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When and where campus streaking started is unknown. Streaking seems to have been well-established on some college campuses by the mid-1960s. For example, a 1967 article in the student paper at Carleton College in Minnesota laments: "Examples of [Carleton's social problems] are the large number of departing female students, the rise of class spirit, low grades, streaking, destruction, drinking, and the popularity of rock dances." (At that time, streaking was already a tradition on the Minnesota campus, during January and February when temperatures were well below freezing.)
Time magazine, in December 1973, called streaking "a growing Los Angeles-area fad" that was "catching on among college students and other groups". A letter writer responded, "Let it be known that streakers have plagued the campus police at Notre Dame for the past decade", pointing out that a group of students there sponsored a "Streakers' Olympics" in 1972.
- 1 Records
- 2 United States
- 2.1 Florida State University
- 2.2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- 2.3 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- 2.4 Carleton College
- 2.5 University of California
- 2.6 Centre College
- 2.7 University of Chicago
- 2.8 Dartmouth College
- 2.9 Denison University
- 2.10 Grove City College
- 2.11 Hamilton College
- 2.12 Harvard
- 2.13 Lawrence University
- 2.14 Lewis & Clark College
- 2.15 Loyola Marymount University
- 2.16 University of Michigan
- 2.17 New College of Florida
- 2.18 Northern Michigan University
- 2.19 University of Notre Dame
- 2.20 Oberlin College
- 2.21 Pennsylvania State University
- 2.22 Princeton
- 2.23 Reed College
- 2.24 Rice
- 2.25 Swarthmore College
- 2.26 Tufts
- 2.27 University of Virginia
- 2.28 Union College
- 2.29 Wellesley College
- 2.30 Wheaton College
- 2.31 College of William & Mary
- 2.32 University of Vermont
- 2.33 Yale University
- 3 Other countries
- 4 References
The current record for the largest group streak was established at the University of Georgia, with 1,543 simultaneous streakers on March 7, 1974. The University of Colorado comes in second with 1,200 streakers, and the University of Maryland ranks third, with 553 naked students streaking three miles in March 1974. Erskine College claimed the highest per-capita streak, when 25% of its 600 students participated in a streaking party in 1974. It is also believed that an alumnus from Cornell College in Iowa has streaked the homecoming pep rally (estimated 1,200 attendees) 7 consecutive years without being caught. This individual streaked all four years he attended Cornell College and continued to streak for the 3 years following his graduation.
Florida State University
The trend of streaking across campus, started at Florida State University in the early 1960s.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Twice a year, the night before the first exam, at midnight, a group of 40-70 streaks around the two main libraries on campus in order to let off some steam, have fun, and share the love of school-spirit. The students run around shouting things such as "Study!" and "Express yourself!" These encouraging streakers are watched by a massive crowd of no less than 500 students, and at the end, in an open area of the second library, they and the watching students participate in singing the Alma Mater. The name of this streak is The UL (Undergraduate Library) Streak, and was traditionally only held in the one library for which it is named. Streaking started in the 1960s, and Davis Library was added in the mid 1980s; shortly after it was built the streakers decided to spread their fiasco. Everyone is encouraged to join.
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Once a year the annual "Streak Hathway" event occurs. Students run nude down Hathway St. T-shirts are sold to raise money for Breast Cancer research.
Streaking at Carleton College is a custom that spans half a century and garners participation from all sectors of the student body. Naked runs are regular fixtures on campus. While officially unsanctioned, the events are widely accepted by the administration and generally supported by the student body. Streaking is common during major campus events. While streaking may occur anywhere on campus, common targets include midnight breakfast and the Libe (during reading days and often during the Silent Dance Party), the Arb, and certain convocations (i.e. the opening frisbee toss). Carleton streakers also hit the St. Olaf campus, and on at least one occasion, streaked through Buntrock Commons.
The men's and women's cross country teams are particularly well known for their streaking. Both teams have historically participated in "naked laps" at Stadium and welcome the first snow of each year with a naked run.
The streaking team at Carleton is named Nudels.
University of California
The University of California, Santa Cruz has an annual fall tradition known as First Rain, where students begin the run in Porter College and run naked around the campus during the first rainfall of the fall season, usually in October.
The University of California, Berkeley has a biannual tradition during each semester's final examinations in which students (typically those in student housing cooperatives) streak through Moffitt Library. Since the run takes place in the midst of finals, the library tends to have a higher student presence, thereby increasing the shocking effect.
The students of Centre College have incorporated "Running the Flame" into tradition and legend, making it a pseudo-requirement for graduation. Students run naked from their dorms to The Flame, a statue on campus, and back. A longer version called the "Triathlon", includes two campus fountains.
University of Chicago
Streaking became an annual campus tradition at the University of Chicago in 1983, during their Kuviasungnerk winter festival, to help students kick the winter blues. It is called the Polar Bear run. There are often more spectators than actual participants.
Dartmouth College has two streaking-related challenges: The Ledyard Challenge, in which students swim naked across the Connecticut River and run nude back across the bridge, and the Blue Light Challenge, in which streaking students attempt to press the alarm on every one of the campus's blue light emergency phones. Currently, a Thursday Night Streaking Club regularly streaks at various events and public places. Additionally, streaking is a common occurrence for large final exams. Streaking is employed to encourage friends in finals and introduce a sense of levity in the bleak times of finals week.
