Everyone looking forward to blowing off some pre-finals steam by sprinting through campus wearing very little clothing will have to wait another semester.
This semester, three students undertook bringing a UCLA campus tradition — the Undie Run — to USC. But organizers decided to delay the inaugural run after realizing the amount of work and resources necessary to coordinate the event.
Jeremy Schwartz, a sophomore majoring in international relations, said safety concerns, combined with a lack of time to plan for the different safety measures needed — including janitorial services, Department of Public Safety officers and medical personnel — forced him to postpone.
“At first it was devastating, but now I look at it as a great opportunity to make next semester’s Undie Run even better and work with the school to make this a truly amazing charity event,” Schwartz said.
Some students complained that DPS had forced the cancellation of the Undie Run, but DPS Capt. David Carlisle said DPS was concerned about safety, though, it did not actually cancel the event.
Carlisle said concerns were raised by a Los Angeles Times article this summer about UCLA’s Undie Run.
“According to the article, they had eight to ten thousand participants, many of whom were not affiliated with the university,” Carlisle said. “They cited injuries, vandalism, drunkenness and fights as problems that had become unmanageable.”
Still, DPS did not make the official postponement decision; it simply advised the organizers of the resources needed for such an event.
Carlisle noted, however, that DPS does not condone the Undie Run.
“It is not something I would be proud of as a USC parent,” Carlisle said.
Schwartz said he does not think USC’s Undie Run will get out of hand, but he and the other organizers will be working with the administration to ensure proper measures are taken if the event does take place.
“Currently, we are working through Student Affairs to plan the event. We will coordinate more closely with DPS as we near the event date next spring,” Schwartz said.
Carlisle said he wondered why USC students would want to copy an event done by the school’s cross-town rivals.
“I wouldn’t think holding an event that originated with our friends across town in Westwood would be something we would want to add as an ’SC ‘tradition,’” Carlisle said. “We already have the Fountain Run, do we really need to copy the Bruins?”
But Schwartz and co-organizers Klarisse Jison, a sophomore majoring in international relations, and Connor Douglass, a sophomore majoring in business administration, said USC’s event will be different, as it will benefit charity — all clothes shed before the run will be donated to two teen shelters: Covenant House California and My Friend’s Place.
Though organizers are optimistic the run will happen next semester, some students are disappointed that they will have to wait.
“I don’t understand why it had to be postponed,” said Tyler Vestal, a sophomore majoring in psychology. “Every school in the Pac-10 has one, and I was really looking forward to it. Luckily postponing it will not affect my attendance, but I just hope it happens next semester.”
The new date for the Undie Run has not yet been decided.