Pop-up Barbershop Brings Custom Cuts, Care and Culture to Campus

Nancy J. Delong

A pop-up barbershop at Michigan Technological College boosts scholar self-esteem
and a sense of belonging by furnishing hair care for all textures.

It is not looking like a superior hair working day – snow pelts campus with slush blobs and sloppy
flakes, alternating with drizzle. But within Michigan Tech’s Wood Health club, in the repurposed
room that’s been reworked into a barbershop, the only precipitation is spritz from
the spray bottle expertly wielded by Manny Hernandez of
The Good Existence Barber Lounge. The brilliant lights are on so is the songs. Clientele, who booked on-line in progress,
are filing by means of the pop-up barbershop on the half-hour like clockwork, a procession
of shaggy befores and freshly styled afters. 

In recent decades, Huskies who could find the money for the time and price have been touring
98 miles to Hernandez’s store in Marquette for a barbershop encounter that helps them
look and feel their ideal. Now Hernandez is coming to them. For him, it is a way to
give customers significantly absent from their hometown barber with a familiar practical experience important
to their all round perfectly-staying. For Michigan Tech, it is a way to enable college students truly feel at
residence — an embodiment of the perception of belonging the University desires for just about every Husky.

“Barbering is a society,” states Hernandez. “There’s songs, positivity, fantastic lighting
— a familiarity and comfortability. That’s element of my mission, to make them truly feel as
fantastic and snug as attainable.”

“To know that they can seem excellent and experience superior — that grooming for self-esteem is
so significant. I am glad to be a portion of it.”Manny Hernandez

A haircut seems like a modest point till you really don’t have obtain to a experienced who
is aware how to work with your hair. Some Huskies would go from August to Thanksgiving
crack, hanging on right up until they received property to their standard barber. Other individuals would get with each other
and lower every single other’s hair.

A man gets a haircut in a barber's chair with the barber holding scissors behind him. He wears a cape that says Good Times Barber Lounge.
When he could not travel to a barber, former student-athlete Jamie Phillips would go
a long time concerning haircuts. The barbershop is a welcome modify.

“I would go to Marquette to get a slice from Manny, or go handful of and significantly between,” says Jamie Phillips.  A student in the doctorate of actual physical therapy system MTU offers in partnership with Central Michigan College, Phillips attained his bachelor’s
diploma in
exercise science in 2016. “When I was an undergrad there was a person on the football group that cut hair,”
states Phillips, a previous Tech goalie. “I’m extremely happy he (Manny) is here and with any luck ,
we’ll raise the frequency of visits.” 

Finlandia College pupils are also welcome to signal up for appointments, says Chris Sanders, multicultural student results coordinator and interim assistant director of the
Michigan Tech Middle for Variety and Inclusion. “It’s a more substantial concern for the group, not just URM (underrepresented minority)
college students,” suggests Sanders, noting that as Michigan Tech moves ahead with its diversity
and inclusion initiatives, desire for services and possibilities that make it possible for all pupils
to really feel and do their best in a arduous educational ecosystem will enhance. “We want
to be ready for that developing group,” he adds.

A man with crossed arms smiles with wooden bleachers in a gym behind him.
Chris Sanders suggests tasks like the pop-up barbershop enable construct neighborhood.

A Husky-led Initiative

Helping learners discover hair treatment for all textures has been an ongoing will need at Michigan
Tech. A college student-athlete’s discovery additional than a 12 months in the past catalyzed the campus barbershop

“I went two and a half months without the need of a haircut when I arrived here,” says Justin Davis.
“As a Black man, in our society, haircuts, the way we search, our design is really essential
… When I never have my hair cut, I don a hat.”

A young man wearing a Michigan Tech football shirt stands under studio lights in a wood gym.
Justin Davis allows distribute the word about Michigan Tech’s pop-up barbershop.

The 2nd-calendar year MBA college student and huge receiver on the MTU soccer staff discovered Hernandez by way of a friend
in Marquette and achieved out early on to search for means to convey the knowledge to Tech.
The notion did not materialize till not too long ago, when Michigan Tech
Vice President of Variety and Inclusion (VPDI) Wayne Gersie went to Manny for his personal haircut. “He explained, ‘We seriously require
one thing like this at Tech,’” recalls Hernandez. And so the program took shape.

“We experienced talked about it the earlier couple several years,” states Alexandra Marshall, associate
director of
home schooling. “This time, the timing was just ideal. It happened quickly. Wayne experienced Manny’s card.
We termed that working day and begun the ball rolling.”

The pop-up barbershop is primarily uplifting just after the pressure Huskies have felt for the duration of
the pandemic, Marshall says. “I want just about every college student who walks in our doors to truly feel
at house right here.”

“Housing is all about group and earning connections. This was 1 of all those wins
we desired — to function on a job that lets us be again to who we are.”Alexandra Marshall, MTU Home Training and Housing Providers

Micah Johnson, a to start with-12 months college student from the Iron Vary of northern Minnesota majoring
mechanical engineering engineering, obtained the to start with haircut of his school times in the pop-up barbershop. “It is a variety of self-care,” he claims, “but for me, the ease is 50 percent the reason I
did it. If he comes on a regular basis, that works for me!”

A young man gets his hair barbered wearing a cape with the stylist behind him.
Micah Johnson, new to the Keweenaw, appreciated the relieve of on-campus hair treatment.

Sanders says the people working on the project are fully commited to building it a everlasting
College giving. 

The barbershop initiative is supported throughout campus and incorporates grant funding for
permanent equipment. In addition to the VPDI’s office environment and Residence Education and
Housing Services, supporters involve
Michigan Tech Athletics, the Vice President of Scholar Affairs and Dean of Learners Office environment, and various other MTU team and faculty users who have put care and energy into
the energy.

The two Hernandez and Davis say the greatest takeaway from the barbershop initiative transcends
college student hair care — it’s demonstrating Huskies the significance of producing their needs apparent
to the persons who are all set to hear.

“Ask and communicate what you want. You can previously explain to Michigan Tech is here for
their pupils. And which is not just related to barbering,” Hernandez claims. “It’s similar
to your knowledge listed here and your time in this article at Tech.”

For a lot more information on barbershop dates and situations, examine out the MTU Center For Range and Inclusion’s web page and social media.

Michigan Technological University is a general public investigation college established in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is residence to more than 7,000 pupils from 55 international locations all over the planet. Continuously rated amid the best universities in the region for return on financial commitment, the University features extra than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree applications in science and technological innovation, engineering, computing, forestry, organization and economics, health professions, humanities, arithmetic, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is positioned just miles from Lake Top-quality in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula, featuring calendar year-round chances for outdoor adventure.

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