Students Stop Shaving for Men’s Health Awareness

Launching its "no-shave Movember" movement earlier this month, the Women’s Center has challenged students to avoid shaving for the month of November. With 19 participants answering the call, the Center hopes to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.  

“It’s such an easy way to do some good and support a good cause,” Nick D’Ambrosia, a junior participating in Movember, said. “You literally have to do nothing and you’re raising awareness.”

Founded in 2003, the Movember Foundation is dedicated to the men’s health movement. Since then, the foundation has raised over $650 million toward prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity, according to their website. Movember was originally the brainchild of Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, two friends living in Australia who wanted to bring the mustache back into style. The first year, they brought 30 men together and challenged them to not shave for a month, but it was not until the following year that the fundraising aspect was added. In 2004, the group began donating to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and has since then cultivated over 4,746,905 followers and started 832 men’s health projects. Ramapo has been participating in this movement for several years now.

“The former graduate assistant for the Women’s Center, Tom Nicholes, and I — we really kicked it off, but it hit full steam probably last year when we did it in conjunction with the baseball team,” said James Perlas, the men’s outreach coordinator for the Women’s Center and organizer of Ramapo’s Movember. This year, 19 are taking part so far.

Movember is not limited to those who have to shave, however. Perlas spoke about ways for everyone on campus to get involved.

“What you can do is come on down to the Women’s Center, you can look at the pictures of the participants outside and vote for who you think is going to grow the best beard. We take a minimum of a dollar per vote but you can give $5 and vote once, you can give $10 and vote 10 times — which ever you’d like,” Perlas said.

The fundraiser will conclude with an event in December, where students will have an opportunity to see how well the participants’ beards grew during the month.

“At the end of the event, Dec. 1 at 12 p.m. in the Atrium, we’re hosting a little ending event where we’ll announce a winner and runner up for who got the most votes, and we’re also going to have three people come in and judge the beards — for a winner separate from voting. This way people can be recognized. We can talk about how much money we raised and hopefully we can get some last minute donations,” Perlas said.

Many students seem to enjoy being involved, including Nick Perez, junior, who has not shaved since Nov. 1, sticking to his promise.

“It’s for a good cause and it’s a fun way to raise awareness too,” Perez said.

While Perlas, who is growing his own beard, agreed with Perez and emphasized the fun of Movember, he also expressed his appreciation for the fundraiser’s motives.

“Activism is important in any sense — is this the hardest or truest form of activism? No, but if you can take that and turn it into something that can help people, I don’t see why you wouldn’t get involved,” Perlas said.