Students raise awareness for men’s health with no-shave November

No-shave November has burst onto the Maryville College campus. This is Willi Chavelier, who in 2001 was the world champion of full beard freestyle. Any MC students willing to out-do Willi? Photo courtesy of

The month of November is not just known for Thanksgiving, but also for guys foregoing their razors and rocking the facial-hair trend.

The tradition of no-shave November began in Melbourne, Australia, and was originally known as “Movember,” short for moustache November. This now-widely practiced global movement raises money and awareness for men’s health, especially prostate cancer, testicular cancer and other forms of cancer. No-shave November, or Movember, asks men and women to forgo shaving their faces, legs, or armpits and become walking billboards for men’s health issues

This year, Maryville College has embraced this tradition by sponsoring a no-shave November program on campus for the first time, and MC hopes that this event will spread awareness about male health campus-wide. The first check-in took place on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and required check-ins will continue every Tuesday until the end of November to track the progress of participants.

Event sponsor and student participant Louden Young said the program, “Noshember,” has already registered 30 partakers. The participants include 24 male students, four female students and two male staff members.

These participants had to start the month cleanly shaven. Unfortunately, Young said that some recruits they hoped would sign up just could not bear shaving their already full beards and therefore are participating on their own, without sponsorship. Those willing to take the first step were photographed and will continue to be photographed each week at check-in to monitor their progress.

For students who want to check out participants growing hair, a Facebook page is in the works and will be equipped with all check-in photos taken thus far. After checking out the event’s page, make sure to vote on superlatives, like best beard, best legs and least hair growth.

Young and the other sponsors hope that the event’s success will encourage more staff members to partake in festivities next year.

One potential idea for the future is to have students give monetary donations for the staff member they want to keep from shaving. The donations given would then be contributed to a related charity. Rewards for this year’s participants are still being discussed, but expect something hair-related.

Event sponsors hope that, even though male health awareness is the focus, females will not be discouraged from participating, as well. Girls may be camera shy when it comes to showing off their hairy legs or underarms, but this is a time to embrace the extra fuzz.

Incentives exist for everyone, male or female, who is thinking about participating either on his or her own or as part of the event. Included among these are that allowing hair growth saves time spent on shaving, gives your appearance a new look and provides warmth during the winter months.

The no-shave November event sponsors ask students to bring in photos of their hairy faces, legs or underarms to add to the program’s collection on the Facebook page. While going around campus, make sure to check out all men and women expressing their support for men’s health awareness by putting down their razors and showing off their love of hair and their support for this cause.

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