OPINION: Movember is about men’s health, not your beard



Each November, men everywhere participate in No-Shave November, where they grow out their facial hair to raise awareness for men’s health. However, many just use this as an excuse to grow out their beard and don’t donate to the cause.

BRUCE MULMAT, Evergreen columnist

If you’re doing No-Shave November and saying it’s to raise awareness about Movember without doing anything involving the underlying cause, just be honest about it.

You’re not doing anything to help raise awareness about men’s health, you just want an excuse to see if your beard will finally look good after a month.

Here’s a heads up, the beard won’t be that great. But if you want to help raise awareness about men’s health or participate in Movember activities, the UREC has plenty of opportunities for you.

“We have been doing Movember activities for eight years now,” Joanne Greene, director of UREC programming said. “There has been research that men are less likely to do their preventative care.”

Greene said that the UREC’s main goal throughout November is to help men learn more about preventative care around men’s health. This year the UREC also wants to promote discussions on mental health.

“I know for guys my age is that you never talked about your feelings,” said Ramon Sodano, UREC coordinator of fitness services and education.

The UREC will be hosting activities throughout the month focusing on men’s health, so there are plenty of accessible options for those who can’t donate to the foundation or are too lazy to set up a Movember account. If you don’t want to participate, staff at UREC are always looking for volunteers to help facilitate their activities.

“We’re trying to remove that stigma as a guy that you can talk about your mental health,” Sodano said. “At these events we are doing fun stuff … with atlas stones but trying to have an underlying reason to remove those stigmas.”

No matter what your views on donating your time or money for foundations and fundraisers, it is better than doing nothing. Raising awareness about men’s health is something that has not become mainstream until this decade.

“We only do a few different clinics throughout, but we have a fairly steady turnout,” said Matthew Atwell, assistant director of Chinook facility services.

Green said that last year UREC’s most popular event was a wing night in which former WSU Cougar Football quarterback Gardner Minshew II attended.

Movember is not just about raising awareness for a specific cancer, it is about helping men get the resources and knowledge that they can use when talking to medical professionals about health. This is especially important since men have been stereotyped to minimize their medical issues and mental health concerns.

The UREC partners with Cougar Health for its Movember activities and the facility always needs more help. So, if you don’t want to donate any money or participate in any other way, volunteer your time.

There is nothing wrong with using Movember to try and raise awareness about men’s health. However, it is wrong if you say that you’re doing that just by growing a terrible beard. People can’t tell that you’re trying to help others just by having hair on your face. Instead put in a little more effort and share information about men’s health online or volunteer for the UREC events. Actually participate in Movember. Donate money if you can, anything is better than inaction and virtue-signaling.