Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity goes bald for a cause

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Photo by Collin Nawrocki

Carlos Nunez has his head shaved during the Bald a Beta event.

November means it’s time for “No Shave November,” where people are encouraged to embrace their hair and let it grow for the month. But for the Marquette Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, they’re doing the opposite, and for a good cause.

Nov. 19, the Betas held their annual “Bald a Beta” event at the Alumni Memorial Union. Every November, the group asked people to donate money in the name of the brother that they want to see get their head shaved bald. The member who raises the most money in their name goes bald. Then, all the money donated will go to the winning brother’s charity of choice.

The Betas, a predominantly Latino fraternity, follow four pillars: community service, scholarship, cultural awareness and brotherhood. For Izaac Mendoza, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and the recruitment chair and co-vice president, the pillars are always a major focus with their events.

“We like to base our events off of those to show why we hold values to such things,” Mendoza said. “This is community service cause we’re giving back to charity. It’s little things like that that can go a very long way.”

This year’s Bald a Beta event raised $1,694.71. The competition of who was going bald got very close, with the difference between the two Betas who raised the most money, Carlos Nunez and Luis Navarrete, being $27. In the end,  Nunez, a junior in the College of Communication, as well as the Marketing Chair for the fraternity, came out on top with $768 donated next to his name.

“Going into it, I knew that I had a big target on my back. It was cool to see alum and other students pitch in to see me go bald,” Nunez said. “Unfortunately, it kind of sucks for me to lose my hair, but it’s all for a good cause anyway.”

Nunez said that the charity he will donate the money toward “No Shave November,” an organization that helps fight those battling prostate cancer and help other learn about it. He believes that organizations like the one he is donating to are important because it educates men on their bodies.

“Prostate cancer is a thing that men don’t really talk about. Our fraternity tries to bring light to things that men aren’t really supposed to be talking about, whether it would be toxic masculinity. It was just cool to bring awareness to something that’s not really thought of,” Nunez said.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.

Despite his mixed feelings of having to shave his head, Nunez knows just how to deal with it while he waits for his hair to grow back.

“I already wear fitteds (hats) with side patches, so that’s already a plus. So hopefully they still fit with my poofy hair being gone. But I am gonna be rocking a durag for the first few days, just to make sure no one can see the tight skin,” Nunez said.

Bald a Beta is usually the last event the Betas hold during the fall semester before finals and winter break begins. Edgar Mellin, a senior in the College of Business Administration and the president of the Betas, said they are wasting no time getting prepared for next semester’s events.

“For sure next semester, we’re probably gonna start it off with a dance with another organization, maybe Paso a Paso, it’s in the works,” Mellin said.

Mellin has been president of the fraternity for two years, while part of the organization since he was a first-year. And in the time with the Betas, he explains just how much he’s grown.

“I was just always doing me, doing my own thing. But once I joined this organization, it really got me out of the shell and gave me all the traits I need to become a leader. It’s really changed me to be the man I am here,” Mellin said.

As his time with the Betas will soon come to an end, Mellin believes it will be in good hands when he graduates.

“I have complete faith in my brothers. I’m confident that we’ll get events going. The quality of the events will be even better,” Mellin said.

To learn more about future events with the Marquette Betas, check out their Instagram @marquette.betas, as well as their Facebook, Marquette Betas.

This story was written by Rashad Alexander. He can be reached at rashad.alexander@marquette.edu.