Maggie Reid, Features Editor
It is officially November, which means you will start to see facial hair, specifically mustaches, grow on the faces of students around campus. This is not just a fashion statement, however. It is an effort by student organizations to raise money as well as awareness for men’s health.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and the Student Contractors Association are two groups on campus currently raising money for Movember.
“Movember is a charity set up to address three major issues in men’s health, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention,” said R.J. Spinella, graduate student and President of the Physical Therapy Society. “The Movember Foundation raises both awareness and funds for these issues, and has raised over $800 million dollars since its beginning in 2003. The moustache is the key behind the movement, as our team members commit to grow a mustache for the entire month of November to show support and raise awareness.”
Michael Delia, president of the Student Contractors Association, hosted an event to raise money in Bohlert Hall on Thursday, Nov. 1. For a donation, students participating in Movember were able to get a shave or beard trim from Gentlemen’s Corner Barber Shop. Baskets were also raffled off.
There are 20 students and three professors from the DPT program participating in Movember and 10-15 members of SCA, so there will be no shortages of mustaches on campus this month.
Junior Thomas Rodano decided to go with a handlebar mustache in order to kick off Movember. He discovered this event last minute, but still decided to participate.
“Last week, I only found out about this event because Mike told me about it,” Rodano said. “I decided to join to raise awareness.”
Mustaches, such as the one Rodano currently has, are an important part of raising awareness, according to Spinella.
“Moustaches are our conversation starters, and every conversation they start regarding men’s health is a win for us,” he said.
November is an important month, although it does not get as much recognition as it should, and not many realize that it is a month of awareness for men’s health.
“I think that those things [prostate cancer and testicular cancer] kill just as many men a year as breast cancer,” Delia said. “November needs more attention because not many people know about it, so to speak.”
There were a few statistics that stuck out to Spinella that made him realize how important Movember is.
“On average, men die six years earlier than women, largely for preventable reasons,” Spinella said. “Another shocking statistic is that 75 percent of suicides are men. Movember is an attempt to control these preventable deaths by funding research, resources, and raising awareness of the issues. As future physical therapists, health issues of any kind are important to us.”
SCA is going to try to reach their goal of $3,500 and the DPT program will try to hit $2,000 by the end of the month.
Delia will be hosting other events this month in order to raise more money.
“We are going to be collabing with Colleges against Cancer during their Great American Smokeout, do a corn hole tournament,” Delia said. “All that money is going towards Movember.”
If Delia had to tell anyone one thing about Movember, it would be this:
“It is easy to forget as you go through daily stuff there are people suffering with certain things, and we should draw awareness towards them.”
Spinella and the DPT program wishes to start a conversation about men’s health and stop them from dying too young.
“There is a stigma that men are supposed to ‘tough it out,’ or ‘be a man about it,’ that is terribly unhealthy,” Spinella said. “Know your nuts, see a Doctor for check-ups, and never be afraid to reach out someone to talk about mental health issues.”
You can help SCA and DPT reach their goal by donating to their Movember pages. Just go to www.Movember.com and search for Utica College DPT or Utica College Student Contractors Association.