The Way We Were
One evening in March of 1974, a group of male students decided to participate in the latest fad that was sweeping colleges campuses throughout the country – “mass nude running” or streaking. Mistakenly believing that the record for the largest group streak was 150, they were soon on the phone calling up fraternities and other dorms to encourage people to join the streak. Those who were willing to run assembled inside ATO; those who only wanted to witness the event gather outside the building to wait. When all the runners had arrived, the total was not even close to the hoped for numbers, but the 84 streakers were ready to run. Wearing nothing but tennis shoes, the door opened and the group ran down the lawn to Main Street and then turned onto Jenkins Court. So far the run had gone smoothly, but as they started up Pettee Brook Lane, they were greeted by a patrol car. The run turned into a free-for-all, with one runner being caught by the police.
The UNH quickly established an anti-streaking policy, stating a concern for “the safety and welfare of the students” (A couple of the streakers had been hurt trying to run through a door too quickly.) The penalty, if convicted of indecent exposure, was up to one year in jail and a $1000 fine. However, if the policy needed to be enforced, Assistant Dean of Students Bill Kidder believed the university would keep everything in context saying, “We operate with fairness and we also keep our sense of humor.”
FYI: According to Wikipedia, the current record for the largest group streak was established at the University of Georgia, with 1,543 simultaneous streakers on March 7, 1974.
Originally published by:
Written by Mylinda Woodward ’97, UNH Archives Assistant