By Claire Van Raaphorst
“Do it for Cosby. Do it for the cause.”
This is the tagline for the new volunteer group on campus, affectionately named Cosby Sweater Mondays (CSM).
Sophomore Don Strite of Ann Arbor and four other cross country runners started a trend that began as a joke and turned it into something for a cause. Through selling the ‘Cosby Sweaters’ and volunteerism, the new group aims to help the Albion community as well as Detroit.
“I can see this being my baby, my project I work on for the next two and a half years. I want this to grow to be a permanent Albion group through Student Senate,” Strite said.
The other founding members include sophomores Paul Lewis of Albion, Brad Baker of Ann Arbor, Carter Sherman of Belleville and senior Aaron Croad of Novi.
“It’s funny, this truly went from a group that said hey, let’s rock some sweater swag and actually I’m not sure how it came from that to a volunteer group, but it’s cool,” Lewis said.
The trend started after the second Cross Country meet in fall semester when some of the team went to a Goodwill store and bought ‘ugly sweaters.’ They collectively decided to wear them that following Monday. One person brought up the term ‘Cosby Sweaters’ in reference to the sweaters Bill Cosby wore in “The Cosby Show” to describe them.
They eventually bought more sweaters for their friends to make a group. During Winter Break Strite and his friends decided to have their group raise awareness for people in need of warm clothes.
The group snowballed from there, eventually Strite contacted Campus Programs and Organizations (CPO) for money to start the group, they were directed to the Student Volunteer Bureau who gave them $100 on Feb 7 to start buying sweaters to sell.
Strite, Lewis, Baker, Sherman and Croad plan to buy the sweaters for $2 – 3 and sell them to students at the Kellogg Center on Thursdays for $5 – $6 dollars to make a small profit. That profit will be donated to a local shelter where the group could also possibly give their time to volunteer.
Commerce junior Kayla Knight heard about this trend when Strite came to be a prospective RA at the end of fall semester.
“I remember he came in on a Monday and he was wearing one of his sweaters and I was thinking ‘why is he wearing such ugly clothes,’” Knight said.
Lewis, a fellow RA explained it to her the idea of Cosby Sweater Mondays and she ended up buying two sweaters over winter break.
“Those two sweater are genuinely the most comfortable and ludicrous things I own,” Knight said. “Now I like when people come up to me and ask about it, the clothing is entertaining and it’s a good cause.”
The plans this year for CSM are at least 50 members in the club, one large event on campus to raise awareness and one trip down to Detroit to volunteer.
“(Those plans) are just a foot in the door on the way to making Cosby Sweater Mondays a real CPO group next year,” Strite said.