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SFUO hosts shave-off event to prep U of O men for Movember

Adam Feibel | Fulcrum Staff

EVERY NOVEMBER, MEN across the globe gather in solidarity for prostate cancer by growing a moustache.

But you need to start fresh in order to grow your mo, according to official Movember rules. That was the idea behind the shave-off that took place Nov. 1 at the Jock Turcot University Centre.

The shave-off was organized by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), which captains the Movember uOttawa campaign. The SFUO invited a local barber to shave students’ beards for a suggested donation of $5.

“Movember is something that’s been in the university community for about four years now, and something that’s never been done before is to have a barber come on campus and shave students on Nov. 1,” said vp social Jozef Spiteri.

Movember is a campaign that seeks to “change the face of men’s health” by raising money for research and awareness initiatives for prostate cancer and men’s mental health issues. Men grow moustaches in order to act as a walking symbol of these issues and to collect donations from supporters.

Spiteri has been participating in Movember for four years. After growing a moustache just for fun the first year, he started getting more involved in the campaign by registering to receive donations and creating the Movember uOttawa team.

“I think it’s a great cause,” said Jordan Henry, a third-year arts student who had his facial hair professionally razored at the event. “It starts out with looking at prostate cancer, but I feel like it’s now expanded to all lower-body cancers.”

Top of the World also made an appearance at the shave-off event with a table set up to sell merchandise from their joint breast-cancer campaign with Skoser Clothing and Herd Magazine. The skate- and snowboard-apparel shop on Rideau Street has also launched a new line of Movember merchandise to raise money for the cause.

“We jump on board to as many collaborations as we can to support good causes,” said Top of the World store manager Sam Francis.

“The T-shirts will be launching soon, and they’re going to be really funny and really in-your-face…just like our breast cancer shirts,” he said. “So it gives us an edge to play the out-there, kind of risky card.”

This Movember’s promotional theme revolves around the relationship between father and son, with slogans like “honor thy father” and “you’re gonna be a man, my son.”

“It brings together the two generations, of the younger age where you’ve got to start being aware…and the older age where [you’re] really affected,” said Henry.

“It’s even a really good family-building thing,” he said. “I’m getting my dad into it, to get him to re-grow his moustache for the last couple years.”

Of course, growing a moustache isn’t the whole point of Movember. Women are encouraged to participate in events and raise money for the cause, along with the many men who simply can’t grow a moustache.

“You don’t have to grow facial hair to be a part of it,” said Spiteri. “The facial hair was the awareness campaign. Four years ago, it was a big driving force. But there’s still stuff you can do, and you can learn a lot from this campaign. It’s very interesting to be involved in.”

—With files from Andrew Ikeman


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