Things are getting hairy at OSU.
Some Ohio State students, staff, faculty and construction workers are showing support for men’s health initiatives by letting their facial hair grow this November.
Buckeyes for Public Health at OSU is leading the activities for Movember, a mustache-growing charity event held in November to raise awareness and funds for men’s health, for the second year in a row.
The club’s events have already drawn some recognizable OSU figures, Milan Patel, a fourth-year in public health and vice president of Buckeyes for Public Health, said in an email.
“We had our shave-off on Nov. 1 where guys came out to shave off their facial hair and begin growing their mustaches for the month of November,” Patel said. “(OSU President Emeritus E.) Gordon Gee, (Vice President for Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston), construction workers from the new James Cancer Hospital under construction, as well as Buck-i-Guy (an OSU football superfan), came to lend their support for the cause along with numerous students.”
Last November was the club’s first year holding the event, so the members were more focused on raising awareness of the men’s health issues than they are this year, Rachel Rohrbach, a third-year in public health and president of Buckeyes for Public Health, said in an email.
“This year, we have had more time to prepare fun events for students to engage in,” Rohrbach said. “We (have been) working to raise more money.”
The month’s events focus on increasing awareness of prostrate and testicular cancer in particular.
Patel said testicular cancer advances quickly, one of the reasons why it is important to raise awareness.
“Most guys do not want to discuss these topics or have the mentality that they are invincible … and so they don’t go to get health check-ups as often as they should,” Patel said. “When it comes to men’s health issues, society seems to lack in that area, and so it is important to have a strong push in that direction.”
The American Cancer Society estimated nearly 8,000 cases of testicular cancer would be diagnosed in 2013.
Patel said there have been events such as a team battleship tournament in the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, and free testicular cancer screenings have been offered at the RPAC Student Wellness Center. Buckeyes for Public Health is also selling Movember T-shirts and hosting fundraisers through local businesses throughout the month.
“Our culminating event is a banquet-style gala to celebrate all that we will have accomplished by then in terms of awareness and funds raised,” Patel said.
The gala is set to be held Nov. 22 at the RPAC.
Alessandro Brunetti, a first-year in psychology, said his reason for not shaving this month is more for fun.
“I only kind of knew that the idea of not shaving in November had to do with men’s health awareness, but I never (knew) details about it,” Brunetti said. “I’m not shaving this November because I went to a school where I had to shave, and now I don’t have to in college so this is the first year I can participate.”