“I can smell the people-in-their-underwear-ness.”
The practice of showing up in Olin Library’s Info Commons in one’s underwear on the Friday of WesFest, and trying especially hard to look studious and nonplussed, has become something of a time-honored tradition these days, and so has our practice of protecting the identity of all participants. This year’s, in my opinion, was particularly impressive. My little group—we had just gotten out of a class—ran over to Olin and, initially a little afraid to participate in the festivities, ran up to the third floor mezzanine and peered out the windows. We soon realized, however, that we were face-to-face with a group in that mezzanine’s symmetrical mate, and that the people there had indeed stripped down. We had no choice but to do so ourselves, except for one of our number who bailed on account of a “see-through” bra. Our reading selections included Lydia Davis‘s new chapbook about cows.
Event organizer: “Fuck keeping Wes weird. As long as we keep it sexy, it’s peaches to me.”
Continuing a longstanding effort to Keep Wes Weird (and keep tour group moms thoroughly uncomfortable), students of all class years (and every underwear type) stripped down in Olin’s main floor at 12:15 this afternoon to the ______ [choose one: amusement/shock/disgust] of a group of spirited prefrosh. WHOO WESLEYAN CLOTHING OPTIONAL!!!!11
Below, some on-the-scene coverage of the event, with photos, umm—doctored to protect privacy. But first, I spoke with the organizer of Undies in Olin, who wishes to remain anonymous, about the inspiration, history, and existential meaning behind the event. Hir response in full:
Undies in Olin has been a longstanding tradition of much controversy and has lead to many a heated discussion. The event embodies topics ranging from gender roles to sexuality in Western society, but the big questions raised by the event are ‘What is our place in this world?’ Why are we here?’ These loftier questions were greatly the source of my inspiration in planning the event. I felt that letting this tradition die would amount to watching passively as culture slowly deteriorated in our modern world. Also, I like to see some skin every once in a while, you know? Like, there are some really sexy people at this school. And sexy in more ways than one. To me that’s what makes Wesleyan a great school. Fuck keeping Wes weird. As long as we keep it sexy, it’s peaches to me.
Photoshoppin’ by David Shimomura ’13.