streaking Team's last run said it was a success.

    "I think that overall it was a good meet.  They could claim it as a victory," said Megan Van Voorhis '06, who saw the April 8 meet.  "If they had to go out with a bang, that was pretty much it."


16.  An Untimely Ending
The 'Prince' Regrets the Premature Passing of the 'Varsity' Streaking Team.

Editorial
The Daily Princetonian        
April 22, 2005

    Pardon the pun, but the University administration is on quite a losing streak.  This fall, the administration sent a letter to incoming freshmen warning them of the dangers of fraternities and sororities.  Meanwhile, it has subtly but consistently attempted to undermine the eating clubs.  Now, backed up with threats of probation or worse, it has axed the streaking team.  It almost seems that the administration has it in for anybody whose idea of a good time does not involve University supervision or sponsorship.  They really should lighten up a bit.

    We are not against the rule of law.  Any organization, this university included, needs to have policies and regulations.  Community members who violate those regulations need to be appropriately punished.  But the key word is "appropriately."  Especially on a college campus, every action must be viewed in its context and put in the proper perspective.  While streaking may not be technically acceptable under "Rights, Rules, Responsibilities," it is hard to imagine how the school is now better off without its late "Varsity" streaking team.

    In the end, wasn't the point of this group to bring a bit of levity into our harried Princeton lives, to shake us out of our daily routine and remind us that we're in college?  Every day, we Princetonians are confronted with a host of pressures: the Goldman interview, the JP, the experiment in Frick.  Perhaps this is as it should be: we are, after all, largely a campus of Type-A overachievers.  But sometimes, we need someone to poke fun at all of this, to remind us that all this work is maybe not so very serious after all.  And what better reminder than to see our fellow students harmlessly flout one of society's most fundamental conventions?

    There will be plenty of time later to serve as upstanding members of the community: Senators, physicians, ambassadors and scientists.  But now, these few brief years are our chance to do something that is just a bit crazy.  You are only young once.  


17.  v. Streaked, Streaking, Streaks:
To run naked in public, especially as a prank.

By Ryan James Kim, Princeton University
Current Magazine (Newsweek)
8/26/05

    Abnormal Psych got a whole lot more interesting for 150 Princeton students wrapped in scarves and wooly sweaters against the crisp fall weather last November, when four of their classmates dressed for a slightly warmer climate strolled in and displayed some abnormal behavior of their
own.  Wearing only their sneakers, the quartet delivered a note to the professor, which was read aloud to the attentive students:

    “We regretfully apologize that we will be unable to streak your lecture today,” the note read.  “Due to inclement weather we were not able to get sufficient numbers to field a full team.”

    The Princeton Varsity Streaking team strikes again.  Who knew that getting naked could be a team activity?  Here’s the deal on this up-and-coming sport.

The rules of the game
    Don’t get caught, make a lot of noise, and don’t forget your uniform — your birthday suit.  The unscheduled meets occur at the discretion of the ‘visiting’ team.  To kick off competition, the visiting team drops ‘trou.’ and erupts across the ‘home’ campus with flags up and privates flapping, thus inviting the home team to join in.  If no one from the home college rises to the disrobing occasion, the visiting team reigns victorious.  But if home students do field a team, size does matter.  The biggest showing wins.

Equipment
    Sneakers are essential, says Princeton team’s co-founder, Daniel Brome.  “If your feet get cold, it’s hard to run.”  Seasoned streakers agree: you have to have the proper gear to strut your stuff.  Harvard’s Nathaniel Dern ran eight laps in the snow bare bottomed and completely barefoot last January.  “Eight of my toes had second-degree frost bite by the time I finished my run,”  Dern recalls.

The Fans
    The ultimate spectator sport--talk about eye candy.

The Leader of the Pack
    Hamilton emerged this year as the team to beat.  Founded in 2002, the team is credited with the idea of competitive streaking.  “It dawned on us that if we were truly a team, we’d have to have away games,” senior Craig Moores told the New York Times.

Streaking the Nation
    The November New York Times article about the Hamilton College Streaking Team earned them national notoriety.  Hamilton then launched a 12-college tour, which garnered cross-continental coverage for their lack of coverage from the likes of CNN and Fox News.  They finished the season with 12 wins, zero losses and a reported $3,600 in fines for disorderly conduct.

Competition is Fierce
    Minds and bodies set on the prize, the Hamilton team trounced the competition.  "It's pretty clear that we got owned," recounted one Princeton streaking team member wistfully.  "They basically showed [us] what a streaking team should be."

Buff and Blue (and Projected onto a Wall).
    Everyone knew what would happen when the Hamilton Streaking Team got ahold of a video camera.  Last October, on the team’s naked Northeast tour, they shot who-knows-how-many hours of footage and transformed it into the world’s first full-length documentary on streaking.  From the run-in with the Wellesley police to the parade they started at Bates, this film is full of titillating adventures.  Errr--bad choice of words.  Email the team captain to arrange for a
screening at your school.  www.hamiltonstreaks.com


18.  Varsity Streaking at Williams?

By Karen Gardner
North Adams Transcript
April 30, 2005

    WILLIAMSTOWN --They had never heard of the streaker who surprised television audiences across America by running naked across the stage during  the 1974 Academy Awards, but there's not much that person could teach this group of Williams College freshmen.

    Known as the "Springstreakers," the new club on campus has at least a dozen streaks under their non-existent belts.  The uniform is simple--just a good pair of running shoes and an occasional hat.  Although this first-ever organized streaking club at Williams consists of one female and eight males, the group's ranks are likely to increase as some upper-classmen have expressed interest in joining, according to co-captains Morgan Goodwin and Andrew "Tex" Whinery.

    As they do with their studies, these students take their streaking seriously, carefully designing each event.  

    "One of our key concerns at any potential streak is, what would be the population density there.  We want to get a high concentration of people for shock value--not just haphazard things across the lawn in the middle of the afternoon when no one's outside," Whinery said.  "They're planned for optimum surprise."

    "We really emphasize clean logistics--well thought-out plans.  We know exactly where we're going," said Goodwin.

    Take, for example, the Fayerweather incident, where a group of freshmen was enjoying a Sunday night hall meeting and some snacks.

    "They were sitting all along a narrow hallway and we ran through," Whinery said.  "We had to step between their legs, sort of like an obstacle course, so it was really an up close and personal streak."

    After the streak, Goodwin and Whinery put their clothes back on and returned to ask if anyone wanted to join the club.

    "That was a big step, really, in becoming an established club," Goodwin said.

    Each streak includes a designated photographer, a bugler to herald the group's arrival, as well as a trusted assistant who holds their clothes while they run.  The club got its start one night last fall as students readied themselves for final exams.

    "Tex is really the visionary behind this," said Goodwin.  "He also likes to talk a big game.  He'd been talking about this for a few months and I really was beginning to doubt him.  All of a sudden, he asked if I'd be interested in this type of recreation."

    As a way to relieve stress, he and Whinery streaked their junior advisor and his girlfriend, who yelled at them.  Later that night, the two streaked Gordon Crabtree, the club's third founding member.

    "It was so much fun," said Crabtree.  "It kind of turned into a drug."

    But the Springstreakers are quick to point out their streaking is done strictly as a sober activity.  The streakers have their rules.  Certain events, like those involving prospective students, are off-limits.

    "To portray our school that way to prospectives would sort of be dishonest of what the majority of the culture of the school is like, so we feel that they wouldn't be getting an honest picture of Williams.  We haven't established social dominance yet," Whinery said.

    Typical reactions to the group's streaking escapades include shock, laughter, and "lots of cowering."

    "You're helping that group of people bond, even if you never talk to them again," said Goodwin.  "They have a crazy event they can share.  I think that was the best part of streaking the entries in the frosh quad."

    Other memorable moments include a Superbowl streak through about 10 groups of 20-30 people watching the game, and streaking through Currier Hall during a female acappella group's concert that took place on Parents' Weekend.

    Crabtree's favorite streaking moment happened during finals week last fall when the group struck at the library at about 10 p.m.  Amid bugling and yelling, they were high-fived by some people at the doorway as they arrived.

    "The librarians actually gave us a standing ovation," said Whinery.

    While the identity of the club's sole female member remains a secret because she is afraid of what her parents might think, Crabtree said his mother is "actually quite proud."

    Another girl, freshman Whitney Leonard, said she planning on joining the group in the near future.

    "I think it's something that brings excitement to the community in an unexpected way," said Leonard.  "It forces people to have a sense of humor ...  I hope to streak with them some day, if the event is right."

    Not worried about possible legal ramifications, the freshmen compared their streaking to speeding--they would have to get caught before any action might be taken.

    "Obviously, public indecency's against the law, but I think the college is a private place," said Whinery.  "I consider everyone at this college to be my friend."

    The Springstreakers said they never have been chased during a streaking jaunt.

    "The [campus] community seems to be supportive," said Goodwin.

    However, confining their antics to the college could change, as the group hinted Friday afternoon that they might streak through "another community" later that evening.

