University police officers are participating in No Shave November to raise money for Colleges Against Cancer’s annual Relay for Life event with all proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society.
Chief Frank Fernandez of public safety explained that officers are not normally allowed to have facial hair as part of public safety’s code of conduct, but officers were allowed to ditch the razor for the month of November if they made a $30 donation to the cause. Because campus closes for winter break, officers could make an additional $20 donation to keep their facial hair for the rest of the year.
With donations from nine officers, public safety was able to make a $310 donation to the American Cancer Society through Colleges Against Cancer, a campus organization that focuses on bringing cancer awareness to college campuses.
Fernandez said officers Jamie Casto and Guillermo Zarate came up with the idea for the fundraiser.
“They approached me last year, but it was like the middle of November,” Fernandez said. “I didn’t want them to make donations for just a couple of weeks; it takes me a week just to grow something. So I told them we would do it next year, and here we are.”
According to Abbey Rutschilling, programming coordinator with the Office of Student and Community Engagement (SCE), Fernandez contacted the SCE for suggestions on which campus organization to donate the money to. Rutschilling and Christa Serluco, associate director of university programming, connected Fernandez to Colleges Against Cancer.
“I asked Abbey, ‘Do we have any organizations that work with the American Cancer Society?’ and we found [Colleges Against Cancer],” Fernandez said.
Anita Seeholzer, co-president of Colleges Against Cancer alongside Carly Messina, said the organization has tried to do No Shave November fundraisers in the past, but they haven’t worked out.
“With Thanksgiving and everything, we find that people go home and they shave because they’re going home for family events,” Seeholzer said. “So I thought it was very cool when [Rutschilling] reached out to us and said that [public safety] was interested in doing it since this is the first year we haven’t tried to do it.”
Fernandez said he hopes to continue the fundraiser in coming years and eventually invite other departments to join the fundraising effort.
“Even though there’s some other departments that don’t have our [facial hair] policy, I want to reach out to them at least to donate,” Fernandez said.
The donation from public safety will be the first donation to Colleges Against Cancer’s Relay for Life Event, which will take place in the Cap Center Saturday, April 6 from noon to 3 a.m. The donation will be incorporated in the total that Relay for Life raises.
“We’ve done other activities during the semester, but this is kind of the jumpstart to get people signed up [for Relay for Life],” Seeholzer said.
Colleges Against Cancer held their kick-off registration event for Relay for Life Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. where students could register for the event at a discounted rate, help make tie blankets for Hope Lodge in Cleveland, and begin sending fundraising letters to family and friends.
Students can register for Relay for Life by going here.