‘Movember’ team raises money, grows beards


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Senior members of Phi Gamma Delta Will Marston, James Mangum, Corbin Blount and Niko Lundeen participated in Movember, growing out facial hair to raise funds for prostate cancer research.Photo credit: Ellen Smith.

 

Most people are familiar with the efforts to spread awareness for breast cancer through the use of the color pink. Anyone who watched a football game any Sunday during the month of October saw pink shoes and gloves on their favorite players.

What most people are not familiar with is growing a moustache to advocate for men’s health.

Movember is a movement that is spreading across the country to raise funds for prostate cancer research. To show their support, men grow a moustache during the month of November. For the first time this year, SMU has its own Movember team.

“Going into Movember I didn’t really have an expectation for how it would be received on campus, just because there is already so much going on, and people are very involved with their own organizations,” SMU Movember Team Captain Jacob Conway. “That being said, I think it has done very well. Word of mouth has been very helpful in getting the message out, and people have been very supportive, especially for this being the first year. Despite what some girls may say, I think most people find the idea of growing a moustache for a whole month kind of fun.”

Conway was introduced to the movement by one of his friends on campus.

“Madeline Herskind told me that her dad had become a very active representative for the Movember movement in Dallas,” Conway said. “He was looking for a student to bring the organization to SMU’s campus and asked me if I would like to help. I told him I would be glad to help, and slowly but surely, more and more people have become involved in the campaign.”

The Movember movement is also taking foot in the local Dallas community.

“This year [the movement began with] a kick-off happy hour at The Green Room in Deep Ellum, held a benefit concert at Granada theater with two local Dallas bands, and is wrapping up the month with a party at Hotel Zaza, one of the Dallas Movember partners. It’s a fun way to bring everyone supporting the movement together,” Herskind said.

One thing that drew Conway to this cause in particular is what it does beyond raising money for research.

“I also really like Movember’s advocacy for overall men’s health. You hear a lot about how important it is for women to routinely go to the doctor to make sure they are healthy, but it not as much for men. It is nice to let men know that going to the doctor isn’t a matter of pride, it’s a matter of living a healthy life,” Conway said.

In its first year at SMU, Conway is working through the growing pains that come when any new cause is introduced but he hopes that Movember will one day turn into a campus-wide tradition.

“The greatest challenge about helping with Movember has been having to be patient. Right now it is important to spread the message, raise awareness, and build a strong base of supporters and the larger events and additional supporters will come as the organization grows on campus in the coming years,” Conway said. “Hopefully in the future student organizations will have their own teams to raise money, and it can be a campus wide fundraiser and friendly competition. [For now] most involvement is coming from individuals who are passionate about the cause and want to show their support.”

One such individual is Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios.

“I look forward to growing a ‘stache from now on every November and expect my fundraising goals to keep increasing throughout the years,” Trespalacios said. “More importantly, I expect to see SMU students supporting Movember, either by growing or supporting the ‘stache. ‘No Mo, No Mercy!’”

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