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BSU and SGA work toward hair equity on campus


Raena Doty / THE GATEPOST

By Raena Doty

Arts & Features Editor


The Black Student Union (BSU) hosted a meeting titled “Hair Talk with BSU & SGA” April 2. The meeting was hosted with the goal of gathering student opinion about inaccessibility to diverse hair care products on FSU campus and developing creative solutions to fix the issue.


The meeting started with Student Government Association (SGA) President Evelyn Campbell introducing why she reached out to BSU and what she hoped to get out of the meeting.


Campbell said she was made aware of the inaccessibility of hair products for Black hair types through an anonymous post on YikYak, and because SGA doesn’t have a diversity and inclusion officer currently, she reached out to BSU herself to see if she could find ways to address the problem.


She added some potential solutions are to create a hair care vending machine using a currently empty vending machine in O’Connor Hall or to expand The Snack Bar into including non-food essentials like hair care products.


Raffi Elkhoury, SGA vice president, also suggested working with the Rams Resource Center, and wanted to know what price students might be interested in buying the products for. He suggested potentially looking for donations from alumni, but added this solution may not be very sustainable.


One attendee said some FSU alumni have gone into creating businesses that sell hair products for diverse hair and it may be possible to partner with these businesses for donations or as host to pop-up shops to increase accessibility of these products on campus.


Antonne Tony, BSU president, prompted everyone in the room to go around in a circle and share their hair care routine or products they like, which also prompted discussion about what might be offered by the University if something like a hair care vending machine were to be made.


Some attendees pointed out that products other than cleaning products like braiding hair, bonnets, and hair picks would also be helpful.


Several attendees said braiding hair is especially needed because the nearest shop is a 45-minute drive from the FSU campus and sells hair at a more expensive price than other vendors.


Tony said access to diverse hair products is important for creating an inclusive FSU environment.


“If you’re really about inclusion, then you actually push the boundary to make sure we’re all included,” she said.


The meeting ended with a demonstration of a highly recommended product called the Unbrush from Kay King, BSU social media coordinator.


After the meeting, Tony said students of color at FSU waste time and money on basic needs, and FSU providing these needs would make the campus more equitable.


“Students consume a lot of time and money going back home or finding people or places nearby that could work or could not work,” she said.


Tony added she appreciated that Campbell reached out because it gave her an opportunity to talk publicly about this issue that students of color have been aware of for a while.


“I do feel like FSU overlooks issues like this. It may be small to them, but it’s kind of big to us,” she said. “I just hope in the future FSU uses this as a mechanism to really dive into if they’re really inclusive or not.”

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