Getting naked for a price

Many students enjoy stripping down for the Naked Bike Ride at the end of each semester, but they may not know how much their streaking costs. Student Government Association President Kofi Mensah said that he wanted to see if campus organizations and groups could commit to funding for the Naked Bike Ride at the SGA meeting on Feb. 1. Each Naked Bike Ride costs $14,000, with the money going to security, safety equipment and incentives, like T-shirts for student volunteers, Associate Vice President of Student and Campus Life Annie Stevens said. “The majority of funding comes from student fees through the [Inter Residence Association (IRA)], SGA, Dean of Students and Student Life, but the small portion from Administrative and Facility Services is based on tuition,” Stevens said. Though the IRA and SGA cover most of the costs, the Administrative and Facility Services, Student Life and the Dean of Student Offices cover any leftover costs, she said. However, the Naked Bike Ride is not an official university-sponsored event, so university administrative offices cannot budget for it, Stevens said. Contributions from administrative offices are made with any surplus funds that they have at the end of the year, she said. In the past, there was talk about ending the Naked Bike Ride due to harassment shown toward participants, like throwing cans and bottles at them, Director of Student Life Pat Brown said. To continue the event, an increase in management security and student volunteers was needed, Stevens said. Most of the expenses for each bike ride goes toward security and safety equipment, like fencing in the crowds, she said. “Security is provided by Police Services and Green Mountain Security,” Stevens said. Brown said the event is much safer now with the involvement of student volunteers. “When I was a student volunteer last year, no one was harassing anyone, but I think that was because there were so many volunteers which allowed the event to be really controlled,” sophomore Dana Petersen said. Sophomore Elizabeth Williams, who participates in the event every semester, said she thinks the bike ride is worth the cost. “It’s definitely worth the money, because it is a UVM staple,” Williams said. “It is something that we are known for, and I look forward to running in it every semester.”