Why are they undressed? To help fight cancer

    For the photo shoot, the swim team got into its finest. Photo courtesy of Lauren Troy.

    College Prowler may have ranked Northwestern’s men a middling C, but more than 100 men in groups and teams across campus challenged that grade in a “Men of Northwestern” calendar produced by a team of sophomores for Relay for Life.

    Weinberg sophomores Ben Winerip and Elizabeth Green decided to produce the calendar after their friend, senior Bryan Paynter, passed away of cancer in February. Proceeds from Relay for Life are donated to the American Cancer Society. Friends of Winerip and teammates agreed to model for the calendar, and the team began a stressful month of photo shoots and calendar design, with Weinberg sophomore Eddie Mancera doing much of the photography.

    “Our grades were definitely affected,” Winerip said. “It took a lot of energy to put together a calendar in a month.”

    The stress bred success: The initial 150 copies sold out in less than a week, raising more than $1,000.

    “People liked that they could flip through and see all their friends,” Winerip said. “Ninety-five percent of people thought it was hilarious.”

    Participants ranged from shy to gregarious, Winerip said. “It was so funny watching the guys taking the picture, because they were so into it. It was like watching a bunch of little boys play dress up.”

    Slight controversy erupted over a photo where one man covered himself with a piece of matzah, which “some people thought was a little racy,” said Winerip. The goal of the calendar was not to be sexual, but “to just be a joke,” he said.

    The overall reaction to the calendar was enormously positive. “The guys in the calendar bought copies for their moms, their girlfriends, their sisters,” Winerip said. He bought a copy for his sister’s fourteenth birthday and asked models to sign their respective pages.

    The calendar covers the 2008-2009 school year, but Winerip says groups have expressed interest in a sequel.

    “A couple of guys from the basketball team told me they definitely want to have a month next time,” Winerip said. While another calendar is a possibility, he says he currently has no plans to produce one.

    “I’d have to take easy classes next spring.”


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