The Kappa Sigma fraternity at MIT has created a charity event called the “Nearly Naked Nearly Mile” in honor of Officer Sean Collier, the MIT police officer who was allegedly killed last year by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
This charity event in which fraternity boys, among others, will run a “nearly mile” will take place on April 19. The funds raised from this run will go toward the Officer Sean Collier Self Sponsor Scholarship, which will fund a recruit through the Lowell Police Academy every year.
Participants will arrive fully clothed, and then strip down to their underwear — which is “highly encouraged” to remain on — and donate the clothes off their back to the American Red Cross, according to the event website.
Regardless of this fraternity’s honorable intentions to honor Collier, it is hard to see how “naked” and “memorial charity” exactly matches up with each other — even if the “naked” part is just “nearly.”
The idea of running without clothes is a creative way to garner attention for this event, as it stands out from the other countless charity walks and runs that happen around the city. The theme of this run is one that would appeal to college students, and rally support and spectators. Despite that the nature of the run can been seen as slightly testy, it is still raising money. And if a bunch of people running around in their underwear raises enough money to send a deserving recruit to the Lowell Police Academy, the so be it.
However, the recruit who will go through the police academy on a scholarship to learn to be as honorable of an officer as Collier is the one who is going to carry on his legacy — not a bunch of people in their underwear.
The marathon is still fresh in Boston’s minds, and sensitive topic for many. The upcoming anniversary of Collier’s untimely and tragic death is a heart-wrenching reminder of what this city went through almost a year ago. And this “nearly naked” run is just lighthearted of an approach to garner attention and remembrance for this event, only one year later.
The memory of Collier and all that he did for the MIT community deserves this attention, however the “naked” part of this run is what is going to grab the spotlight. Unfortunately, since the media will be focused on the people running around Boston in their underwear, participants and spectators are likely to forget the importance and magnitude of Collier and his memorial scholarship.
Boston has been anticipating the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing since right after the actual bombings occurred. Before the members of Kappa Sigma strip down to their underwear, they need to remember that it is simply too soon to take this event so lightly.