You may be hearing from students at this time of year about their plans to run, or not to run, in the Naked Mile. I want to share some information with you that may help you to provide counsel to those students who seek your advice.
Last year only a handful of individuals ran. Still, the crowd of more than 10,000 spectators was undiminished from previous years. The crowd, fueled by alcohol and often armed with video cameras, creates a dangerous environment for our students. Past incidents have included groping of the runners, assaults within the crowd, loaded guns and other weapons, and injuries caused by falls and collisions with cars. The environment surrounding the event has continued to deteriorate over the years and leads us to have serious concerns for our students safety.
Students also should be aware that running in the Naked Mile is a violation of the law, and police have stepped up their enforcement. A number of people have been arrested in the past two years for indecent exposure as well as for alcohol-related violations. With an increasing number of employers conducting background checks on those they hire, an arrest could have a negative impact on students career opportunities down the road.
One last piece of information of interest to our community involves the closure of walkways and parking. Our major safety concerns are related to the crowd of spectators. In order to limit this crowd, we will restrict parking in central campus structures on the evening of April 17 to those with U-M permits only. In addition, the West Hall arch and spaces between the Hatcher Library and Tisch Hall will be closed for the last few days of the semester in order to prevent injuries in areas where construction fencing has narrowed the walkways.
I appreciate any help you can give in communicating this information to our students.
Interim Provost Paul Courant