With piercing, high-pitched whistles, shrill screams, constant chatter and deafening cheers of ‘I’m proud, to be, a CSU Ram, CSU students gathered on the Lory Student Center Plaza as if they were headed to a Rams football game at Hughes Stadium on a cold, blustery evening.
Instead, the spirited students met on the Plaza to take part in a mile-long run through campus for charity — without their pants on.
Friday night, in unseasonably cool and windy weather, an estimated 700 students stripped down to their underwear, tossing all of their clothes into a huge pile in the middle of the Plaza — all of which were donated to Goodwill — to participate in the second annual CSU Undie Run.
Shortly after 10 p.m. students stripped off all articles of clothing and began the mile-long trek through campus, proudly leaving on nothing but brightly colored undergarments and various cartoon-character boxer shorts.
Students gleefully ran in their limited attire from the LSC to the Oval, up Laurel Street, down Loomis Street, across the LSC fields and back to the Plaza.
For safety, the CSU Police Department provided a police escort down the streets and stationed a few officers around the Plaza before and after the run.
“They are not in violation of anything; we are just here to be here and make sure nothing happens,” one officer said.
Freshman engineering major Josh Freeman brought along a male blow-up doll named Paul, who Freeman said donated some articles of clothing to the Goodwill pile.
“I just came out to donate to charity and have some fun,” Freeman said.
Regina Hopkins, a second-year graduate student, said she participated in the Undie Run “because it’s utterly ridiculous and it’s the coolest thing that CSU does.”
“It’s a bit nippy, pun intended,” Hopkins added.
Temperatures at the start of the night were in the low 50s, but the gusty winds made it feel much colder for the herd of half-naked students.
“It’s a little chilly,” Molly Brown, freshman nutrition science major said before the run. “But it’s totally worth it.”
Brown and some of her friends, all from Corbett Hall, went to the Undie Run wearing dresses clearly a few sizes too small.
“We went to Target and bought these dresses for little girls that are all different colors,” Brown said.
“We were thinking about what a younger girl would be interested in at Goodwill,” said Lindsay Reichel, freshman journalism major and friend of Brown.
The Undie Run even attracted people other than CSU students this year, including Mark Richards, a junior at neighboring University of Northern Colorado.
“I heard about it today from a friend, so I thought ‘why not?'” Richards said.
It took about eight minutes for most students to complete the run, with many returning to the Plaza energized and cheering even louder than before, despite the temperature.
“It felt great to be a part of that,” Gary Cusack, sophomore economics major, said after the race. “It was a lot of fun, a good relief of some stress, and it was for a fun cause.”
Tyler Kraus, a junior construction management major, called the Undie Run a “great social interaction” that allowed people to just “cut loose.”
Chandler Stewart, who helped organize the Undie Run along with Josh Heureman, who started the tradition last year, said he was “really excited about how many people came out.”
Stewart said he hopes to see the Undie Run expand to twice a year, both at the end of the fall and spring semesters on the last day of classes. He estimated that, in total, the huge pile of clothing donated to Goodwill filled about 60 30-gallon trash bags, and weighed “maybe about 300 pounds.”
“It was exactly what I was hoping for,” Stewart said. “Overall I was very, very pleased with it . I think it was mission accomplished.”
Staff Writer Bryan Schiele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.