    Since they organized, the Springstreakers discovered another, more established streaking team at Hamilton College.  That group consists of about 20 members, four of whom are female.

    "I think next year, when some of us have cars, you can expect a lot more traveling," said Whinery.

    Goodwin is hopeful this year is the start of something bigger.

    "We hope Springstreakers lives on after we graduate," he said.


19.  Students Bare All for Shock Value and Laughs

By Adam Gorlick
Associated Press
May 10, 2005

    Many newspapers and broadcasters ran shortened versions of this story (with the fine comments of the professor left out).  The prize for best headline goes to First Coast News, who labeled it:

Class Discussion of Male Anatomy Interrupted by Springstreakers

    Professor Eva Grudin was about to lead her students into a discussion of whether an abstract painting was meant to invoke a certain part of the male anatomy when her class was interrupted by the real thing.

    With no warning, two naked students barged into her Williams College lecture hall, struck a quick pose for the 150 students there, and ran out.

    Nothing abstract here.  Grudin and her students had just been streaked.

    But this was no one-time prank by some drunken college students.  It was yet another performance by two members of the Springstreakers, the latest unofficial student activity club at this elite liberal arts college.

    "It's hard to get your bearings back and continue with your lecture after that," said Grudin, who let out a shriek that was followed by her students' laughter, then applause when the streakers stole everyone's attention from a slide projection of Robert Motherwell's vaguely phallic depiction of a bull.

    With two weeks before the end of final exams, Grudin and many of the students on the prim 2,000-student campus in the Berkshires say the Springstreakers are offering just the kind of stress relief that so many need right now.

    "It's amazing that they do this," said Mon Thach, a freshman who was streaked in Grudin's art history class late last week.  "It was so funny, and everyone needs a good laugh like that at the end of the semester."

    Springstreakers--the name is a riff on Spring Street, which cuts through campus--is the brainchild of Morgan Goodwin and Andy "Tex" Whinery, two skinny freshmen who say there's no bigger rush than dropping one's drawers and getting maximum exposure by running through a crowd.

    "I haven't tried any hard drugs, but I have a feeling this is probably better," said Goodwin, a 20-year-old who claims he never did anything to attract so much attention to himself while growing up in Lake Placid, N.Y.

    Since he and the 18-year-old Whinery--who cut his streaking teeth in his hometown of Amarillo, Texas--did their first nude dash through a freshman dormitory in December, they've staged about a dozen surprise streaks on the Williams campus.

    Grudin's lecture was their first classroom appearance.  They've also hit the library, several parties and an a cappella concert.  And they're not without coconspirators.

    The Springstreakers boast nine active members, all men except for one, and they're always looking to recruit new ones.

    Before bombing through Grudin's art history class, Goodwin tried coaxing a few buddies into joining him and Whinery.  There was plenty of interest, but no takers.

    Membership requires a willingness to shed clothing and an ability to run quickly.

    "A big part of our protocol is streaking while sober," Whinery said.  "Being naked is nothing to be embarrassed about, and if you can only do it when you're drunk, then you can't do it with us.  That's something we pride ourselves on."

    So far, the Springstreakers haven't raised the ire of campus administrators.

    "It hasn't impinged on our lives at all," Williams spokesman Jim Kolesar said.  "I don't know that they've had any effect at all."

    Streaking on college campuses, of course, is nothing new.  As Grudin is quick to point out, she's seen plenty of streakers at Williams since she started teaching there in 1971.

    "Their fathers were doing this in the old days," she said.  "If they wanted to do something really funny, they'd get their fathers to do it with them now."

    Goodwin doesn't pretend there's anything high-minded about running around in the buff, but if there is a social message he's trying to send, it's that the human body is nothing to be ashamed of.

    "I feel the people we streak get something out of it," Goodwin said.  "The most obvious thing is that they see something that's funny and blows their minds and will give them something to talk about at reunion in 10 years.  But it gets to deeper things like people's ideas of sex and nudity and body image; things you might discuss in a classroom but now have a reason to talk about in a different setting."

    So what does their audience think of the Springstreakers' body images?

    "I was saddened to see only their backsides," Grudin said.  "But they were nice backsides."


20.  Nude Students Fight to Bare All

By Holly McKenna
Dec 8, 2004

    This report was printed so widely that it is hard to tell which newspaper broke the story.

    BENNINGTON, Vermont (Reuters)--Students occasionally parading naked around Vermont's Bennington College campus has been a tolerated, if peculiar, part of the university's student culture here since the 1960s.

    Now Robert Graves, hired this year as Bennington's dean of students, has embarked on a crusade against public nudity--one that has run afoul of the school's free-spirited students.

    Students have long enjoyed an informal policy allowing them to go naked on campus.  Whether it was as a topless sunbather lounging on the lawn or students running naked at an annual bonfire party, college officials turned a blind eye.

    But when a student strolled around campus naked this summer during an orientation session when parents were visiting campus, the new dean reprimanded him.

    More than 200 students, a few of them naked, marched across campus in October to protest against what they saw as a crackdown by the administration on freedom of expression.  While the impending onset of the New England winter has put a temporary pause to the dispute, students are preparing for a springtime assault.

    Lindsey Gage, a Bennington senior leading the fight to preserve what she concedes is an unwritten policy, said she has grown accustomed to public nudity since enrolling here.

    "It is never lewd but a natural sight," she said.

    American liberal arts colleges do not get much more liberal than Bennington.  Nestled in Vermont's Green Mountains, the school has a nontraditional approach to education in which students draw up their own curricula.

    "Bennington does not expect students to conform, but to transform," the college's Web site proclaims.

A LITTLE RESPECT?

    But Graves has drawn the line at being naked.

    "Bennington College is not a clothing-optional campus and we don't live in a clothing-optional society," Graves told Reuters, adding he realized he had "ruffled some feathers" by going after unclothed campus denizens.

    "There is not a nudity policy and we don't condone this behavior.  We are a public campus," he said.  "There has to be a level of respect here."

    Respect has nothing to do with it, countered sophomore Allison Zoll.  As someone who has taken part in events with the college's nude activities club, which hosts clothing-optional picnics and outdoor games, Zoll was adamant that there was nothing wrong with going bare.

    "It's not hurting anyone," she said.

    Bennington students are not alone in their undress.  Streaking -- that is, running naked -- has long been a staple of American campus life.

    Recently, students at Hamilton College in New York turned the pastime into a sport by forming a varsity streaking team and traveling to rival schools to cavort in the buff.

    The Hamilton team streaked a dozen colleges in the U.S. Northeast earlier this fall and posted results--and footage--on its Web site: http://www.hamiltonstreaks.com/

    Despite being banned from Wellesley College, an all-women's school near Boston, and escorted off the grounds of Connecticut College, team members declared the tour a "massive success."

    Back across the border in Vermont, there's nothing competitive about nudity at Bennington.  Students are too busy trying to preserve what they think is a right, and that suits some local residents just fine.

    "Oh to be in college again," sniffed Stuart Hurd, Bennington's town manager.  "More power to them.  We are too uptight about public nudity in this country."


21.  Nudity Not for Necking
Students Protest Move to Ban Tradition of Nudity on Campus

Editorial
Indiana Daily Student
December 13, 2004

    (In September 2004, six Indiana University cross-country runners were arrested for streaking.)

    While many IU students plan to resume business as usual when they return to campus after the holiday break, students at Bennington College in Vermont are preparing to uphold their right to college life in the nude.

    Reflecting the feel good attitude and free spirit conditioning of post-modern American ideology, some Bennington students have exploited an informal campus policy since the 1960s which allows them to conduct academic business and to participate in leisure activities while naked--genitals blowing to-and-fro in the breeze in plain view for all to see.

    Throughout the last 40 years, some Bennington students have acted upon an informal policy allowing nudity at campus social gatherings, events and recreational activities.  However, newly hired Dean of Students Robert Graves has expressed his displeasure about student nudity after a nude student paraded in front of a summer orientation session for perspective [prospective?] parents of would-be applicants.

    From the perspective of Dean Graves, Bennington College does not operate in a "clothing-optional" American culture; therefore, Bennington College should not be a "clothing-optional" campus, despite four decades of Bennington student tradition and tolerance of free-spirited behaviors.

    In response to Dean Graves' crack-down on public campus decency based on his interpretation of the American moral fabric and his projected desire for social order, more than 200 Bennington students stomped across campus--some with bare feet--in protest of perceived attacks on their right of freedom of expression in October.  Some members of the Bennington student body believe campus nudity is seldom lewd; rather, they seem to believe campus nudity promotes self-awareness, self-acceptance and an appreciation of the nude human body as it relates to civilization birthed out of the rugged frontier wilderness.

    Since Bennington College does support a Nude Activities Club--which promotes clothing-optional picnics, outdoor games and festivals--the entire student body should be allowed to frolic in the nude if this desire overcomes their customary public responsibilities and social sensibilities.  Dean Graves, whose own self-esteem might benefit from a nude stroll across campus, should not eliminate the campus tradition of public nudity based on his own personal whim or disapproval of the nude human form.

