No Shave November

Many Westminster students hid their razors for the month of November to help raise awareness for prostate cancer with the annual hair-growing competition known as No Shave November. The tradition dates all the way back to Karl Marx, who used to grow out his beard during the month to upset the upper class. Photo by Blake Bekken 

Many Westminster students hid their razors for the month of November to help raise awareness for prostate cancer with the annual hair-growing competition known as No Shave November. The tradition dates all the way back to Karl Marx, who used to grow out his beard during the month to upset the upper class. Photo by Blake Bekken 

Each year, both men and women take the month of November to donate and compete in the annual hair-growing competition known as No Shave November.

This year at Westminster was no different, with ASWC kicking off the first annual No Shave November at the college by organizing a platform for students to compete in and enter to win prizes in multiple categories. A group of students shaved clean on Nov. 1 in order to compete.

Organized a year ago by Cassie Yerkes, sophomore arts administration major, Westminster’s first official No Shave November has required months of planning.

“I hope to make it a tradition at Westminster and make it something that will really carry out the goal of raising funds for [prostate cancer] awareness and research,” Yerkes said.

The No Shave November campaign requested that students sign a form and ask for pledge money from donors. This year’s donated funds are going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

“I looked for an organization that was accredited and that would use the funds responsibly,” Yerkes said.

The greater scope of the No Shave November competition aims to raise awareness about prostate cancer. One in seven men will have prostate cancer in his lifetime, so it is a pressing issue to bring light to, according to the National Cancer Institute.

No Shave November’s roots can be traced all the way back to the ancient Greeks. For 30 consecutive days each year, Greeks would grow their beards in order to imitate the gods. Aristotle felt that, in order to become intelligent, it helped to imitate some of the most knowledgeable beings.

In recent years, the No Shave November donation competition can be traced back to 2004 in Australia, when 30 men organized an event and grew their facial hair for 30 days in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

Not only did the No Shave November idea float around Australia, but also the sociologist and father of communism, Karl Marx, actually coined the phrase. Marx took the liberty of beard-growing in this month as a way to upset the upper class. He wanted to irritate the capitalist factory owners, but his idea never quite took off.

Hence, widespread No Shave November competitions, which Griffins will participate in until Nov. 30.

Graphic by Blake Bekken

Graphic by Blake Bekken