News, On Campus

No Shame November Highlights Men’s Mental, Physical Health

UGBC, the Center for Student Wellness, and the Margot Connell Recreation Center collaborated to launch “No Shame November,” a campus-wide initiative that aims to promote conversation around men’s physical and mental health. 

“When someone says, ‘Hey you’re growing a beard,’ … the idea is for them to be able to talk about mental health and say, ‘Oh, I’m actually doing this for November in honor of men’s health and mental health,’” said Jeannine Kremer, director of the Center for Student Wellness. 

Throughout November, men at BC are encouraged to grow a beard, run or walk 60 miles, or anonymously answer a series of questions about their mental health. The Center for Student Wellness is rewarding participation in these activities with various prizes. 

“We thought that these two options, or even the combination of both, were a great way to involve the whole community in the event,” said Annie Quinn, UGBC student initiatives director and LSEHD ’26.  

On Nov. 6, UGBC held its first tabling event on the Quad advertising the month-long event. According to Quinn, the event garnered widespread attention from the student body, in part due to the 200 bottles of Core Power milk UGBC handed out to any student willing to learn more about No Shame November. 

“We gave away all 200 of them, so at least 200 kids interacted—which is great,” Quinn said. “And then there are plenty more kids who didn’t take a Core Power but [who] interacted, so that’s always good.” 

UGBC took “before” polaroid pictures of male students who agreed to abstain from shaving for the whole month. At the end of November, the same students will take an “after” picture, Quinn explained. 

The table was also stocked with mileage tracking cards for students who agreed to walk or run 60 miles this month. Students that complete all 60 miles and turn in the card to the Center for Student Wellness will be given prizes. 

“And why 60 miles? “Because there are 60 male lives lost [to suicide] globally, every hour,” Kremer said.  

In the program’s inaugural week alone, the Center for Student Wellness has gifted more than 40 pairs of socks to male students who filled out a brief survey discussing the importance of mental health to them individually, according to Kremer. 

“The idea is if someone sees your socks and says ‘Hey, great socks,’ the idea is to again respond and say … ‘I got these because campus is trying to raise awareness around men’s mental health and wants us to be talking to each other,’” Kremer said. 

Along with the three large campus organizations spearheading the initiative, several other groups are advertising No Shame November, including the Black Male Initiative and the men’s hockey and basketball teams, Quinn explained. 

“The response was really great because we had so many different groups tabling with us,” Quinn said. 

Throughout the month, UGBC will continue to hold tabling events to check participants’ progress. 

“If a guy comes back with a little bit more facial hair, he can get a prize,” Quinn said. “And then if somebody comes back with mileage crossed off on their card, they’ll get a prize.”

On Dec. 1, there will be a final prize table run by UGBC. And at the BC men’s hockey game in Conte Forum that night, there will be a competition to pick the best beard in the crowd on the jumbotron. 

“There [are] more things to look forward to,” Quinn said. 

November 12, 2023