    Instead, Dean Graves should relish in Bennington's student body belief in freedom of expression.  Unlike the free-love of the 1960s, Bennington students presumably do not desire nakedness as a condition of drug-use or as a form of social protest against the norms of acceptable social behavior.  Bennington students seem to desire nothing more than the feeling of their flesh coming into contact with the fruits of Mother Nature's labor.

    Four decades of non-violent and peaceful tradition should not be erased because the University hires new personnel.  Bennington College claims their University does not expect students to "conform" but "transform."  As such, if Dean Graves is successful in his petition to end student nudity on campus, students should bare their all anyway--bare backs, bare butts, bare chests and bare genitals if need be--depending on the campus activity or social celebration.


    22.  Letter to the Editor

by Morley Schloss
sent to the Indiana Daily Student
December 13, 2004

    We at Sunsport Gardens Naturist Resort fully understand the freedom and
joy of feeling sun, air and water over a person's body naturally.  Being clothesfree also promotes body acceptance and a positive self concept.  In support of the students at Bennington and other colleges who appreciate and advocate for the opportunity to live and recreate naturally, Sunsport is reducing daily ground fees for anyone under age 30 with a college ID to $5.

    Students are invited to spend their Spring Break or any other time with us.  For more information, check our web site: www.sunsportgardens.com.


23.  Students Enjoy Nudity Despite Social Constraints

By Omar Raschid
The Daily Orange
2/2/2005

    At a school where temperatures in the single digits are considered warm, most students try their hardest to clothe themselves as much as possible.

    Freshman roommates Ross Farina and Marc Massa, however, use any excuse to take it all off.

    "It's just funny," said Farina, a management major.  "I love to see people's reactions.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it."

    The duo relishes the exposure so much that they have started a group dedicated to "Guys who sit in other people's rooms with random objects covering their no-no zones."

    The group's inception began earlier in the year when Farina, wearing only a towel, attempted to pants a friend of his.  The plan backfired when Farina's towel was snatched instead.  Not one to lose face in front of others, he strode into another hall member's room and sat in a chair with only a soapbox covering his sensitive area.

    Brian Vogel, a fellow freshman management major and initial victim of the ill-fated pantsing attempt, was eventually convinced to join in and sit down with only a tissue box to censor his zone.  After this near-embarrassing moment, a motley group was forged.

    "I was taught that there is nothing wrong with being naked," Vogel said.  "As long as you aren't in front of little kids or anything."  While this bohemian attitude towards stripping down may be liberating for some shameless students, others feel excluded from the act, and believe that because of pre-existing social norms, it is a more acceptable activity for males than for females.

    "I think it's more common for guys," said Massa, a management major.  "If a girl did it, people would probably think she's a slut."

    Many females share this view and believe girls are simply raised differently than boys.  Expectations towards female behavior at a young age are cited as reasons for the absence of female streakers.

    "I think it's because girls are taught at a very young age that their privates are special," said Mariel Simon, a freshman elementary education major.

    The double standard which exists today regarding nudity is a regression from the original forms of college streaking, which ignited in the '70s.  These early practices included the participation of both genders during the sexually liberal decade.

    Despite the entrance into a supposedly more open millennium, streaking has devolved into a "boys only" club--a fitting connection due to fraternity pranks long associated with streaking.

    Many students feel another issue separating genders on the issue of streaking is simply pride.  Often, college streaks are conceived through a mating of challenges and wanting to "one up" each other.  This alpha male attitude often breeds streakers from those who might not normally partake in such behavior.

    "A lot of it happens because of dares," Massa said.  "If Ross dared me to go streaking, I would.  It's a pride thing."

    Despite this hair-trigger approach to hanging loose, students should be aware that would-be streakers caught by the Department of Public Safety will face appropriate consequences.  Although the history and social acceptance of streaking are intertwined, such behavior is a breach of the Students Code of Conduct.

    "We really don't have those kinds of problems anymore," said Capt. Grant Williams of DPS.  "However, if someone was caught streaking, it is considered indecent exposure and they would have to deal with Judicial Affairs.  We would put a stop to it."

    The group of guys who sit in other people's rooms with random objects covering their no-no zones, however, do not understand what all the fuss is about.

    "If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all." Farina said.


24.  A Word to the Streakers

by Andrew Hammond
Chicago Maroon
May 5, 2005

    If any actual nudity has occurred recently at the University of Chicago, it has not made the news.  But one columnist offered these general observations:

    Scav Hunt is one of those times when students are prone to show off a little more than most might want to see.  While the Maroon does not object to nudity in principle, we think it prudent to make some gentle suggestions for those who choose to bare all in public.

    The general rule of safety in numbers applies to shedding clothing as much as any other activity.  Use the annual Polar Bear Run and the track team’s exhibition at the Reg as models.  Moving in packs, streakers are shielded from public derision and UCPD law enforcement.  Note also that these individuals accomplish their deed with speed.  Take off your clothes, but for goodness sake move along.  The Maroon does not condone lollygagging when it comes to parading around in your birthday suit.

    We also suggest prudence when planning the site for your feat.  Though University officials may be charmed by such student antics, a spot in full view of the Admin Building is perhaps not the wisest choice.

    To protect your tender parts from undue discomfort, please keep in mind a few safety tips.  Sunscreen is key: It hurts enough when you get burned on your back.  Be careful where you sit: What looks like a friendly patch of grass could be the cover-up for a nasty pile of sticks.  Not that sitting in the nude is a good idea in general.

    Lastly, as members of the general public, we do have standards.  Don’t neglect the cardio room.  Drink diet soda.  And do a quick set of push-ups and crunches before your exploits.


    25.  Letter to the Editor

by Jessica Winter
The Chicago Maroon
May 13, 2005

    I’d like to respond to the writers of Friday’s editorial “A Word to the Streakers” because I feel that I am somewhat of an expert on the etiquette and philosophy of streaking.  It was inexcusably rude of you in your last paragraph to essentially say “fat people are gross and shouldn’t streak.”  This may be your feeling on the issue, and it’s fine for you to think that, but don’t abuse your editorial position by saying hurtful things.  Besides, streaking is not pornography for an audience.  It’s an ephemeral instant of freedom for the streaker that can be experienced by fat and skinny people alike.

    In the past as well, the Maroon has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the nature of streaking.  Last year the Maroon made the poor editorial decision to publish a photograph of naked Polar Bear Runners on the front page.  Streaking is expressly not about cameras and taking pictures to look at after the event.  The fact that it’s short-lived and spontaneous is the entire point.  You would need to get the streakers’ permission to publish their naked photographs--participation in a momentary streaking event does not imply consent to be photographed for permanent ogling.

    With that said, I agree with your point that streakers must move quickly.  Hanging around the quads naked, as one alumnus reportedly did Thursday, is public indecency, not streaking, and should be treated as such.


    26.  This Summer, Strut Your Stuff in Your Birthday Suit

    This has been a quiet spring on America's campuses.  Even the zany Hamilton College Streakers have lain dormant since their founders graduated last year.   And so now we hear from the ladies.  In Pennsylvania, two Swarthmore girls wrote a witty article that needs to be read.  (I don't pretend to understand all of the allusions.)

by Annie Fredrickson and Lillian Dunn
The Phoenix
Swarthmore College
April 20, 2006

    Excerpt from the recently discovered Gospel of Judas, translated from the Coptic: “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Crum.  And the Crum being green and without form, God made trees, and shrubs of all predilections.  He made the humble ant, and the proud Dinosaurus; he made the noble golden retrievers and the middle-aged people to lead them.  And He created the collection of waters, and the great creek animals, and God blessed the crawdaddies, saying Be fruitful and multiply.  And He created eel-walks, and He created Ewoks, because they sounded so similar anyway.  And He saw that it was Good.  And the Ewoks embraced the crawdaddies, and the middle-aged people used only retractable nylon GentleLeader™ leashes, which would not harm the noble retrievers.  And all were naked, and they were not ashamed.  And God saw everything that He had made and behold, it was very good.  

    And in the middle of the Crum was Crumhenge, the Henge of Good and Evil.  And the lord God said make any bonfire you like, but do not make a bonfire in the Henge of Life, lest you die.  But the Ville-rats said unto the middle-aged woman, you shall not die, for the day you make the bonfire your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing Good and Evil.  And the woman saw that the Henge was good for bonfires — and hot dogs thereupon — and she and her husband constructed one.  

    And then the eyes of the middle-aged dog-walking suburban professionals opened, and they knew that they were naked.  And they were ashamed; and they sewed leaves of the fig tree to make North Face windbreakers for themselves.  And also in the Crum, the eyes of the mushroom-eating college students opened, and they also knew that they were naked.  And they were ashamed, but kind of into it; and so were the many couples knowing one another behind rocks and in God’s Amphitheatre.  And God drove man out, and assigned the students 800 pages of Lacanian theory to read by Thursday.  And he lodged Public Safety at the gate of the Crum and the flaming sword whirling around to guard the way of the Henge of Life.”

