Universities across the state have tried to stop all kinds of student activities throughout the years.

Sometimes it's underage drinking. Other times it's couples having sex in the dorms.

At Luther College in Decorah, the administration's crackdown on students is putting an end to the annual nude soccer game. And the question is: Why?

Why would university officials try to stop a student-run, student-supported athletic tradition that started in 1997?

Why would officials want to end the celebration graduating seniors deserve?

Why would a little beer and nakedness be such a bad thing?

According to university officials, co-ed naked soccer is being halted this spring.

Concern for student safety and complaints of sexual harassment are behind the efforts to stop the game, said Ann Highum, vice president and dean for student life.

"Situations would arise where there would be nude males running through the halls, knocking on women's doors," she said. "There were a couple of very direct sexual harassment situations."

But is sexual harassment the real reason?

Maybe university officials are upset by the large audience of beer-drinking middle-aged men and high school students observing the tradition on the library lawn.

Luther College President Richard Torgerson has even put together a task force to figure out how to end the game.

And this isn't the first time Luther College officials have attempted to stop the game.

In 1998, college officials said the sport would not be tolerated. But the soccer game continued. Several students were charged with indecent exposure. So now, five years after the tradition started, it's up to the students at Luther to continue naked soccer.

Naked soccer needs to live. Naked soccer is one of the few events on a college campus organized by the students without administration input. Sure, it's a little racy, but it's still tradition. And this tradition should continue. And it's up to the students. Not the administration.

So let the games begin.

editorialboard: Andrea Hauser, Tim Paluch, Michelle Kann, Charlie Weaver, Omar Tesdell

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