The Naked Donut Run, or the NDR, is one of Brown’s most cherished traditions—it’s even on our Wikipedia page. For the freshman out there who have yet to experience the NDR, it’s pretty self-explanatory: during Reading Period, a group of students run through the libraries naked and hand out donuts.
That said, here are a few clarifying details: Yes, the Naked Donut Runners are completely naked. But most of the time they are actually walking, not running. And the donuts are actually donut holes.
Brown is one of the few spaces in which this kind of event could happen. We’re used to engaging in conversations about provocative topics—literally and intellectually—and we can become a bit blasé about subjects that are so sensationalized elsewhere. By my fifth semester of experiencing the NDR, I now think, “Sweet, donuts. Oh, nudity, cool.”
That said, watching nude people run around isn’t for everyone. If you would rather not experience this, consider finding a secret study spot to hole up in while other students flock to the libraries.
The NDR is supposed to be a safe space and a fun break from studying for finals. However, there are risks and consequences associated with an event that includes the celebration of bodies, as we have seen from Fox News’ coverage of Nudity in the Upspace and this year’s cancellation of SexPowerGod.
So this week, while you’re
studying waiting for naked people to hand you donuts, here are a few DOs and DON’Ts:
DO: Appreciate the anonymous organizers of the event. It’s impressive to secretly organize a group of people who are willing to run around naked in December to give other people free food, yet they pull through every semester.
DON’T: Try to find the NDR. The NDR will come to you—don’t worry, the runners are very thorough. (But check Blog for library-to-library coverage of when it’s happening.)
DO: Accept the donut. The only thing more awkward than taking a donut from a naked stranger is not taking a donut from a naked stranger.
DON’T: Take pictures. We can’t emphasize enough how uncool this is. The NDR does not belong on Facebook or Instagram, or even Snapchat. Your peers are bravely putting themselves out there in the name of donuts, not the internet.
DO: Smile and thank the Naked Donut Runners. They’ll appreciate it after a long night of running around handing out donuts, not to mention it’s FREEZING outside.
DON’T: Text your friends who are in the NDR about where they are. They are naked, and thus don’t have any means of carrying their phones.
DO: Glance down. It’s okay, bodies are there to be looked at.
DON’T: Stare down.
DO: Make yourself aware of the range of bodies that exist.
DON’T: Body-shame or judge people. Self-explanatory.
DO: Enjoy. The NDR is one of the many things that makes Brown special—and makes long nights of studying worthwhile. And if you feel inspired, take off your clothes and join in!