A pop-up barbershop at Michigan Technological College boosts university student self-esteem
and a feeling of belonging by offering hair treatment for all textures.
It’s not wanting like a great hair day – snow pelts campus with slush blobs and sloppy
flakes, alternating with drizzle. But inside of Michigan Tech’s Wood Health and fitness center, in the repurposed
area which is been reworked into a barbershop, the only precipitation is spritz from
the spray bottle expertly wielded by Manny Hernandez of The Great Life Barber Lounge. The brilliant lights are on so is the audio. Consumers, who booked on the net in advance,
are submitting via the pop-up barbershop on the 50 percent-hour like clockwork, a procession
of shaggy befores and freshly styled afters.
In new yrs, Huskies who could afford the time and expense have been touring
98 miles to Hernandez’s shop in Marquette for a barbershop working experience that will help them
seem and truly feel their very best. Now Hernandez is coming to them. For him, it is a way to
present clientele far absent from their hometown barber with a common working experience essential
to their general perfectly-getting. For Michigan Tech, it’s a way to help college students come to feel at
property — an embodiment of the perception of belonging the University would like for every single Husky.
“Barbering is a culture,” suggests Hernandez. “There’s audio, positivity, excellent lighting
— a familiarity and comfortability. Which is part of my mission, to make them come to feel as
fantastic and relaxed as attainable.”
“To know that they can seem excellent and truly feel fantastic — that grooming for self-esteem is
so essential. I am happy to be a part of it.”
A haircut appears like a smaller matter until eventually you really do not have entry to a expert who
understands how to work with your hair. Some Huskies would go from August to Thanksgiving
split, hanging on till they obtained property to their regular barber. Other folks would get alongside one another
and slash every single other’s hair.
“I would go to Marquette to get a cut from Manny, or go couple and significantly among,” says Jamie Phillips. A student in the doctorate of physical treatment software MTU features in partnership with Central Michigan University, Phillips earned his bachelor’s
diploma in training science in 2016. “When I was an undergrad there was a male on the football staff that slice hair,”
suggests Phillips, a previous Tech goalie. “I’m very happy he (Manny) is here and with any luck ,
we’ll maximize the frequency of visits.”
Finlandia College learners are also welcome to indication up for appointments, says Chris Sanders, multicultural college student achievements coordinator and interim assistant director of the
Michigan Tech Center for Variety and Inclusion. “It’s a larger sized problem for the community, not just URM (underrepresented minority)
pupils,” states Sanders, noting that as Michigan Tech moves forward with its variety
and inclusion initiatives, need for services and opportunities that allow for all learners
to come to feel and do their finest in a arduous tutorial atmosphere will boost. “We want
to be prepared for that expanding group,” he adds.
A Husky-led Initiative
Supporting learners locate hair treatment for all textures has been an ongoing have to have at Michigan
Tech. A scholar-athlete’s discovery far more than a calendar year ago catalyzed the campus barbershop
“I went two and a 50 percent months with no a haircut when I came in this article,” claims Justin Davis.
“As a Black man, in our lifestyle, haircuts, the way we seem, our style is genuinely important
… When I never have my hair lower, I use a hat.”
The second-yr MBA college student and extensive receiver on the MTU soccer workforce learned Hernandez through a friend
in Marquette and reached out early on to seek strategies to convey the working experience to Tech.
The strategy didn’t materialize until eventually just lately, when Michigan Tech Vice President of Range and Inclusion (VPDI) Wayne Gersie went to Manny for his have haircut. “He reported, ‘We truly need to have
some thing like this at Tech,’” recalls Hernandez. And so the plan took shape.
“We experienced talked about it the past couple decades,” claims Alexandra Marshall, associate
director of home schooling. “This time, the timing was just suitable. It took place promptly. Wayne had Manny’s card.
We named that day and started out the ball rolling.”
The pop-up barbershop is especially uplifting just after the strain Huskies have felt through
the pandemic, Marshall states. “I want just about every student who walks in our doorways to really feel
at dwelling listed here.”
“Housing is all about neighborhood and earning connections. This was one particular of those people wins
we essential — to do the job on a job that lets us be back again to who we are.”
Micah Johnson, a to start with-12 months pupil from the Iron Array of northern Minnesota majoring
in mechanical engineering technologies, received the initial haircut of his college or university times in the pop-up barbershop. “It is a form of self-treatment,” he suggests, “but for me, the convenience is fifty percent the reason I
did it. If he comes regularly, that is effective for me!”
Sanders suggests the persons doing work on the undertaking are dedicated to creating it a long lasting
The barbershop initiative is supported throughout campus and includes grant funding for
long term devices. In addition to the VPDI’s place of work and Residence Instruction and
Housing Companies, supporters consist of Michigan Tech Athletics, the Vice President of University student Affairs and Dean of Students Workplace, and quite a few other MTU personnel and college customers who have set treatment and strength into
Both Hernandez and Davis say the biggest takeaway from the barbershop initiative transcends
scholar hair treatment — it’s showing Huskies the great importance of creating their desires clear
to the people who are completely ready to pay attention.
“Ask and connect what you want. You can previously notify Michigan Tech is right here for
their college students. And that’s not just similar to barbering,” Hernandez claims. “It’s related
to your practical experience here and your time listed here at Tech.”
For much more information and facts on barbershop dates and instances, look at out the MTU Centre For Range and Inclusion’s website and social media.
Michigan Technological University is a public study university established in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is house to much more than 7,000 learners from 55 nations all around the environment. Continuously ranked amid the most effective universities in the state for return on investment, the College features a lot more than 125 undergraduate and graduate diploma applications in science and technological innovation, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health and fitness professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is positioned just miles from Lake Top-quality in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula, giving yr-round options for out of doors journey.