No support for the nude

  The Naked Bike Ride just got a lot sketchier. The Cynic believes that UVM’s decision to no longer fund or endorse the Naked Bike Ride is shortsighted and will have dangerous repercussions for student safety. Instead of banning the event outright, the University is essentially telling students “you’re on your own.” Regardless of whether or not the University chooses to spend tens of thousands of dollars providing lights, barricades and security to the Naked Bike Ride, it is still the University’s responsibility to keep students safe. The Cynic recognizes that sexual assaults, injuries and detoxes are a serious concern, but the solution to the problem is not to turn a blind eye. When thousands of students descend on Athletic Campus on Dec. 7, UVM Police will still have to monitor the situation. Why place an additional burden on our police officers and the Burlington Police Department by not hiring more security personnel for that evening? While the number of crimes or intoxicated students may not have decreased with university support of the event, there is no doubt that security personnel, lights and barricades make the event safer as a whole. It is irresponsible for the University to not regulate the Naked Bike Ride. Instead of a closed course made possible by metal barricades, students will now have to contend with cars on University Heights and buses on the Athletic Campus loop. In years past, ResLife prepared for the Naked Bike Ride by having every single RA be on duty that night, to ensure student safety and that non-affiliates do not enter residence halls. If the Naked Bike Ride is “cancelled,” will those same safety precautions be taken? The Naked Bike Ride has been around since 1996 and has become one of UVM’s most popular traditions, with hundreds of students participating every semester. Instead of giving up on the event altogether, the University should continue to work with student and campus leaders on the Naked Bike Ride Task Force to better monitor it and adapt policies to keep studens safe. If UVM does not take measures to promote and ensure student safety during the Naked Bike Ride, students will not be the only ones caught with their pants down onDec. 7.