The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

The Kollektiv Unklad

Many young buttocks were displayed last week as freshmen streaked through campus, chanting the celebrated phrase, “We have no names, we’re part of the kollektiv!” Last Thursday night, RKSK initiated the freshmen, as it always does, with a lesson in group solidarity.

The kollektiv’s first destination was Reed’s library, through which freshmen strolled more or less silently. During the march, some students bit into apples, making a glorious show of their nakedness, while studying students smiled knowingly. Freshmen made the climax of their march when they climbed the thesis tower, only to pause and occupy the square balcony. But any hubris they had was extinguished during their exit from the library, made in front of a mass of fully clothed students.

On the way across the canyon, some students were baptized in the lake.

“I feel one,” freshman James Curry said after receiving the rite.

As the naked gaggle congregated on the lawn of the Grove, Director of Community Safety Gary Granger looked on from the sidelines, where he graciously explained to me why he was not participating.

“I think the legal ramifications of being naked with students would be enough [to keep me from participating]. It would be hard to explain to my wife,” Granger said.

Students proceeded to board a small U-Haul truck, where they were packed tightly together. According to Eric Whittier, who was helping lead this year’s initiation, a total of 105 students participated this year, compared to about 80 participants last year.

Excitement loomed on the way to Lewis and Clark College, even in the stifling confines of the truck. Upon arrival, “warm and fuzzies” were distributed. The mission: storm the library and give the stuffed animals to Lewis and Clark students.

Hordes of students had gathered near the library, evidently aware that naked Reedies were going to pay them a visit. After running chaotically past the spectators, we fell silent before the library doors, and entered.

At one point when we were hurrying down stairs, I heard a fellow streaker shout, “Nude descending a staircase!”

We didn’t leave before marching through Lewis and Clark dorms, chanting that we have no names, while clothed students high-fived or smiled at us.

One by one, we were numbered as we jumped back into the U-Haul truck. As we were transported back to campus, drops of perspiration fell from the ceiling onto our naked bodies.

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