Campus Nudist Bounced From Classes
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) _ A university student who reworked a campus motto of ″Go Bears″ into ″Go Bare″ by attending class au naturel has been stripped of a place in the school, officials said Tuesday.
″I think we could see the handwriting on the wall on this one,″ said campus Police Lt. Bill Foley.
Nineteen-year-old Andrew Martinez, a student at the University of California here, has been expelled, school spokesman Jesus Mena said. He declined to give the reason for the expulsion, citing confidentiality rules.
But Martinez had been facing naked opposition from administrators for some time as his predilection for strolling around campus in nothing but shoes became more visible.
In September, Martinez, who by that time was well known by his nom de buff ″Naked Guy,″ led a campus nude-in that drew national news exposure.
Many on campus responded to the stark strolls with chuckles or chiding, but the student said he was trying to make an important philosophical point about free expression, a message he thought belonged at Berkeley, birthplace of the 1964 Free Speech Movement.
″What I am getting out here is there’s a lot of social control going on here,″ he told the crowd at the nude-in. ″A really unjust system has been perpetuated.″
Student body president Margaret Fortune expressed sympathy for Martinez’ parents, but said the expulsion takes a back seat to more immediate problems such as graduate student instructors’ failure to win union recognition and increasing student fees.
″We’ve got more pressing details to deal than the naked guy coming to class without his shorts,″ she said.
Martinez did not return a telephone call made by The Associated Press Tuesday.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday he would appeal the expulsion, which he said was spelled out in a letter last weekend as due to his failure to wear proper attire.
″I was kind of hoping the university would be more open and progressive about this,″ he said. ″I didn’t think this was so controversial.″
After the nude-in, Martinez was arrested twice, although the district attorney declined to prosecute because city law does not prohibit nudity.
But university officials, who at first were inclined to look the other way, took action in November, drawing up a policy that banned nudity on campus, where the mascot is the Golden Bears. Martinez was suspended for 14 days, but that punishment had to be rescinded because university officials didn’t follow the proper procedure.
An administrative hearing on Martinez’ conduct followed, a session that ended just after Martinez showed up in the buff.
Subsequent action led to the expulsion.
Martinez had said he was willing to take the risk of being bounced.
″My original plan was that I was going to get expelled and then sue for readmittance,″ he said. ″I can learn a lot suing them.″