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Newsletter # 16
Professors and Researchers
Special Interest Group
The Naturist Society
● Campus Nudity Special Issue ●
[A few articles that appeared too late for this issue have now been
added to the internet version.]
I The Streaking Revival
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
6. Students Make Streaking Film
7. They're Going Streaking!
8. Coed Naked Nakedness
9. Internet Blurb
10. Episode IV: A New Hope
11. Princeton Varsity Streaking Team
12. University of Pennsylvania: Taking It
13. Streakers Strike Princeton University
14. Hamilton Streakers Strike Campus
15. Streaking Team Disbanded
16. An Untimely Ending
17. Streaked, Streaking, Streaks
18. Varsity Streaking at Williams?
19. Students Bare All for Shock Value and Laughs
II Other Campus Nudity
20. Nude Students Fight to Bare All
21. Indiana University: Nudity Not for
22. Letter to the Editor
23. Students Enjoy Nudity Despite Social Constraints
24. A Word to the Streakers
25. Letter to the Editor
26. This Summer, Strut Your Stuff in Your Birthday
----Streaking at Rice (added 2011)
----More Memories of the Baker 13
III Off-campus Nudity for College Students
College Greek Athletic Meet
27. Attracting Students: Six Suggestions
28. The Tenth Annual Nude College Greek Athletic
29. Ten Years of Nude College Greek Athletics
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
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
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,
fad quickly spread to campuses nationwide. Exuberant students
jostled with Watergate for the headlines. Students held mass
rallies on the main square of some campuses. Then they went
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
the effort there. Hamilton's administration did
should they? The streaking team had put tiny Hamilton College
the map. The idea has so far failed to spread beyond New
Meanwhile, the Syracuse newspaper
reported on nudity
in the male dorms. You may well object that none of these
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
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
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
American Association for Nude Recreation's Nude U is growing under
similar off-campus sponsorship.
Recent campus nudity has inspired
reporting. The Professors & Researchers SIG here
some fine press coverage:
The naked truth: Dad is son's biggest fan
by Reg Henry
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
"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
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
back: "Jim, Keep your pants on. We Henrys do better when we
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
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
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
swarm ball (otherwise known as soccer for 5-year-olds).
When he finally got to Little League, no
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
often was he praised for having a good eye.
I thought baseball or soccer would be
game. But when we moved from California to Pittsburgh, he
ice hockey. Oh, that was some kind of fun for me, going to
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
some of the automatons have begun to take on a life of their
A bold few in the Hamilton community have learned to reject the harsh
guidelines nailed on the door of society. The few, the brave,
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
births a strong statement? Whether intended or not, our
cape-less crusaders are introducing many of us, myself included, to a
fresh perspective. The human body can be appreciated and
in ways other than sexual ones. It is certainly an odd first
lesson to learn, but a valuable one. As freshmen, it is
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
brave souls, I will always voice my support behind the cowardly curtain
of my words. May the collective spirit of the Hamilton
(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
by the Hamilton Varsity Streaking Team
September 22, 2004
Clinton, NY--The Hamilton College
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
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
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,
Bowdoin and Wesleyan. Now we cavort in the verdant
which we have been denied. We mean no disrespect; we wish
illuminate, to dazzle, to amuse and astonish. And, of course,
streaking is wicked fun. We conclude with the immortal words
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
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
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
member Adam Bedient reflected. "We streaked the shit out of
The tour commenced at Union College in
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
the tour along the way.
Most campuses embraced the team's
"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
twelve schools, a minor setback was encountered when three team members
were apprehended by Wellesley police. "A dark cloud hovered
the RV," recalled Bedient, who was one of the three expelled from the
all female campus. "We kept asking ourselves, 'Can we finish
tour?' After five minutes of consideration, the answer was
The entire team was later escorted off
Connecticut College campus by the school's Campus Safety
Department. Unwilling to throw in the towel, the team
and completed its rounds of Connecticut and Massachusetts before
classes recommenced at Hamilton on Wednesday.
