Nakedness at Yale is not a new phenomenon — even Skull and Bones once had naked wrestling parties. Today’s Yalies are not deviants, merely bearers of the torch.
Last Saturday night, that torch was passed once more, but this time in a way sure to sear many. Early last week, about 75 freshman received notice that they were to be honorary guests at what they were told would be a regular-old party with beer and, of course, clothes on Howe Street. But an oversexed group of seniors told their senior friends to strip bare on the aural clue of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax.”
For freshmen, it went something like this:
“Relax, don’t do it.”
But the seniors did.
And a thousand thoughts would run through a freshman’s mind. You could see it from across the room. Think of something else: Who was the linebacker for the 1966 Chicago Bears? Dick Butkus. Dammit. What is the defining geographical feature of the Peruvian-Bolivian boarder? Lake Titi-Caca. Who is the Dean of Yale College? Mother–
It was no use. The boy couldn’t stop the blood from flooding into his head. Double entendre intended.
The 80s song went up, the clothes went down. So did the jaws. Some Group IV’s report that about 82 percent of the freshman immediately ran out whereas 18 percent stayed around to see and be seen. (Realists say that only one or two worthwhile freshmen were brave enough ahem– to stay). To those who weren’t present, the news of the ruse quickly spread across campus like most juicy gossip. Emerging from Howe Street like shocks from an epicenter, the Lightweight party was the first to feel the effects.
Ears perked up faster than those twins on the track team. Upperclassmen wanted to window shop, freshmen laughed uncomfortably. But the wisest among them knew that they were now part of a long dynasty of Yale’s elite partygoers.
Some freshmen left that party upset; some freshmen may even have read this and felt a sense of violation all over again. Well, get used to it.
You might not realize it, but last Saturday night, Yalies enjoyed one of Yale’s most coveted traditions — one not listed in the Blue Book, found nowhere at the Freshman Activities Bazaar, and never mentioned in Levin’s speech (had there been one). It’s a tradition that brings people together and allows them to open up and express themselves. Here, they can let their hair down. And everything else for that matter.