Across campus, they ran to remind themselves they were young. The blinding white tightie-whities and untanned skin glowed in the darkness of a May night. A rebellious act perhaps, but an entertaining one nonetheless.
Every year, this display of undergarments takes place as the Undie Run, a student-organized tradition. This year the event will take place May 10 at 10 p.m. beginning in the Plaza.
“It is a tradition and a reminder that we are young, wild, and free,” said Lauren Schall, freshman communication and ethnic studies major. “The Undie Run is a great cause and it is important to keep the tradition alive.”
Although this may be the first Undie Run for Schall, it has been one of the events that she has most looked forward to coming to college.
“My friends and I are all doing the Undie Run. It is a great way to remember the great friends that I have met in college,” Schall said.
The running of the undergarments takes place during finals week every year to let loose during a stressful time and to celebrate the end of the year.
“My favorite part of the Undie Run is everyone being proud of themselves and celebrate another successful year of school,” Shall said.
For Zeke Cole ,a senior actuarial science major, it will be his fourth year participating in the run.
“My favorite part is other people’s reactions. Most people are very self conscious until they realize they don’t need to be because everyone is in the same position they are,” Cole said. “Also, there is not any other time that I can be in my undies where I don’t feel like everyone is looking at me.”
While students may see it as a party event, last year students were encouraged to bring old clothes to strip off and donate to charity. According to last year’s leader of the event, Stephen Woodruff, there were six and a half truckloads of clothing that were donated.
Last year there were 1,800 students who participated in the event. This year, on the Facebook page, there are around 2,100 students who are confirmed to be attending.
This year, to keep the spirit of helping and fun, Team Consent was made to bring a bigger message to the students.
Abigail McDonald, a senior English major, created the team to gain awareness of sexual violence and consent to CSU.
The team screen-printed underwear with consent messages with help from The Red Whistle Brigade, a group through the Women and Gender Advocacy Center on campus.
The Brigade is a troupe of students who provide education in the areas of gender socialization, sexual violence prevention, healthy relationships and sexual health.
Allie Cheroutes, a senior journalism major, will be partaking in Team Consent’s team for the Undie Run.
“The whole point is to incorporate an environment of education about sexual violence and importance on consent and I thought it was really cool,” Cheroutes said. “I think it brings an extra level to the Undie Run…a little extra something that wasn’t there.”
For Cheroutes, in her previous education, consent was never part of the conversation in sexual education or amongst friends, but Team Consent is bettering the situation according to her.
“They would make a lot of prude jokes, and that becomes the social norm. No one questions that even if it’s hurting someone,” Cheroutes said. “It makes people think about it and start to create change that way. It promotes a safe environment for everyone and that should become the norm instead of crude jokes that go unquestioned.”
According to the Facebook invite page, over 200 people are joining in Team Consent.
“I do it every year. I think sometime it’s super fun, but it gets a ton of people and people [can] act in a way they normally wouldn’t act,” Cheroutes said. “People have said things to me they would have never said about my body had it been another situation but just because it’s the Undie Run it doesn’t make it okay to make those comments. It’s important to call that to attention.”
Whether you go to spread awareness on sexual violence or go to relieve stress, Undie Run 2013 is sure to uphold the CSU tradition.
“I enjoy partying in my underwear! I love being spontaneous and surprising myself,” Schall said.
Student Life Beat and Entertainment Reporter Bailey Constas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org