A&M shelves undie run idea

From The Eagle

Published: May 4, 2010

Texas A&M is modernizing. It's more racially diverse than a generation ago. And the fall semester was the first with more freshmen women than men.

But is it ready for the next giant leap to emulate peers such as the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Texas?

Is it ready for ... the undie run?

A group of students dubbed the Undie Committee had planned the "First Annual Undie Run" for late Wednesday. It could have been glorious, with music, food, raffles, a tug-of-war (in underwear, of course) and cash prizes, with the clothing left behind donated to Twin City Mission.

It wasn't to be.

"The administration was not open to our idea at all and created some huge obstacles for our staff," said Undie Committee member Kendrick Thompson, in an e-mail. "You would imagine for an event so focused on being charitable, A&M would be more understanding."

A spokeswoman for transportation services said the group didn't submit required forms, including a safety plan required for night events, and that the process could have been smoother if it was initiated more than a few weeks before the event.

"They did not follow through on their part," said June Broughton with transportation services. "We really try to work with student groups and do whatever we can to make their event happen."

The Undie Committee is regrouping.

An opinion piece Friday in student newspaper The Battalion poked fun at the event, unaware that it had been canceled.

Lighten up, says Brittany Dever, co-chair of the Undie Committee and a senior English and international studies double major: It's a fun event for a good cause.

"Everyone's getting so hung up on the idea of people running around naked," she said. "We wouldn't be naked. You could see the same thing at the swimming pool."

She lowers her voice: "I could even argue that the girls at Northgate wear even less, and we all know that."

She admits the group could have began its quest with administration earlier. Even so, she said, she feels a more powerful force at work: Aggieland's conservative sensibility.

She's not sure if Texas A&M is ready for an undie run, but ready or not, here it comes ... off. It will happen next semester, one way or the other, she said.

"Many things have gone on that people haven't been ready for," Dever said. "But it becomes pushed on them, and eventually, it becomes who they are."