    As we bask in the April sun, sipping on Courvoisier and watching freshmen play over-excited frisbee on Parrish Beach, it isn’t hard for us to believe that Swarthmore was the original site of Paradise.  We have the nature, the peaceful beasts, the unfettered displays of love and touchyface … but where’s the nudity?  While people out here on the Beach do seem pretty comfortable taking off a few layers — mostly the shirtless guys showing off the nice tans they’ve gotten from sitting in McCabe all winter — it seems we have lost the Biblical ability to run around starkers and shame-free.  Most of us have pictures in the family album of ourselves as naked, grinning toddlers, about to do something really clever like try to eat grass or cut our own hair.  But those pictures can be a little uncomfortable now that we’ve become conscious of our own sexuality and a sex-saturated media.  Now when people get a little naked on the Beach, it’s almost impossible not to look at them and judge them in a sexual context.  Skin is no longer equated with freedom or comfort; it is linked to throbbing biological urges.  

    Ironically, however, the nude body in its natural state (we are not talking porn here) is almost de-eroticized.  Think about it: which is more provocative, a skimpy thong that leaves a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to the imagination or a completely bare ass?  Ask anyone who has lived in Europe, visited Europe, read a book about Europe or even just seen a map of Europe at some point in their life and they will tell you that over there topless or nude sunbathing is really just not a big deal.  Little children run around naked in parks.  It’s cool.  No one stares.  No one calls the police.  They eat baguettes.  Social nudity, as opposed to being awkward, breaks down the kind of erotic barriers that make us so overly conscious of our bodies being on view, and allows the body to be … just a body.  And that is really fun.  According to the American Association of Nude Recreation, clothing-optional vacations are THE (naked) bandwagon you should be jumping on this summer: “When you take off your clothes, you put on a smile!”  But why stop at the family nudist RV park?  We propose that there be a lot more nudie and a lot less prudie here at Swarthmore, where it all began.  College, after all, is nothing more than a selfish extension of childhood: Someone else cooks and cleans for you, and you are ultimately accountable to no one but yourself.  You also start to cry when your roommate carelessly misplaces “Mr. Bawa.”  So why not reclaim the innocence of nudity while you’re at it?

    There are, of course, a number of rather thorny legal issues to deal with when engaging in naturism.  It appears that the Pennsylvania state legislature isn’t so down with the groovy stylings of nude recreation.  While there is no national law prohibiting nudism (insert joke regarding our president’s surname here), in Pa. public nudity can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor depending on the place, time and company of your getting nekkid.  This is why we are calling for a return to Paradise: maybe some naked time alone in your room, maybe some naked time in the Crum, maybe a Parrish Nude Beach to get you comfortable in your skin so you can be comfortable in whatever summer styles you’re rocking.


Streaking at Rice

Bob Morton
Professors & Researchers SIG Newsletter
November, 2011

    Rice University students have had for years, and still have, a tradition called "Baker 13."  Originating at Baker College on the University campus, the tradition is to run nude at night on the 13th of each month.  Other evenings are frequently added.

    Students put shaving cream on their naked bodies and run in a group on the campus, leaving imprints of body parts on sidewalk-level windows.  The windows of the library are favorites.  Though it's an accepted thing at Rice, there are pranksters who sometimes seek to ambush the runners with buckets of water.  It's benign.

    At the end of each run, the students make an appearance at the home of the university president, ring the doorbell and begin a serenade.  The president, who knows it's coming, sometimes responds with a small gift.

    The Baker 13 tradition is decades old and remains healthy.  Numbers vary from as few as a half dozen to fifty students or more.


More Memories of the Baker 13

Randall Terrell
Professors & Researchers SIG Newsletter
August 2012

    "The Baker 13" or "Club 13" has been running regularly at Rice on a regular basis for over 30 years. Once or a twice a month, they will smear themselves with varying amounts of shaving cream and streak the campus.  While they are not officially recognized, they do pay regular visits to the University President (who greats them warmly) and the campus bars for free drinks. There are more than a few pictures floating around in the annual to establish them, as well.  [The 1986 photo shows about 40 people--mostly men.]

    Baker 13 predated me at Rice, and I got there in 1980.  I used to know the guys who claimed to be the instigators.  1972 sticks in my mind for some reason.  Back then everyone used shaving cream to obscure both their face and body parts.  In the 90's it became less about the face and a little on body parts.  Last I saw, there was no shaving cream on people's faces—and only token amounts on parts.  I consider this progress and a definite relaxation of standards across decades.


27.  Attracting Students: Six Suggestions

Paul LeValley
Nude and Natural 23.3
March 2004, p. 91.

    What's all this talk about the graying of naturism?  I may be graying.  Other people I've known for years are of course graying even faster.  But look around the grounds of Tallahassee Naturally, and you will still see a wide range of ages, with the largest number in their 30s and 40s.  That hasn't changed over the years.

    Last year, the American Association for Nude Recreation announced that half of their new recruits are over 55.  That sure didn't fit our local experience.  We checked our records, and found that our current members (some with previous naturist experience elsewhere) joined our club at these ages:

    0-9    10%
10-19      2%
20-29    19%
30-39    17%
40-49    30%
50-59    21%
60-69      2%

    Moreover, we have year after year maintained about a 15 percent college student membership--reportedly the highest in the nation.  How have we done it?  Being based in a town with three colleges doesn't hurt.  But so are lots of other clubs.  It takes effort.  These six pointers have worked well for us:

    ONE: Make a serious commitment to recruit students.  Some people have argued that students are in town for only four years (and often don't get bold enough to join until their junior or senior years).  So we shouldn't waste our time on transients.  Well, we checked our records.  It turns out that students (who don't go through job transfers, busy kid schedules, messy divorces, or remarriages to non-nudists) actually maintain their club membership slightly longer than the average non-student.  Those who re-enroll in graduate school could be around for many more years to come.  And a few have settled here permanently.

    TWO: Students must feel wanted--not as cute visitors you're so glad to see, but as respected equals.  We have usually elected a student onto our board of directors.  If you have any hang-ups about single people or single men, get rid of those attitudes, because students are mostly unattached.  Now, a few years later, some of those same young men bring their new wives and children.

    THREE: Keep student fees low--below cost if necessary.  There may be a few rich, spoiled college students with expensive cars, but they are not the ones who show up at our gates.  Most of our students survive on a very tight budget.  We keep our student fees at half the regular rate, and campaigned for years to get the low $12 student fee for AANR.  We worry that the higher Naturist Society rate is becoming too expensive for students.

    FOUR: You must maintain a visible presence on campus.  A campus organization would be great, but you can manage without it.  Keep posters up, advertise in the student newspapers, and talk with student editors.  Whenever you can wheedle an invitation, set up a display table on campus.  (Unlike in the rest of the community, you will find that college women are bolder than the men in approaching your table.)  Guest lectures are another possibility, but they reach fewer people.

    FIVE: Most importantly, you must sponsor some events mainly for students, and where students form a clear majority.  We do that with monthly Full-Moon Skinny-Dips and an annual College Greek Athletic Meet.  We have actually had to discourage some of our middle-aged members from overwhelming the full-moon swims.  They want to come and support our youth, but if they outnumber the students, the evening loses its atmosphere of a students' night out.

    [Details of the ninth annual College Greek Athletic Meet are omitted here.]

    SIX: Finally, when students graduate, find out where they are going, and hook them up with naturist groups there.  You want to make this a lifelong habit—not just a wild thing they did in college.  And stay in touch.  Many of those former students will return for occasional visits, bringing a new friend or spouse with them.


28.  The Tenth Annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet

by Steve White
The Bulletin
February 2005, p. 28.

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--It wasn't too long ago that I was preoccupied with my college spring-break vacation, hanging out with friends and visiting local beaches.  Doing so every year turned out to be very redundant.  Then I heard about the annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet from Paul LeValley, the event's founder.  He invited me and other college students to participate in this event as an alternative to the usual college spring-break scene.  Since I had a history of participating in high school sports, I knew this was right up my alley

    The College Greek Athletic Meet is a re-enactment of the ancient Greek Pentathlon, and is as authentic as possible.  The Pentathlon was one of the greatest sporting events of its day, with all of the ancient Greek cities sending their very best athletes to compete.  The Pentathlon was a test of an athlete's versatility.  Competitors were admired for their physiques, because the variety of skills produced a harmony with strength and speed.

    The meet will include five events: long jump, discus throw, 200-yard dash, and javelin throw, with stand-up wrestling in case of a tie.  The ancient Greeks did these events a little differently from our modern methods.  For instance, they used weights in the long jump to increase their momentum for a longer jump.  The javelin had a leather strip or thong that was bound to it and would unwind upon being thrown, which in return would straighten its path.  The ancient Greek traditional methods will be optional in the annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet, and the modem methods will mostly be used.

    The big difference between the ancient Greek Pentathlon and the College Greek Athletic Meet is the entry classification.  During the time of the ancient Greek Pentathlon, only well-trained male athletes were permitted to compete.  Women (athlete or not) couldn't even enter the events.  The College Greek Athletic Meet welcomes everyone, with categories for male athletes, male non-athletes, female athletes, and female non-athletes.  The athletic category is for those who are currently active or have a history in athletics, and the non-athletic category is for those who don't.  Please note that only the best overall college student who wins in his or her classification will receive the traditional head wreath of leaves.