Students at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, started a tradition called Naked Week in 2003, usually held in the second half of February; hundreds of students run naked across a different quad every night, and each night has a different theme. Opening ceremonies begin with students running out of the library and across the academic quad (record of 39 naked runners in 2015).
Grove City College
The cross country team at Grove City boasts a long record of streaking activities that occur every spring before finals week. This tradition began well over 50 years ago and continues to this day. The night before exams at midnight is marked by a several mile streak around a campus loop. In past years students have been pursued by campus safety and local police officers, but few have ever been caught.
Hamilton College of New York has a Varsity Streaking Team, which, until recently, boasted an undefeated record. The team received positive coverage in the New York Times in 2004 after streaking twelve private colleges in the New England region. Other victories include Colgate University and Princeton University, the latter sparked by a challenge from that school's streaking squad. The Williams College "Springstreakers" defeated Hamilton in spring 2005: fifteen members of the Williams team made a full circuit of the Hamilton library the night before their final examinations began, streaking about 200 people and giving the Hamilton team their first loss. "Hamilton College Varsity Streaking Team". Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-12. It was reported, however, that many Williams students had failed to remove all of their clothing, calling into question the final score.
The last night before final examinations at Harvard University sees undergraduates participating in a Primal Scream. Students disrobe and run a lap around Harvard Yard. This is done in both semesters, even during New England winters. Some of the streakers will dress in capes and masks, or top hat and tails, but their genitalia are still exposed. The walkways through which the streakers run are lined with spectators and the school's marching band plays beforehand to excite the crowd.
Streaking at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, has often been associated with the Great Midwest Trivia Contest. Also, the end of the year Senior Streak is a historic tradition that was suppressed in the early 2000s. The revival of the Senior Streak will be going on its thirteenth year in 2018.
Lewis & Clark College
Students of Lewis & Clark College began their naked mile tradition as a response to the arrest of some of its students at a downtown protest. Since then the mile has remained as a celebration of body image, encouraging students to come naked, in body paint, or wearing underwear/bra/whatever they feel comfortable in without question or judgment. Students continue to honor the legacy each year on prospective student weekend and running in solidarity through the school.
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California boasts three traditions that a student must complete before graduation; climbing the school's belltower, sliding down a large "LMU" sign on the school's bluff, and streaking through the school's Sunken Gardens. This tradition dates back to Loyola University, the school's predecessor.
University of Michigan
In 1986, the University of Michigan's Naked Mile celebrated the last day of class with a group streak across campus along an approximate one-mile path. At the height of its popularity in the late 1990s, between 500 and 800 students would participate, including several hundred females. Over 1,400 students participated one year and well over one thousand during another year. However, due to enforcement of public indecency laws and pressure from administration officials concerned about increasing spectator crowds and videotaping, participation declined. The last Naked Mile in earnest was run in 1999. By 2001, a mere 24 students participated signaling the effective end of the Naked MIle. Students were warned by college administrators that streakers would be arrested and required to register as a sex offender for life under Megan's Law.
New College of Florida
From the 1990s through to at least 2011, upperclasspersons enrolled at the Florida state honors college New College of Florida streaked the population of first-year students during its first week on campus. The streak took place immediately following the students' first meetings with their resident assistants, on their first day living in the expressly first-year portion of their residential campus. The streak was designed to appear to interrupt each of the three meetings as it passed through them, but in truth was arranged with the RAs each year. It was specifically intended that the streak take place in front of as many of the students' parents as possible, before they had finished helping their children move in and acclimate.
Northern Michigan University
To celebrate the first snowfall of every year, the men of the Brule house in Gant hall streak through their courtyard, completing three laps. The tradition started sometime in the 70s and continues to this day. Each year hundreds of students gather to watch this event.
University of Notre Dame
During study days before finals week each semester, residents of Zahm Hall streak through the LaFortune Student Center. There have been attempts by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) to prevent the event, but to date, such attempts have been unsuccessful.
Pennsylvania State University
Every year at midnight on the Sunday night before finals students streak down Mifflin Road as a way to relieve pre-finals anxiety. The event is not publicized by the University but it is widely known among students when it is going to be held. In previous years part of the fun of the night was that the streakers would have to outrun the police (who would try to catch them to charge them with public indecency) however in 2009 this was not the case. This is because the previous year (2008) a case was made by a Penn State student that her crime was not public indecency due to the fact that everyone that is outside at this time knows what they are going to see and has consented to it, that all participants are over the age of 18, and that no children should be in this area and awake at this time. She won her case and since then police have acted much more like a peacekeeping force than anything. The event is highly enjoyable for all students with up to 50 or more participating each year and it is widely regarded as a time-honored tradition.
