Fraternity wins appeal money for "Movember"

by Kathryn Bennett / Beacon Staff • October 31, 2013

The Student Government Association approved the first appeal of the semester during its meeting on Tuesday Oct. 29. Brothers of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon requested funds for an upcoming monthlong men’s health campaign called Movember. 

They were given $1,510.55 from the SGA’s appeals budget, which now stands at $90,154.71. 

Movember, a worldwide campaign, is supported by chapters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon across the country, according to the organization’s website. It aims to raise awareness about men’s health issues by encouraging men to develop healthy eating habits and a regular exercise routine, and to also raise funds for men’s health programs, according to the fraternity’s presentation. Sigma Alpha Epsilon first held Movember events at Emerson last fall, according to the presentation, and members hope to make it an annual occurrence. 

The fraternity’s president, John King—a former SGA member—and philanthropy chair, Andrew Cahill, could not attend, so the appeal was presented by members Benjamin Halls, who is also a former SGA member, and Zach Ellman.

In their presentation, Halls and Ellman gave several statistics on men’s health to emphasize why they felt this is an important campaign to hold at Emerson again this year.

“One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes,” said Halls. “That means, statistically, either me or Zach will get cancer.” 

Sigma Alpha Epsilon will use the funds it received from the SGA to purchase T-shirts and mustaches—Movember’s symbol—to sell at the campaign’s three fundraising events and tabling efforts, and entertainment and food at those events, according to Halls. The money raised at the events will go to the official Movember campaign, said Halls, which will allocate the funds to awareness and education programs about prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. 

Movember will begin worldwide on Nov. 3 and end on Dec. 2. The fraternity will hold a kickoff event in the Piano Row Campus Center on Nov. 4, during which the fraternity will provide information about the campaign and Movember merchandise, said Halls during the presentation. Members will also be tabling at the men’s basketball game on Nov. 14. 

Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s final event is a concert in the Bill Bordy Theatre, headlined by the rock band Arc & Stones. Donations will be taken at the door and more Movember merchandise will be on sale, said Halls.

Several SGA members asked questions about the use of the appeal funds, and why the fraternity didn’t raise as much money this year. This year, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is putting $155 of its own funds toward Movember, according to the appeal application. Last year, the organization ran its Movember events entirely using $1,327 in donations from the Center for Health and Wellness, The Office of Student Life, the Athletic Department, and friends and family of the fraternity’s brothers, according to Halls.

Halls said the fraternity decided to appeal to SGA for funds this year so it could have the resources to do fundraising for Movember, as opposed to using all of their funds for food and T-shirts. He said members have been working with the departments that gave them funding last year to find non-monetary ways they can get involved this year. For example, he said the Fitness Center agreed to create a special fitness plan for the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, so they can work together on getting in shape. 

The appeal passed with 10 SGA members in favor, three in opposition, and zero abstentions.