By Morgan Cushey – For the Cal Times
With the month of November beginning and the trend of “no shave November” in effect, students at California University are taking advantage of this amusing social norm, to help raise awareness for prostate cancer.
The Body Building and Fitness Club along with the Strength and Conditioning team, inspired by other major “no shave” organizations, are working together to recruit students to make a pledge to grow out their facial hair as a way to raise prostate cancer awareness.
“The concept is to make more men aware of the potential and to make regular check-ups a part of their lives,” said Robert Sepesy, head coach of the Strength and Conditioning Team.
Although this is the first year Cal U has hosted this event, they already have over 40 members, a number that is growing each day, Sepesy said.
The two groups involved make it an effort to participate in as many service projects as possible throughout the year. “This seemed like a great way to help the male community and have some fun,” Sepesy said.
According to the Center for Disease Control’s most recent records, 223,307 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 29, 093 men died of prostate cancer in 2007.
With these growing numbers, Cal U students are hoping to use the “no shave” trend as a fun way to raise awareness of the disease among college students.
“I feel that the perspective of most men is that visiting the doctor is a sign of weakness. I feel that having an increased awareness will increase our ability to recognize signs and symptoms, and decrease the potential,” Sepesy said.
Anytime throughout the month of November, male students can get involved by joining the Facebook group “Cal U NO-shave-VEMBER”, and post a picture of their facial hair progress each week.
Female students can also get involved by joining the group and recruiting men to grow facial hair. They may also post a profile picture of themselves with a shaving cream beard or other creative mock-facial hair.
Justin Rodabaugh, a nursing major at Cal U, took interest in this campaign and praised the awareness efforts on campus. “I think this is a great way to involve college students,” Rodabaugh said.
“Being a nursing student I have learned about the dangers of prostate cancer. I think that prevention and early detection are top priority,” Rodabaugh said
He said that the campaign at Cal U is helpful to young men because the only way to prevent it is to be informed. “I have had family members affected by cancer, so I think awareness is very important,” Rodabaugh said.
Due to his workplace restrictions Rodabaugh will not be growing out his beard, but he said that he has been working to encourage his friends to take part in the awareness campaign.
He said that the Cal U awareness efforts will hopefully make a difference among the young community of men on campus, giving them the tools to know the signs and get regularly checked for prostate cancer.
For more information contact:
Robert Sepesy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Morgan Bright at email@example.com
Or join the Facebook page “Cal U NO-shave-VEMBER”