Over 100 students stripped nearly naked and ran a mile Friday night on campus.
WSUSA’s Nearly Naked Mile is a five-year tradition supporting local charities and raising awareness of the needy and homeless in the community.
The concept was simple. Participants stripped nearly naked and ran in the cold, donating their clothes so others in the community might be warm, according to WSUSA vice-chair of student Senate Kami May.
“This year (clothing) is going to St. Anne’s homeless shelter,” May said. “It’s kind of like a fun, crazy stunt that helps benefit others.”
Students registered for the run by donating their clothes. They could also register by donating canned food to Weber Cares, an organization on campus that helps students who can’t afford food.
The run started in the Shepherd Union ballrooms, where students milled around in various states of undress as pop music blared.
While some students felt uncomfortable without clothing, others didn’t mind showing a little skin.
“We run a lot anyways, so it’s not too much of a change for us,” said runner Josh Hartford, clad in his Batman briefs.
Runners didn’t face very cold weather Friday night. The temperature stayed in the mid 40s and low 50s, which kept the worst of the season’s chill away.
Some runners dressed up for the occasion. Half naked superheroes, students in dance dress and others wearing ties mingled in the ballroom before the race began.
WSU student Chris Fink dressed as half-naked “Star Wars” character Boba Fett. Though Fink doesn’t usually donate to causes, Friday night he made an exception.
“Honestly I don’t usually like donating towards organizations, just mainly because a lot of money gets pocketed,” Fink said.
He sees this differently, since not many people would steal food and clothing.
The event drew not only students, but other members of the community. Local Ogden resident David Hermosillo ran the mile for the first time Friday.
“A dear cousin of mine had the willingness to invite me to this event,” said Hermosillo. “I just wanted to run, be free and feel the wind against all my pores and every inch of my body.”
Hermosillo also felt the event kept things in perspective for him.
“Everything is worth something,” he said, referring to the donations of food and clothing. “Somebody’s trash is another person’s treasure. It’s a great cause.”
Hartford and his friend Brett Lechtenberg, part of the team who crossed the finish line first, were also grateful for the excuse to donate.
“I feel that it’s a great opportunity,” said Lechtenberg. “I was involved with homeless shelters, so I know what kind of impact this can make.”
May appreciated the turnout and noted the event draws more students every year.
“Not only are students willing to come out and help, it’s getting a lot more students involved and students make friendships they wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she said.
WSUSA student Senate holds the Nearly Naked Mile every year to support local charities.