The wolverine-esque mustaches that are sprouting throughout campus have a specific purpose, and staring is welcomed.
“With a mustache you become a walking, talking billboard,” said Anthony Hamlin, Marist’s sophomore first baseman.
The Marist College athletic department, behind the baseball team’s Nick McQuail and Anthony Hamlin, has embraced “Movember”, a movement benefitting men’s health. Raising awareness and education regarding men’s health is a vision that Movember prioritizes.
Movember is one of many initiatives taken by Marist’s student body to benefit the community and society as a whole. Marist’s baseball team began this organized campaign, led by then fifth year senior Eric Helmrich, last November to raise money for men’s health issues specifically prostate and testicular cancer. The team raised $3,082 but is hoping to surpass that total this Movember. Hamlin established that the goal is to set a new donation high for this year. In order to do so, Hamlin and McQuail presented Movember to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
The SAAC is comprised of representatives from each Marist athletic team, which enabled the entire athletic department to become united behind the cause. The message was well received by members of the SAAC, who are nominated to their positions by showcasing leadership skills. “What made it special was that the guys actually planned to partake in the event and weren’t just there to preach about it,” said Ken Walshak, a senior member of the SAAC, of the presentation.
Players and coaches of Marist’s football, swimming and lacrosse teams are among those who have joined the movement. “It is nice to see a male team really get behind and support something with the whole athletic department,” said Elizabeth Donohue, Marist College Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator. “It compliments a lot of the community service and good work that our athletes are already doing.”
Marist has traditionally served the community through events and organizations that cater to men and women such as heart1, breast cancer awareness games and Mentors Against Violence Prevention. However, Movember’s purpose and goals focus solely on addressing men’s health issues. This is of significance to Movember because traditionally men tend to hide their health issues either out of embarrassment or to preserve their ‘toughness’. The American Red Cross found that in the United States, 24% of men are less likely to go to the doctor compared to women.
But the movement encourages women or “mo sistas” to serve society as well. “A mo sista supports the power of the mustache and is dedicated to supporting the mo bros in her life throughout their mustache-growing journey,” Movember’s website reads.
Growing mustaches is an effective physical representation of the movement and helps to explain its rapid growth in popularity. “All of a sudden in the month of November you see a bunch of these guys walking around looking like werewolves,” Donohue said.
Mo bros are motivated by the knowledge that they are bringing attention to the poor state of men’s health. There are plenty of statistics that provide evidence to this claim. In the United States: one in two men are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Movember was started by 30 “mo bros” in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. In 2012, the movement grew to over 1.1 million members in 21 countries including: Singapore, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic. This year’s Movember campaign has 248 registered teams from colleges and universities in the United States.