November marks an important month for many individuals in terms of expressing themselves, and in many cases, just letting loose.
No Shave November is the tradition of going without shaving for the entire month — sometimes in support of a cause, but also as a way of putting those genetics to the test.
Junior Michael Fiori is choosing to participate because he feels the competition is becoming an ingrained part of our culture.
“For those of us who shave regularly, No Shave is a great way to break away from the social norm,” Fiori said. “It’s basically just a fun opportunity to give growing a beard a shot.”
But, what about those who already have facial hair? Sophomore Karl Battin has been a bearded man for over two years, and doesn’t let festive competitions come in the way of that.
However, Battin appreciates No Shave November for what it is.
“I don’t really think of my beard as any more than a way to keep my face warm while deer hunting,” Battin said. “But it’s cool to see my friends do something we can have in common.”
No Shave is not only for men, however. The university is home to many female participants, including freshman Becca Mortensen.
“I usually shave every other day, so this is really a challenge for me,” Mortensen said. “It’s something I feel I can accomplish, why shouldn’t I try?”
Mortensen doesn’t agree with attaching feminist stereotypes to No Shave November, but she does acknowledge the potential for criticism from peers.
“I have a feeling people will be uncomfortable with my decision, but that’s definitely a part of the challenge.”
However, No Shave November can be much more than a recreational challenge for men and women, however. On campus, a mustache and beard competition is being held by Eau Claire’s Pi Sigma Epsilon — Zeta Epsilon chapter in order to raise awareness for men’s health. Specifically, the competition aims to fight testicular and prostate cancer.
Men, and some women, will compete in two categories — the greatest mustache and the greatest beard on campus.
Entry fees are $2 to participate and $3 for a wristband which allows the participant to judge the results of the competition at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29.
While not everyone is capable of growing facial hair worthy of a win, it is still easy to get involved and support those in need.
Senior Chris Cull is volunteering and participating in the competition, which he feels is an important cause.
“It doesn’t matter if you haven’t shaved in six months or you’re just beginning now, raising awareness is what counts,” Cull said.
Winners of the competition will receive a t-shirt and various other prizes will be up for grabs for runners up. Sign-up is taking place in the Davies Center.
Although it may be too late to begin the anti-shaving marathon officially, it is never too late to contribute to the cause. And, who’s to say anyone will notice if you begin now? Whether you’re male or female, No Shave could be worth giving a shot this November.