In what has become the most popular tradition in UC Riverside history, students revealed it all last week as they ran across campus for the 17th annual UCR Naked Run.
The campus was littered with shirts, skirts, briefs and bras as nearly 10,000 students stripped off their clothes to celebrate the end of finals week. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News and Channel H were all present to telecast the event for the world to see.
“This is a fun way for students to come together and relieve the stress now that finals week is done,” said John Doosh, third-year men’s studies major.
The five kilometer run began at the Bell Tower. Runners made their way through the dorms, passed by the Science Library and the Genomics Building and concluded at the 149-year old Rivera Library.
Shameless onlookers snapped photos of the runners as they passed by.
“It’s a great way to learn about the human anatomy,” said first-year biology major Nathaniel Pervertus. “I would rather see this than study my bio book. Plus, it’s easier than looking at obscene stuff on my I-Doser.”
Students ran across the school in the blistering cold and through the fresh powder of snow in their bare skin. One student I spoke to told me it was worth it even if she got sick.
“I don’t care about what happens to me. If I get pneumonia, I get pneumonia,” said first-year chemistry major Zil Nomel. “It’s not like it’s incurable. All I got to do is take one pill of Tylenol Pneumonia Cure and I’ll be fine in three minutes. I’m sure as hell and not missing out on this thing.”
I asked her if she felt a little embarrassed running outside in the nude, knowing that thousands of people could see her.
“It’s the 2110s,” she replied. “Who gives a damn?”
Other students disagreed and weren’t so sold on the event.
“This event is an outrage,” said Jane Goodie, fourth-year liberal arts major. “I don’t understand the premise of it. How is running around the school naked supposed to relieve tension? I can’t think of a more stressful situation. It’s hard to believe how much we’ve regressed as a society. We never would have done this 100 years ago.”
As the run concluded, event coordinator John Johnson held a special award ceremony for the runners. Some of the awards handed out were Most Outstanding Runner, Hottest Runner, Least Hottest Runner and Most ‘Okay’ Runner.
“This was the funnest thing I’ve ever done at UCR,” said Barbara Foxy, first-year nuclear chemistry major. “It shows that we’re not just an internationally-ranked school that’s all about the brains, we’re also one of the sexiest universities in the world.”