‘I’m not going to be the only clothed person here!’
The story goes that one of UCSC’s most infamous traditions all began with a game of Simon Says.
It was 30 years ago, in the fall of 1989, not long after the devastating Loma Prieta Earthquake. And at UCSC’s Porter Dining Hall, a student playing the role of “Simon” told everyone to take off their shirts, according to an interview that Wayne Hendrickson, a former university community service officer (CSO), gave to the podcast Snap Judgment in 2010. Then, Simon got daring, instructing participants to take their pants off—prompting the manager to kick all players out of the dining hall.
The partially nude students wandered outside and walked around the campus, where police told them to watch out for poison oak, in Hendrickson’s telling. Finding that the strip tease provided for a nice stress relief, some students remarked that they wanted to do it all again someday. Overhearing their conversation, Hendrickson mentioned that some schools had naked runs following the first snowfall of every year. He even suggested that students could start their own tradition, and run during the year’s first Pacific storm. “We were kind of brainstorming,” he told producer Stephanie Foo. Hendrickson said he forgot about it, but the students didn’t. And the next year, the tradition was on.
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