Clad only in surgical masks, two men dashed through a packed amphitheater where Harvard students were taking a first-year anatomy exam. Watching from his front porch, the president of Virginia's elegant Sweet Briar College gallantly applauded as 50 of his coeds sprinted by adorned only in their class years, lipsticked on in an approximate license-plate position. On busy U.S. Route 1, traffic was brought to a cheerful standstill by 533 University of Maryland students chain-dancing au naturel. With astonishing swiftness, streaking, the art of the point-to-point dash in the buff, has burgeoned into an unabashed, pandemic American fad.
No campus seemed immune to the epidermis epidemic. At the University of Missouri, 35 men dressed only in sneakers, socks and hats streaked through "Greek Town," the fraternity-housing area. Near by, 15 coeds responded by running naked outside their dormitory, and 25 other unclothed girls preened at the windows all to the tune of the Missouri fight song played by a trumpeter in the crowd of 1,500 gaping spectators. In Columbia, S.C., dozens of nude males and females ran and rode bi cycles round the University of South Carolina student center. In New York City, some 40 Columbia University males cavorted in the buff. Stopping at nearby Barnard College dormitories, the Columbia youths tried to drum up some female support but were joined by only one bare coed. They did better the next night out.
At Stanford University, a fraternity man entertaining a coed in his room responded to a knock at the door and was confronted by seven nude males, each carrying a golf bag. "May we play through?" asked one. In Knoxville, Term., vowing that they would not be "outstripped by any state," scores of University of Tennessee students raced nude down Cumberland Avenue, even taking to the roofs to sit atop a second-story billboard and astride an ornamental bull.
Free Beer. One creative exploit led to another in a can-you-topless-this spirit of competition. At the University of South Carolina, a streaker entered the campus library and asked to check out The Naked Ape. Responding to a Knoxville tavern owner's offer of a free supply of beer to the first coed who would pick it up in the nude, a shapely lass wearing only her makeup darted into the bar and with an armload of beer rushed out again to a waiting car. Two students staged a relay across a bridge in Portland, Me. At Princeton University, Charles Bell, a candidate for vice president of the class of'76, demonstrated his political flexibility by taking up streaking. His campaign slogan: VOTE THE STREAKER IF ELECTED, HE WILL RUN. At the University of Georgia and the University of Illinois, students carried streaking to new heights by jumping from planes wearing only parachutes.