Taylor Corley, Campus Carrier arts and living editor
It’s November, which means the time for pumpkins, falling leaves, Thanksgiving dinner and hairy faces is upon. Not only is this month dedicated to drinking pumpkin spice lattes and eating mashed potatoes, it also focuses on men’s health awareness through No Shave November and Movember. Berry Student Enterprises is encouraging others to join the cause by hosting their own No Shave November contest.
In 2004, a group of 30 Australian men grew their mustaches for 30 days in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression in men. This group became known as the Movember Foundation in which participants annually embrace a hairy lip, hair which many cancer patients lose.
From there stemmed the No Shave November foundation, an international movement that encourages participants to refrain from shaving for the entire month and donate the money they normally spend on shaving products to cancer prevention organizations.
Berry’s Colleges Against Cancer club passed their campus-wide beard competition to Student Enterprises this year.
“Student Enterprises adopted the No Shave November Contest from the Colleges Against Cancer Society,” sophomore Faythe Choate said. “They had low membership this year so when we reached out about partnering with them for No Shave November and they told us we could host the event.”
To host the event, Student Enterprises partnered with the Floyd County community chapter of the American Cancer Society.
“The benefit of the event for us was to further our goal of widening demographics and deepening relationships,” junior marketing team lead Marie Echols said. “This is done through our partnership with the Floyd community chapter of the American Cancer Society and getting more of the Rome community and Berry faculty members involved.”
The American Cancer Society has Relays for Life, which are cancer fundraising events hosted by community members to fight back against cancer. Students who choose not to or are not able to participate in the contest can still contribute by donating to Berry College Student Enterprises’ relay page, which is connected to the Floyd County Relay.
In order to kick-start the competition, Student Enterprises is featuring Berry faculty members, like Area Coordinator Matt Mixer and Assistant Director Stephen Swieton, on Facebook. The hope is that by promoting faculty members and their facial hair, students will also be encouraged to participate.
“We were like wow, these guys have really great beards, so let’s go ahead and feature them to kick-start the campaign,” Choate said. “We just thought about who has the most iconic beards on campus. We wanted to build momentum like that because we wanted it to be fun. We wanted it to be interesting. We wanted students to be willing to participate.”
For the competition, students can send a before and after picture of their clean shaven faces versus their beard at the end of the month.
“We’ve already had a couple entries for that but we’re definitely looking for more,” Choate said.
Contestants can win one of Lavender Mountain Dreams’ hand-crafted beard oils that nourishes and protects facial hair. There are two scents, Mountain Man and Manly Man, available for sale at the Enterprise corner of the campus bookstore.
“One of our student -operated enterprises, Lavender Mountain Dreams, decided to brainstorm new products that would be interesting for not just women but also men,” said Choate. “We decided that beard oil was cool and current and relevant, and it’s been one of their most successful products since launching it in our bookstore corner this year.”
The contest is for Berry students and the Rome community, and there will be a winner for both groups. Final submissions are due Nov. 29.