The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Monday, June 17, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Carroll streaker caught and cited for indecent exposure

Professor Rita Balaban stands with the two masks she removed from streakers who interrupted her class on Thursday.

Professor Rita Balaban stands with the two masks she removed from streakers who interrupted her class on Thursday.

Three naked men wearing flesh-colored masks streaked through her auditorium in Carroll Hall, interrupting her lecture.Instead of waiting for the disruption to pass, Balaban took action.

When one of the streakers began running toward her, she pulled off his mask, showing his face to the hundreds of students in her class. She chased another one down, de-masking him as well.

One student was eventually cited for indecent exposure, according to the incident report filed by the Department of Public Safety.

“The first thing she said when they ran in was, ‘Now that’s a teeny weenie,’” said senior Elly Withers, who was in the class. “I had no idea she was so boss. It was kind of cool to see that.”

Junior Cameron Inglis saw the incident and said Balaban’s response was the last thing she expected.

“Professor Balaban’s reaction to the whole thing — I just thought it was great,” Inglis said. “Just kind of humiliating them instead of getting mad.”

Balaban defended her actions, saying she believes what she did was right.

“You’re not going to do this again, because we’re going to stop this. We’re going to find out who you are so that people know,” she said. “There are plenty of other times you could do that. Streak across campus when we’re between classes.”

Ross Taylor, a visiting lecturer of journalism, said he saw a naked man in a mask run into the bathroom in the basement of Carroll Hall and was immediately concerned that something was wrong.

“It is not normal that you walk past and see someone running nude in the hallway of your workplace,” he said.

Taylor said he alerted another professor and went into the bathroom to monitor the situation.

“My main worry was ... it could have been something much worse, and I wanted to make sure to help to prevent that,” he said.

Another student came in and slid a bag of clothes underneath the stall the streaker was in, Taylor said. After the student dressed and left the stall, Taylor confronted him and said the student was extremely compliant.

Taylor said the student said he was doing it for his fraternity, but Taylor said he could not remember which fraternity the streaker had said he was a member of.

“The student was very apologetic — not that what he did was right,” he said.

When told of rumors of fraternity pledging, Balaban said her class was still not the place for the stunt.

“There’s a better way that you can accept me into your group,” she said.

For Balaban, one benefit came from the streaking.

“I got about three hours of sleep last night, and I couldn’t wait to get a coffee after this class,” she said. “I don’t need a coffee right now — the adrenaline’s running.”

university@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.