Penn State University police made no arrests during the students’ traditional end-of-the-semester “Mifflin Streak” Sunday, a year after some students successfully fought charges stemming from running naked in the event.
“It went well,” said University Police spokesman Tyrone Parham. “We did have some staff down there. It was a large crowd down there. There were some people that did the typical nude streaking. There were no police apprehensions.”
The Mifflin Streak takes place each year on Mifflin Road in front of Mifflin residence hall at midnight the Sunday before spring finals. Varying numbers of students bare all and run down the street, which is usually packed with several hundred spectators -- and police.
Last year, buzz around the event spiked when seven men and one women were charged in connection with the event, and two of them decided to fight the charges of open lewdness and disorderly conduct. In years’ past, most students simply pleaded guilty to a summary offense, and paid a fine or were admitted into a probationary program that offered them the chance to clear the charges from their record.
But Elizabeth Burke and Daniel Mozer fought the charges, which were then dismissed by judges who said the charges weren’t appropriate because the people who gathered to watch knew what to expect.
“You cannot claim, at least with a straight face, that the specific crowd who gathers just to see the streak, is likely to be affronted or alarmed,” as is required to prove the open lewdness charge, said Burke’s attorney, Stacy Parks Miller. “If someone breaks rank and heads downtown or to an area with unsuspecting bystanders, maybe. But under these conditions, it was the right common-sense decision to not bring charges.”
Parham said no one being charged this year has nothing to do with last year’s controversy. He said he can remember other years where no one was charge in the incident.
Parham said there were a number of student affairs personnel on Mifflin Road during the event as well. However, university spokesman Bill Mahon said he didn’t know of anyone who was detained by student affairs.
Sara Ganim can be reached at 231-4616.