The student body is stepping up after the administration announced that they would not fund security for the Naked Bike Ride.
SGA Speaker of the Senate Dale Osef is offering a way to fill some of the void left by the lack of funding: the UVM Green Caps, a volunteer student safety group.
We appreciate the effort — just as we appreciate those thousands of students who have vowed to keep our unique tradition alive.
But in this case, the measure might just fall short.
Osef’s intention is noble. However, there is a difference between what is noble and what is necessary to keep this event safe.
The gap between what the volunteers can provide and the security necessary to keep the Naked Bike Ride safe will be large. A lack of structure and lesser trained staff will create the potential for chaos.
While the lack of structure may foster a more creative, free, fun and ridiculous experience for the majority of the naked bike riders, it also increases the potential for harm, the same harm the administration cited in the email to the student body.
By announcing that they would not fund the bike ride only three weeks before the event, the administration has left no opportunities for the student body to seek external funding or to come up with an alternative plan.
The administration pulled out of funding this event because of liability issues, but they have created the potential for anarchy. Is the risk worth it? Did they believe that students would just stop this celebrated UVM tradition?
Judging by the almost 2,000 accepted invitations on Facebook, this Naked Bike Ride will unite students on a common ground: Don’t tread on me or my traditions.
The administration has fueled the fire, giving cause for students to rally and save this event through showing up in even larger numbers.
The Cynic encourages students to volunteer and we encourage participants to act responsibly. We hope UVM students keep this tradition alive while practicing safe nakedness. The administration should join us in that hope.