Nudist Club holds chili cook-off in Assisi Courtyard


Grace Reynolds, Campus Life Editor

On a fine Tuesday afternoon in October, Viterbo’s long-standing Nudist Club hosted a chili cook-off in celebration of their 150 anniversary. The members of the club arrived precisely at noon to begin cooking, hauling loads of beans, tomatoes, peppers, and spices. A few of the passersby noted their casual attire, expressing that perhaps they were a tad… chilly in the blustery October air. Some kind students offered their sweatshirts to the club members, but they politely declined. 

By 12:15 p.m., the chili cook-off was in full swing, with six club members each standing in front of a pot of chili, stirring furiously. A small crowd gathered in front of the chili chefs, but some parents could be seen shielding the eyes of young children as they passed. One dog walker was observed snatching up her teacup chihuahua and shoving it in her purse to prevent it witnessing the club’s activities.  

As the cooks stirred their chili, other members of the club chatted up bystanders, providing information about the club’s mission and history. A few handed out pamphlets on the health and emotional benefits of public nudity. A closer look at these pamphlets revealed less-than-scholarly sources, most notably “,” and “” An unnamed club member stated that the stigma around nudists was “disappointing,” even though many around her seemed extremely uncomfortable with her attire (or lack thereof). She continued to say that her club’s decision to host a chili cook-off completely nude in the courtyard was not only harmless, but also was the morally correct option, despite the lack of consent from bystanders to seeing their classmates in their birthday suits. When asked if it was acceptable to take away a person’s choice to seeing someone else nude, she voiced again that this was helping people to “do what God intended” by reverting to complete nudity.  

When Campus Security was interviewed on the matter, it was evident they had no prior knowledge about the event. An anonymous security officer said they were “quite surprised” when they received the first complaint call but were unsure of how to handle the situation as the Nudist Club was a university-approved organization. It was also noted that Vic the V-Hawk made an appearance, wearing a Viterbo t-shirt, but flaunting his unclothed rear end to the crowd.  

As the cook-off edged into its final minutes, the chili cooks put the finishing touches on their dishes. The crowd had grown at this point at the promise of a free lunch. While there were murmurs within the crowd about why the Nudist Club was hosting a chili cook-off, as that seemed to have no relation to their agenda, the chili smelled so good that most people did not care. First place went to the president of the Nudist Club, who, for anonymity reasons, will not be named. It should also be noted that at least two club members were treated at Mayo Clinic for third-degree chili burns in places that are not allowed to be printed in this newspaper.