As the seemingly endless spooky season has come to an end, many holiday lovers have already begun playing their favorite Christmas tunes.

I’ve already heard Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” three times. Don’t worry, I wish I was joking too.

But one November tradition seems to always get overshadowed by the Christmas season. No, I’m not talking about thanksgiving. It’s the annual tradition that Gillette fears the most, no shave November.

According to No Shave November Organization website, the challenge originated in the fall of 2009. Men were encouraged by the Chicago-based Hill family to grow out their facial hair to create awareness for colon cancer after their father, Matthew, passed away from the disease in 2007. More recently, the organization has called participants to donate the money they would spend on shaving or haircuts to fund cancer research, resulting in over $2 million dollars being raised since 2009.

Similarly, the “Movember” movement originated in Australia in 2003, encouraging participants to grow out mustaches and raise money for prostate cancer. It hit the Unite States in 2007. Now, the movement has expanded to also include, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention awareness amongst men.

Now, I can’t even grow enough hair on my face to even deserve the title of “peach fuzz,” but I have always enjoyed watching my peers grow out some gnarly beards and mustaches. November takes dedication and perseverance, but do Gonzaga students actually know the meaning behind the cultural phenomenon?

“I chose to do it because shaving is a lot of work and I’m lazy,” said GU junior Drake Wilson. 

Despite some participants not entirely knowing the motivation behind the sudden abundance of facial hair around campus, it doesn't mean that the cause has lost its steam. Many Zags have been sporting more facial hair than normal this month. That’s a start for the movement.

I understand the fact that living on a college budget is rough, especially the closer to the end of the semester that we get. The movements are not just asking for money from its participants. The No Shave November Organization encourages all to participate, even if a monetary donation is not within their abilities. Simply by participating, “No-shavers” can help continue to grow the conversation around the cause.

Raising awareness and beginning conversation are the only ways that these diseases are going to be cured. Currently, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men with over 3 million men currently living with the disease, according to the Movember website. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15-39.

Those Zags who have still yet to make their mind up, there are still 13 days of November left, a perfect amount of time to grow enough facial hair to look great in that Thanksgiving family photo.

Growing hair, in whatever form, is what helps the No Shave November Organization and Movember help stop the diseases that permeate the men of our society far too much.

“We want every participant to embrace their hair for the many cancer patients that lose theirs due to vigorous treatments,” reads No Shave November’s Website. “We believe that together, anything is possible, and we’ll get closer to eradicating cancer one whisker at a time”

Zach Walls is a contributor. 

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