Sun, Mar 15, 2009
The New Paper
Hostel residents: Others have run naked before

IT'S called the naked mile.

The participants strip naked and run around the university hostel and sometimes around the National University of Singapore (NUS) grounds, in the wee hours of the morning.

Until last month, these streakers were able to get away with it.

But on 19 Feb, nine male students, eight from Eusoff Hall and one non-resident, were reported to the authorities for streaking.

Now they have been expelled from their hostel and barred from seeking places at the other hostels, though they are still attending classes.

They are being put through a disciplinary inquiry, the outcome of which is due at month's end.

At about 4am on 19 Feb, the group, mostly sportsmen in their first year, ran naked from Eusoff Hall to Temasek Hall, which is the next building.

Eusoff Hall had just won the Inter-Hall Games (IHG) Overall Championship Title as well as the IHG men's championship title, which ended on 18 Feb, during the school term.

To celebrate their victory, some of the male students started drinking. After having a drink too many, they ran naked.

Some female residents of Temasek Hall saw them and reported it to the university authorities. While an NUS spokesman said it was the "first time that an incident of this nature has taken place", some residents of Eusoff Hall told The New Paper that streaking was not a new thing.

A male resident, who has stayed in Eusoff Hall for the past three years, claimed he had seen his seniors do it before.

A female resident, who has lived there for three years, also claimed that streaking is common at Eusoff Hall.

"My blockmates do it, but for some reason, I'm always asleep."

Runners' route

A male resident at Eusoff Hall described the route that the streakers usually take.

"They normally run around within the hall, or from the sports & recreation centre (SRC) to the hall, or from the hall to the swimming pool," he said.

The SRC is about a 15-minute walk from Eusoff Hall, and the swimming pool is inside the SRC.

The resident added: "It's usually done at night, and they were never caught. People have not been bothered by it."

Another Eusoff Hall resident said: "It was just a bad coincidence that some girls saw them this time and reported them."

Perhaps one reason that the streakers were not caught until now is because their actions were known only to a small group of students - either residents of Eusoff Hall or students who know the streakers.

Most of the other students we spoke to said this was the first time they have heard of such a practice.

First-year hall resident, Mr Tai Lee Yu, 21, said: "I haven't heard of this happening before. Even though it's quite common for some to get drunk, they don't usually do outrageous things like that."

Many of the Eusoff Hall residents we spoke to said it was all in the name of fun, and felt that the authorities have been too harsh in expelling the streakers.

A female resident said: "That night we won the IHG title. I think they were just celebrating." Another male resident agreed.

"It's all part of the fun. Each hall has their own culture, and it was just part of our celebrations," he said.

But in a random poll of 100 male and female NUS students from different faculties, most agreed with the punishment meted out to the streakers.

- Bernice Huang and Joanna Hor, newsroom interns

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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