Over the last three decades, the first snowfall of the year has had Princeton students scrambling to take off their clothes rather than bundle up. But skin was well hidden beneath coats and scarves during last Thursday's snowstorm, the first of the school year. Princeton's trustee board banned the Nude Olympics -- a tradition that typically drew hundreds of student streakers from the sophomore class -- last January after 10 participants were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning and reports surfaced of women being sexually harassed, nude runners urinating in public and couples engaging in sexual activities. Last week's snowfall was the first official test of the new ban, which promises streakers a one-year suspension from the school. Administrators claimed that they would not tolerate any streaking this year, even if it took place off campus. "It was only a matter of time before something really tragic happened," Princeton spokesman Justin Harmon said. "We decided [the Nude Olympics] was just unmanageable and a risk to health and safety." The event, which had become confined to a small courtyard, drew about 400 runners and as many spectators last year. In spite of the ban, some students had said they would run anyway, either by streaking or by throwing nude parties at the nearby, privately owned eating clubs, where some students eat their meals. Public Safety officials scanned the campus Thursday night in order to apprehend nude runners, but no disciplinary action was needed. According to Harmon, the campus was relatively free of trouble. Officials did, however, spot one unidentified streaker in a mask. Sophomore class officers, who in previous years had been in charge of organizing the Nude Olympics, proposed several alternate events, including a snowball fight, a food fight, an outdoor dance, a bonfire and a tropical party. However, administrators rejected all of those specific suggestions. According to Sophomore Class President Ben Shopsin, administrators said they wanted an event that would take place indoors with full clothing. However, students failed to agree on an alternate plan, he said. "I think it's a real loss just to let [the Nude Olympics] go," Shopsin said. "It was a chance to blow off steam and relax." He sent out a class-wide e-mail apologizing for not scheduling a replacement activity. Shopsin added that it is difficult to say whether or not a new tradition will emerge in the near future. An activity like the Nude Olympics is "silly and spontaneous and can't be planned," Harmon said.Comments powered by Disqus
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