    As an AANR member who was introduced to nudism at this event, I think the annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet is a great opportunity to attract college students to nude recreation.  For some, visiting a nudist club for the first time can be a frightening experience.  The first time is sometimes easier to adapt to if there is an organized activity involved.  Like me, college students usually attend out of curiosity, but they find themselves having so much fun that they adapt to nudism quickly.

    The Tenth Annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet is scheduled for Sunday, March 20, 2005 (with a rain date of April 3) on the grounds of Tallahassee Naturally, a long established nudist park, near Monticello in the Florida panhandle.  Everyone is welcome, especially students that live in Florida, or are visiting for spring break.

    Anyone under 18 without a guardian must bring signed parental permission.  Registration begins at 10 a.m., with instruction and practice in the ancient athletic methods at 11 a.m.  The competition begins at 1 p.m.

    This is not a clothing-optional event.  All participants and spectators on the grounds will be nude, and cameras are severely restricted.  The only exception is for reporters from college newspapers that have made prior arrangements.

    To get to Tallahassee Naturally, go to the intersection of 1-10 and US-19 (exit 225, Old 33) and follow the TN signs.  For more information or to arrange free overnight camping, please contact Paul LeValley at paullevalley@peoplepc.com or call 850/222-1886.  You can also visit the club's web site at www.tallahasseenaturally.org/greek_athlet.html.  To get a student's point of view, please contact me at whitestokes@comcast.net or call 850/570-8790.


29.  Ten Years of Nude College Greek Athletics
Tallahassee Naturally Sponsors Authentic Event.

The Bulletin
March 2005, p. 19.

    A follow-up article the next month revealed these additional details about the history of the event:

The History:

    With three colleges in town, Tallahassee Naturally has always maintained about a 15% student membership--reportedly the highest of any nudist group in the nation.  To keep student interest, the club sponsors two events mainly for college students.  There are full-moon skinny-dips during the warm months, and the nude College Greek Athletic Meet each spring.

    Remember the "free universities" that sprang up in the early '70s?  The last one is still functioning in Tallahassee.  In 1989, the club offered a course in Greek Athletics.  A very few traditional colleges offer such a course, but those classes do not involve actual practice--and certainly no nudity.  To get their rhythms right (especially in the long jump), the ancient Greeks practiced to music, and so this class came complete with a flute player.  After learning a new Pentathlon event each week (plus Greek art and culture), students had the option of a competitive meet.  They were more interested in learning, and chose not to compete.

    Well, the flute player graduated, and arrangements with new musicians fell through again and again.  With the 1996 Olympics scheduled for Atlanta, the instructor, Paul LeValley, decided to schedule an authentically nude competition for college students.  He laid out the field so that four different events could all be going on at the same time, if necessary.  But the crowd has always remained small enough to do the events individually.  Yet students kept coming back year after year.  One year, 50 people converged from 11 different states.


30.  AANR Youth Leadership Camps

Brochure
2005

    This summer, the camps of the American Association for Nude Recreation add a fourth program to the Youth Camp, Leadership Academy, and Nude U:

Nude U Youth Ambassadors Program
The postgraduate curricula for college-age nudists

Who:
    The Nude U Youth Ambassadors Program is open on a limited basis to graduates of high school, ages 18-25 years old, who are interested in developing the skills to present the concepts of nude recreation to other young families and young adults in colleges, universities, and communities.

What:
    You will learn to develop and present the concepts of wholesome nude recreation to other young adults in colleges and universities in North America.  You'll participate in intensive workshops and practice public relations skills that will prepare you to be an ambassador to your peers.

    You will learn how to schedule and host events at local clubs for other like-minded nudists your own age to share experiences and have fun.  You will learn the techniques and procedures for starting your own nudist travel club.

    The next step is up to you.


The Bigger Wave of Streaking Back in 1974

Streaking the University of Florida in the Seventies
by Bruce Frendahl

    One night in '74, my then-girlfriend and I were studying in my dorm room in Tolbert Hall, located not far from the football stadium.  About 11 pm, we heard a loud noise outside, sounding to us like a herd of stampeding cattle.  We looked out the window, and there were about a thousand fraternity and sorority members running east on the road in front of the dorm, wearing nothing but sneakers!

    About the same time, we were attending a basketball game in the old Florida Gym; the Gators were playing Kentucky and the game was being televised regionally. At halftime, a guy sitting in the stands near the floor took off his raincoat, ran across the floor, wearing nothing but sneakers, and out the door to a waiting car that whisked him away.

    One night, we bet a guy on our dorm floor that he wouldn't streak across campus, touch Century Tower about 1/2 mile away, and run back to the dorm.  After a couple of beers, he decided to do it.  But by the time he got back, he was so exhausted that he ran up to a parked campus police car, with an officer sitting inside!  Luckily, he realized what he had done and scampered safely into the dorm.  The cop never pursued him.

    In '76-77, I was living in North Hall Co-op, still in Tolbert Area.  We did our own cleaning and maintenance work for reduced housing fees.  One night, a few of us guys decided to streak the girl's floor above us.  We gave them advance warning that we were coming.  Just outside their floor door, one guy asked me,"Bear (my nickname then), do you think this will negatively affect my chances at getting re-elected Secretary of the Board of Directors?"  I laughed and said, "Well, I guess that depends on whether the girls like what they see!"  He laughed, we streaked the floor, ran out the end door and back downstairs.  The girls shrieked with delight!  He was re-elected.

    During the same year, one guy on our floor wanted to streak across the grass field to outside the girls dorm.  He had several ski masks (why I don't know), so one night we put them on and did it.  The girls loved it!

    Of course, turnabout is fair play.  One night, three girls from the floor above us decided to take showers together in the boys bathroom.  I knew in advance about it and, being the Floor Director, I felt I had the right to check this out, although they had posted a dressed female guard in a futile attempt to keep curious (in other words, horny) guys away.  I'm almost positive that they were all drunk!  But when I pulled open the curtain, the girls covered their breasts, not their pubic areas, laughing hysterically.  It was all I could do not to jump in the shower and join them!

    The theories about what streaking represents and what it relates to historically are interesting.  I know from research I completed decades ago that college life has a long colorful history of crazy (at the time) fads, which developed because students studying hard at night often need a stress-relieving break.  With Woodstock and the non-sexual public nudity there still fresh in collegic minds, it was inevitable that streaking on campuses would become popular, at least briefly.

    For your information, in Tolbert Area, each spring we had a Mud Festival, which involved bringing in a bulldozer, exposing a 30' x 50' dirt area, hosing it down with water to make a huge mud bath.  They scheduled all kinds of events over a two-week period, including teams from each floor trying to push a six-foot high inflated canvas ball across a goal line at the other end.  There were also tug-of-war matches between floors.  The main objective though, for most dorm rats, I think, was for several guys to grab one of their unsuspecting floormates, drag him downstairs and throw him into the mud, anytime day or night.

    Perhaps the streaking fad at UF put the seed in my brain to get me to visit Gymnos, the now-defunct local nudist park just east of Gainesville in October, 1974.  That visit led me to become a lifelong naturist and skinny-dipper.


Streaking at University of Michigan, 1974
by James Tobin

The Streak-In of '74
The Michigan Daily, March 19, 2013

    The streakers of 1974 were hardly the first American students to run through public spaces with no clothes on.  Impromptu nudism on U.S. college campuses dates back at least to the 19th century, when Robert E. Lee, as president of Washington College (later Washington and Lee), was said to have given his blessing to naked runs as a rite of passage.

    But the country had never seen public nudity like the phenomenon that overtook U.S. campuses in that year when Richard Nixon's presidency was spiraling down toward impeachment.  Not that the two events were related.  Indeed, streaking struck some as an uproarious effort to cast off the grim preoccupations of the Vietnam/Watergate years.

    More than 20 years earlier, Michigan had set the trend in such affairs.  (See "Panty Raid, 1952".)  But this time it was late to the race.

Naked Ambition

    The first streakers of 1974 appeared at Florida State University in January, followed by imitators in Texas, Washington state, and Maryland.  The national press began to notice in early February.  Then, in the first week of March, streakers seemed to be everywhere, with dozens of episodes reported every day, across the country.

    But that was the week of U-M's spring break, so Michigan students missed the crest of that wave.  By the time students returned to Ann Arbor, the spontaneous solo streaker was all but passé.  Now you had to do something different, and Michigan's answer was the mass streak.

    This story appeared on the front page of the Michigan Daily on March 14, 1974. 

    Casting spontaneity to the wind, organizers announced plans for competing events on Tuesday, March 12, the second day back from break.  One outing was promoted as the "First Annual Ann Arbor Streak-In" (which an organizer insisted was the "official" event); it was to begin at 1 p.m. at Eden Foods on Maynard Street and race through the Nickels Arcade [in the business district] to the Diag [the park in front of the library].  The other—the "First Annual Lucky Streak"—was to start on the Diag at 10 p.m., with a course to South and West Quads [dormitories] and back.

