Monday, July 15, 2013

A Streaking Record!

In the 1973-1974 academic year, a new fad spent across the nation's college campuses -- streaking. As described in a March 1974 opinion piece in the Greensboro Daily News, "when the guys and gals finish booking, instead of talking about Marx ... they strip down and run en masse across the old campus while their friends look on and cheer." On the night of Sunday, March 3, 1974, the UNCG campus experienced a record-breaking night of streaking.

The crowd cheers on the streakers
According to a March 4 article in the Carolinian, between 1000 and 1500 people watched and cheered as UNCG students ran naked down College Avenue in what was dubbed the "First National Streaking Competition." According to the Carolinian, various streaking records were set during the night. Over 250 students streaked, including at least 75 women. Both of these numbers set a new "national streaking record," with the total number breaking the mark of 209 streakers who ran at UNC Chapel Hill the week before. Other records noted in the article include: "one for two nude persons (one man, one woman) who rode a motorcycle for one-half mile, one for five people in a Porsche, and one for six in an M.G.B."

Streaking enshrined in the Pine Needles
Needless to say, campus administrators and local civic leaders were not pleased with the campus's new fad. After similar streaking events occurred at Greensboro College, High Point College, and Elon College in a one-week period, Guilford County District Attorney Douglas Albright urged the local college campuses to take disciplinary action against the streakers. He implied that if the campuses would not punish the students, he would encourage the local police to begin making arrests. "We're getting the word out that this is a violation of the law, and that the college campus is not a sanctuary for those who would break the law," he argued.

In a March 6 memo to the University community, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs James H. Allen stated that "the University Administration does not in any way condone the violation of the law. Indeed, the Administration recognizes and accepts responsibility to uphold the law and seek its enforcement as fairly and as reasonably as possible."

Ultimately no students were arrested and no formal criminal charges were brought against the streaking students. 1974 was the peak of the streaking fad (the year also brought us Ray Stevens' #1 Billboard hit "The Streak" as well as the appearance of a streaker on the 1974 Academy Awards broadcast), and no further reports of major campus streaking parties were made.

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