I was extremely disappointed to read about the attempt to squash the tradition of senior streak. While, yes, excessive drinking does go on during this event, it is hardly more exaggerated than at any other traditional event on campus (certain frat parties or annual group events which go completely unsupervised-if people are worried about harassment, check out what goes on in dark basements on cold winter nights).One of the things I liked best about LU was the fact that we HAD traditions. Most of the older colleges in the nation have crazy traditions, which are merely an excuse for people, and that means EVERYONE, to cut loose, especially those people who would not normally.
Tradition binds us to something older than us, than our experience, and ties us to a greater sense of time and purpose.
Rice University, one of the world’s most prestigious technical colleges, has a monthly tradition on the 13th and 26th of every month whereby graduate students strip, cover their bodies in shaving cream, and hand out water guns to the undergrads so they can aim for the “interesting bits.” It involves no alcohol whatsoever.
One of the nice things about Senior Streak IS the nakedness. People you would never expect to see naked and even some you don’t want to see (since we spend eight months of the year bundled up to our necks) get involved.
People from the Phi Taus to DFC get together and SHED inhibitions. And though many, many people claim they won’t do it, when the moment comes, you see people gleefully shedding it all to be with their friends in a moment of shared experience.
I firmly believe that college is a place to learn and learn limits as well. It is not all books and tests and tasks, but also the experiences had in dorm rooms, in walks out to the park, trips out to the lake, and every outside thing that occurs.
While I had the chance to participate in Senior Streak two times in my term at LU (super senior) I did so only once and found both experiences to be enjoyable.
There were drunk people… so what? It is up to each individual to learn their own boundaries of personal freedom, expression, and openness, and that goes far beyond any test you can take or essay you can write in a blue book.
Keep traditions alive at LU. If this one disappears because of drinking, then bring back Winter Olympics, or Celebrate! (with alcohol), or create something that brings us together in a similar way.
It doesn’t have to include alcohol, but we are also at school to learn how to be responsible adults. If we don’t learn on a safe campus (which LU is) then we leave it to the students to graduate, get behind the wheel of a car, and figure it out that way.
Claire Breaux, 1999