The Bare Facts About Streaking

By Kelty Garbee

   Foxfield, football games and sorority and fraternity rush are just a few of the many UVa traditions. All of these traditions entail dressing up, preferably in school colors, and socializing with large groups of your fellow Wahoos. Another more individualistic tradition here at UVa, that is somewhat less formal and requires considerably fewer clothes, is streaking the Lawn. For those of you out there who know nothing about streaking, I hope to supply you with the "bare" facts of this fine tradition.

Whereas Foxfield, football games and rush are all planned well in advance, streaking can be much more spontaneous. Streaking, in all of its informality, can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year. Basically, streaking takes place whenever you alone or with a group of friends, who don't mind getting naked in front of one another, are feeling brave enough to take part in this tradition. Usually, bravery comes as a direct result of consuming large quantities of alcohol. Many people have been known to streak while sober, but drunkenness for the most part seems to have become part of the tradition. As a result, Friday and Saturday night parties seem to yield many streakers. However, it should be pointed out that sober streakers tend to remember more of their experience and are better able to negotiate the somewhat treacherous terrain.

Regardless of whether you streak sober or drunk though, the Lawn in all of its pavillioned glory always serves as the main thoroughfare for streakers. It is customary to begin at the Rotunda, run to the opposite end of the lawn, kiss the Homer statue on the butt (this may be difficult for those of you who are short) and run back up the lawn toward the Rotunda. If you want to show of your excellent lungs or just didn't get enough the first time, you may repeat the process but it is not necessary.

Somehow, this tradition tends to cause University students to be very careless and forget that public nudity is actually against the law, so it is best to circumvent as many problems as possible. The University Police do actually frown upon this school tradition and they have been known to arrest or strongly lecture naked students on the social ills caused by being caught in a state of public nudity.. The strongest argument offered by the police seems to be that "you will never be able to get a job working with children." However, no one seems to pay any mind to these idle threats.

What does pose a major threat to many streakers is not the authority of the police. Instead, it is the public embarassment experienced by many unfortunate streakers who have found that the honor code does not necessarily protect their clothing from thieving pranksters. So, if you want to guard against having your clothes stolen while at the opposite end of the Lawn, it is advisable to take them with you. It is also helpful to wear your shoes and take your time. You'd be surprised how small trees and ropes suddenly become huge obstacles when you're naked. In closing I would like to give you an anonymous piece of advice that was shared with me as I streaked by: "run slow, you're supposed to enjoy it."

ENLT 214M, OCTOBER 1997