An outdoor adventure club at Claremont College in California has cancelled a popular Speedo-themed event over concerns that the event was not inclusive to students of all body sizes.
Steven Glick, a student journalist for the Claremont Independent reported the “On the Loose” outdoors club recently canceled its annual Mt. Baldy Speedo Hike, an event where male students don Speedo underwear and female students wear bikinis while hiking up a local mountain.
In a statement to the student body, club officials expressed concerns that the activity was not inclusive enough to students of all body shapes and fitness levels, and fears that the event presents an overly masculine message.
“By having the Speedo Hike as our official welcome event each year, we unintentionally sent the message that to participate in OTL, you must be fit and comfortable with your body image,” said club officials, in a statement via their Facebook page. “The name ‘Speedo’ itself inherently implies bro-iness. OTL is so much more than just that, but many potentially interested students get turned off to our club each year because of Speedo Hike. … We are always working to make OTL a more open and inclusive space …”
Some students also questioned whether the outdoors adventure club may be catering too strongly towards students interested in outdoor adventure-type events, and expressed concerns over the privilege of such students. Clarissa Worcester, a staffer at the campus Outdoor Education Center, said, “the publicity/legacy surrounding that of the speedo hike is immediately and inextricably ostracizing. Not to mention how it directly excludes individuals with religious dressing practices. No matter what work you do, the ‘speedo hike’ will manifest itself as OTL taking out and funding a group of students that is nearly guaranteed to be almost exclusively outdoor-experienced, fit, and heavily swayed in the direction of outdoor—and otherwise—privilege that OTL is trying to work against.”
While many view the activity of hiking as a popular event to stay healthy and experience the great outdoors, liberals apparently view it as yet another opportunity to exhibit privilege against the downtrodden college students.