Students run nearly naked for charity

Chattering teeth, shivering and goosebumps were shared by a crowd of more than 100 students who gathered outside of the Shepherd

(Photo by Brandy A. Cimmino) Ashlea Rogers, a Salt Lake Community College student, and Corinne Billings, a University of Utah student, run the Nearly Naked Mile. Some students traveled from Salt Lake and Logan to participate in the run.

Union Building on Friday night to run a mile for charity, most wearing nothing but their underwear and shoes.

The Nearly Naked Mile is an annual event that began in 2010 as an effort by the Weber State University Student Association to gather food for the Weber Cares Food Pantry and clothing items for the YCC and Ogden Rescue Mission.

“Initially, we wanted to figure out a way to raise awareness, because there are students here having difficulties making ends meet,” said Justin Neville, a senior who was part of the student senate two years ago, the first time this event was held. “We wanted to give students a chance to contribute to a fun, traditional college experience and give back to their fellow students.”

Students met and registered for the event at 8 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballrooms. They were asked for a donation of canned food or clothing, and for $5 they were given a Nearly Naked Mile T-shirt. Hand-warmers were also distributed in exchange for a donation of $1 or more.

The runners began their mile around 9:30 p.m., braving the snow and 30-degree weather. The mile-long race began at the Bell Tower and circled around the duck pond and back into the union building.

Brady Harris, the legislative vice president of the student senate, said this is the first year the event has been held that there has been snow, but it has always been cold.

“The whole reason we do this in November is because it is cold, so we are always expecting adverse weather,” Harris said. “We freeze for an hour so that so many others can be warm for the winter.”

Nick Alsup, junior, and Sam Bauter, senior, showed up in matching trench coats that they planned to take off before the run. To them, the snow was not a good enough reason not to come.

“The snow made us more excited,” Bauter said. “We run naked any chance we can.”

Both of them attended a Nearly Naked Mile event in Salt Lake City earlier this semester, and said they were very excited when they found out WSU was also hosting one.

“We heard about this 10 minutes before we showed up,” Alsup said. “Nothing would deter us from coming to something like this.”

Amanda Devlin has attended the event every year since its inception. This year, she came dressed as a nearly naked jellyfish.

“It is my favorite event Weber does every year,” Devlin said. “The snow isn’t a big deal. It will just make me run faster.”

After the run, students met back in the ballrooms, where cocoa and snacks were served before a costume contest and raffle. The costume contest featured a female winner and a male winner for best legs, best camouflage, and most enthusiastic. The Best Camouflage Award went to the person with the whitest legs as a joke.

Several students also won prizes in the raffle, which offered a WSUSA drawstring bag with glow sticks, a water bottle and a gift card to the bookstore.

Viviana Felix, the Hispanic student senator, said she was excited about how many people came despite the snow.

“It’s obvious that the students that are here really wanted to be here, and it is for a great cause,” she said.