Details on the B.A.R.E. Run have been sparse this year as attempts from students and the University to organize the run differently have been underway, leaving the student body in the dark on the traditional end-of-spring-classes run.
This year a student was approached directly by someone from the President’s Office at CSU to plan the run, and was told when the student met that person for the first time not to plan the run, said a source who wished to remain anonymous.
“CSU has been involved from the start,” the source said.
According to the source, the Undie Run was renamed the B.A.R.E. Run last year after a national organization called Undie Run, which hosts similar events as philanthropies at colleges around the country, threatened to sue for the use of the name. Last year, the run was organized by a student group in an attempt to make the run safer and make sure the clothes that got donated were in good condition and able to be donated.
Last year, a student organization called B.A.R.E., Body Acceptance Run Extravaganza, was formed to better organize the run and improve safety, as well as create a better system for donating clothes. The run worked in messages of consent, but it rained that night and most of the clothes were too wet to donate.
In years prior, the run was planned by an anonymously created Facebook event. The source said that anyone linked to having anything to do with planning the run can be sued for damages or injuries that occur because of the run.
“CSU has never said ‘no,’ and they’ve never said ‘yes,'” the source said. “The run is unsanctioned but they aren’t saying ‘no.'”
Associated Students of CSU President Jason Sydoriak said that the administration saw that this year’s run seemed less organized than in past years and decided to take the opportunity to “squash it” by offering up serious consequences for participants.
“The administration is ready to put down the hammer so I think people should know that,” Sydoriak said. “They are not playing chicken, they are going to hit people hard this year in the way of enforcement and code of conduct, most likely using the code of conduct in a severe way.”
CSU has paid in the past because the run occurs on the CSU campus. Costs include paying for the additional police, medical and fire department staff, which can be anywhere from $10,000 to $13,000, the source said. CSU Police usually have about five officers on staff Friday nights, but for the run they up it to 20 to 25. These additional officers are paid for by CSU.
In addition, CSU Surplus has assisted in cleaning up all of the clothes that are thrown on the ground and in trees in the past years, the source said, which again causes CSU to have to pay for additional work. A majority of the clothes are not donateable, according to the source, with only 1,000 out of the 12,000 pounds of clothes from the run last year deemed donateable.
A big problem with the run, this year and in the past, has been liability and insurance. When BARE was in charge last year, they were not able to raise enough money to obtain insurance, the source said, but the run happened anyway.
The source said that other students joined in the efforts to plan for safety for the run, not the run overall. Originally, CSU wanted nothing to do with the run and did not want to pay for anything, leaving a lot of the financial and legal liability on the students recruited to plan. At this point, most of the students that agreed to plan it have dropped out.
“This is not an event, its a gathering,” the source said. “Everyone that shows up is (doing so) at their own risk.”
The students organizing the safety aspects of the run originally said they would work to raise the money for the run. However, about a month ago, the source said that CSU emailed those involved in planning for safety and said that the University would be taking on the financial burden of the run.
The CSU Public Safety Team sent out a message from the Dean of Students, Jody Donovan, suggesting students do not participate in the run. The email addressed the concern about a lack of insurance for the run and claimed that the “unsanctioned” run cost the University $15,000 per year due to damage to campus property, extra security and cleanup.
“They can’t go back on it now,” the source said, referring to CSU agreeing to pay for the cost of the run.
In past years, 8,000 students have showed up, which is more than most school-sponsored runs like athletic events, according to the source.
CSU police do not have a problem with the run and will be present at the run “in an advisory, public safety” role, the source said. Police will be stationed along the route so that people participating will always be able to see a car or officer. They hope this will deter criminal behavior and help people feel safer. Police will also have cameras on to help them catch anyone committing crimes on camera.
The route for the run was created by the police department to ensure it is the safest route, the source said. They have areas of campus that are poorly lit mapped out, and made sure the run only went through well-lit areas of campus. The route also passes several emergency call boxes to make people feel safer as well.
On this route, students will not be running in dark places where they can trip and hurt themselves or others, which is a liability for CSU. Also, any roads that cross on the route will either be closed or traffic will be redirected to ensure the route is safe for participants.
“If you attend, you aren’t breaking a single law,” the source said. “Why break a tradition?”
The source said that sexual assault is a concern at this run and “we fully believe that that’s not ok.”
“Be in self control,” the source said. “Tell your friends it’s not ok to slap someone’s butt… Rams help Rams.”
Though CSU is not affiliated with the run, they have made it clear that they do not want it to continue being a clothing drive because a lot of clothes are wasted and it is a large financial expense to the University, the source said.
“All clothing left behind will be diverted to the landfill; it will not be donated,” the email read. “In 2014, 7,745 pounds of clothing were left behind from the run and only 1,683 pounds were donated because most clothing wasn’t in any condition to be accepted by charity.”
The source said that the planning of the run has been so quiet this year because the people involved were scared of being sued, but they continued to work on safety for the run because they care about the students.
The source said that the hope is that CSU will factor in the costs of the run into its budget in the next few years; that way, proper safety measures can be taken so “people can feel comfortable and have a good time.”
“I love CSU,” the source said. “I hope all these great things can continue.”
Disclaimer posted on the 2016 B.A.R.E. Run Facebook event page
1. CSU Safety Team advises against participating
2. Participation is voluntary
3. Participants assume all risks of injury, property loss/damage, misconduct, or death.
4. This is not sanctioned by CSU
5. This is NOT hosted by anyone
6. This is an alcohol and other drug free zone
7. As per the law there will be no sexual misconduct, non-consentual touching, or nudity
8. Expect emergency services to be present for your own safety
9. Participants voluntarily release organization or person from any claims whatsoever in connection with the use, reproduction, and/or publication or their images/photos related to the event so you choose to participate.
Collegian News Editor Sady Swanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @sadyswan.