Globally, on average, one man dies by suicide every minute of each day.
With such a powerful statistic, work had to be done to start advocating for men and finding a solution to this epidemic.
In 2003, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery created Movember. They wanted to bring mustaches back into the fashion trend and had ideas to tie facial hair into a philanthropic initiative. Movember prioritizes men’s mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. 20 years later, Movember has funded over 1,320 men’s health projects, has grown their Mo Bros from just 30 to 6 million, and is continuing to dive into men’s health research and identifying the best avenues to support men.
As a men’s organization, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is very invested in the health of our members. Men’s health is in crisis, and Movember is uniquely positioned to partner with the Fraternity to address it.
Each November, Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters around the country create a team to participate in raising funds and advocacy while growing out their facial hair the entire month. They really take “No Shave November” to a whole other level. Many chapters find different ways to support Movember through events on campus, and the Indiana State (Indiana Sigma) brothers implemented a new Movember initiative this year.
Tyler Ferrera (Indiana State ’26), the Service and Philanthropy Chairman, was approached by his chapter brother Chris Ellis (Indiana State ’25) about a Movember Run idea. With the connections Chris has with the Terre Haute community and SAE Alumni, he felt this was a good opportunity for the chapter to finally try something new and exciting.
Committee meetings were held every Tuesday starting in late August to get things up and running. They decided to host a Movember Week during the second week of November to raise as many funds as possible, with the Movember Run being the big event to wrap up the week. Chapter Services Consultant, Jake Harris (Central Oklahoma ’20), made sure they were thoroughly prepared by helping them set up a team through Movember’s website to accumulate donations. This donation link sat in their chapter’s Instagram bio, along with lots of promotion on their Instagram story. A Movember flyer was also published on their social media to communicate with Indiana State’s campus the activities they had planned for their Movember Week.
On Monday, November 6, hot chocolate was sold at the campus fountain at one cup for $2 or two cups for $3. Wednesday, November 8, “Pie an SAE” took place in the commons at one whipped cream plate for $2 or three whipped cream plates for $5. Thursday, November 9, was a chili drive located at the SAE house where Carter Kosiara (Indiana State ’25) made his own chili recipe that sold at $5 a bowl with some of the leftover hot chocolate for $2. Friday, November 10, was the last day of the Movember Week when the Movember Run occurred.
The brothers wanted the run to resemble the statistics about men and suicide rates, so they thought up the idea of participating in a 60-mile run. With 60 men in the chapter, the requirement was for each brother to pair up with one another for accountability and to run one individual mile. They had the entire Friday to complete their run, and video proof had to be submitted. Their videos were posted to social media to showcase what they were doing and the significance behind it.
In total, the chapter raised around $1,500, which was the amount Tyler hoped to accomplish. Thinking ahead for next year, they hope to partner with another SAE chapter within the state to raise more funds and create more commotion around communities and media.
“My favorite part about this Movember initiative was working with other organizations and promoting that we are more than just a fraternity; we want to help others and want that to be seen in everything we do. We wanted to really promote the service and volunteering we do and what being a True Gentleman is all about,” Tyler says. “As an SAE, a true gentleman is looking out for not just our brothers but anyone. Movember’s values align with ours, and that means a lot to us.”