Dozens of QMU students stripped down this month on campus – but this wasn’t some student prank.
They raced around the university buildings in their underwear on October 29 for a Cancer Research UK fundraiser. These so-called Undie Runs are becoming more popular in the UK, and they’re certainly effective; the students of QMU raised £2,300 – and gave their watching friends a good laugh.
Caroline Gos, the first year student who organised the event, spoke to The University Paper about why she was inspired to get involved. ‘Cancer Research UK funds scientists and clinical trials all in the aim of beating cancer and I really wanted to be part of saving lives in some way. On a personal level, my mum had a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma last year. Cancer Research UK has funded a lot of research into stem cell (bone marrow) transplants, so I know first-hand how important their research is.’
Caroline says that the student response to the idea was overwhelming, with many of her classmates getting involved – as is evident from the amount of money raised. ‘I came across a fantastic team of supporters and volunteers in the process of organising this run. I was very fortunate to have the help. I think that many students are extremely passionate about fundraising but possibly haven’t found the means or the team of people to make things happen.’
And forget boring bake sales or sponsored silences – Caroline thinks that doing something a bit unusual is better for grabbing attention. ‘I think that the Undie Run is an amazing initiative as it’s something that will get people talking one way or another. You’ll find that a lot of people won’t like the idea, and that a lot of people will think it is an amazing idea with great potential. For any successful fundraising, you need an idea that is out of the ordinary and I think the Undie Run is just that.’
The students went away with a sense of pride in their achievements and a pair of novelty underwear – even if they were a bit chilly!
Article reproduced here was published in print by The University Paper Edinburgh (December 2014)