The Varsity Streaking Team is comprised
individuals who wish to make the Northeast United States a safer and
more accepting place for humanity. We mean no disrespect; we
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
by Mark Fuchs
The New York Times
November 3, 2004
CLINTON, N.Y., Oct. 28--At a rugby game
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
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
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"
Proudly describing themselves as more
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
Theater of the absurd, meet
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
the last year--no one is sure precisely when--they had a collective
"We kept referring to ourselves as a
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
colleges is open to some discussion. Pete Holzaepfel, a lanky
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
added, he has ambivalence about this as an accurate measurement of
performance, because as they streak they shout to encourage others to
Matthew Himmel, a biology major in his
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
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
special occasions, but their focus has turned outward. The
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
"They kept asking us what cause we were
for," said Mr. Moores, "so we finally had to start throwing
causes out there, but look--we're just not nudists for Nader."
As with varsity football teams and even
band, an away game offers the opportunity for team members to bond on
Mr. Holzaepfel, who said he had a
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
Sean Tice, a junior who is majoring in
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
year, as a senior, concurred. She said she was more than
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
formulating a plan of attack while fully clothed, disguised as that
At Colgate recently, they first figured
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
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
said Lydia Kiesling, a senior comparative literature major.
"That's usually the X-factor."
The team was hemmed into the parking lot
campus security vehicles, backed by the Hamilton Village police.
Andy Glossner, a junior chemistry major,
ashen. If this police matter delayed him, he would miss an
in physical chemistry, he wailed.
Jeff Verry, one of the campus security
on his first day on the job. One gets the sense that if it
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
"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
It was a ritual of sorts on college
years past and today it appears streaking is making a
It’s been so much so that a group of Hamilton College
put together a documentary on the subject featuring themselves.
In October, about 20 students known as
"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
"We had a dream that we wanted to streak
NESCAC schools to be really serious about it and we got a Winnebago
together. We had about three or four cameras running during
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
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
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
"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
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.
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
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
also a review of the fundamentals. ("Know your route."
only slows you down when you're redressing." "Getting caught is not an
At 2 p.m. our group of 14 men and six
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
Donning only costumes (mine a beard and
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.
streakers announce our arrival via megaphone, and Princetonians
curiously pop their heads out of classroom windows. Then it's
to the Frist Campus Center, a combination student union and cafeteria
filled with horrified witnesses.
There is an array of reactions: The
cafeteria lunchers. The blushing male student reaching to
an elderly couple's eyes. And the same elderly couple's
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
concede in the Daily Princetonian, "[Hamilton] completely rocked our
world. Our team was put to shame." (Princeton's
disbanded the following day after school officials threatened its
members with disciplinary action if they streaked again.)
After Hamilton's 15th streak in its
existence, team founder Matt Stringer climbs to the front of the RV to
put a fine point on the, ahem, "sport." Stringer, a Hamilton
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.
the ground. Kicked. One of the funnier things I've
Read the Princeton version of this same
8. Coed Naked Nakedness
You May Have Streaked in College, But Did You Streak to Win?
by Greg Veis
GQ [Gentlemen's Quarterly]
When I heard that Hamilton College had a
streaking team, I knew I had to join. I was capable of taking
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
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
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
Bedient, a recent graduate who's still a team member. "It's
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
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
huddled in there--tochis to tochis, naked and a little cold--and we're
trying to piece together something like a normal
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
from a boom box, signaling showtime.
Like a marathon, a good streak needs a
pace. Our first strides are measured and short, as our elbows
least I hope that's an elbow) and ankles collide. Finally,
hallways widens and the charge is on. I follow a guy named
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
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
by now, and it's almost an honor to see their pasty limbs jiggle
by. Students take leave of their notebooks to congregate on
second-floor landing, where the view's the fullest. The
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
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
Pete Holzaepfel: "Those guys are just begging to be streaked."
