by: Alexander Lugibihl
As Halloween festivities are ending and people start looking ahead to Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, one major movement is often looked over. No shave November, also referred to as Movember. It is a movement that typically involves males, although females are welcome to participate, in the act of not shaving anything for the entire month of November.
In an article by Matt Johnson through VidetteOnline, it’s said this movement’s official beginning can be traced back to 1999 when a group of young men from southern Australia grew out there beards for charity. In 2004 a similar movement occurred with funding for specifically men’s health issues. By 2006 No Shave November was a part of American culture. Currently No Shave November is linked with a major movement to help raise awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.
At Bluffton University, many men are ready to participate, and all for very different reasons. Many students like Sophomore Theran Carroll have a personal tie to the cause. “Prostate cancer runs in my family, and I want it to be fought better” Carroll stated. There are many others like junior Sam Stucky who stated, “No shave November is my favorite holiday. In fact, I haven’t shaved in twenty years!” Amidst all of these jokes there is also a certain air of masculinity that accompanies this month. As sophomore Daniel Piero said “No Shave November is a time honored tradition among men.”
In a survey conducted by student journalists at Bluffton University, 50 college males and 20 college females were asked if they were participating in No Shave November and why; the results were relatively predictable among males. 76% of males said that they were participating, and those who said no either had well-trimmed facial hair or had trouble growing a satisfactory amount. In turn, only 15% of females interviewed said they would participate. When asked why they felt the way they did many responded that it was something only men do while those who said yes seemed to be enjoying the idea of a month of no shaving.
As this month takes off, there are sure to be many more furry people on campus, however do not let that distract you from the real reason for all of this face fuzz.
On October 10th, 2014 Malala Yousafzi from Pakistan, along with Kailash Satyarthi from India, won the Noble Peace Prize for their advocacy for children’s rights and education. Satyarthi, advocating against child labor and slavery, has saved approximately 80,000 children from slavery through his organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan. Yousafzi, the now 17-year-old young woman, is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient in the history of the award. She has advocated for the rights of women and children throughout her own childhood. At the age of 11 she blogged about the life of oppression she led while living under Taliban control for the BBC under a pseudonym. On October 9th, 2012 Yousafzi was shot in the head on her way home from school. The Taliban later took credit for the shooting. Miraculously, Yousafzi survived and she has continued her advocacy. To watch Malala’s acceptance speech, click here.
By: Venessa Owsley
Editor’s note: This article was written a couple weeks ago but due to editing difficulties and Fall Break was not published in a timely manner. Information might be outdated but the story was important enough that we decided to post it anyway.
A British-Iranian woman, Ghoncheh Ghavami, age 25, is being held in Evin Prison, Tehran’s most infamous prison. Ghavami has been charged with alleged “propaganda against the regime” following her attempt to attend a men’s volleyball match. To mark her hundredth day of her detainment (fifty of which were spent in solitary confinement) Ghavami went on a hunger strike. Ghavami has not eaten for five days and her health is deteriorating. Originally Ghavami was held in custody on June 20, interrogated for four hours, and then released. She was arrested again only a few days later. There is a petition calling for Ghavami’s release. The petition, set up through Change.org, now has approximately 527,000 signatures. The charge against Ghavami could potentially result in a sentence lasting several years and with her medical stability on the line, Ghavami’s family is appalled by her plight. This anxiety is heightened by the fact that Ghavami has had only minimal contact with her family. Susan Moshtaghian, Ghavami’s mother, told The Guardian “I am restless since I heard about this and I have also gone on hunger strike. I stayed silent for 82 days in the hope that my daughter comes back home safely. Now I am worried about her life and will not stop until she’s free.”
Last week, Bluffton students who participated in the Colombian cross cultural experience in May held a coffee and hot chocolate sale. The proceeds benefited 42 families who were left homeless by a fire in Charco Azul, a marginalized neighborhood in Cali, Colombia.
Virgelino Cordoba, whom the group met while in Colombia, notified Bluffton associate professor of Education Paul Neufeld Weaver about the great need. Weaver, who served as faculty adviser for the trip, greatly enjoyed the strong Colombian coffee while the group was there, and brought some back. He suggested that the students hold a coffee sale in Centennial from 7:45-11 a.m. each morning the week of September 22.
The Columbian group was comprised of 10 students and three adults. They left for the South American country on May 8, 2014 and returned on May 29. While they were there, the group stayed in Bogota, the largest city in Colombia, and learned a lot about the conflicts of the past and the current non-military struggles facing the Colombian people.
Cordoba, who is an English professor at a school in Cali, allowed the Bluffton group to talk with his students. The school, CAU (Colegio Americas Unidas), is Mennonite-affiliated, and is in the same area as the Charco Azul neighborhood. Cordoba and his wife know people affected by the late-August fire, and started garnering support for the cause in any way they could.
To find out what you can do to continue the support for the victims, contact Paul Neufeld Weaver.