Princeton University has had a long tradition of streaking. The term "running a streak" was in use by 1966. The preferred time for streaking was after midnight on weekends when coed parties were ending, the course being down Prospect Avenue, across campus, and ending in the runner's dorm. A streaking incident in 1970 was meant as a one-time prank, but in time, streaking became a tradition of the sophomore class, and rules were drafted for the event. The tradition declined in the 1990s and the administration chose not to tolerate the event anymore; the Board of Trustees voted to ban the practice in 1999 because it was becoming dangerous and attracting too many outsiders.
Picting is one of the traditions that takes place during Renn Fayre, the annual festival that marks the end of the academic year at Reed College. Students cover themselves in blue paint and run naked around the campus while another group of students attempt to spray the streakers with orange paint.
Baker 13 is one of the most enduring student traditions at Rice University. At 10 p.m. on the 13th and 31st of every month (the 26th if a month without a 31st), a group of students runs around the entire campus wearing nothing but shaving cream. Although the event usually only attracts a small number of students, on Halloween and the last relevant day of the schoolyear (usually April 26), the event is very large, regularly attracting over 100 students. The event is so named because it begins and ends at Baker College.
The men's and women's rugby union teams at Swarthmore College engage in a streaking fundraiser each semester known as the "Dash for Cash", in which the team members run naked through Parrish Hall, the main administration building. Spectators are expected to bring money, which the streakers grab from their hands as they run by. The activity has been known to catch bystanders unawares, despite heavy publicity featuring the slogan, "Bring money, or you're a pervert."
The Naked Quad Run was an annual tradition among the student body at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Every December, on the night of the final day of fall semester classes, students gathered during the evening to run naked around the Rez Quad several times. Because of injuries during previous years when the event was unsanctioned by the university, the administration designated the evening as the Nighttime Quad Reception and provides refreshments and entertainment. After an increase in incidents related to alcohol toxicity and a student arrest, the tradition was ended by Tufts University President Lawrence Bacow in March 2011.
University of Virginia
At the University of Virginia, tradition holds that prior to graduating, students must run naked from the steps of the Rotunda and down the 740-foot Lawn to kiss the buttocks of a statue of Homer, before running back up the Lawn to peer through the keyhole of the Rotunda, which affords a view of the marble statue of the school's founder, Thomas Jefferson, before they retrieve their clothes. In 1995, a mass streak was organized to protest a police crackdown on the practice.
The students at Union College of New York City held midnight "Pajama Parade" events in 1862, 1914 and several times in the 1950s. The real streaking tradition, which was nationally popular since 1973, arrived at the campus in the 1990s in the form of a nocturnal lap around the Nott Memorial known as the "Naked Nott Run."
At Wellesley College, students streak across Severance Green throughout the year. The streak is customarily followed by skinny dipping in Lake Waban, both of which have been listed as one of the 50 things a Wellesley student must do before she graduates.
College of William & Mary
At The College of William & Mary, students do a traditional "triathlon". The first part requires streaking the length of the Sunken Garden, a grassy area in the middle of campus. The other parts are swimming across the Crim Dell (a small pond) and jumping a wall and completing the maze in the Governor's Palace in nearby Colonial Williamsburg.
University of Vermont
At UVM, students participate in the Naked Bike Ride at midnight at the end of each semester. They run, bike, unicycle, carry kayaks, push shopping carts, or pull sleds. Historically the bike ride has occurred around athletic campus. The topic of the Naked Bike Ride has been a touchy one among UVM police, who have tried several times to do away with it. In 2011, Interim President John Bramley ended school funding for the event. This resulted in the student body creating the UVM Green Caps, a group of student volunteers stationed around campus throughout the evening for the safety of students.
University of the Philippines
At the University of the Philippines, members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity streak around the campus in an annual event known as the Oblation Run. The run started in 1977 to protest the banning of the movie, "Hubad na Bayani", which depicted human rights abuses in the martial law era and continues as a protest action.
University of Alicante
In 2011, the first nudist race took place at the University of Alicante (Spain). The aim of the race was to leave clothes behind and those garments were donated to an NGO (Proyecto Lázaro) that gives them a second use or recycle them to get funds for charitable funds.
The race took place once the classes period had finished and previous to the exam weeks.
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- "Takeoff", Time, December 10, 1973.
- "Letters", Time, December 31, 1973.
- Pearson, Andy (2004-03-05). "1974: Univ. 'cracks' streaking record". The Red and Black. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- History of Florida State University
- "University of Chicago News Office | University of Chicago Annual Polar Bear Run and Salute to the Sun to be held Friday, Jan. 18". News.uchicago.edu. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "The Dartmouth Review: The Week in Review". Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- "The Dartmouth - What are we talking about?". thedartmouth.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- Quite often during stressful final examination periods, individuals will streak through exam rooms and distribute confectionary and other sweet goods. The Dartmouth Independent: The Naked Truth Archived 2007-02-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Ally Klein (March 3, 2008). "Attack of the naked students". media.www.denisonian.com. Archived from the original on 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
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- Charm And Rigor — Richard Morgan
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- Murphy, Elizabeth (1 May 2009). "Streak raises eyebrows, keeps tradition alive". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
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- Billy Graham Center | Wheaton
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- INFORMACION. "En cueros por la Universidad - Informacion.es" [Nudist race at UA] (in Spanish).