Midnight on the Wednesday of finals week is the traditional hour for UCLA students to strip to their underwear and run through a few blocks of Westwood (if four years can a tradition make.) You might remember there was some kvetching over traffic disruption, noise and vandalism before December's run. This time, the UCLA administration is trying to get the students to run mostly on campus. The Daily Bruin, however, editorializes gently in favor of the students' right to run in their underwear wherever they damn please.
Mark these words: Changing the current route of the Undie Run to the administration-sanctioned, on-campus route would essentially be killing what has been a proud student tradition.
Sure, it might not seem to make that much of a difference whether you run in your skivvies on campus or off. But the undies are only half of what makes the Undie Run great.
The other half is what it symbolizes: Running down Landfair Avenue wearing just boxers and/or a bra is a defiant statement against social norms and the administrators who would rather you do something else. It's about rebelling against the system that gave you an 8 a.m. final Thursday morning. It's about feeling totally free for about half an hour before it's time to lock yourself in the library again with a textbook and a cup of coffee.
The Undie Run isn't just people running. Participants also include those who are lined up along streets and watching through windows. No other event at UCLA brings students together like this, not even Homecoming.
Last time my prediction of film at 11 proved right on. It's an older story this time around, but if it's a slow news night...
Photo: Jennifer Huang/Daily Bruin