November is often known as “No-Shave November,” a time where men may choose to show off their manliness by attempting to grow out their facial hair for a month.
Gustavus chooses to observe this special time, only they observe a more serious campaign known as Movember, which is a national campaign that was introduced to Gustavus by Assistant Athletic Director Jared Phillips. It raises awarness about men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer. Unlike “No-Shave November,” Movember emphasizes growing a mustache throughout the month, rather than an entire beard.
“Movember is an opportunity during the month of November for men to grow a mustache and promote awareness about men’s health issues that include testicular and prostate cancer as well as mental health issues that impact males. People choose to participate for the fun of growing (or attempting to grow) mustaches and the opportunity to bring men’s health issues to a wider audience. It’s similar to wearing pink for breast cancer,” Phillips said.
The campaign has helped add a more serious reason for Gusties to participate in this special time of the year while still managing to have fun. Since it was introduced at Gustavus in recent years, many students and student-athletes have participated. It’s important to note, however, that Movember is not a Gustavus-based campaign, as its popularity is seen across the world. There are even professional sports organizations, like the NHL, that choose to take part in Movember.
The men’s cross country team and the men’s Nordic skiing team are choosing to participate in Movember as a team activity. Both players and coaches believe that participating as a team adds to the fun, benefits the teams in creating team chemistry, and raises awareness for men’s health issues.
“Last year was my first time, and I’ll be participating again this year. It’s fun and it builds camaraderie within our team and athletics staff. It’s a relatively easy and effective way to build awareness,” Head Nordic Skiing Coach Jed Friedrich said.
“I think it is a great way to spread awareness. Seeing so many guys with mustaches throughout the month makes people question them. Growing out a mustache for Movember gives guys a good reason to spread the knowledge. I think the NHL does a great job of supporting and spreading the knowledge of Movember. Cal Clutterbuck was definitely an inspiration for me,” Senior Cross Country Runner Joseph Renier said.
If you would like to participate in Movember, all you have to do is grow a mustache for the entire month of November. This campaign is open for all males on campus to participate in and is a unique way to raise awareness for serious male health problems. Participating with friends and classmates adds more fun to the challenge. The time to show off the mustache madness is now, so grow a crazy mustache this month for fun and spread awareness about men’s health.
“I’m participating for the fun of it, and as a way to start a discussion with my friends and family about the health issues that may impact men,” Phillips said.