Movember Is Here, and So Are the 'Staches

While scanning the Chocolate Bar on a weekday afternoon between classes, it's not immediately apparent which Boston College student is Kevin. Is he the hipster with glasses at Table One? The jock in sweatpants at Table Two? Or perhaps the lumberjack with the beard and plaid shirt at Table Three? He could be anyone--that is, until you finally see him. He radiates awareness like a lighthouse: decked out in a Movember t-shirt, typing on a laptop with several decorative Movember stickers and, of course, an unmistakable moustache.

Photo Courtesy of Movember USA / Facebook

Photo Courtesy of Movember USA / Facebook

Kevin O’Rourke, A&S ’16, is BC's on-campus representative of Movember, an organization dedicated to “saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.”

Movember is a global organization with over 800 programs in 21 countries and has raised over $550 million. This money is used to fund research and patient navigation programs through the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

“Movember started in 2003 in Australia when a few guys decided they were going to bring back the moustache,” said O'Rourke. “Later, they realized they could leverage it into something.”

Parks and Recreation / Facebook

Photo Courtesy of Parks and Recreation / Facebook

The moustaches serve to spark conversation, raise awareness and inspire donations. The BC community has already raised about $10,000 with the help and participation from each of the club sports teams, individuals like O'Rourke and various independent fundraising teams like “Mo’s For Dough.”

Movember is meant to shed a light on men’s health issues and the facts that are often overshadowed, understated or ignored.

But time is of the essence when one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and one in four adults will experience a mental health issue in any given year. Almost 40,000 people died from suicide in 2010, and more than three-fourths of these suicides were men.

If you’re interested in making a team, promoting the cause or making a donation, you can visit the BC Network Movember page.

Photo Courtesy of Movember USA / Facebook

Photo Courtesy of Movember USA / Facebook

And feminists, have no fear: girls can sign up, raise awareness and donate too. Movember even has a special segment for “Mo Sistas.”

“In fact, we want to get a lot of girls involved,” said O'Rourke. “It’s usually a lot easier to get guys to grow moustaches when girls know about the cause, too.”

Movember is a great way to increase awareness and start talking about men’s health. It’s also one of the only good reasons to grow a moustache. So whether you’re donating, promoting or making a team, be men and women for others and get your ‘stache on.

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Elizabeth Hlavinka