Nearly Naked Mile encourages students to strip for charity

20131108Nearly Naked Mile (Tyler Brown)
(Photo by Tyler Brown) Weber State University students get ready to run the Nearly Naked Mile to donate their clothing to charity.

Weber State University’s student senate hosted the Fourth Annual Nearly Naked Mile on Friday. Starting at the Bell Tower and ending at the south side of the Shepherd Union Building, students removed their clothes as they ran for a charitable cause, eventually running in only their underwear. The race, which doubles as a clothing drive, allows the articles removed during the race to be donated to local charities.

“I think it started from senate wanting to do something for the students or the community to really show they cared about it and doing service,” said David Wilson, WSU student body president. “It’s a service thing, so no one pays for it; there is no admission cost. You just have to bring two items of canned food to be admitted to run, and then as you run you take off your clothes. And then, after, we go through and donate them to a local charity.”

Despite it being the beginning of November and starting to get cold, students still appeared excited to participate.

“The food goes to the Weber Cares pantry here at Weber,” said Brady Harris, WSU student senate president. He said that in previous years, clothing donations from the race have been made to local veterans’ centers and women’s shelters in the downtown Ogden area. “This year we are going to kind of spread, because every year we get a ton of clothes, and we take it to a shelter, and it’s too much for them. So this year we are going to spread it out and take it to St. Anne’s and just every local shelter in Ogden.”

In addition to helping out those in need, the appeal of the race comes from the chance to run a mile around campus in just underwear, something not normally appropriate.

“It’s fun, it’s risky, you know you can take your shirt off and not get hassled on campus or get looked weird at,” said Tyler Hall, Davis campus senator. “It’s just fun, and it’s for a great charity and all that fun stuff and helping out people, because it’s very cold out there. Most of us don’t remember what it’s like to need something, outside of ‘Mom, I am out of ramen and I need laundry,’ so it’s kind of nice kids are coming out, bringing food and doing their part of their duty. Then they get to run around campus half naked, and it’s almost finals, so it’s a nice blowoff. Plus, it’s a good way for senate to go, ‘Hey, we are here; if you have problems, please let us know and come in and talk to us.’”

Following the race, students were offered refreshments and the chance to enter a raffle in the Shepherd Union Building.

“I love just the different draw it brings from all around campus,” said Joe Favero, senator for WSU Honors & BIS. “(There are) just a lot of different people you wouldn’t expect to see together nearly naked. It’s really wonderful. And then, of course, the charity part is amazing as well. This is my second year being involved, and even last year when it was cold and snowy, people even came out then. It’s really awesome to see people wanting to be involved here on campus.”

Harris said the run allows students to see the positive effects that come with participating in a charitable cause, while simultaneously having fun doing something they wouldn’t normally do.

“The whole gist of it is to run your clothes off in the cold to keep others warm,” he said. “That’s why we do it in the middle of winter, in the middle of the night — so then you can run (on) campus and you are cold for 10-20 minutes. The whole point is so we can keep everyone else warm either with clothes, or warm in the belly.”