Students to run ‘nearly naked’ for charity

By Jaclyn Bryson

Nicole Evangelista/Daily Collegian

With the threat of winter weather quickly approaching, students will have one last opportunity to wear their shorts and T-shirts with pride during the upcoming, annual Nearly Naked Mile run.

According to the University of Massachusetts Alumni Association’s website, pre-run activities, including music and body painting, will begin at 3:30 p.m. this Friday, followed by the mile run, which will kick off at 5 p.m. The starting line will be located at the Northeast quad, and the race will end at the Southwest concourse.

Participants will complete the run nearly naked – as the name of the event suggests – in clothing such as undergarments, bathing suits, boxers, tank tops and shorts in order to embody what the 16,000 homeless people in Massachusetts will be going through when colder weather hits this year, according to the UMass events page.

“There are a number of homeless people in the area that don’t have appropriate clothing,” said Erin McDowell, assistant director for student and young alumni program at UMass. “So this is a way for (participants) to see what it’s like to have those conditions.”

Participants are also encouraged to donate two articles of clothing, which will benefit the Amherst Survival Center, a local organization that provides struggling families with food, clothing, health care and support from fellow community members.

“It’s appealing to students because it has that fun element, while also helping the local community,” McDowell said of the event.

Registration can be completed in advance online for $12 or interested participants can pay $15 the day of the event.

According to the events page, this is also an opportunity to support the university, since $10 from every ticket will go toward UMass student scholarships.

Particularly enthusiastic participants will have a chance to win awards for best costume, best group and most school spirit. According to McDowell, she hopes the event will simply create a “fun, festive, environment.”

Jaclyn Bryson can be reached at [email protected].