Monday, December 17

Undie Run safety at issue


As participation grows in the Undie Run, an event which takes
place each quarter on Wednesday night of finals week, concerns over
issues of safety and property damage from university and law
enforcement officials are increasing.

At the end of every quarter for the last three years, hundreds
of students have lined up on the streets of Westwood Village to
relieve their stress and tensions caused by studying for finals in
what is known as the “Undie Run.” While most students
dress in their underwear, some students show up in funky costumes
like chicken suits. Before the run, participants chant “Undie
Run” and then run from the corner of Landfair Avenue and
Gayley Avenue to Glenrock Avenue and Levering Avenue, and then run
back down the same street.

Though the quarterly Undie Run has no official university
sponsorship, university administrators and student leaders may work
together in the future to discuss the event.

As of now, campus administrators’ attitudes toward the
Undie Run have not changed since last spring as students ““
and the UCPD ““ get ready for the event this Wednesday
night.

Maintaining the health and safety of students are the main
university concerns regarding the Undie Run, said Vice Chancellor
of Student Affairs Janina Montero.

“This is an event that in one way or another has the
potential to put students at some risk,” Montero said.

Joe Vardner, Facilities commissioner for the Undergraduate
Students Association Council, said Undie Run needs to be more
controlled than in the past. Though Vardner is in favor of more
regulation and organization of the event, he is still a strong
proponent of the event.

“There has to be some way for students to relieve stress,
and no one can think of a more calming activity,” Vardner
said.

Vardner is in charge of a committee whose purpose is to improve
the Undie Run, and said he wants the Undie Run to be a fun and safe
event.

The committee will be composed of representatives from various
campus groups, such as the Student Alumni Association and the
Interfraternity Council, and will meet sometime next quarter,
Vardner said.

Vardner plans to bring several ideas to the committee, including
blocking off parts of streets and having on-site emergency medical
technicians. Vardner said during the Beat “˜SC Parade two
weeks ago Gayley Avenue was partially shut down, and Vardner
questioned whether the same could be done for Undie Run.

UCPD will be at the event in full force to ensure the safety,
said Nancy Greenstein, director of Police Community Services.

“We’ll be out on the streets; there will be law
enforcement in the area,” Greenstein said.

Greenstein said the Undie Run is an unorganized event that has
grown so large that it has become a safety hazard in the area.

“Anything can happen with that big (of) a crowd,”
Greenstein said.

When crowds of people, many of whom have been drinking, run
through the streets as cars are pulling in and out of parking
spots, the risk-level of the event grows, Greenstein said.

Last quarter, misty weather and wet streets caused students to
slip and fall and suffer cuts and abrasions, Greenstein said.

Greenstein stressed the utmost importance is safety, though she
said there is also a potential for property damage.

Last quarter, participants walked over cars and there were
serious cases of vandalism, Greenstein said. From noise complaints
to blocking traffic, Greenstein cited a number of laws that have
been broken in previous Undie Runs and have the potential to be
broken in upcoming Undie Run.

UCPD has concurrent jurisdiction, which means it shares
jurisdiction with the LAPD over the area where the Undie Run takes
place, Greenstein said.

Despite concerns regarding the Undie Run, students feel it is an
entertaining tradition that should be kept.

“I think it’s fun, and it’s a good break from
studying. I think more people should do it,” said Allison
Rossi, a second-year undeclared student, who has participated in
the Undie Run in the past and plans to do it again this Wednesday
night.

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