Naked campus prank ends with student billed $15,000

December 2, 2011 3:31:55 PM PST
A Rice University student is being told he will have to pay thousands after taking part in one of the school's more notorious traditions. It's called 'Baker 13' and involves little to no clothes, shaving cream and a run around campus. But this Halloween, things didn't go so smoothly.

The Baker 13 happens twice a month and most of the students say it is hilarious. But for one prankster, it is no laughing matter.

A large boarded up window at Rice University's Fondren Library is the place where a student participating in a time-honored prank broke the glass with his derriere.

"I was surprised when the window broke," said student Kyle Byrne. "It didn't seem to me like he was applying much force. But it is a big window, so maybe you don't need a whole lot of force."

Byrne was one of many witnesses who saw Baker College junior Duncan Eddy's rear end shatter the 9 by 12 foot glass. Eddy was running naked with a group doing what's called the Baker 13. On the 13th of the month, and again at month's end, students cover their "ends" and other parts in shaving cream, then leave prints on windows as they streak around campus.

This time, though, when Eddy jumped and made contact with the glass, the pressure from his caboose was too much. He suffered unwanted cuts and was slapped with a $15,000 fine for the window.

Byrne said, "His major concern is that if he isn't able to get the money together, there's a possibility that he may not be able to continue school."

On his website, Duncan Eddy is asking students to donate cash to keep him in school. There are t-shirts for donations of 20 bucks or more. He's raised more than half of the 15 grand so far.

But in an email to Eyewitness News, Eddy said, "People appear to be making this into some kind of joke, and it isn't a joke to me."

For a variety of reasons, some fellow students are not laughing either.

Student Naushaba Ali said, "I feel that there is more need for respect for your body and I don't think that tradition holds up to that."

"I feel sorry for that guy," said student Jack Hurd. "That's why I try to stay out of trouble."

Many of them are just relieved it isn't their own butt that's on the line.

When student Jonathan Xian was asked if he had participated, he responded laughingly, "Can I decline to comment?"

Another student broke a window at the same library in 2008 and rumors were circulating that he paid just $3,000. Rice officials say that isn't true. They tell us the window is an irregular size, it will be a custom order, and the total cost is 15 grand.
Rice University sent Eyewitness News the following break-down of the window costs.

    The window that was broken measures 9'6" x 12'10", which is a nonstandard size. The purchase and installation of safety glass to replace the broken window will cost $12,611. In addition, Rice's Facilities, Engineering and Planning office had to pay $1,900 for five employees to come to campus after midnight (shortly after the window was broken) to board up the broken window. These employees had to be paid time and a half for the six hours it took to board up the space and make it weather-proof. Another $500 will be needed to support the contractor when the window is ready to be replaced. (FE&P employees will have to remove and clean up the plywood and assist the contractor with getting heavy equipment into the Academic Quad). That puts the total at $15,011.

    The cost of replacing the Fondren window that was broken in 2008 was approximately $15,900. The student newspaper reported that the student who broke that window had to pay $3,000 for the repair, but that was incorrect.

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