Running On Empty

    A crowd of a thousand or more gathered for the lunchtime event, but only five streakers—three men and two women—showed up, and two dropped out before reaching the Diag.

    The cloak of night brought out far greater numbers at 10 p.m., but the streak nearly stalled in the massive crowd of onlookers. 

    At 10 p.m., some 70 streakers of both sexes shed their clothes at the center of the Diag and prepared to run.  But so many people had come out to watch—The Michigan Daily estimated the number at 10,000—that the streakers were reduced to standing around in the cold and urging more students to join them.  Finally they broke away, sprinted through the Undergraduate Library, and "inspired a rash of disunified streaks in all directions," according to the Daily reporter.

    It was a pretty big streak, but no match for the University of Colorado, which claimed a mass streak of 1,200.

A streaker enlivened the 1974 telecast of the Academy Awards.

    Elsewhere, innovations continued all that month and into April—streakers on bicycles and roller skates; streakers in wheelchairs; skydiving streakers.  At Michigan State, a naked form distracted a class on criminal sexual deviation.  "Reverse streakers" raced through a Florida nudist colony in heavy clothing.  After a streaker struck the telecast of the Academy Awards—host David Niven commented: "The only laugh that man will get in his life will be by stripping off his clothes and showing his shortcomings"—the naked wave finally receded for good.

The Naked Truth

    Why all this happened was a matter of much debate.  Commentators at both ends of the political spectrum claimed the streaker as an ally.

    Marshall McLuhan, the philosopher and media theorist, suggested the streak was a symbolic blow at the burden of cultural hopelessness—an extension of the 1960s protest.  He likened hippies to the medieval clown or court jester, then placed streakers in the same category of defiance.  "The clown's job was to tell the emperor or the royalty exactly what was wrong with the society," he told an interviewer.  "The clown... of our time is trying to tell us his grievance.  The beards and the hairdos and the costumes are a manifestation of grievance and anger.  You've heard about the streakers?  [They are] a manifestation of anger about the lack of jobs and goals in our world."

    But conservatives cast the streaker as a culture warrior of the right, a carefree fellow thumbing his nose at student-radical seriousness and reconquering the college campus in the name of '50s-style frat-boy fads.

    "Who knows?" wrote George Will, then in the early days of his career as a conservative essayist.  "Maybe these bumptious, cheerful streakers will 'bring us together' by bridging the generation gap: They could swallow fistfuls of goldfish and then streak into telephone booths.  That is just what America needs to become a land fit for heroes: nostalgia buffs in the buff."

    Chris Parks, co-editor of the Daily that year, thought the streakers were a sorry sign of the demise of campus activism.  The early '70s at Michigan, Parks wrote at the end of that year, had been "a non-era."

    "I could fill several volumes with what didn't happen on campus this year," Parks wrote.  "I search for something that did happen and find...  Streaking.  Streaking happened.  It was in all the newspapers, on the television, and I even saw streakers one day on the Diag...  My parents asked me if streaking was 'some kind of protest or something.'  The idea had simply never occurred to me...  But it seems safe to say streaking stems from a desire to shock or offend a 'world-at-large' which seems otherwise unconscious of our existence."

    Whatever the cause, there was no "second annual" iteration of either of U-M's organized streaks.  Of course, Ann Arbor's "Naked Mile," an April tradition from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s, can claim ancestry in the streak-ins of 1974.


Movie Review: The Naked Mile
by Paul LeValley

    For eighteen years, starting in 1987, students at the University of Michigan celebrated the end of spring classes with a mile-long nighttime nude run through campus and adjoining businesses.  Hundreds of men and women participated.  In 2002, administrators and police began suppressing the event.  The last successful Naked Mile happened in 2004 (when students surprised the authorities by doing it one day early).

    Not until 2006, did anyone think about making a movie of the Naked Mile.  It follows high school boys from Grand Rapids, as they visit the U of M campus.  The movie is part of the American Pie series.  The original movie of the series included a visit to closer Michigan State University (though it was all filmed in California).  Since the Naked Mile event no longer functioned, producers arranged to shoot the movie of that name at Victoria University in Toronto, paying students to run as nude extras.

    Make no mistake about it: this is not a naturist film.  The American Pie series is all about sex, and desperate high school boys searching for their first experience.  The movies go for laughs with bungled masturbation attempts.  That's their trademark.  Fraternity parties have a reputation for raunchiness and tastelessness; the one in this movie matches both descriptions.

    Yet the ten minutes of the nude run look like fairly authentic good clean fun—though the cameraman does focus on jiggling female breasts.  The movie never played in theatres, but was released directly on R and unrated discs.  You want the unrated wide-screen version.  That one includes a nude girl in a locker room, and half-a-dozen young women running full frontal.  Yet, for a movie that obsesses on penises, never, ever, is one seen.  The whole film reinforces the old movie stereotype that bare butts and female breasts are OK, though male frontal nudity is not.

    But where else can you see anything like the running of the Naked Mile today?  Aside from some genuine still pictures in Nude & Natural 17.1 (fall 1997), this questionable movie is our only option.


Abstract: Why Conservative Writers Supported Streaking

    The writer of the Michigan Daily story acknowledged this essay as one of his major sources.  It is available at full length online.  We here abstract some of its more interesting paragraphs.

    The author assumes that streaking ended in 1974.  This SIG has documented a smaller wave of campus streaking in 2003-2005.

Bill Kirkpatrick [Denison University].  "'It Beats Rocks and Tear Gas': Streaking and Cultural Politics in the Post-Vietnam Era."  Journal of Popular Culture, 43(5) (October 2010).  pp. 1023-1047.

    From late January through late May 1974, a wave of "streaking"—roughly defined as running naked in public—occurred in the United States, primarily on college and university campuses; the brief phenomenon eventually spread around the world.  Although the exact number of streaks during this time is unknown, one group of researchers gathered data on over 1000 incidents on U.S. college campuses alone (Aguirre et al. 569).  Streaking generated significant press coverage and spawned a plethora of streaker-related consumer items including coffee mugs, T-shirts, necklace pendants, "Keep On Streaking" patches, "Streak Freak" buttons, a "Nixon Streaking" wristwatch, pink underwear embroidered with "Too shy to streak," and two dozen novelty singles (one of which, Ray Stevens’ “The Streak,” became a major hit).

    Although some observers were deeply offended by streaking and saw it as (perhaps further) evidence of the breakdown of traditional society, the overwhelming consensus among mainstream social observers in 1974 was that streaking was nothing more than a silly diversion.  That consensus view has stuck over the years: Today, streaking's reputation as a harmless and ultimately meaningless fad is effectively uncontested, securing its place in pop culture history next to hula-hoops and pet rocks.  Isolated streaks still happen, of course, and still have the power to agitate individual authority figures and, say, producers of live television.  But any potential social or political significance the 1974 streaking wave may have held has been evacuated, allowing it to serve as an innocuous marker of a "wackier" era in our cultural memory.

    ...Why, we might ask, were conservative voices such as the National Review and George Will such ardent defenders of streaking as "apolitical" fun, as a "return to normalcy," while leftists like Marshall McLuhan and many campus activists were silenced or ridiculed when they attempted to ascribe political significance to streaking?  Contrary to the dominant narrative from 1974 forward, the story of streaking is not the story of a meaningless fad; it is the story of how streaking was turned into a meaningless fad through extensive discursive effort.  At the very least, the fact that a fairly abnormal activity—running naked in public—was widely interpreted as a "return to normalcy" is an act of social imagination whose origins and consequences are worth investigating....

Winter of Discontent: The American "Crisis of Innocence" in the early 1970s
 
    Streaking emerged as a national media event at an interesting juncture in political and collegiate history.  Both the nation and the university were undergoing historical transformations; both were widely perceived to be in crisis.

    ...The war, which many young males had a personal interest in opposing, was effectively over, but political and demographic shifts were changing the character of the American university.  Although college enrollment had skyrocketed in the 1960s, from 3.8 million in 1960 to 9.7 million in 1974, new enrollment in four-year colleges had dipped dramatically in 1972, due to a breather in the baby boom and fewer men attending for the deferment.  Women increased their presence on campuses, doubling enrollment since 1966 and comprising nearly half the student body in 1974; by 1978, they would outnumber men.  Furthermore, thanks in part to a growing black middle class, as well as the Civil Rights Act and affirmative action, African-Americans were attending college in unprecedented numbers, with black enrollment doubling between 1970 and 1976 (“College Enrollment” A8).  In addition to demographics, this shift was felt in a variety of symbolically important ways.  Women's Studies and African-American Studies programs were opening around the country, while programs like Harvard's Afro-American Cultural Center sought to increase opportunities for people of color.  Perhaps even more important from the point of view of middle-class white male students long accustomed to privileged status, more schools were going coed, while all-male clubs and fraternities were being forced to admit women as well (“Baa” 10, Hines).  Such innovations met with significant resistance....