9. Internet Blurb
si.com (Sports Illustrated)
1. Are you a college student who would like to play a varsity sport but
has more enthusiasm than talent? Then perhaps streaking is
you. It seems that Hamilton College in upstate New York has
far dominated competitive streaking after compiling a 12-0 record last
season, all on the road. Whichever side fields the most
wins, so yes, size does matter.
10. Episode IV: A
Excerpt from a story by Richard Morgan
Which brings us to Hamilton College in
York. Past the now-dry SUNY Binghamton lies the tiny village
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
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
made during fall break as the self-titled Hamilton College Varsity
Streaking Team competed cheek-to-cheek with unsuspecting
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
went full throttle. Squawking and maintaining a V formation,
swooped down on campus lawns across New England like an Abercrombie
& Fitch photo shoot gone horribly insane. The team
through rugby and soccer games. Through classes.
cafeterias. Through libraries, being sure to hush gawking
bookworms. On one campus it led a naked fake orientation
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
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
"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
heartwarmingly bizarre is the reaction of administrators to the
streakathon: They were cool with it. So cool that they
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
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
what? Who cares? We're not trying for a
just stupid. We get naked and run around. How
"We didn't want to do something to last
ages," Bedient added. "We just wanted to have a good time for
ourselves. It's hilarious that we just showed a movie about
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.
Princeton Varsity Streaking Team
PRINCETON -- When 212 Princeton students
the Abnormal Psychology course, they did not know that their semester
would end with an actual example of bizarre human behavior--in the
During one of professor Michael
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
represented Princeton’s Streaking Team, a recently formed
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
The note, which Litchman read out loud,
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
"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,
still pulled off the moral victory because of how well things went."
By well, Brome means that none of the
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
off as part of the university experience," Litchman said.
were a couple of students who expressed their dismay over the incident
and suggested that I call public safety, which is our [campus] police
"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,
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
But this is not the first time that
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
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
punishable by a one-year suspension. Brome and other
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
harder if they thought we were running around drunk. We are
In its heyday, the Nude Olympics
of students to take off their clothes. The Streaking team has
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
"Its pretty tough to get a bunch of
people to do it,
especially girls," Brome said. "It’s mostly
the three most recent ones that we’ve done there have been
five, and six guys [respectively], and one girl at each of
It’s hard to say whether it will keeping going."
Despite the fact that the Streaking Team
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
"Before we do a streak, we say, ‘Do you want to streak with
us’ to as many people as we can. Anyone is welcome
streak with us. We are really open."
Participation on the team is not limited
appearance. In fact, the wide variety of athletic ability
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
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
bodies--in public locations such as dining halls, athletic fields and
even large lecture halls.
Although there are no official rules,
consider themselves victorious when they have a large
competitions between schools, whichever team has more streakers wins.
Members of Princeton's streaking team
form the group after learning of Hamilton's new form of recreation.
"When we heard that this upstate New
little school had a streaking team ... we were not going to
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
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
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
"to make people laugh and mostly to win. ... It's
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
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
when practical,'" Hawkins said. "If you're in college, the
logical thing would be clothes."
But Janine Jaffe, a Princeton senior who
documentary for her film class about the streaking team, disagrees.
"Personally, I think that it's a worthy
Jaffe said. She believes that the streaking team will benefit
"The fact is a lot of people at
sticks up their asses. It's the truth. I think a
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,
is not about winning. "I'm just there for fun," said Hwang,
joined the team after much persuasion from several male friends.
Members emphasize that streaking is
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
time.' ... It's a special time because most people keep their
naked bodies to themselves."
But Penn students have not yet been able
experience the "special time" that Tice describes--at least not
No streaking team currently exists on
although people have been known to streak as part of some Penn
Andrew Pollen, a freshman in the
the night before his first microeconomics midterm last semester.
"Streaking is a wholesome practice
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
"We look forward to competing against
Penn," Brome said.
13. Streakers Strike Princeton University
by Scott Frost
PRINCETON BOROUGH -- The Princeton
University Varsity Streak Team is at it again.
This time, police said, four white males
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,
Lt. Dennis McManimon said the students
fled the scene before arresting officers arrived.
