The Lawrence administration has chosen to discourage students from participating in senior class events following the Senior Dinner. Not only do these “events” include the infamous and long-awaited Senior Streak, but also the social gathering of graduating seniors and faculty members in the VR: the last informal opportunity to gather together with everyone with whom you’ve spent the last four years.
The events are not the issue here. The act of streaking is not only a tradition on the Lawrence campus, as well as many other college campuses around the nation, but a completely legal and good-natured act.
The Lawrence campus is private property and students have to legal right to streak if they so choose. As long as students do not approach College Avenue or any other public areas where they might be seen, there is nothing illegal about Senior Streak.
This year, however, Lawrence administration is threatening to call the police if any naked seniors are spotted on campus.
On top of the administration’s seeming desire to play policeman with students, they have also taken the initiative to close down the VR on the night of Senior Streak.
It is understandable why they would want to limit alcohol consumption in order to maintain the spirit of the evening, but closing the VR will only encourage students to drink privately, completely removing the reuniting social purpose of the night.
These students are over the age of 21 and have been given the right by the U.S. government to consume alcohol. Taking that privilege away completely will not solve anything, but it will break up the senior class into independent, underground parties and anger many students whose contribution to Lawrence is supposedly being celebrated on this night.
Rather than dissolving the tradition completely, the Lawrence administration should be trying to shift the emphasis of the night away from getting wasted and more toward enjoying the opportunity to party with classmates and faculty members.
Closing the central gathering area for the night (the VR) is completely working against that idea. Let’s face it: Senior Streak is the most widely attended event on campus all year!
If the administration continues fighting the students on this issue, the students will continue to push back in attempts to regain their rights and well as their traditions.
Hopefully our administration is clever enough to realize that the only approach that can be taken on this issue is compensation.
It is the students’ right to streak as U.S. citizens, it is their right to streak as seniors having completed the four years of a Lawrence education, and it is their right to streak as the classes before them have.