Yep, still naked

  Students braved slick pavement and snowfall Thursday morning as thousands gathered on Central campus to celebrate the end of classes with this semester’s Naked Bike Ride.   Despite concerns about the new route and the lack of safety, spectators and participants alike said that they were happy the bike ride occurred even after the administration removed its funding.   “The interim-president has no right to cancel an event like this,” junior Tommy Tyler said. “This is something that is special to UVM and that should happen every single semester,”   Many students had similar feelings about the event.   “This president just doesn’t know what UVM is,” first-year Abigail Cook said.  “We are a community.  We have been here for years and he has been here for four months. This is tradition—all students look forward to it.”   Green Mtn. Concert Services surveyed the event and were hired by the University just like they are every year, security officer Jim Brenner said.   “It was billed as Winterfest,” Brenner said. “[We are] more here as a presence than security, but we are prepared for the best.”   Student volunteers known as the Green Caps were seen caring for students by handing out blankets and keeping people from enclosing the pathway of bikers and runners.   Green Cap Tom Stanley said that the bike ride was uneventful and his area had no injuries to report.   Bikes were not the only form of transportation—students were seen riding scooters, skateboards, a shopping cart and a unicycle this semester.   Junior Samantha Cantell said that she has volunteered for Naked Bike Ride security before and the event went fairly well and it was not much different than from past years.   “People ate it on the pavement like normal,” Cantell said.  “It was nothing to be completely worried about.”   Although the Green Caps said that they had a safe night, emergency crews responded to Converse Hall around 12:30 a.m. Ten minutes later, they emerged with a student on stretcher. A UVM police officer could not comment on whether alcohol was a factor.     On Athletic Campus, President Bramley’s alternative event called the Free Finals Food-fest and Fundraiser took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Director of Residential Life Stacey Miller said that the event was a festival to celebrate the end of the semester and completely different than the Naked Bike Ride.   “It’s meant in some ways to replace the Naked Bike Ride and give [students] an alternative option,” Miller said.  “It gives people something else to do if they don’t want to participate.”   Some students said that the event had no organization because the food lines were too long and they unknowingly had to get tickets in order to receive food.   “I wish they would have put together another event if they were serious about planning something to replace the Naked Bike Ride,” sophomore Victoria Diamond said.   As of midnight Dec 7., the unofficial Facebook page for the Naked Bike Ride had 1,992 people listed as “attending” the event.   The Naked Bike Ride has been a UVM tradition since 1996 when student Erica Kutcher began the Naked Bike Ride through the Mountain Lions Program, a 2010 Cynic article stated.   Kutcher died in an avalanche while rock-climbing in Pakistan in 2005, however, and the event became a celebration of both the end of the semester and the woman who started it all.