He said two university officials,
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
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
By the time police were on the scene,
authorities the naked students ducked into a university eating club on
Last December, four undergraduates
Princeton’s Streaking Team strolled into professor Michael
Litchman’s final lecture wearing nothing but sneakers, hats
They handed Litchman a note, explaining
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
for the cause of legalizing streaking."
The note, which Litchman read out loud,
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
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
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
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
emerged from an obstructed corner near Nassau Hall and started
The 20 streakers, members of the
Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team, had come to Princeton for a
"The idea of going to Princeton was to
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
Streakers consider themselves victorious
applaud or join in. Another sign of success is avoiding
Scott Welfel '06, founder of Princeton's
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
he said. "They completely rocked our world. Our
put to shame."
A reporter and a photographer from
Illustrated magazine came to campus to watch the Hamilton team in
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
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,
entered Frist Campus Center intent on distracting as many people as
possible from their everyday activities, Stringer said. "It
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
Students cheered enthusiastically as the
through Frist, Stringer said. Others attempted to ignore the
streakers. Matt Sargeant '08 was eating late lunch on the
of Frist when the streakers ran through. "I tried not to look
them," he said. "It's not really any of my business if they
but that doesn't mean I have to look at them."
Evgenia Raikh '07 said she was unfazed
streakers. "Naked men aren't so exciting when you realize
one under the polo shirt of every man," she said.
The streakers did not attract much
attention, said Charles Davall, the Department of Public Safety's
deputy director for operations. "They must have been really
because we didn't get any calls about them [being] on campus."
By 3 p.m., the clothed team was walking
through campus under 1879 Arch. Their flag was rolled, and
meet was over.
15. Streaking Team Disbanded
Members Opt to Put Their Clothes Back On
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
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
investigation by the Princeton Borough police, he added.
"We suspected that he was calling us in
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
for the streakers if the team promised to never streak again, Welfel
"Investigator Peters told us the Borough
pissed and had hired a detective to investigate the incident.
wanted to be able to give the Borough assurance that we would promise
to discontinue our streaking, which we were compelled to do," Welfel
Welfel said he was told the streak was
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
seems to have been some kind of function that day with school officials
but not with foreign dignitaries ... I don't know why people
Though University officials declined to
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
we are not going to change the disciplinary response on who was there
to witness [the event]," Herbold said. "Were specific
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
students. If they don't, we won't actively pursue it,"
Though the Princeton team will not run
University again, Welfel said he still hopes to compete at
Hamilton. The Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team
across Princeton on Monday.
"We're going to attempt to rally and get
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
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
16. An Untimely Ending
The 'Prince' Regrets the Premature Passing of the 'Varsity' Streaking
The Daily Princetonian
April 22, 2005
Pardon the pun, but the University
on quite a losing streak. This fall, the administration sent
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
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
organization, this university included, needs to have policies and
regulations. Community members who violate those regulations
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
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
we Princetonians are confronted with a host of pressures: the Goldman
interview, the JP, the experiment in Frick. Perhaps this is
should be: we are, after all, largely a campus of Type-A
overachievers. But sometimes, we need someone to poke fun at
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
upstanding members of the community: Senators, physicians, ambassadors
and scientists. But now, these few brief years are our chance
do something that is just a bit crazy. You are only young
17. v. Streaked, Streaking, Streaks:
To run naked in public, especially as a prank.
By Ryan James Kim, Princeton University
Current Magazine (Newsweek)
Abnormal Psych got a whole lot more
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
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
“Due to inclement weather we were not able to get sufficient
numbers to field a full team.”
The Princeton Varsity Streaking team
again. Who knew that getting naked could be a team
activity? Here’s the deal on this up-and-coming
The rules of the game
Don’t get caught, make a lot
of noise, and
don’t forget your uniform — your birthday
unscheduled meets occur at the discretion of the
team. To kick off competition, the visiting team drops
‘trou.’ and erupts across the
with flags up and privates flapping, thus inviting the home team to
join in. If no one from the home college rises to the
occasion, the visiting team reigns victorious. But if home
students do field a team, size does matter. The biggest
Sneakers are essential, says Princeton
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.
