When Mark Sullivan, MCAS ‘18, opened his eyes at 6:30 a.m. on March 14, it wasn’t just any other BC snow day. It was Mod Day. As the housing group leader, the fate of eleven men rested in Mark’s hands. Through some technological bobbles and online service delays, the first blessing of that fateful day came with news of a pick-time: 5:25 p.m.
They had broken out the Excel Spreadsheet and crunched the numbers, but by the time 5:25 p.m. had rolled around, the time for action was over. Not a sound could be heard in their house on Foster Street. All devices were disconnected from the Wi-Fi besides Mark’s laptop and a backup phone. A representative waited on campus, ready to take over the room selection process should the Wi-Fi go out in a snow-related catastrophe that would prove once and for all if God really did exist.
As Mark logged on to see a dreaded “zero beds available,” hearts were broken, dreams of senior year washed away, and the future had never looked more bleak for the long-time friends. In a last ditch effort, Mark scrolled down the page to hit the continue button, resigned to being tormented one last time by the housing system that had robbed the guys of a Walsh 8-man their sophomore year. And yet, by some miracle of ResLife’s twisted sense of humor, the Mods were suddenly accessible to the group and life was once again made worth living.
Mark, in what he would later call a “Freudian slip,” selected Mods 27A and 27B—better known to the general BC population as the infamous Strip Mod. Did he mean to do so? Had he harbored a secret desire to strip in front of the student body? Had he been sitting in limbo for the past four years, even volunteering to be the group leader so he could assure that he would one day be one of the brave men to strip down in the freezing cold to continue a tradition that has been delighting BC undergrads since 1993? Mark says maybe—his friends say yes. Regardless, their fate was sealed, and any potential embarrassment the self-proclaimed “Mod-Mates” may have felt quickly slipped away as friends called with congratulations and excitement.
Alexander Fields, CSOM ‘18, spoke to the emotions of the group, “A lot of friends were saying how excited they were and how they couldn’t wait, so that really eased a lot of the fears of it.” In fact, one “unnamed, antsy roommate currently studying in the beautiful, beautiful city of Sevilla” learned of his housing through the congratulatory texts streaming in; he FaceTimed the boys on Foster, half-hopeful and maybe a little teary, wondering if dreams really did come true, unwilling to believe they had actually snagged a beloved Mod.
At the end of the day, there still remained one group of people to tell the exciting news: their parents. There was a range of reactions from the moms, who currently have a “Foster Moms” group chat and are testing out names for next year: “Mod Moms” or “The Mod Squad.”
“I probably have the most conservative parents,” Ameet Kallarackal, CSOM ‘18, said, “and my mom flipped—it was amazing! I was telling my dad, and my mom heard him start laughing. She was like, ‘What is it? What is it?’ And he was like, ‘Oh no.’ So she made me say it.” With a laugh, he adds, “Devastated.”
On the other hand, the mother of Dan Cunningham, CSOM ‘18, probably through some magic of the Foster Moms group chat, already knew. “I got a call from my mom,” Dan admits. “I hadn’t even told her—I told her we got a Mod, that’s it—and she was like, ‘Alright Dan, so this is only going to be down to the boxers, right?’”
Mark chose to gently break the news to his parents. When they asked if he had gotten a Mod, he replied with, “Oh, not just any Mod,” and explained the Strip Mod’s mystic by saying that “it’s a Christmas dance show.”
Since that day, the future men of the Strip Mod have been preparing for next year. They visit the gym daily, getting in curls whenever they can, even if it’s simply curling a pencil in class. They kindly motivate each other with a combination of shame and fear of being relegated to “the fat Mod.”
“Working out, not my thing,” Mark admits.“Dieting, eating healthy—really not my thing.” But the fear of being sent to 27B keeps him going. Dan, the only representative from the alleged ‘fat Mod’ threatened, “Anybody who does something bad is going in the fat Mod.” Ameet was quick to agree, “You don’t want to be in the fat Mod.” Mark further explained, “The glue for us as a group is shaming each other.”
That being said, they are in the market for a personal trainer, and they are hoping to institute a daily gym time next year where all the men of the Strip Mod work out together in full view of the student body. Nick Flowers, MCAS ‘18, is even planning matching workout outfits, “We’ll have cut-off t-shirts too, so people will know we’re the guys of strip mod.” They are also accepting applications for an official videographer, preference given to one with a drone.
As far as the actual dance goes for next year, they were presumably tight-lipped, but did reveal the potential for a holiday-themed dance that will definitely get them on the Naughty List, as well as potential misuse of Santa hats. Their creative process includes tossing around stripper names, like “Soft Mark,” “Fat Dan,” “Antsy Alexander,” and “Slick,” that are still in the beginning phases of development. They have promised some sort of wow-factor involving their—according to Nick—“significantly-shorter-than-the-rest-roommate from Long Staten Island.”
The men of Strip Mod have been excited to be informally approached by several dance groups and individual choreographers, and they anticipate starting a serious interview process in the fall. Until then, BC can only wait with bated breath to see what another year of Strip Mod festivities will bring.