Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.
Decency and self-respect are virtues that are lost on many college campuses. The Undie Run is not only a disgrace to the University and the Fort Collins community, but also to the individual students who choose to participate in this event. This behavior should not be tolerated.
It is alarming the number of students who think there is nothing wrong with this kind of behavior. Students choose to participate for several reasons, many of which have to do with the bragging rights that come along with just partaking in this experience. According to Ty Bett’s column published in the Collegian on Tuesday, students choose to participate because it’s seen as a bucket list experience that is specific to CSU. Also, even though in past years there has been police intervention, Bett quotes students who do not seem to realize or even take seriously the severity of law enforcement presence at an event like this.
The Undie Run has been an annual tradition at CSU for six years now. When it began, it was intended to be a clothes drive. Students who participated would strip down to their underwear, leaving behind the clothes they were wearing to be donated. In past years, clothes that were meant to be donated ended up in the trees, the plaza and other public places. The clothes that survived the night were in no condition to be donated.
In 2015, the name of the event was changed to the B.A.R.E run (Body Acceptance Run Extravaganza). This change was supposed to make the event more organized and safe as well as create a more suitable image for CSU. As the event has grown, it has become something bigger than what it was designed to be. The founders created the event as a fun way to both destress before finals and donate to charity. Yoga, movies, meditation and reading are among the thousand other options that are actual de-stressors.
In previous years, organizers of the run formed a cleanup patrol to combat all the damage done to the community. They tried to get insurance to protect both students and the University. In 2013, there were several incidents with students and law enforcement that put stress on the reputation of the University. CSU has since communicated with law enforcement to contain the run. These are some of the actions that have gone into planning this event. They sound more like stress inducers rather than stress relievers.
As CSU administrators have emphasized, the Undie Run is no longer sponsored, supported or authorized by the University. To those students who are looking for a way to destress before finals– read a book, have a movie night with friends or treat yourself to something special. To those students who want to give to charity, do not choose the Undie Run as your platform for donation, instead choose Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity, Fort Collins Rescue Mission or Eco-Thrift. Over the years, the Undie Run has become just another excuse for college students to wreak havoc on the community and their fellow students.
Do not encourage this event by participating this year. Choose to stand for dignity, self-respect and decency.
Tianna Zachariah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.