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The Daily Tar Heel

Masked streakers interrupt Economics 101 lecture

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.

A lecture hall full of economics students was exposed to a different type of curve during Thursday’s class.

Three masked streakers interrupted Professor Rita Balaban’s Economics 101 lecture, but Balaban made sure to get the last word.

“I always thought, ‘If that happened to me, I’m going to get the son of a gun,’” Balaban said. “And I got him.”

After one of the streakers turned around and started running back toward Balaban, she yanked off his mask, revealing his face, and proceeded to chase down and unmask a second.

“When you’re in that situation, you never know what you’re going to do,” she said. “And they didn’t run very fast, did they?”

Balaban said she didn’t get a good look at the streakers’ faces but she wasn’t impressed with the other anatomical features they had to offer.

She said she hoped unmasking two of the three would allow her students to identify the exhibitionists so they could be brought to Honor Court for their actions.

"That was one of my big things,” Balaban said. “You’re not getting away with this in my class.”

Balaban said her lecture was stopped for approximately two minutes as a result of the disturbance and her students had trouble focusing for the rest of class.

Senior Allison Haines was in a nearby classroom when the streakers descended and said it disrupted her class by proximity.

“I saw fleshy humans zoom by our classroom,” Haines said in a Twitter message. “They didn't come in, but my professor was pretty distracted by the naked humans running by our room.”

Junior Meg Garner, who witnessed the short-lived naked sprint, said she never expected to see something like that in a classroom.

“It was the funniest thing that’s ever happened to me,” said Garner, who is a staff writer for The Daily Tar Heel. “They had on these masks that made them look like creepy little babies.”

Garner said Balaban had to chase one of the students out into the hallway before ripping off his mask, but she returned victorious to a cheering audience.

“She just walked in holding up these two masks in the air like a freaking rockstar,” Garner said. “She’s a badass, she really is.”

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