With nearly 200 students in their underwear, the excitement blew over the crowd almost as strongly as the gusts of wind on the sunny-but-chilly day.
Stony Brook’s first underwear run, the “Bare Because We Care Undie Run,” hosted by the Undergraduate Student Government, drew runners and onlookers. Students stripped down to their underwear, though most women wore a tank top and white shorts were offered to every runner, to donate clothing and make a point. Many of the students came to support the clothing drive but the unique twist helped distinguish the cause.
“It’s something fun to do,” said Daniel Estevez, a junior history major. “I like giving back to charity, but this put an extra kick to it.”
Students wore their underwear—from SpongeBob boxers to gray boxer-briefs, trickled with chocolate syrup for a comedic touch—because they literally took the clothes off their bodies to help others. All clothing was collected in garbage bags by the registration table at Javitz lecture hall where the race began. It extended through the academic mall, finishing at the SAC Plaza.
The idea, originally proposed by USG Treasurer, Thomas Kirnbauer, was executed alongside USG Vice President of Communications Stephanie Berlin and USG Assistant Treasurer Sam Cushner.
Some students jumped up and down to keep warm, shaking their arms sporadically and using their palms to soothe the goose bumps on their legs and arms.
“I feel like at other schools it would be a lot cooler,” said sophomore Samuel Gross, a psychopathology major. “Here, [students] know about it but they don’t really care.”
Berlin was more enthusiastic about the turnout.
“We ended up with more participants than we ever could have bargained for,” she said.
Students were assigned a race number, though pinning it on was challenging for some of the racers as there was more skin than fabric and because most, unconcerned with the bureaucracy, were just ready to run.
“I wanted to run around in my undies. I’m going to be completely honest,” said Paul Staller, a biology major. “It’s a good way to end senior year.”