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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

SEA shaves for the environment

Published: March 27, 2009
Section: Front Page

Off with their beards: Amy Thompson ‘11 shaves the beard of Daniel Orkin ‘10 in order to raise money for GOAL at a SEA coffee house on Monday.<br /><i>PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot</i>

Off with their beards: Amy Thompson ‘11 shaves the beard of Daniel Orkin ‘10 in order to raise money for GOAL at a SEA coffee house on Monday.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

A bearded David Azer ’11 sat on a lone chair on the Chum’s stage. His hands were on his knees as he prepared himself for the fate that lay ahead of him. Azer, who had left his facial hair untrimmed or shaved since the beginning of September, was about to meet his maker—an electric razor in the hands of Dan Levine ‘11 and Rachel Wolfman ’11.

After the shave, all that remained was a mustache and soul patch.

But Azer was not letting go of his facial hair of seven months for kicks, but rather, for the environment. Azer was one among seven men who offered to sacrifice their beards in return for donations at the Students for Environmental Action (SEA) coffee house on Monday.

At the coffee house, SEA collected donations for Green Opportunity Action Leadership (GOAL) Network, a not for profit started by Brandeis students to connect inner-city kids with the burgeoning green job market, whenever donations passed a certain amount of money, a beard would go.

A total of six beards were shaved at the event, with the first three beards to go belonging to James Bartolacci ’11 , Ryan McElhany ’10 and Daniel Orkin, ’10, coming in at $25, $50 and $75, respectively.

McElhany was nonchalant about the procedure, saying, “I needed to shave at some point,” however, Bartolacci saw things a little differently.

“I’m a little nervous,” he said pre-shave. “I haven’t had no facial hair since senior year of high school,” he said.

Post-beard, however, he said it “didn’t seem so bad. I feel a lot lighter in my face.”

The honor of shaving a beard was granted to either the highest bidder or a volunteer.

Amy Thompson ’11 had the honor of shaving Orkin’s beard. Thompson, who performed with her improv group Bad Grammer earlier in the night, left Orkin with half a beard.

Thompson’s “artistic vision” was inspired by one thought that crossed her mind as she began, when she thought to herself “maybe I’ll just stop half way through,” she said.

While the most expensive beard—that of Dan Levine the Hillel Coordinator for Israel Engagement, but perhaps better known as the Birthright guy – was priced too high to get shaved, Levine still was able to play a key role in Azer’s shaving.

Though Rachel Wolfman ’11 a member of Starving Artists, who had performed just minutes before, started the process of shaving Azer’s epic beard, the task proved too daunting for one without any experience in beard maintenance.

Levine provided guidance, but was eventually left to tackle the beard on his own. “It was wonderful,” said Levine. “I’ve known him for a really long time, it was really a treat…I’m proud I could be part of [this].”

Matt Schmidt ’11 and Jonah Seligman ’10 also donated their beards to the cause at $100 and $150. Six beards and $215 later, SEA had more than met their GOAL.