On Thursday, Mar. 16, I attended BMOC or “Big Man on Campus” – an event that left me laughing and incredibly thankful to be at a school that has events like this one. Eight of our very own Furman gentlemen put themselves on display, demonstrating various talents, showing off decorated bras, and answering both fun and serious questions – all to raise money for breast cancer awareness and education. Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority has supported this cause for many years, and the Furman chapter has done their part by creating BMOC for everyone to enjoy and make a difference. For such an important topic to be approached in such a fun but respectful way is truly powerful. As all the contestants said, breast cancer is very serious and impacts so many people. When one in eight women get this cancer, it is likely that almost everyone knows someone who has been affected; I can name three people just off the top of my head. Although many know the severity of cancer, more education is needed to demonstrate how disruptive it can be to people’s lives. As with any serious illness, both the individuals who are diagnosed and all their loved ones suffer to varying degrees. The physical, emotional, and even financial toll it takes can be detrimental. And while there are many stories of recovery, there are also limitless stories that do not have as happy an ending.
Until recently, I had no idea that BMOC was such a beloved and cherished tradition at Furman. After hearing about the incredible amount of money raised this year ($6,557 – which is a thousand over the original goal) and how much good this one event does, I started to think about not only what even more activities and events like this could do to support such wonderful causes, but also about supporting the social well-being of students on campus. It is events like these that bring people together and establish a sense of community that Furman prides itself on. Seeing such a large turnout for the event, I can only imagine how many conversations were sparked and how it may have brought people closer together – whether that be because they were rooting for the same contestant or because someone close to them has battled breast cancer. Having activities like BMOC or HAVOC, FUSAB's Halloween fundraiser, has proven to be wonderfully successful. The key ingredient I see here is the coming together of our student body to laugh, to enjoy each other’s company, and to possibly meet new people and spark conversations you may not have otherwise. Between the two events mentioned, over $50,000 was raised this year. As time goes on, I hope that we will see posters and announcements for more events like these.
Attending Furman is a privilege, and it can be easy to forget about a world bigger than ourselves. These projects get people focused and excited on something outside of our Furman bubble. It is a way to remind us, busy college students, that we can support something important to us on campus – and to not let the hustle and bustle of academics and extracurriculars take away from passions that look beyond the individual and to the group. Doing good for the greater world inevitably helps people feel accomplished and connected to those around them, so really it is a win-win situation for everyone.