Strap on your running shoes and strip off your clothes ““
students will be running the streets Wednesday of finals week in
nothing but their underwear for what creator Eric Whitehead hopes
to be come a quarterly Undie Run.
The run will start at midnight at the northern Landfair and
Students will then run down Ophir to Glenrock Avenue and run
back to the start using the same route.
The event started in spring quarter of last year when third-year
theater student Whitehead and some friends tried to participate in
Midnight Yell, a UCLA tradition where students scream at the stroke
of midnight to release some of that pre-finals stress. Whitehead
and his friends were quickly stopped by police officers.
In addition, Whitehead received a ticket for riding his bike
without reflectors that night.
“We needed to do something to combat this,”
He was specifically referring to the presence of police officers
on Glenrock Avenue who don’t allow students to stand on the
sidewalk in front of their apartments and yell during finals
To voice his frustration, Whitehead went to his apartment and
wrote a song during finals week of spring quarter 2002.
Later a group of about thirteen students walked around in their
boxers singing the song about the travesty of Midnight Yell.
“It’s a good way to just have fun and to let loose
during finals week for a few minutes in the spirit of Midnight
Yell,” Whitehead said.
Last quarter’s Undie Run had about twenty participants,
mostly male, but a few females also took part in the
Fall quarter this year Whitehead carried a boom box blasting the
song “Eye of the Tiger,” the theme from the movie
Rocky, sung by the Survivors.
Whitehead hopes to see more students take part Wednesday
Students who have participated find it to be invigorating and
like the fact that cops can’t arrest them.
“We’re keeping within the context of the law as long
as we’re keeping the bare essentials together,” said
third-year religious studies student Mark Chipello, one of the
So far, there has been no opposition to the event by police
officers or apartment residents who have spotted the runners.
And Nancy Greenstein, director of community services for the
UCPD, said it is not illegal to run in underwear, since it is like
wearing a bathing suit. It would, however, be illegal to run in the
First-year student Benjamin Clark thought the undie run would be
a good way to celebrate the end of his finals last quarter in lieu
of Midnight Yell.
“There were people up and down the street cheering us on
so it was cool,” Clark said.
He said that it was a good way to release tension and will be
doing it again this quarter.
Other students don’t feel Midnight Yell is necessary.
“It’s immature and annoying,” said first-year
student Dong Le.
And for some, the Midnight Yell is more than just annoying.
Several years ago, Midnight Yell turned into what local
television news stations called “riots” as hundreds of
students gathered on the streets centered around Glenrock.
Some set couches on fire and threw bottles at officers
responding to the scene. Nineteen students were arrested.
Additionally, non-student residents began voicing opposition
with the Midnight Yell, saying students were not being respectful
of their neighbors.
Since then, police officers, resident assistants and apartment
managers have been cracking down on participants.
Many students have been reprimanded and even evicted for their
part in Midnight Yell activities.