The 1974 Streaking Wave

    Streaking's origins are, unsurprisingly, rather uncertain, but a few incidents made the archives.  Quakers were among the earliest documented streakers, running naked through streets in 17th-century England "to show the naked truth of the gospel” (David Martin 26).  A less spiritually motivated streak occurred in 1776 when continental soldiers ran naked past houses in Brooklyn "with a design to insult and wound the modesty of female decency” (“Founding”).  In this century, probably the earliest reported incident was at Stanford in 1918, and various streaks were reported over the years (“Streaking: One Way” 41-42).  Nonetheless, these were relatively isolated incidents, and neither the term "streaking" nor the phenomenon itself was in mainstream circulation in the early 1970s.  The 1974 wave appears to be the first time that streaking became a concentrated nationwide phenomenon and media event.

    The exact beginnings of the 1974 wave are also murky, but two behaviorists who studied the phenomenon credit students at Florida State with the first streak in this wave in late January 1974, quickly followed by Washington State, Maryland, and Texas (Evans and Miller 403).  The first national press reports appeared in early February, and incidents increased throughout the month (Evans and Miller 404, Aguirre et al. 578).  By early March, all three networks, the three major newsweeklies, and the wire services had run stories on streaking.  The peak of the wave was March 2-9, during which 156 incidents were reported (Evans and Miller 404-6). 

    Typically, students would streak between dorms or down the local frat row.  But there were variations, including streakers on bicycles, in wheelchairs, and on roller skates.  The creative heterogeneity of the streaks became a topic in its own right, with papers delightedly reporting the most outrageous or humorous new twist.  At the University of Georgia, a small group of streakers parachuted onto campus; sadly, one of them landed in a cesspool.  At South Carolina's main library, a streaker paused at the circulation desk just long enough to ask for a copy of The Naked Ape before running out.  At Michigan State, a class on "Criminal Sexual Deviation" got streaked.  At the University of Maine, a meeting was called to discuss how to handle streaking incidents; sure enough, the meeting itself got streaked (“Where Are” 2).  Campuses around the country competed for the largest mass streak, a title ultimately won by Colorado's 1200 streakers. 

    Although predominantly a college phenomenon, streaking was not limited to campuses, with streaks reported on a Pan Am 747, on Wall Street, and in the state legislatures of Michigan and Hawaii (Marum and Parise 178-180).  Johnny Carson's Tonight Show was streaked, though the incident was edited out before broadcast (Brown 71).  So-called "reverse streakers" ran through a Florida nudist colony fully clothed (“A Streak of” 22-23).  During a Beach Boys concert, two naked men ran across the stage; they were later discovered to be none other than two members of the band, Mike Love and Dennis Wilson ("Random Notes" 28).  The most famous non-collegiate streak, and the one that gave network executives sleepless nights, occurred during the 1974 Academy Awards show: a streaker ran behind David Niven as he introduced Elizabeth Taylor.  Liz was "unnerved," but Niven coolly quipped, "Isn't it a laugh that the only laugh that man will get in his life will be by stripping off his clothes and showing his shortcomings?"  The streaker, Robert Opal, was soon getting gigs as a "guest streaker" at Hollywood parties (Nordheimer 36, Schnakenberg 551-2). 

    By the end of April, campus streaks had become increasingly rare, even as the wave began to spread to the rest of the world.  A "Western diplomat" streaked a crowd in Peking, and incidents were reported at the Eiffel Tower and St. Peter's Square (“Miscellaneous” 336).  By May, coverage had shifted into post-mortem mode, pondering the significance of the phenomenon.  Although the occasional streaker might still be seen, usually at sporting events, streaking as a national media event was over by June, 1974.

    While even the earliest national reports tended to link streaking with goldfish-swallowing and other pre-Vietnam-era acts (some of which were themselves revived from the 1920s and '30s) that history had deemed innocuous, what is most striking in the struggle to secure a social meaning for the 1974 wave is the strong need to stabilize the practice discursively.  In other words, journalists and other observers had to figure out what they were dealing with before they could be sure it was harmless....

White Boys Streaking

    The first act of reterritorialization that streaking accomplished was a situational "retaking" of the university campus by white males.  It is crucial to note that the streakers were overwhelmingly male and frequently associated with fraternities (Evans and Miller 412, Anderson 227-8).  Unsurprisingly, press accounts overrepresented the percentage of female streakers in their photo selection and reporting, but although many women did streak, they were much more likely to wear some kind of covering.  Significantly, they were also frequently subjected to leering and abuse, such as the Barnard College woman who, surrounded by a pawing crowd, had to climb up a statue and be rescued by police ("Streaking: One Way" 42, Judith Martin B14).  Such incidents reinforced that streaking was an essentially male prerogative: only males enjoyed the security to streak fully and without fear of molestation.  Equally importantly, streaking was an activity practiced by whites.  Although it stands to reason that there must have been some African-Americans among the thousands who streaked, no reports or pictures of black streakers appeared in either the mainstream press or the major black press....

    Nonetheless, students attempted to legitimate streaking by silencing any overt sexual and racial politics and by drawing instead on nostalgia for pre-1960s apolitical student-ness through a discourse of youthful innocence.  As a streaker at Yale explained to Newsweek, "We're college students, and college students are supposed to have fun" ("Streaking: One Way” 42).  Likewise, a Memphis State senior disavowed politics by locating streaking within the realm of meaningless play: "Maybe you don't need a reason to streak.  I mean what kind of reason is there to play basketball or anything else?" (Malcolm 49).  This sentiment was echoed by a Wisconsin student who said, "We just want to have an old-fashioned college prank.  You know, streaking for streaking's sake" (Pinsley 2).  Constructing students as non-political pranksters, and the university as a space in which harmless hijinks are a time-honored tradition integral to the college experience, students worked to efface streaking's reactionary semiotic content. 

    Although most streakers claimed not to have a politics, their attempts to depoliticize streaking did not go uncontested, particularly in the early days of the streaking wave....  For example, a few students at the first mass streak at Wisconsin declared it a "Streak for Impeachment," an idea that had been circulating on other campuses as well (Pinsley 1; McFadden 41).  The UW's Daily Cardinal quoted various students who claimed explicit political meanings for the activity: fifteen students who chanted "Dicks against Dick" during their streak; a woman who planned to streak for women's rights; a male streaker who said, referring to Nixon, "We have to show that bastard we don't care about him and want him out.  Streaking is an expression of freedom against his policies" (Wang 2).

    The reterritorialization of the American university effected by the discursive construction of streaking as a non-political student fad was not merely symbolic; it helped make the physical campus safe for white male streakers.  This victory did not always come easily; as sociologist William Anderson wrote of officials' predicament, "[It] was such a new phenomenon [that] there were no university regulations which explicitly prohibited or even referred to the fad.… Even the campus police were confused as to whether streaking constituted illegal conduct when the first incidents occurred on campus" (226-7).  Most cities had laws prohibiting lewd behavior and indecent exposure that seemed to outlaw streaking, and some citizens were calling for a crackdown.  But if streaking was a harmless fad similar to goldfish-swallowing, as most streakers themselves (and most of the mainstream press) were arguing, then a different response seemed to be called for than if it was "perverted" or "lewd."  As one officer at the University of Iowa expressed the dilemma, "This sure is a lot of fun.  Too bad it's illegal" (Roemerman 12).  At the same time, giving in to demands for repression could lead to greater instability: although a few schools such as Brigham Young had effectively deterred mass streaking through early and well-publicized arrests, riots had resulted on at least four campuses when police attempted to repress streaking incidents (Evans and Miller 407-8).  Essentially, school officials were caught in a crossfire of meanings, and the discourse into which streaking was placed—innocent play or sexual crime—would both produce and be produced by the response from authorities. 

    Expected to formulate a policy in the face of competing discursive constructions, authorities on many campuses adopted an approach that is critical in understanding streaking as a reterritorialization of the campus: they established different rules for the university and for the rest of society.  Memphis State, for instance, blocked off the campus and permitted streaking within the perimeter, but arrested anyone who streaked off-campus.  The Associated Press reported that at the University of Massachusetts, "There have been scattered arrests, generally when the streaking spilled onto city streets and interfered with non-students" (“Streakers Getting” 7).  Similarly, officials at other schools at most referred students for possible disciplinary action, while non-students were arrested and turned over to local authorities for prosecution (Evans and Miller 414, Anderson 233).  In other words, for students streaking was a prank; for everyone else it was a crime....

