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WMRE Puts Student Body on Display

By Arianna Skibell Posted: 12/06/2010
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Courtesy of Charlie Watts
Members of the Drum Circle, along with several other student organizations, posed nude for WMRE’s first-ever naked calendar. Proceeds from calendar sales were donated to a variety of charities.
For the first time in the university’s history, student groups are stripping for charity.

Last week, WMRE, Emory’s radio station, began selling the Naked Calendar, a month by month display of 53 naked Emory students tastefully covered by objects specific to their respective student groups. Each month of the calendar features a different group on campus. The net profit from the calendars sold will go to multiple organizations including Atlanta Community Food Bank, Pakistan Flood Relief, The Ken Ford Foundation and Think Pink.

The idea to create a Naked Calendar came up when WMRE’s executive staff met to discuss possible charitable projects.

“WMRE is one of the largest student groups at Emory, and we don’t do so much charity work. We wanted to change that,” said College senior Geoff Schorkopf, WMRE’s general manager and an editor-at-large for the Wheel.

When the idea for the calendar received positive feedback, it became only a matter of organization. WMRE’s executive staff agreed that this was the most difficult part. They began by making lists of types of organizations they wanted to include: academic, athletic, cultural, political. WMRE members then contacted someone they knew in each organization or group. “It was just easier to ask someone familiar to join (re: get naked),” said College junior Madison Poche, WMRE’s promotions director.

Poche sees WMRE as a great medium for counter culture expression at Emory and a means to bring worthwhile projects to campus life. WMRE feels the calendar is not only a wonderful charity endeavor, but also a way to push the boundaries, shedding a new light on Emory groups, clubs and organizations. It is more likely than not that every Emory student will find someone they recognize in the calendar. And that’s part of the beauty of it.

“This is something you can keep with you for an entire year. It’s something tangible,” Schorkopf said.

But as expected, not everyone asked was willing to strip for the cause. Charlie Watts, the calendar’s photographer and designer of WMRE’s music magazine, Frequency, joked that “a surprisingly high percentage of students aren’t ruling out a career in politics.” But when crunch time came, there were 12 diverse and excited student groups ready to be photographed.

“Meeting the groups was definitely the best part,” Poche said. “For the members gutsy enough to show up, everyone seemed pretty stoked but also a little cautious and curious.”

During the photo shoot, many students found the experience oddly liberating and enjoyable.

“Why aren’t we naked all the time?” said College sophomore Jake Krakovsky, who appears in April’s Rathskellar photograph.

One of the more memorable moments occurred when photographing the drum circle. While shooting in the woods, Watts recalled a moment when someone began playing the bongos a student was using as her prop.

“Through [their] one picture, the calendar gives these groups and the individuals within those groups a means to express themselves in a creative, humorous and liberating way,” Schorkopf said.

WMRE hopes the calendar will create bridges between groups that might not have otherwise been associated. There are dozens of groups on campus that hold a specific place in the culture, but these groups do not necessarily cross paths. In the Naked Calendar, they do. They are seen together, side by side, page by page, as Emory students who all have something in common: their naked expression.

“It’s not like most calendars you’d buy. No one is air brushed or standard model thin. We’re just regular college kids who wanted to get naked for a cause,” Krakovsky said.

— Contact Arianna Skibell.

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