What do the Ohio State men’s baseball team, Fishbowl Improv and Student-Alumni Council all have in common? These student organizations, among others, appear in the debut OSU Her Campus Cutie calendar.
Her Campus is an online magazine, represented at more than 200 college campuses, that targets college-aged women. The OSU chapter teamed up with nonprofit organization Peace for Paws Ohio to create a composite calendar that features Buckeye men with Peace for Paws dogs to generate awareness against canine euthanasia.
“Nothing beats a calendar with hot guys and dogs,” said Her Campus campus correspondent Aurora Stromberg, a fourth-year studying strategic communication. “We knew we wanted to have dogs and we knew we wanted the charity to be towards the animals featured in it.”
Peace for Paws is a nonprofit organization located in Dublin that rescues animals from kill shelters in the state and surrounding states to be fostered by suitable homes, according to its website.
Sydney Smith, a third-year in marketing and Her Campus member, said she was volunteering for Peace for Paws one day and the Campus Cutie calendar idea clicked. Smith said the Her Campus members did not initially take the project seriously, but she and fellow member Mackenzie Cline, a fourth-year in strategic communication, actualized the project.
“We were joking about having guys and dogs in a calendar because it was funny. Then I volunteered for Peace for Paws and mentioned (the calendar). They fell in love with it and that’s how it materialized,” Smith said.
The 12-page calendar includes approximately 60 men, Stromberg said. “It’s a huge undertaking,” she said, “but my girls made it happen which was really impressive.”
The members of student organizations featured in the calendar seemed excited to participate, both Smith and Stromberg said, and the enthusiasm helped ease the creative process.
“All the guys were way more cooperative than we thought. Half the time we’d say ‘Hey who wants to wear this ridiculous hat?’ and they’d fight over who got to wear it,” Smith said.
“(Her Campus) was trying to give back but these men really hammed it up — there were guys with no shirts, and we had Fishbowl Improv, who were cracking us up the whole time,” she said.
OSU baseball second baseman Nick Sergakis, a redshirt junior, said he and his teammates were happy to volunteer. “It just sounded like a great cause. Any cause like that, I’d help out with. We are the type of people who, if you asked, we would do anything to help,” he said.
The models weren’t the only ones enthusiastic about the calendar. Stromberg said potential customers she spoke to about the calendar seem eager to see the final product.
“Everyone we’ve talked to (is) so excited. We went to sorority houses the other day to tell them about the calendar and we could not get them to shut up when we were trying to tell them the details because they were that excited,” she said.
Fourth-year in marketing and economics Luis Galilei is a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s Alpha Sigma chapter. He said he enjoyed his photo shoot experience with Peace for Paws dogs.
“It was fun,” Galilei said. “The dogs were all over the place. In our picture, we were all laughing because one of the bigger dogs would not stop barking at the smaller one.”
Not only was the project a fun time for Galilei and his fraternity brothers, the photo shoot seemed to have made a lasting impression on members of the chapter.
“We fell in love with one of the dogs named Eddie,” he said. “We really wanted him — we actually felt like he was a Kappa Sig — so we might actually end up adopting the dog.”
Each month of the calendar is set in a popular campus location such as Mirror Lake, Ohio Stadium and the William Oxley Thompson statue in front of Thompson Library.
“We tried to incorporate the set of the month we wanted,” Smith said. “For example, for October we wanted to do a Halloween setting so we chose Orton Hall because it had a creepier, older vibe.”
Although some men enjoyed interacting with their fellow canine models, not all were as well-received as others. Fishbowl Improv actor Adam Hacker, a second-year in psychology, said he didn’t quite click with his co-models at their Christmas-themed photoshoot.
“I’m not sure the dogs liked me in particular because when I was trying to hold them, they just didn’t seem like they wanted to be held by me and were a little anxious,” Hacker said. “The worst part is, they seemed to be fine with everybody else. I absolutely loved those dogs still.”
Characteristically, the comedy troupe used this to their advantage. Rather than pose with nervous dogs, Hacker played the role instead.
“One of the dogs seemed extra anxious and the other one was laid back. While one (Fishbowl member) held that dog, the other one held me like a baby. It was like a funny-awkward family photo,” he said.
Men’s soccer forward Danny Jensen, a second-year studying business, sees potential in an annual calendar. Jensen said selecting student organizations for the calendar leaves room for progression in future calendars.
“People like the idea of everyone doing this for a good cause. People care about it and are making an effort, which is the most important thing,” he said. “Their intentions are great and in the long run, it will play out for the better.”
Student-Alumni Council member Neil Wang, a fourth-year in accounting, finds the calendar purposeful on many levels.
“It’s really meaningful because sometimes we feel like other pets people have live a really good life and sometimes we don’t realize there are many animals that still really need our attention,” Wang said. “So I think this is a really good cause to promote awareness for different animals in general.”
Stromberg said the OSU Her Campus team considered featuring women in the future, but wanted to focus on appealing to the female college demographic for the prototype.
“We’re just trying to hit the female demographic at this point. We didn’t want to have a confused calendar so we stuck with men,” she said.
Smith said if this year’s sales are successful, the group will try to push the calendar to be an annual product.
The calendar is available for purchase online on the OSU section of the Her Campus website and at the Ohio Union from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Each calendar is $10. All proceeds go to Peace for Paws.