Nathaniel Dern ran eight laps in the snow bare bottomed and completely
barefoot last January. “Eight of my toes had
frost bite by the time I finished my run,” Dern
The ultimate spectator sport--talk about
The Leader of the Pack
Hamilton emerged this year as the team
beat. Founded in 2002, the team is credited with the idea of
competitive streaking. “It dawned on us that if we
truly a team, we’d have to have away games,” senior
Moores told the New York Times.
Streaking the Nation
The November New York Times article
Hamilton College Streaking Team earned them national
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
trounced the competition. "It's pretty clear that we got
recounted one Princeton streaking team member wistfully.
basically showed [us] what a streaking team should be."
Buff and Blue (and Projected onto a Wall).
Everyone knew what would happen when the
Streaking Team got ahold of a video camera. Last October, on
team’s naked Northeast tour, they shot who-knows-how-many
of footage and transformed it into the world’s first
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.
the team captain to arrange for a
screening at your school. www.hamiltonstreaks.com
Varsity Streaking at Williams?
By Karen Gardner
North Adams Transcript
April 30, 2005
WILLIAMSTOWN --They had never heard of
who surprised television audiences across America by running naked
across the stage during the 1974 Academy Awards, but there's
much that person could teach this group of Williams College freshmen.
Known as the "Springstreakers," the new
campus has at least a dozen streaks under their non-existent
belts. The uniform is simple--just a good pair of running
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
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
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
thought-out plans. We know exactly where we're going," said
Take, for example, the Fayerweather
a group of freshmen was enjoying a Sunday night hall meeting and some
"They were sitting all along a narrow
hallway and we
ran through," Whinery said. "We had to step between their
sort of like an obstacle course, so it was really an up close and
After the streak, Goodwin and Whinery
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
bugler to herald the group's arrival, as well as a trusted assistant
who holds their clothes while they run. The club got its
one night last fall as students readied themselves for final exams.
"Tex is really the visionary behind
Goodwin. "He also likes to talk a big game. He'd
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
As a way to relieve stress, he and
their junior advisor and his girlfriend, who yelled at them.
Later that night, the two streaked Gordon Crabtree, the club's third
"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
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
event they can share. I think that was the best part of
the entries in the frosh quad."
Other memorable moments include a
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
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
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
the community in an unexpected way," said Leonard. "It forces
people to have a sense of humor ... I hope to streak with
some day, if the event is right."
Not worried about possible legal
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
change, as the group hinted Friday afternoon that they might streak
through "another community" later that evening.
Since they organized, the
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
May 10, 2005
Many newspapers and broadcasters ran
versions of this story (with the fine comments of the professor left
out). The prize for best headline goes to First Coast News,
Class Discussion of Male Anatomy Interrupted by Springstreakers
Professor Eva Grudin was about to lead
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
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
college students. It was yet another performance by two
of the Springstreakers, the latest unofficial student activity club at
this elite liberal arts college.
"It's hard to get your bearings back and
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
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
at the end of the semester."
Springstreakers--the name is a riff on
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
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
appearance. They've also hit the library, several parties and
a cappella concert. And they're not without coconspirators.
The Springstreakers boast nine active
men except for one, and they're always looking to recruit new ones.
Before bombing through Grudin's art
Goodwin tried coaxing a few buddies into joining him and
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
sober," Whinery said. "Being naked is nothing to be
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
spokesman Jim Kolesar said. "I don't know that they've had
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
their fathers to do it with them now."
Goodwin doesn't pretend there's anything
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
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."
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
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
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
allowing them to go naked on campus. Whether it was as a
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
across campus in October to protest against what they saw as a
crackdown by the administration on freedom of expression.
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,"
American liberal arts colleges do not
get much more
liberal than Bennington. Nestled in Vermont's Green
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
"Bennington College is not a
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
this behavior. We are a public campus," he said.
to be a level of respect here."
