The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

A team’s right to remove their clothes

We, as the Grinnell College distance track team, love streaking. I mean we really like it. Historically, before every home cross country or track meet, both the men’s and women’s teams streak the campus to advertise those meets. This is a tradition stretching back as long as anyone can remember, and until yesterday there has been no issue with it. On Thursday afternoon, the team was informed via two proxies that the administration had mandated that the coaches talk to “the players about not being involved in the nudity run across campus this year.” The reasons given included the fact that “this weekend is a big admission weekend and there is also an Alumni event going on.”

While we find these concerns to be reasonable, we also strongly disagree with the administration’s argument on several levels. First and foremost, we like getting naked. Second and secondmost, this is a tradition with its roots reaching much further back than just this year’s team, and the administration has offered no reason as to why the tradition should be broken now of all times. Finally, the reasoning that prospies and alumni will be here this weekend holds little weight considering that they have almost always been present for the streaking. Furthermore, any alums who return this weekend likely would have themselves been exposed to the distance team’s streaking habit when they attended, and shielding prospies from the realities of Grinnell does a disservice both to them and the admissions process.

Let us be clear; we have a full respect for the administration’s viewpoint, but the arguments they have given make little sense to present now instead of 5 or 10 years ago, and are further based in a concern for the deception of students past, present, and future.

­—Erik Jarvis ’12 and Jordan Bell-Masterson ’12

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