Clothing-Optional Colleges and Universities
Sometimes you just need to go back to your roots. And by roots, I mean your natural state. And by your natural state, I mean naked.
Remember when you were just a wee babe? You could be in the nude whenever you wanted, and it wasn’t against the law. In fact, it was kind of cute. Some of my fondest memories to this day took place when I was in my birthday suit. Like this one time when my siblings and I stripped down and ran around the big tree in our backyard, which has since been replaced by a swimming pool. It’s times like these, when I recall such occurrences, that I think: which colleges would let me do that again?
So I’ve compiled a list of colleges and universities that are (or are rumored to be) clothing-optional.
Bard College Supposedly the campus is clothing-optional, but you might want to make sure before showing up to class naked.
Bennington College One of the more liberal colleges out there, the clothing-optional, erm, option, is “still in the school constitution, though it hasn’t been taken seriously since the ’80s,” says Cora, a freshman at the college. What does that mean about nudity, you may ask? “It’s really not in the culture anymore,” claims Cora.
California Institute of the Arts Nudity is a liberating form of self-expression, so why be bothered to put on clothes? The institution definitely has a clothing-optional swimming pool. Whether or not the entire campus is clothing-optional is uncertain, but I suspect that freedom of (naked) expression is welcome at CalArts.
Hampshire College It’s officially clothing-optional. Never-nudes beware.
Ithaca College It’s unofficially clothing-optional, so don’t be too surprised when you get there.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Believe it or not, MIT has multiple clothing-optional halls in one of the dorm buildings.
Smith College It is very likely that the whole campus is clothing optional. “The parties are technically all clothing optional,” says a student, “except I’ve never heard of or seen anyone taking off their clothes at a house party because that would be really weird and creepy.” But fear not! “At room parties people usually end up (mostly) naked.”
UC San Diego There is a nudist beach (known as Black’s Beach) just on the edge of campus. Pretty good for avoiding tan lines, am I right?
Wesleyan University There is a clothing-optional dorm. Hurrah!
These schools require that you wear clothing on a day-to-day basis, although they do have some traditions that allow otherwise:
Bryn Mawr College Ladies, we have Katharine Hepburn to thank for this one. A Mawrter herself, it is said that when she was tired of the library, she would take a ‘study break’ to go skinny dipping in the fountain behind the Cloisters. Nowadays, all Bryn Mawr students follow her daring lead before graduation.
Dartmouth College There are two naked challenges to participate in: the Ledyard Challenge and the Blue Light Challenge. For the Ledyard Challenge, students must swim naked across the Connecticut bridge and run back across the bridge (still naked). For the Blue Light Challenge, streaking students try to press the alarm on every single blue light emergency phone on campus. Oh, and there’s a Thursday Night Streaking Club.
Lewis & Clark College On prospective student weekend, Lewis & Clark students run a naked mile as a celebration of body image. What a great opportunity to wear nothing (or undies and/or body paint) without judgement!
Ohio State University The Thursday before the football game against rival school Michigan at the end of November, everyone on campus does the Naked Jump into Mirror Lake. This is exactly what it sounds like: students jump into the freezing cold lake without wearing any clothes. Why, you may ask? Well, why not?
Smith College Yes, Smith again. In addition to enjoying the freedom of getting naked at room parties, supposedly “there is a shitload of nudity” at convocation. The school also has numerous traditions that involve jumping into the pond naked or streaking through various buildings. One streak in particular? The Haven House Library streak.
Tufts College The Naked Quad Run started in the ’60s as a protest to the last all-male dorm becoming co-ed, where the students living in the dorm ran naked around the academic quad. Nowadays, the Naked Quad Run typically occurs on the first night of reading period in December.
University of Virginia Streaking the lawn from the Rotunda to the other end of the lawn and back is a tradition here. Oftentimes, students will stop to kiss the bum of a Homer statue.
Wheaton College, Ill. See? Religious college students can be naked too! During the first snowfall of the year, students at this evangelical Christian college celebrate Jesus…naked. How do they do this, you may ask? How else, but to run around the sign that reads “Wheaton College: For Christ and His Kingdom”? Unsurprisingly, this tradition is known as the “Kingdom Run.” Proceed with caution, though: the college does not officially support this tradition, so participants should look forward to a $100 fine and disciplinary action to go along with the fresh breeze.
Yale University Yale has not one but two naked traditions! First, the Naked Library Walk: during finals, students hand out candy. Did I mention that they do this in the nude? Second, the Naked Punt Return: slightly more dressed than the previously mentioned event, lacrosse fraternity pledges return punts in thongs and football players tackle them into the snow.
Know of any other clothing-optional colleges? Have opinions on them? Share with us in the comment box below!