Several hundred Undie Runners take part in canceled finals week tradition
An unofficial Undie Run attracted several hundred students to the corner of Strathmore and Gayley avenues just before midnight on Wednesday, despite the cancellation of the event, which was announced by university administration over the summer.
The quarterly tradition, in which students run through campus in their underwear as a means of relieving stress during finals, was much smaller this year than in the past. The spring quarter 2009 run, for instance, attracted 8,000 to 10,000 joggers, according to university police estimates.
The university publicly canceled the event at the end of July, citing damages to the university, underage drinking and attendance of non-UCLA community members.
A Facebook group titled “Fall Quarter Underground Undie Run” was created to encourage students to run despite the administration’s decision to cancel the event. The group notified its more than 2,800 members of a text alert program made available to update subscribers leading up to the run. The route this quarter commenced on the northeast corner of Strathmore and Gayley avenues.
Police lined Strathmore Avenue as the run began around 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday, and students took caution not to jaywalk, a crime for which law enforcement warned they would be ticketed. University police were stationed throughout campus at key points from former routes, as well as throughout the North Village to prevent unlawful conduct.
Many students were confused as the run continued, because it was unclear which route should be followed. A group of students ran to the inverted fountain, down the stairs next to Avenue A in Ackerman Union and to Bruin Walk toward the Hill.
Though some students were taken into police custody, no violence occurred. University police have not yet confirmed the final number in attendance or potential damages caused. The administration could not be reached for comment.
“It was peaceful,” said Addison Huddy, the Undergraduate Students Association Council general representative. Huddy witnessed the route fully clothed. He said he thought it was promising that few non-Bruins attended the run and students behaved themselves.
Huddy and Tim Mullins, USAC Facilities commissioner, hope to reinvigorate the run in a more administration-friendly way for spring quarter 2010. Huddy said the fact that students showed up for this run gives him hope that they would be interested in alternatives.
Undie Run ended around 12:40 a.m., much earlier than in previous years.