Nearly 200 men on Gustavus’ campus – including about a dozen athletic teams – are sporting mustaches as part of Movember, raising men’s health awareness.

No, it’s not a mustache-only gang (although that’d be a sweet clique).

And it’s not Burt Reynolds look-alike month. Well, at least not intentionally.

Yes, while the number of mustachioed men on Gustavus’ campus has grown exponentially in November, the fellas on the hill are doing it for all the right reasons.

About a dozen Gustie athletic teams, plus the athletic department and others have teamed up to sport ‘staches – no matter how they look with upper lip hair – for the month of November as part of Movember, a muzzy movement that pushes the oftentimes taboo topic of men’s health into everyday conversation.

Left to right: Asst. Athletic Director Jared Phillips, hockey player Joey Olson, tennis coach Tommy Valentini, and tennis player Patrick Dolan.

That means just short of 200 men across the Gustie grounds have upper-lip hair, even if every other month of the year they’re clean shaven. The hope is that a month after breast cancer gets national awareness, men’s battles against testicular cancer and prostate cancer can be discussed and understood to a greater degree.

“I think people are buying into the cause, despite how goofy people look with a mustache – it’s about something bigger than personal appearance for a month,” said assistant athletic director Jared Phillips, who kick-started the international movement for the first time on campus.

From the men’s hockey team, to the nordic ski squad to the hoopsters – Gusties are letting things go above the lip.

“I didn’t start this here because I wanted to see myself in a mustache,” Phillips said, laughing. “I’m a big hockey fan and the NHL has participated in Movember a couple of years now, and I wanted to bring it to campus … It’s weird but we’re already thinking of how to make it a better event next year.”

While Movember members are supposed to enjoy their final shave on Oct. 31, Phillips needed a huge head start.

“I’ll be honest. I cheated,” he said. “I started two weeks early because I needed all the help I could get. I don’t look good in a mustache. Students keep telling me it looks good but I don’t believe them.”

Interested in donating to Gustavus’ movement? Click here.

And if you haven’t been following how the five WCCO faces are doing in their mustache efforts, click here.