St. Edward’s Hall residents sport mullets in support of malaria prevention
J.P. Gschwind | Friday, November 13, 2015
Mullets are making a comeback, at least for the men of Saint Edward’s Hall.
Mullets Against Malaria, an annual fundraiser for the dorm, officially launched on Thursday night when two barbers gave mullet haircuts to 33 residents of St. Edward’s.
This year’s event director, sophomore Parker Mathes, said the fundraiser allows the St. Edward’s community to come together to support malaria prevention and include the entire campus in gaining donations and publicizing the damage malaria inflicts throughout the developing world.
“We get mullets as a way to get people’s attention and raise awareness,” Mathes said.
According to the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 198 million cases of malaria world-wide in 2013, resulting in 584,000 deaths.
Mathes said the money raised by Mullets Against Malaria goes directly to Nothing But Nets, United Nations Foundation initiative that focuses on malaria prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the organization’s website, Nothing But Nets works with partners like UNICEF, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the WHO and others to buy mosquito bed nets and supply them to African countries.
This is only the second year of the fundraiser, Mathes said, but it hopes to build on the success of last year’s campaign, which raised $3,493 through the funding site YouCaring. The goal for the current campaign is $5,500 and donations are being accepted through GoFundMe.
In addition to the mullets, Mathes said St. Edward’s is raising awareness by selling shirts for $15, which after covering overhead costs, sends $3 per shirt to Nothing But Nets.
“The shirts aren’t a huge money-maker, but they’re a great way of getting the word out there,” he said.
Mullets Against Malaria may not be a long-standing tradition, Mathes said, but it has already generated a lot of enthusiasm in its first two years.
“The off-campus seniors came up with this idea,” he said. “They didn’t really like the current fundraising project and they were growing mullets out at the time, and so they wanted to find a way to link it together.”
Mathes said participation has grown from 15 students last year to 33 this year, reflecting an effort to establish Mullets Against Malaria as an event that St. Edward’s will host for many years to come.
In order to cultivate the ideal mullet, Mathes said, students need to start preparing early, so over the summer St. Edward’s president junior Griffin Hilly and vice president junior Brandon Ruggles sent out a video to all hall residents explaining the mission of Mullets Against Malaria and encouraging freshmen in particular to start growing their hair out before the actual campaign.