Respect has nothing to do with it,
sophomore Allison Zoll. As someone who has taken part in
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
undress. Streaking -- that is, running naked -- has long been
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
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,
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
Bennington's town manager. "More power to them. We
uptight about public nudity in this country."
21. Nudity Not for Necking
Students Protest Move to Ban Tradition of Nudity on Campus
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
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
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
students have acted upon an informal policy allowing nudity at campus
social gatherings, events and recreational activities.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
should not be erased because the University hires new
Bennington College claims their University does not expect students to
"conform" but "transform." As such, if Dean Graves is
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
by Morley Schloss
sent to the Indiana
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
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
23. Students Enjoy
Nudity Despite Social Constraints
By Omar Raschid
The Daily Orange
At a school where temperatures in the
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
major. "I love to see people's reactions. I don't
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
The plan backfired when Farina's towel was snatched instead.
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
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
"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
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
she's a slut."
Many females share this view and believe
simply raised differently than boys. Expectations towards
behavior at a young age are cited as reasons for the absence of female
"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
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
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
on the issue of streaking is simply pride. Often, college
are conceived through a mating of challenges and wanting to "one up"
each other. This alpha male attitude often breeds streakers
those who might not normally partake in such behavior.
"A lot of it happens because of dares,"
said. "If Ross dared me to go streaking, I would.
Despite this hair-trigger approach to
students should be aware that would-be streakers caught by the
Department of Public Safety will face appropriate
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
anymore," said Capt. Grant Williams of DPS. "However, if
was caught streaking, it is considered indecent exposure and they would
have to deal with Judicial Affairs. We would put a stop to
The group of guys who sit in other
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.
Word to the Streakers
by Andrew Hammond
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
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
shedding clothing as much as any other activity. Use the
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
condone lollygagging when it comes to parading around in your birthday
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
please keep in mind a few safety tips. Sunscreen is key: It
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.
soda. And do a quick set of push-ups and crunches before your
25. Letter to the
by Jessica Winter
The Chicago Maroon
May 13, 2005
I’d like to respond to the
Friday’s editorial “A Word to the
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
your editorial position by saying hurtful things. Besides,
streaking is not pornography for an audience. It’s
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
lack of understanding of the nature of streaking. Last year
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
the entire point. You would need to get the
permission to publish their naked photographs--participation in a
momentary streaking event does not imply consent to be photographed for
With that said, I agree with your point
streakers must move quickly. Hanging around the quads naked,
one alumnus reportedly did Thursday, is public indecency, not
streaking, and should be treated as such.
This Summer, Strut
Your Stuff in Your Birthday Suit
This has been a quiet spring on
campuses. Even the zany Hamilton College Streakers have lain
dormant since their founders graduated last year.
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
April 20, 2006
Excerpt from the recently discovered
Judas, translated from the Coptic: “In the beginning, God
the Heavens and the Crum. And the Crum being green and
form, God made trees, and shrubs of all predilections. He
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
created eel-walks, and He created Ewoks, because they sounded so
similar anyway. And He saw that it was Good. And
embraced the crawdaddies, and the middle-aged people used only
retractable nylon GentleLeader™ leashes, which would not harm
noble retrievers. And all were naked, and they were not
ashamed. And God saw everything that He had made and behold,
was very good.
And in the middle of the Crum was
Henge of Good and Evil. And the lord God said make any
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
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
suburban professionals opened, and they knew that they were
naked. And they were ashamed; and they sewed leaves of the
tree to make North Face windbreakers for themselves. And also
the Crum, the eyes of the mushroom-eating college students opened, and
they also knew that they were naked. And they were ashamed,
kind of into it; and so were the many couples knowing one another
behind rocks and in God’s Amphitheatre. And God
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
the flaming sword whirling around to guard the way of the Henge of
As we bask in the April sun, sipping on
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,
unfettered displays of love and touchyface … but
the nudity? While people out here on the Beach do seem pretty
comfortable taking off a few layers — mostly the shirtless
showing off the nice tans they’ve gotten from sitting in
all winter — it seems we have lost the Biblical ability to
around starkers and shame-free. Most of us have pictures in
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
we’ve become conscious of our own sexuality and a
media. Now when people get a little naked on the Beach,
it’s almost impossible not to look at them and judge them in
sexual context. Skin is no longer equated with freedom or
comfort; it is linked to throbbing biological urges.