    This distinction between student and non-student is more crucial than previous scholars have recognized, since it not only helped decriminalize streaking "on the ground" (thereby increasing its "harmless" connotation in wider society); it also actively constructed the campus as a site of youthful hijinks—as it ostensibly was before the revolutions of the 1960s.  And although streakers and authority figures were constructed as adversaries in this process, in fact they very much collaborated in reterritorializing the campus.  Both needed students to be "students" in order to legitimate both streaking and the tolerance of streaking.  Therefore both participated in constructing the campus as an innocent, apolitical space: the student streaker in order to engage unmolested in an activity antithetical to the politicized campus of the early 1970s, and authorities in order to contain more threatening and destabilizing student activities.  Campus police, in particular, seemed relieved to interpret streaking as a return to a pre-1960s university culture.  The public safety director at the University of Massachusetts favorably contrasted streaking to "throwing bombs and fighting police" and added, "I see this as indicative of a change back to normalcy, a return to traditional student behavior" ("Streakers Getting").  As one campus security officer summed up the prevailing attitude while idly watching a streaking episode at Wisconsin, "It beats rocks and tear gas" (Wang 2).

Streaking and the Politics of Nostalgia

    While streakers were reterritorializing the campus for white masculinity, mainstream observers were reterritorializing the "campus"—the symbolic role of the university as a social space—for the politics of nostalgia.  But whereas student streakers could fall back on their student status in order to construct streaking as a harmless prank, sustaining that construction in the broader public debate required much more discursive labor.  In particular, streaking was potentially threatening not just for any political articulation but also for its generic similarity to exhibitionism and flashing.  For society at large, streaking had to be emptied of any potential sexual and criminal threat if it was to be considered a harmless prank. 

    Even in the relatively liberated days of the early 1970s, nudity produced enormous social anxiety, so it is unsurprising that defenders of streaking worked to erase this sexual threat.  The commentator who contrasted this "innocent" youthful sexual exuberance with "perverted" adult sexual exuberance has already been mentioned; this distinction was repeated countless times by students and social observers alike.  For example, the New York Times quoted one student claiming, "There's nothing sensuous or freaky about streaking," while a psychiatrist added, "[It's] more naughty than sexual" (Malcolm 49, McFadden 41.) Dr. Joyce Brothers agreed that "there's nothing at all sexual about streaking," while the Christian Century reasoned that "the speed of the streaker rules out the motive of exhibitionism" (“Streaking as Praxis” 310, "Streaking: One Way” 42).  Despite this effort to desexualize streaking, its sexual aspect could not be entirely erased; instead, it was mocked.  Commentators and authority figures who saw a sexual threat in streaking were roundly ridiculed as "moralists" and "bluenoses," while most press accounts included at least one pun or witticism that blunted streaking's erotic potential ("In Praise" 8, "Streaking: One Way” 42).  For example, the New York Times wrote, "Suddenly a naked body is running at you, and just as suddenly it is gone.  As one coed put it, 'You don't have time to look at the face too'" (Malcolm 49)....

    This desexualization of streaking allowed observers to see the phenomenon as a return to a "normal," natural state of youthful innocence.  Streaking was "the new spring rite," perhaps vaguely naughty but not really dirty—just young naïfs cavorting without reason (McFadden 35).  As the New York Times saw it, streakers were not sprinting across the quad; they were "gamboling across the country, fueled by a certain annual spring silliness" (Malcolm 49).  One commentator linked streaking to Dionysian and Bacchanalian rites, arguing that "students [will] be especially stirred by spring.  Their youth, exuberance, and energy tend to make them more strongly responsive to changes in nature than their elders, who are likely to celebrate spring with a spate of tennis, golf, gardening, or even bird watching" (Toolan 152).  Furthermore, there was perceived to be something particularly "American" in the practice, and this trope slid easily into a generalized sense of national renewal as Americans "half-mad with hunger" for the "Age of Innocence" saw in streaking youthful innocence and spiritual rebirth.  Newsweek wrote that "all seemed to agree that streaking was the sort of totally absurd phenomenon the nation needed after a winter of lousy news."  Time added at the end of March, "What began as a tentative titter at the edge of the national awareness has become one great, good-natured American guffaw" (“In Praise” 8), while the National Review wrote, "Nixon may be impeached, England may sink beneath the waves … and Mailer is writing another book—but almost anything can be borne if people start laughing again" (“The Streaker: Faster than the…” 362).  Unlike those angry, violent, long-haired peace agitators, much less those angry, violent blacks and feminists, "non-political" white male streakers were celebrated as the antidote to America's national blues, or at least a welcome distraction from them.

    ...Conservative pundit George Will approvingly linked all these tropes—streaking, national renewal, American mythology, and 1950s innocence:
   
    And who knows? Maybe these bumptious cheerful streakers will "bring us together" by bridging the generation gap: they could swallow fistfuls of goldfish and then streak into telephone booths.  That is just what America needs to become a land fit for heroes: nostalgia buffs in the buff.  (A27)

    The dark side of this nostalgia for the 1950s has been explored by numerous scholars who have illustrated how the "norms" of the 1950s are used to delegitimize the various social struggles that came to the fore in the late 1950s and the 1960s.  In the case of streaking, this "return to normalcy" was clearly predicated on the primacy of white masculinity.  For example, one social scientist, concerned to establish streakers' normalcy, defined the "typical" streaker:

    Is he a devious deviant, an uncloseted exhibitionist, a playful pervert, a dangerous psychopath or disturbed and immature adolescent, or perhaps none of these?  He is tall (5'11") and weighs 170 pounds.  He is a Protestant.  … He is described as nice-looking, … and comes from a small town (under 50,000 in population).  His mother is a housewife and his father a business or professional man.  (Heckel 146)

    The streaker's normalcy—his whiteness, maleness, youthfulness, middle-classness, and supposedly apolitical nostalgia for the innocence of 1950s America before feminism and civil rights—made him the ideal representative of the status quo ante.

    Streakers "relieved" tensions, unlike left-wing student activists who, apparently, produced them.  The frequency with which observers reached for this contrast indicates an urgency to the interpretation of streaking as a turning away from the activism of the '60s, thereby helping to redefine the university as an institution less threatening to the hegemonic social order.  One of the few observers at the time who grasped the importance of "non-political" white masculinity to the construction of streaking as "harmless" put it:

    [That's] why streakers don't get busted.  Streaking's … not directed against entrenched power.  Just them kids having a good time.  … If we had "Streakers for Socialism" on Wall Street, or "Asses for Ecology" streaking General Motors, or blacks streaking George Wallace with "SEX!" painted in DayGlo on their protruding places, there'd be a lot of naked people in jail.  (Cloud 4)

    With streaking established as a return to normalcy—at least as long as it was performed by white males and contained on college campuses—observers were able to rearticulate the role of the campus in the American imagination.  No longer need it represent the primary site and source of the Generation Gap, identity politics, and ignominious military defeat; no longer need it be associated with long hair, sexual licentiousness, and angry blacks and women demanding a new curriculum.  Now the university—as reterritorialized by streakers—could at least provisionally function as a less threatening, less destabilizing, more "American" social space.  In other words, through streaking the campus became a site of temporary backlash—against leftist politics, against the feminist movement, against the civil rights movement.  Streaking may have only briefly reclaimed the American university for white patriarchy, but it would be a mistake to dismiss it because of this brevity.  As we have witnessed in the years since, reactionary conservatives have mounted a decades-long project to mobilize the politics of nostalgia in the service of neoconservative economic and social policies, and have consistently and repeatedly attacked the academy for its supposed liberal bias; streaking was one early moment in this struggle.  In that light, it is unsurprising that conservatives like George Will and the National Review became such eager apologists for streaking, since streaking waged for them a cultural skirmish in an ongoing political war. 

Conclusion

    In 1969, a group of female students at Grinnell staged a 'nude-in' to protest a speaker from Playboy who was on campus to discuss "The Playboy Philosophy."  They stripped off their clothes, and when they demanded that the speaker also take off his clothes, he fled.  Eight of the group were convicted of indecent exposure; as the Iowa attorney general's office said at the time, "You can't have people running around stripping off their clothes for any reason" (Cloud 4). 

    Five years later, a writer to the Daily Iowan, Burns H. Weston, lamented that, while he didn't have a problem with streaking per se, "A few short years ago, our campus and city police saw more obscenity in principled protest than they now see in 'streaking,' and proved the point with arrest and mace and jail.  What has happened?  What are our values?" (Weston 4).

    This article attempts to answer Mr. Weston's question.  The values that mainstream society asserted—as Weston well suspected—were those of an imagined status quo ante: an innocent America structured by white patriarchy.  In 1974, the construction of streaking worked to reterritorialize the university following an era of radical protest and in the face of challenges from women and people of color.  Luckily for the academy and American society, progressive initiatives such as Women's Studies and African-American Studies departments would continue to thrive and be the source of extraordinary accomplishments.  Nonetheless, the larger political project of which this episode was a part was largely successful: the discourses surrounding streaking reveal the ease with which radical and leftist voices could be positioned as oppositional to cherished American myths, and even a casual student of American history will quickly grasp that this is a recurring theme that remains with us today.  In that light, streaking was neither the beginning of that project nor its most significant or lasting aspect, but rather a brief moment of high visibility for broader political struggles that were ultimately far from trivial.  Perhaps revisiting "harmless fads" will encourage us to pay better attention to the inexhaustible means by which potential resistance is contained, repressed, or marginalized, and the social configurations in which and through which these processes occur.


Return to the SIG home page.