Students strip down to run in spite of stormy skies

Chapman students gather in the Piazza before Undie Run Wednesday night. Photo by Artem Barinov

Despite beginning in pouring rain, more than 1,000 half-naked Undie Run participants made the trek from the Piazza, down Glassell Street, around the Orange Circle and back again, many shouting that the damp weather made Wednesday night the best run in Chapman history.

The rain only lasted for approximately 20 minutes before the run while students gathered in the Piazza, outfits ranging from Santa hats to glowing tutus to onezies, before subsiding to a mist.

“It’s awesome,” said senior biochemistry major and Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) president Sean O’Connor, who drew his fraternity’s letters on his chest before the run. “It’s an American tradition. It’s part of my soul.”

Senior psychology major Jasmin Anderson and sophomore business major Nandi George have participated in the run in the past, but elected to skip it this time around because of the weather and watch the other runners instead.

“We have finals and it’s cold and wet,” Anderson said. “They’re crazy as hell.”

Senior business major Brandon Chun participated in the run because it was his last opportunity before graduating this semester. However, he stayed bundled up in a jacket.

“It’s drizzled before, but never this hard,” he said. “If I had another semester, I’d skip this one, but this is my last one.”

Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, said he wasn’t surprised that Undie Run still saw a high turnout in spite of the weather, but that the crowd has been bigger in the past.

At least one woman was taken out of the Argyros Forum bathroom on a stretcher, but Public Safety was unable to provide an estimate of how many people were intoxicated and needed medical attention as of press time.

Public Safety officers and Chapman faculty members were stationed at various points across campus.

Orange police blocked off Glassell and several of its crossing intersections to protect students. At 12:16 p.m., after the last of the runners slowed to a walk to make their way back from the Circle,  officers lined up, flanked by two police cars with their lights illuminated. They gently but firmly encouraged students to return to campus, thanking them for their cooperation.

Price sent an email out to the Chapman community Dec. 10 encouraging runners to be cautious in light of the four assault incidents that have occurred on and near campus this semester. Corey Bourgeois, student dispatch assistant, said Public Safety wasn’t planning on having any extra officers on duty during the run.

However, Price said Wednesday night the rain was cause for greater concern about injuries rather than possible assaults, particularly for students under the influence.

“There’s a high correlation between intoxicated students and injuries,” he said. “Every year we bring blankets for students, particularly young women who’ve had too much to drink and are passed out.”

Orange residents Kevin Qujano and Andrew Sotelo watched the run from the steps of the Leatherby Entrepreneurship village. Qujano said he came for the hot girls.

“The rain is more interesting,” Sotelo added. “It makes it wetter.”

Photos by Artëm Barinov

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