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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Snowballs deep in winter

Most folks celebrate the beginning of winter by hanging their Christmas decorations or building a snowman. The residents of the Brule House in Gant Hall celebrate the beginning of winter by running naked in public.
“We got out of the hall, and there were just flashes everywhere,” said Derrick Schippert, the resident advisor for the Brule House. “It was a rush and just a blur.”
Schippert, and dozens of others from the Brule House, had just taken part in the time-honored tradition known as the Brule Run on Monday, Nov. 17.
Here are the bare basics of the Brule Run: After the season’s first snowfall sticks for 24 hours, the residents of the Brule House streak through the courtyard between Gant and Spalding Halls. And, to support these brave men, hundreds of spectators show up each year to witness the fleshy celebration.
At the crack of midnight, the doors of Gant Hall fly open, and the Brule runners emerge looking not too different from the day they were born. The crowd, having spent nearly an hour exposed to the elements and now whipped into a frenzy, showers the runners with laughter, camera flashes and oh-my-gods, as the runners channel their inner Frank “The Tank” and dash around the square path lined with onlookers.
“It lived up to expectations. It’s a bunch of guys running around with shrunken dicks,” said Angel Antrim, a freshman psychology major who watched the run. “I think it’s a good tradition. It loosens things up on campus.”
Undeclared freshman Kyle Bollin was on hand Monday night to cheer on his Brule buddies. That, and to make their battling of the elements more memorable.
“I think it’s (expletive) hilarious, and I’m going to hit my boys in the balls with snowballs as hard as I can,” he said, before the run began.
Aside from boots and shoes, this year’s runners were all unclothed from the waist down. Among these slipping, sliding, bouncing and swinging runners was a student dressed in a cowboy vest and hat, another in an L.A. Lakers Shaquille O’Neal jersey, one in a Michigan Tech football helmet and another in a long, red bathrobe.
Schippert more fondly recalled his Monday night nudie exploits; “It was fun, and I think it went well. It’s a brotherhood thing; everyone in that house is like a best friend to me and so it all came very natural.”
Schippert and the rest of the jumping, screaming and dancing Brule runners took a lap or two, and then the majority found their way back into Gant Hall. A few stragglers, however, weren’t ready to pack it in. A handful of the naked runners continued hanging out and parading through the courtyard, throwing snowballs, wrestling and waiting for the next act of the outdoor circus.
Soon, the attention of the mob turned from streaking males to the prospect of topless females. Up in the top floors of Spalding Hall, a few groups of women stood in the windows with the intention of putting on their own spectacle. Much to the delight of the screaming, chanting and predominantly male crowd, the females lifted their shirts, flashing and shaking for the crowd. This, of course, is part two of the time-honored tradition: The Malibu Flash.
“This year was a big success. We had a really good turnout, and a lot of the Brule guys ended up running,” said the Resident Director of Gant Hall, Dylan Shiver, who attended the event to help maintain order. “And the Malibu House (in Spalding Hall) held up their end of the tradition with the Malibu Flash.”
Minutes later, the show was over, and Public Safety arrived to make sure everybody found their way back home – and put their clothes back on – safely.
“(Public Safety) comes before and after the run just to have their presence there. In years past, they’ve held the doors open for the runners,” said Shiver, who added there were no incidents or injuries.
“As long as people are respectful and aren’t throwing snowballs at the runners, then it’s just a good, safe place to have fun.”

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