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Undie Run 2010: Bare Down

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Hundreds of students in their undies take over the UA Mall as an ice breaker for homecoming November 5, 2009. Another such event on the mall is scheduled for Saturday, where students come wearing clothes they plan to donate so that they can bare down before joining the run.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Hundreds of students in their undies take over the UA Mall as an ice breaker for homecoming November 5, 2009. Another such event on the mall is scheduled for Saturday, where students come wearing clothes they plan to donate so that they can bare down before joining the run.

“”Bear Down Arizona”” will take on an entirely new meaning Saturday as students are invited to bare down and run a lap around the UA Mall wearing nothing but their underwear in support of local charities.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona and Zona Zoo have created the Zona Zoo-sponsored Bear Down Undie Run.

“”At the beginning of the school (year) we really wanted to expand the community involvement aspect of Zona Zoo. Some directors from last year had suggested that we organize a charity run. I proposed the idea for an undie run,”” said Dominick San Angelo, Zona Zoo media and community director.

Students were not very optimistic when it came to getting the UA administration excited about the idea of sponsoring a clothing-optional event. After the unofficial undie run during the fall 2009 semester, San Angelo thought they had some leverage in convincing the school to jump on board.

“”We presented the idea to administration as something the students really wanted to do and described what we could do to make it better and safer while making a broader charitable impact,”” San Angelo said.

Jamal Boddie, a December 2009 graduate, organized the first run with some friends as a way to increase school spirit before the Homecoming football game.

“”The undie run I put together last semester was not as in-depth as the one Zona Zoo has put together. It was more of a ‘Hey, let’s get together and run around in our underwear.’ I didn’t go through the process of getting it school sponsored,”” Boddie said.

Paula Gomez, an architecture freshman, participated in the unofficial event last semester and is looking forward to the official version on Saturday.

“”I had a lot of fun running in the last one. It was a great way to blow off steam,”” Gomez said. “”I’m excited to do it again.””

The UofA Bookstore started selling underwear bearing the Zona Zoo name on Wednesday. Women’s underwear, sports bras and men’s boxers will be available for between $9 and $20 to anyone, regardless of participation in the run.

“”We thought it would be really cool to promote the Zona Zoo brand at the run while also creating school spirit. The underwear also helped us in selling the run idea to the school board as an alternative to thongs and such,”” San Angelo said.

The underwear has already generated some interest and San Angelo hopes it will be enough to keep the products in the bookstore after the run.

“”Selling their own underwear is a fun idea. Putting their own stamp on the event will make an impression,”” Boddie said.

For this semester’s run, ASUA and Zona Zoo teamed up to give back to the Tucson community, providing clothes to the Tucson Unified School District clothing bank donated by students and faculty on campus.

ASUA Senator Eduardo Atjian coordinated a clothing drive during the holidays that was able to donate 2,500 articles of clothing to the school district and promised to do another drive this semester.

“”My mom is a teacher for the school district and she told me of how some students have to go to school with holes in their shoes and are in need of clothing. She asked if there was anything the UA could do to help. I decided to take initiative and help supply them with the clothing they need,”” Atjian said.

Regardless of the turnout, Atjian thinks any donations, however minimal, will be a success.

“”We came up with this fun and somewhat out-there idea, but we hope to make an everlasting impression with the clothes we donate. Donating anything to a positive cause will be considered a success,”” he said.

San Angelo encourages all students to come out and support the cause.

“”We have water for runners and the DJ that worked the Chain Gang Ball has donated his services to the event. Also, if students wear their Zona Zoo underwear to the Chipotle on University Boulevard after the run, they will receive a free burrito,”” San Angelo said. “”We really hope this turns into a successful event that will continue into the future. A lot of universities and colleges have annual undie runs and we hope to make ours among the best.”” 

 

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