Students say thanks with Chicoine’s Mustache Day

President David Chicoine let out a quick but forceful laugh, making him lean back in his seat.

“About the mustache? I have no idea,” he said, referring to students’ peculiar obsession with his facial hair. “I guess people have to have some sense of connectivity—and I’m not real tall, I’m not real round, so it must be my facial hair.”

Nick Lorang, Students’ Association finance chair, thought its uniqueness and prominence were why students are obsessed with his mustache.

“I think it’s because he can pull off a mustache without looking like a 70s porn star,” Lorang said.

After more than nine years serving as president at South Dakota State, President Chicoine is stepping down. Lorang, with the help of other students, has helped to celebrate and recognize Chicoine for his, and his mustache’s, legacy at SDSU with “Chicoine’s Mustache Day.”

Lorang introduced a commemorative resolution at an SA meeting earlier this year to announce the event, reading: “President Chicoine’s mustache has long been lauded as an exemplary display of facial plumage and has been a fixture at South Dakota State University in its own right.”

Students will have the opportunity to experience how Chicoine feels by wearing their own adhesive mustaches on April 28, 2016. The Students’ Association declared this day as Chicoine’s Mustache Day, and thousands of mustaches were ordered so that students can wear them throughout the day. The mustaches can be picked up in The Union between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. that day.

Festivities will begin at 4 p.m. on the north patio of The Union to honor Chicoine and Provost Laurie Nichols’ work and dedication to SDSU. There will also be a “Mustache Crunch” flavor of ice cream served in honor of Chicoine.

Matt Dahle, former SA vice president, said students should celebrate Chicoine’s work because he will “go down in history as one of the most influential presidents” at SDSU because he’s been the head of an “absolute growth and rebirth” of SDSU.

“I think it’s really important for us as students to recognize and to really thank him in really a way that only students can—in a Chicoine’s Mustache Day and a fun tongue-and-cheek way of ‘Thank you President Chicoine,’” Dahle said.

Although Chicoine felt honored by the recognition, he feels like he’s just been doing his job.

“That’s all I’ve been doing,” Chicoine said.

Dahle said it is also important to recognize Provost Nichols for her work with accredited programs and classroom designs.

Provost Nichols said she was humbled and honored by the celebration.

“I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed working with students here, and being recognized by students is the ultimate recognition,” Nichols said.

Lorang thought the celebration would be an “appropriate” way for students to thank Chicoine and Nichols for their service.

“I’m a big believer in little acts of gratitude,” Lorang said. “And I see this as a really easy kind of way for us to recognize them and show our appreciation in a way that feels like it’s coming from students.”