Mustache competition brings out best, and worst

Erick Urquieta was awarded the “most stylish” mustache award in a competition during November. The mustaches spurred debate on whether underclassmen in the corps should be allowed facial hair.

Erick Urquieta was awarded the “most stylish” mustache award in a competition during November. The mustaches spurred debate on whether underclassmen in the Corps should be allowed facial hair. Darwin Carozza photo.

Over the course of the fall semester, many corps sophomores and juniors have chosen to grow out a mustache, generally considered a senior privilege in the Corps of Cadets.

But for the month of November, an exception was offered for sophomores and juniors within the corps as part of a “No Shave November” event, explained Erin Gats, 22, the regimental commander of the corps and a senior in communications from Livermore, Maine.

“Since mustaches are normally a senior thing, we extended the tradition out to the sophomores and juniors for the month of November,” Gats said. “Administration did not have an issue with this either, for the month of November.”

The Naval department also had a mustache challenge for the month of November, according to Jonathan Edwards, 21 a sophomore in computer security and information assurance.

Foxtrot company wanted to have a “No shave November” competition, according to Connor Wills, 21, a junior in studies of war and peace with a minor in German from Kiowa, Co.

“I wanted to get some company cohesion with something they could be proud about. I knew most already wanted to grow mustaches already, so I asked the Foxtrot commander if we could do a competition,” said Wills.

The competition included all Foxtrot sophomores, juniors, and seniors who wanted to grow a mustache for the month. The competition idea was sent up to the cadet colonel by a runner according to Michael Villa, 21, a junior in business management from Hopkinton, Mass.

“I approached the cadet colonel on behalf of the company and asked permission to do the competition and she approved it,” Villa said.

“The reason that the competition did not spread throughout the entire second battalion was because I wanted it to be strictly Foxtrot,” Wills said. He wanted the company to stand out amongst the others in the corps, and awards were given at the end.

“The winners were Jeff Wilkins for the creepiest mustache and Erick Urquieta was the winner for the most stylish mustache,” he said.

According to Gats, she saw some great mustaches and also some that did not look so great throughout the month.

“This one hundred percent boosted cohesion within Foxtrot company, said Villa, noting that, “even though not many participated, a lot of the members liked the event.”

Since the “No shave November” event took place, there is a move afoot among some of the corps maintaining that sophomores and up be allowed to wear mustaches, instead of just seniors.

“I feel they should because in the regular military you can have one as long as you’re not a recruit,” Wills said. “I don’t feel it should be an upperclassman thing, and to be honest I feel that having upperclassman privileges is silly. We could even just do it for November, just like we did this year. It would give us one more thing to look forward to during the semester.”

The regulation could be changed for all members of the corps to be allowed to have facial hair on their upper lip, but “would need to be monitored so that the grooming standards stay enforced,” said Wills.

The school could save time making the change to the regulation by just using the army regulation for grooming standards instead of making its own, which may cause confusion for some, according to Wills.

Everyone isn’t convinced.

“I feel mustaches should stay a senior thing except for the month of November for the purpose of ‘No shave November’,” Villa said.

According to Villa, the seniors have earned that privilege because they have been here for the full four years in the corps, and he said that rule should stay the same.

Others maintain that individuals are growing mustaches regardless of regulation, therefore, the policy should be changed to accommodate the trend. If they keep it well-groomed and professional looking, then some argue it should not be a problem. “I think juniors should also be allowed to wear a mustache as well as seniors because we are upperclassmen too,” Wicks said.

“I feel the grooming standards should change as far as mustaches are concerned to allow sophomores and up to be able to have one if they want to,” said Mikey Edwards, 21, a senior majoring in physics, from New Bedford, Mass.

“Juniors and seniors have their rings and most, if not all, the other privileges that the other cadets have, so I do not see a huge deal in letting others have the mustache rule apply to them, too,” Villa said.

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