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Saigon Kids Stories: The Great Clemson Group Streak (GCGS) of 1975

by Kevin Wells (ACS)

The period between my arrival in Saigon during November 1959 and my departure in May 1962 was among the most memorable periods in my life. There are, however, other days with fond and vivid memories.Streaker

After Saigon, after high school, and after the Army years, was my time at Clemson University. Being a veteran, I counted as old and wise and full of leadership. I was active in the Student Government legal system, serving as a Legal Advisor, Chief Legal Advisor and the 1974-1975 Student Government Attorney General.

Most of the matters before the court system were dormitory violations and violations of the student Code of Conduct. You can imagine what the case-load involved at any coeducational institution that allowed dorm visitation evenings until 8:30 PM on Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday nights. When the organs providing the hormones are firing on all eight cylinders and the turbo charger is operating, things will happen.

Almost everyone before the court had an alibi. In one memorable case, the football player in question was left in a female’s room over night (a clear violation) because he was too big to move, an absolute certainty for anyone who saw Moose up close and personal. They were found guilty, and loss of visitation privileges for both for the balance of the semester was the result. The fact that they buried him in laundry items just in case someone in authority looked in the room must have made for a fine awakening. I have never awoken buried in women’s intimate apparel and quite frankly can only imagine the reputation boost resulting therefrom.

In the early years, one of my clients was charged with the firearms violation (possession and/or discharge thereof) and walked when I pointed out that the handbook specified firearms and a slingshot, even what is called a Wrist-rocket involves no fire in the launch of the projectile or the projectile itself. That little loophole was plugged during the next session of the Student Senate.

At large universities, when the organs providing hormones are firing on all eight cylinders and the turbo charger is operating, things will happen. What happened was The Great Clemson Group Streak (GCGS) of 1975.

The GCGS was without doubt, my fondest memory at Clemson. It was February, generally cool, even in upstate South Carolina. The unseasonably warm weather made people crazy, the word went out, the Associate Dean of Students Susan D (AKA Dean of Women) summoned me as the Attorney General. She alerted me of what was afoot and the flood of violations I could expect to process through the student government court system.

Regrettably, public nakedness did not appear to be a violation of the provisions of the Student Handbook. I told her this. When I left her office, she was in a dark mood. Honestly, this was developing like an incident right out of Animal House.

I went to the Associate Dean of Students (AKA Dean of Men) George C’s office and found a mood considerably different. In fact, I think he was warming to the prospect of a little excitement. Dean C confirmed the rumor and told me the preparations.

With clear logic, the V.P. of for Student Affairs and others in the administration determined that Clemson’s reaction would take a page from the playbook used on football game weekends. They planned to provide for a flood of visitors and withdraw the fire trucks to the perimeter road so traffic or crowds would not block their dispatch in the event of a fire. All full-time and reserve officers would be on duty. Although still only a rumor, Clemson was ready.

I went home and when my wife arrived, I offered her the opportunity to return with me as a spectator. Upon crossing the Loggia just below the Student Government offices we found ourselves in the middle of a thundering herd of streakers wearing ski masks and running shoes. That particular streaker stampede had a minimum of 30 men. Margo said “Was that a hallucination?” Nope, and there was more to come.

I did not know that Clemson had that many undergraduate women and as far as I could tell, every one showed up in the central campus area. One of the Campus Police officers, almost universally known as Deputy Dawg, famous for citations for every violation, was apparently unable to catch even one streaker. I doubt that the rest even tried. Although public nudity was a violation of South Carolina law, and debauching the public morals was a possible separate charge, to my knowledge, none were apprehended. I think that the ski masks, 10-speed bicycles and running shoes go a long way in explaining the fact that there were perpetrators, before, during and after the fact, but no apprehensions.

There was, apparently one minor mishap, a woman student, momentarily distracted by the practical biology lab unfolding around her, center-punched one of those large oak trees while riding a 10-speed bicycle. The injuries, other than to pride, were limited to bruises and some capillary bleeding.

My wife was immensely entertained.

Dean C. offered no comment other than the casualty list above.

Dean D. calmed down after a few days. Reliable witnesses claimed that smoke came out of her hair, and sometimes her ears too, and she was really not the same ever again.

It never happened again.

But it could!

4 comments to Saigon Kids Stories: The Great Clemson Group Streak (GCGS) of 1975

  • Mary Timmes Shanabruch

    Kevin, what a gift for stoytelling you have ~ so well written!

    • Kevin L. Wells

      Mary,

      Help me place your time there.

      I know we overlapped, and that I was there when you arrived. My only clear memory of you (other than at school) was one party and seeing you at the Alhambra.

      I was there November 1959 to Early May 1962.

      You?

      KLW

  • Suellen Oliver Campbell

    Kevin, my brother was a student at Clemson (Moo U.)mid to late 60’s, and I am sure he would have participated in the streaking event, had it been held while he was there.
    At Lander during our freshman year, we were always being warned of impending panty raids by P.C. and other area male colleges. To my knowledge none ever materialized. Guess the reputation of our Old BAT of a Housemother kept the guys at bay.
    Theclosest we came happened early one dark winter morning. While throwing his papers, the paperboy missed the stone step and hit the glass of the dorm door. In our groggy states we thought, “This is it!” But nope. Just a teenager with bad aim.
    Loved the Clemson story, Kevin. Such a beautiful campus with good looking guys!

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Kevin, don’t know what your profession is or was, but you should have been a professional writer. Great stories. Keep ’em coming.

    I spent two years at the Univ. of Southern Mississippi and it was an uneventful two years. Too strict but I had no idea what I was getting into other than the fact that it accepted me as a student and probably no other school would do the same. I joined a fraternity which was a mistake but we were a well behaved bunch of guys (more or less). Needless to say, alcohol played a part in school life even though it was banned on campus (since when did anyone care?). Dropped out in 1966 and never went back except for a quick one day visit in 1969 after coming home from my Army tour in Vietnam. Wish I had some risque stories to pass on but I just lead a boring life….especially at 100 MPH on the autobahn….So more stories please.

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