Ironically, however, the nude body in
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
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
run around naked in parks. It’s cool. No
stares. No one calls the police. They eat
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
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
nudist RV park? We propose that there be a lot more nudie and
lot less prudie here at Swarthmore, where it all began.
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
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
legal issues to deal with when engaging in naturism. It
that the Pennsylvania state legislature isn’t so down with
groovy stylings of nude recreation. While there is no
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
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
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
"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
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
[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
mind for some reason. Back then everyone used shaving cream to
both their face and body parts. In the 90's it became less about
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
this progress and a definite relaxation of standards across decades.
Attracting Students: Six Suggestions
Nude and Natural 23.3
March 2004, p. 91.
What's all this talk about the graying
naturism? I may be graying. Other people I've known
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
Recreation announced that half of their new recruits are over
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:
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
three colleges doesn't hurt. But so are lots of other
clubs. It takes effort. These six pointers have
ONE: Make a serious commitment to
students. Some people have argued that students are in town
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
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.
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
you're so glad to see, but as respected equals. We have
elected a student onto our board of directors. If you have
hang-ups about single people or single men, get rid of those attitudes,
because students are mostly unattached. Now, a few years
some of those same young men bring their new wives and children.
THREE: Keep student fees low--below cost
necessary. There may be a few rich, spoiled college students
expensive cars, but they are not the ones who show up at our
gates. Most of our students survive on a very tight
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
higher Naturist Society rate is becoming too expensive for students.
FOUR: You must maintain a visible
campus. A campus organization would be great, but you can
without it. Keep posters up, advertise in the student
and talk with student editors. Whenever you can wheedle an
invitation, set up a display table on campus. (Unlike in the
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
mainly for students, and where students form a clear
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.
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.
want to make this a lifelong habit—not just a wild thing they
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
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
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
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
the ancient Greek Pentathlon, and is as authentic as
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
The meet will include five events: long
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
it and would unwind upon being thrown, which in return would straighten
its path. The ancient Greek traditional methods will be
in the annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet, and the modem methods
will mostly be used.
The big difference between the ancient
Pentathlon and the College Greek Athletic Meet is the entry
classification. During the time of the ancient Greek
only well-trained male athletes were permitted to compete.
(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
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
this event, I think the annual Nude College Greek Athletic Meet is a
great opportunity to attract college students to nude
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
especially students that live in Florida, or are visiting for spring
Anyone under 18 without a guardian must
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
participants and spectators on the grounds will be nude, and cameras
are severely restricted. The only exception is for reporters
college newspapers that have made prior arrangements.
To get to Tallahassee Naturally, go to
intersection of 1-10 and US-19 (exit 225, Old 33) and follow the TN
signs. For more information or to arrange free overnight
please contact Paul LeValley at email@example.com or call
850/222-1886. You can also visit the club's web site at
To get a student's point of
please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850/570-8790.
29. Ten Years of Nude College Greek Athletics
Tallahassee Naturally Sponsors Authentic Event.
March 2005, p. 19.
A follow-up article the next month
revealed these additional details about the history of the event:
With three colleges in town, Tallahassee
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
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
but those classes do not involve actual practice--and certainly no
nudity. To get their rhythms right (especially in the long
the ancient Greeks practiced to music, and so this class came complete
with a flute player. After learning a new Pentathlon event
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
with new musicians fell through again and again. With the
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.
Youth Leadership Camps
This summer, the camps of the American
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
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.
You will learn to develop and present
of wholesome nude recreation to other young adults in colleges and
universities in North America. You'll participate in
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
"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.
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
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
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'"
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"
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.
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