SGA hosts beard contest, raises money for cancer

Rebekah Alvey

Student Government Association received a low turnout in entries after launching its first No Shave November beard contest as an initiative to raise money for cancer prevention and sustainability efforts.

During the Sept. 26 SGA meeting, a bill from the sustainability committee funding a beard growing competition for No Shave November Senate passed. Sophomore Ian Hamilton, the sustainability committee chair said the competition would raise money for cancer prevention while also demonstrating sustainable methods.

Hamilton said No Shave November started out as a way to raise awareness and prevention of prostate cancer but has spread to cover multiple types of cancer. The concept is for men to not shave their beard for the entire month of November.

After participating in past years himself, Hamilton said he could see how No Shave November could apply to SGA. Throughout the month, participants can donate the money saved from not purchasing shaving supplies.

“I think we need to have more discussions on what [No Shave November] is for and how the efforts can help people who are really struggling with cancer,” Hamilton said.

Junior Dallas McKinney, who serves on the sustainability committee and presented the idea to Hamilton, said No Shave November started as a sustainability initiative. McKinney said by not shaving, you are demonstrating the reduce aspect of reduce, reuse and recycle.

McKinney said his introduction to No Shave November started at Western Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, where he received his associate’s degree before transferring to WKU. He said not shaving during November was something he and his classmates did every year.

After doing more research into the sustainability aspects of not shaving, McKinney said he learned that shaving uses a lot of water and accumulates a lot of waste from disposable razors. He said the most sustainable way of shaving he found was abstaining from shaving altogether.

McKinney said the Office of Sustainability assisted in the event by donating a sustainable shaving kit.

McKinney said events such as No Shave November and other sustainability initiatives show the purpose of SGA of improving campus for students and the future. After transferring to WKU, McKinney said he was excited by the opportunity to participate in a committee dedicated to sustainability because there is a greater chance to make an impact.

The SGA bill funding the No Shave November competition passed 25-3, with five abstentions. McKinney said there were some discussion and opposition that the bill was not inclusive of women.

During sustainability committee discussions, McKinney said women in the committee were initially against hosting a beard contest rather than a body hair contest but later agreed it was not very “appropriate.”

In the full SGA meeting, McKinney said some senators brought back the discussion and attempted to amend the bill to make it a body hair contest. However, the bill passed in it’s original form as a beard contest.

This year is the first time SGA has recognized No Shave November and McKinney said there were only four participants.

McKinney said the limited entries could be attributed to lack of recruitment. Although posters were printed across campus, he said many students may be participating in No Shave November but were not aware of SGA’s initiative.

McKinney and Hamilton said they hope to see a higher turnout in the future.

“Let’s see how we can grow this and benefit a great cause,” Hamilton said.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].