Dealing with Streakers

By PJ Bigley | 5/26/16 7:00am

Ahhh, streaking. Dartmouth has a weird obsession with it that I’ve never quite understood. The idea of public nudity is incredibly unappealing to me for a lot of reasons, but some people around here seem to love it. I would guess that they think it’s liberating? Maybe they like the feel of air in places that don’t usually see the light of day? Or the adrenaline rush that comes with the fear of being arrested? Maybe they just want a tan? I don’t know. To me, running around naked just seems like a jiggly mess. But regardless of how anyone on this campus feels about streaking, one thing is for certain: as the end of spring term approaches, the probability of seeing someone in the nude increases exponentially.

Having taken some lecture classes, I’ve seen my fair share of naked bodies. (It’s funny how that statement will make sense to anyone who goes to Dartmouth.) I remember the first time one of my finals got streaked. As an unsuspecting freshman, I was horrified. I don’t know what I was expecting to see when I heard the yelling, but it definitely was not six people in their birthday suits. The experience was rattling, to say the least, but streaking has become pretty normal to me since I’ve been at Dartmouth. Still, for those ’19s out there who have yet to have their final streaked, I’m willing to offer up some suggestions for dealing with streakers. (I’ve never actually done these myself, but maybe I can achieve my goals vicariously through Dartbeat readers.)

1) Bring a squirt gun to finals (and throw some ice in the water while you’re at it). This first suggestion comes to you from my professor. His final got streaked almost every single term until, one finals period, he finally got fed up: when streakers stormed his final, he asked his students to look up from their exam, point to a streaker in the group and yell, “Tiny, tiny, tiny!” It gets even better when you consider he also brought a squirt gun to the final. Needless to say, I was actually pretty excited to see how this particular streaking incident would go down. Much to my dismay, when the streaking actually happened, the professor was out in the hallway sans squirt gun, and I completely froze up and forgot to yell “tiny!” (But hey, there’s always next time.)

2) Steal the streakers’ clothes or block all exit routes while they streak. This has always been a dream of mine, and I’ve thought about how easily this could be done in Filene. I realize that this requires making eye contact with a naked stranger (and prolonging an already uncomfortable situation), but I still think it would be hilarious to see how streakers react in this situation. I imagine it playing out like an episode of “Naked and Afraid.”

3) Confront your streaker on campus. The worst part about having your final streaked is making eye contact with one of the streakers and then seeing them later around campus. If you do see one of the streakers after your final, I suggest running up to them and screaming, “Hey, I know you! I’ve seen you naked!” I’ve never actually done this before, but if you could try it and give me some feedback, I would really appreciate it.

4) Spread the word about streaking alternatives. Haven’t you ever seen those people who roll through finals dressed as Pac-Man? It’s pretty great. It’s weird enough that people will look up from their final and question if they’ve ingested any mind-altering substances recently, but not so weird that they’ll feel uncomfortable. So can we cut the nudity out now?

If getting rid of streaking isn’t an option, then I have one final request: If you’re going to streak, at least bring candy to throw at people. I probably won’t eat it because that seems a little gross. (Actually, who am I kidding, I’ll definitely eat it.) But given the emotional roller coaster I’ve endured at the hand of streakers, I think the least you can do is toss me a Twix.

PJ Bigley