Battling it out to be the Big Moustache On Campus

Battling it out to be the Big Moustache On Campus
Male and female law students at the University of Windsor sport their "moustaches" in support of Movember. Photo: Evan Bawks
For many of the students at the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law — from the baby-faced to the hirsute — November is a very special time.

For the fourth straight year, the faculty has put together an impressive fundraising effort in support of the annual Movember charity drive, raising more than $8,000.

Movember, which began in Australia in 2004, is an event dedicated to raising money and awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s health initiatives. The Movember Foundation, which oversees the initiative, has exported the idea of growing a moustache for a charitable cause around the world. Beginning the month with a clean-shaven face, participants solicit donations along the way to encourage their facial hair growth. The foundation has raised over $174 million to date.

At Windsor law, the tradition is carried on with enthusiasm in an effort to be the faculty with the highest donation total. Mo-tivation comes from the Big Moustache On Campus competition, which pits faculties from schools across Canada against one another.

This year Windsor’s team — dubbed Law & Mo’rder — ranked 11th among all Canadian faculties. There are other law schools across the country that deserve recognition for their fundraising efforts as well, including:
University of Ottawa Faculty of Law: $12,747
Western University Faculty of Law: $8,685
Robson Hall: $8,033
Osgoode Hall Law School: $6,767
McGill University Faculty of Law: $6,497
Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law: $5,098
University of Toronto Faculty of Law: $3,912
University of British Columbia: $3,490
Queen’s University Faculty of Law: $2,581

Last year Windsor law had great success in additional fundraising by selling calendars featuring some of the moustachioed men and women of the team. This year they have built on the tradition by relating the shots for each month to a landmark legal decision. Students dressed as polygamous wives, fox-hunting intruders, and Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. salesmen will be featured, all finely furred in the upper lip.

“The calendar has been a big hit in the past, and we wanted a way to tie it directly to our identity as a law school,” says photographer Evan Bawks.

“It’s a great fundraiser,” says co-organizer Chris Junior, a first-year law student. “It gives everyone a chance to bond over something that’s inherently kind of ridiculous, while still supporting a great cause.”

The mood around the building is certainly lightened with so many students sporting impressive ’staches. The levity comes at a welcome moment when students are beginning to feel the pressure of first-semester exams building.

“We’ve been really pleased with the level of turnout we’ve been getting, and that people have kept it up so well,” says Junior. “It’s almost to the point where you look strange not having a moustache.”

Indeed, the knowing nods and appreciative comments from one Mo Bro to another are almost enough to drown out the disapproval from much of the faculty’s female population.

The organizing committee has leveraged the opportunity in other ways by holding a bake sale, bar night, and raffle, among other initiatives. At the bar night — held at a local country-themed bar featuring a mechanical bull offering special moustache rides — a King of Movember was crowned for displaying excellence in all things moustache.

“I wanted my moustache to represent Windsor law, so I shaped it like a W. People seemed to really take to that. I think people appreciate creativity in a moustache,” says first-year law student Jason Sitt, relishing the view from atop his throne.

“The privileges of winning are amazing — people are asking for pictures with the moustache and pictures with the crown or the trophy.”

It’s good to be king, but on Dec. 1, all of the students will return to their previous neatly trimmed look — at least until next year when the proud tradition will be opened up to a new crop of growers.

Check out our gallery of Mos from other law students and members of the legal profession on Legal Feeds.

Dave Johnston is a first-year law student at the University of Windsor.

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