Nicky Hinkley pulls up her blue-jeans leg to reveal short prickly hairs – hairs that have been growing about 25 days longer than they usually would in a given period of time.
Tim Love, a classmate and friend of Hinkley, says, “Damn!”
Then, pulling up his pants leg and displaying far furrier shanks, he says, “I’ve still got you beat, though.”
It’s only fair to mention that as a man, Love has never shaved his legs, while Hinkley normally shaves relatively often.
She hasn’t shaved her legs in a month.
“The first two weeks were not easy,” she says, laughing and putting her pants leg back down around her shoe.
Hinkley and Love are students in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program. Along with other students in the program, they participated in No-Shave November – a benefit for Crossroads Safehouse.
The men call not shaving their faces “facial hair with focus,” and the women who don’t shave their legs call it “legs for love.”
Staying shaggy for the sponsors
Ryan Barone, the Men’s Project coordinator for the Department of Women’s Programs and Studies, sponsored SAHE students in their scruffiness.
Part of what inspired Barone is his interest in traditional gender roles. “Who is supposed to shave, and who is not?”
On not having her new hair growing out in the open for anyone and everyone to see, Hinkley says, “We (women) have to show people we’re not shaving.”
She adds, “We get a little more harassment over it, too.”
“I’m supportive of anyone who’s challenging rigid gender roles,” Barone adds.
Also, though, Barone says the fact that the money generated by the SAHE students’ fundraising is going to Crossroads was a major factor in his sponsorship.
“One in three women will be the victim of an attempted or completed act of domestic violence in her lifetime,” he says.
Crossroads is often full, Barone says, despite the fact that not all victims of domestic violence report it.
“It’s important to have money and the capability to support (women in need),” he said.
Amy Staley graduated from CSU in May with a bachelor’s in social work and currently works at the Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley, a Longmont domestic violence shelter, as a women’s advocate.
She says during the holiday season, it’s particularly important for domestic violence shelters to receive donations.
“People are (in the shelter) with next to nothing,” Staley said. “Donations might help (a shelter) get gifts for people.”
Barone agrees, saying Crossroads is essentially like any other nonprofit agency, in that it relies completely on donations and grants.
“It’s hugely important to their operating budget,” he says. “They tend to need monetary support even more than volunteer help.”
‘An excuse to be lazy.’
No-Shave November, for most people, is not generally associated with any good causes.
Stroking a frothy, full black beard, Clint Galloway said, “It’s an excuse to be lazy.”
Galloway, a second-year SAHE student said he first heard of No-Shave November when his resident assistants participated.
“It’s never been an official thing,” he said. “It’s more like a campus-cult type thing.”
Jeremy Davis, also a second-year student in the SAHE program sporting a full light brown beard almost as long as the hair atop his head, agreed with Galloway on the origins of No-Shave November being “cultish.”
“Lots of people do it,” he said. “But there isn’t really a cause (usually) associated with it.”
Davis often found himself explaining his appearance over the course of November, he said.
“It’s been fun trying to explain this to other people,” he said. “It’s clear I haven’t groomed for some time.”
“Raising money by growing facial hair is an odd concept for most people,” he added.
In the SAHE system, the second-year students challenged the first-year students to see who could raise the most money.
“The losers are taking the winners out to dinner,” Galloway said. “(The first-year students) are getting crushed, unless they win the lottery next week.”
Love, who is a first-year student, says the contest isn’t over.
“We may have a secret weapon, but I don’t think we can beat (the second-year students),” he said.
“Bow down now,” Galloway, who raised more than $500 on his own, said to Love.
Galloway said to get so much money he “blitzed” every staff and faculty member he could find.
“People have been really supportive,” he added.
Participants found sponsors to pay them by the day or for the whole month of November not to shave. If a participant wanted to shave, he or she was obligated to pay $10 out of his or her own pocket.
“One of the (male second-year SAHE students) got paid to shave, his hair got so long,” Galloway said, laughing. “He didn’t want to.”
“I might not get rid of (this beard now that November is over),” Galloway said, admitting, though, that the facial hair has its drawbacks.
“I can’t sleep on my face anymore,” he said. “I used to sleep on my stomach with my face on the pillow, but that’s not comfortable (with this beard).”
Pay it forward
Despite raising more than $500, Galloway is not the participant to raise the most funds. Hinkley, who raised $200 of her own, said another second-year student in the SAHE program raised more than $800.
Galloway estimated through preliminary numbers that the group had raised about $1,960. And he expects to breach the $2,000.
“That’s only 15 people, too,” he said.
The No-Shave November participants are set to present a check to Crossroads Safehouse on Friday.
Recognizing a good thing when he sees it, Galloway muses that perhaps people could grow their hair out for charity more often.
“Moustache March,” he said, to the delight of Love, Hinkley and Davis.
Staff writer Geoff Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domestic violence facts from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
-Young women aged 16-24 experience the highest rate of domestic violence – 16 per 1,000 persons.
-In 2001, 85 percent of victims of domestic violence were women.
-In 2001, 20 percent of violent crime against women was intimate partner violence, compared to 3 percent of violent crime against men.