TCU’s Interfraternity Council will kick off its second year of Movember on Sunday.
Movember is a worldwide charity that raises awareness and funds for men’s health concerns like testicular cancer and mental health.
Diego Padilla, IFC president and Lambda Chi Alpha member, said IFC wants more people to be involved with Movember this year by adding more events and activities to participate in.
One of the new events is a 5k in Frog Alley.
“We’re kicking it up with a 5k to have more people involved and just have TCU motivated,” Padilla said.
IFC is continuing some of the activities that they offered last year, such as free hot shaves and constant fundraising throughout November.
This year, IFC will have more activities for the entire campus to participate in, including a volleyball tournament, late-night breakfast at Ol’ South Pancake House and allowing participating organizations and teams to spread men’s health awareness near the Founders’ Statue.
These activities allow connecting fraternities to fundraise together throughout November with their chapters at the University of Texas.
Last year, TCU’s IFC chapter competed against Baylor’s IFC chapter in a fundraising race that led up to their Nov. 27 football matchup. The Horned Frogs not only beat the Bears on the field, but also fundraised more money. TCU received $17,233 compared to Baylor receiving roughly $2,000.
Movember first began in 2003 when Australian founder Travis Garone and friend Luke Slattery challenged themselves and 30 friends to grow out mustaches in order to raise men’s health awareness after being inspired by a friend’s mother campaigning for breast cancer awareness. As of 2015, $710 million dollars have been fundraised with the help of 21 countries.
Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator and IFC adviser Evan Konecky introduced Movember last year to IFC’s former philanthropy chair, MacGregor Hall. As soon as Hall was hooked, so was the rest of IFC.
Konecky said that he got the idea to choose Movember because it could help all of the fraternities come together for a common goal.
“I think our men have a lot of potential,” Konecky said. “I think that they do great things for their individual chapters but the word ‘interfraternity’ is coming together for a common purpose – inter-fraternalism.”
According to Movember’s website, testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men ages 15 to 34, and 76 men die from prostate cancer every day. In addition, 75 percent of all suicides are men.
“Having [men’s health] conversations — I think in college with masculinity issues — we don’t talk about what’s going on with us,” Konecky said.
Konecky said this is what helps make Movember a great philanthropy and helps college-aged men have those tough conversations.
For some TCU men, these conversations have already hit home. Padilla said his father is a cancer survivor, and he relates to the causes for which Movember raises awareness.
“My dad is a prostate cancer survivor, and that’s the reason why I give so much for Movember,” Padilla said.
Konecky has also been a part of the Movember movement since his days as a fraternity man at Florida Atlantic University, where he first heard about Movember.
His fraternity was new at the time, and they wanted to find a philanthropy for them to help support and bring awareness to the health issues their military brothers have after battle.
“We had some fraternity members who were non-traditional students, so we had men who served in our military in Afghanistan and Fallujah and Germany all after 9/11,” Konecky said. “And so, when they came back, we wanted to do something for them.”
Konecky and his fraternity wanted to be unique and different from the rest of the military-supporting fraternities, and that was when his fraternity brother Robert Huffman came across Movember.
After Huffman pitched Movember to the fraternity, they immediately accepted the charity as their partner.
Konecky brought Movember to Syracuse University when pursuing his graduate degree before he began working at TCU. He has helped both universities win awards in their fundraising and support for Movember.
IFC will also have the “I’m Thankful” campaign, which simply entails using the hashtags #ImThankfulFor and #Movember2016 when counting blessings on social media.
Also, IFC has begun working with Hall Crew this week for the Canned Program, which allows non-Greeks to participate in Movember with bins filled with mustaches-on-a-stick, mustache medals and backdrops to spread more awareness through social media.
“My only goal is that people be aware of Movember and that it becomes tradition once I leave TCU,” Padilla said. “And hopefully, people get impacted by it.”
Konecky shares similar goals with Padilla and said he too hopes to impact people by sharing the facts and statistics with men’s health.
“If I create one-to-two, what they call on Movember’s website or within their community a ‘Mo-bro’ or ‘Mo’sister,’ as people who are really involved or really care about Movember, then I think I have made an impact,” Konecky said.