S everal student groups at the University of Colorado are trading in their pink breast cancer shirts for something a bit more manly this week.
Thursday morning, the men of Boulder's Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, CU's Student Veterans Association and a group of MBA students will kick off Movember, turning their upper lips into a billboard for men's health issues.
Movember -- a combo of "mustache" and "November" -- raises awareness and donations for prostate and testicular cancer initiatives through mustaches grown by Movember participants.
The atypical facial hair is intended to spark discussions about Movember and eventually lead people to Movember.com to donate through their favorite individual mustache or team.
Michael Rueb, who is leading the MBA students' Movember efforts, said the crazier the 'stache, the better.
"Crazy ones draw more awareness to the cause," Rueb said. "Let your face start the discussions."
Last year, Rueb said the MBA team raised nearly $2,000 on Movember.com, but donations aren't the only benefit of the growing campaign.
"Also, people don't look at us like we're as weird now," Rueb said. "They know what's going on now, which is good because when I first started doing this people just thought it was awkward."
In the past, Rueb has sported a soul patch with thin, angular "V for Vendetta" chops and a Hulk Hogan biker-esque handlebar 'stache, but this year he's recreating his favorite of the face designs -- the Lemmy.
The Lemmy, named for English Rocker Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, is a pair of mutton chops -- thick, extravagant sideburns -- that connect a mustache to the hairline.
"It was my favorite one so I decided to go back to it this year," Rueb said.
The men of CU's Student Veterans Association are hoping to provide some variety to their team's online profiley said SVA's Movember team leader Ben Purser.
The team sign ups will close tonight, Purser said, and then the men will determine who will wear what genre of furry face art to ensure variety.
"We are hoping to offer a high degree of ridiculosity," Purser.
After finishing his Naval service last year, Purser said this is his first chance to grow some crazy facial hair and he's having a difficult time deciding which genre to attempt.
"I was stationed in Hawaii for two tours so I'm kind of partial to the 'Magnum P.I.' style (a thick, traditional 'stache)," Purser said. "But I was also in China for a while so I thought about doing the Fu Manchu (a skinny 'stache with ends that hang off the face)."
The men of Boulder's Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity were planning to get together Wednesday night to shave their designs as a group.
Fraternity president Alex Flor said the group raised more than $5,000 last year during Movember and they're hoping to increase their contribution by 10 percent this year.
"I'm going to do the Fu Manchu because it's the funniest and manliest," Flor said.
Despite how manly the Movember participants think their funny facial hair is, the men said they realize their love lives could suffer.
"It's not the best thing for picking up ladies, but I think when you explain the cause to them, they understand," Rueb said. "I'd if you have a girlfriend make sure to tell her first and if you're single, then play the charity card."