For some Chapman students, the last week of every semester includes more than just final exams – it means participating in the biannual Undie Run that spans from main campus to the Orange Plaza. And for some Orange residents, this Wednesday night tradition means loud parties and college students running through neighborhoods in their underwear.
However, the number of complaints about Undie Run has decreased over the past few years, with only one complaint reported from last semester’s run, Vice President of Community Relations Jack Raubolt wrote in an email to The Panther. He could not confirm what the exact number of complaints has been in prior semesters.
Raubolt attributes the decrease to more frequent patrols from the Orange Police Department and a “collaborative effort” between the university and the Orange.
“Although the event is (not sanctioned) by the university and the city alike, our goal is to ensure that all participating students are safe and that the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods is as minimal as possible,” he wrote.
Last semester, Public Safety and Student Affairs offered free taxi vouchers, and Public Safety expanded its night ride service, Operation Saferide, Raubolt wrote. The police department also assigned units to patrol the areas surrounding the university.
Although the university and city will continue these strategies, the Undie Run itself is not the main issue of concern for local residents, Raubolt wrote.
“It’s the off-campus parties and loud yelling and talking as students walk back from the event through the surrounding neighborhoods (that is more concerning),” he wrote.
Orange resident Kaycee Moreland lives on the 200 block of North Cleveland Street, about half a mile from the Orange Plaza, where the run is held. Moreland said she thinks the university and the police department work together to make the event as smooth as possible.
“We do get some students, though not as many as downtown (in the Orange Plaza). I don’t see much activity, mostly I just hear them in groups of two or more talking as they walk past,” Moreland said. “I know that there have been issues in the past, but I have no knowledge of any other nefarious activities.”
During the Nov. 9 Neighborhood Advisory Committee meeting, which was formed in 2015 to identify solutions to neighborhood issues with the university, Orange police’s Capt. Eric Rosauer and Deputy Chief Rick Gonzales said that at least two additional police officers will be on duty to patrol the neighborhoods after Undie Run so that any issues can be addressed in a timely manner.
They also said that the university’s Public Safety team will be fully staffed and will work closely with the police department and Student Affairs to control “any issues that might come up.”
Orange resident Randall Chambers said that he thinks it’s not the police department’s job to dictate how Chapman students act in public.
“They can only enforce as much as they can. They attend to issues that will affect human life safety first and then property. To that extent, they are doing their job,” Chambers said. “I think that students on average do not behave well, especially during the Undie Run.”