• Marion, Indiana

News for IWU’s Campus

Barber Shop Coming to Indiana Wesleyan

Beginning in the fall of 2024, Indiana Wesleyan will have a barber shop on campus for students. 

“In brown and black communities, a barbershop is a sacred space,” Jonathan Mpanzu, the Assistant Director of Multicultural Access and Retention for the Intercultural and Global Office said. “It’s a space of belonging and you come out feeling fresh and feeling fly and that’s something we want to be able to give our students.”

The idea of the barbershop, which was initiated by IGO’s Executive Director Mario Rangel and spearheaded by IGO, is to not only meet a need for students but also to provide a sense of community for students.

“Not only is it providing access to our students in terms of like a service, but it also helps with retention,” Mpanzu said.

Mpanzu said plenty of students go home weekly or biweekly for a haircut, and having a barbershop on campus may reduce that number.

Brian Weah, a student at IWU, said he goes to a place in Indianapolis to get his haircut.

“Since I’ve been a student here, I typically get my haircut every three weeks,” Weah said. “So the drive is like an hour and 20 minutes so for there and back it’s about a three-hour trip. 

The sense of community at his barber shop is what continues to bring Weah back he said. 

“We know each other, so there is familiarity,” Weah said. “That’s the thing about going to the barber, you know, it’s not always about the cut. I think a barbershop (at IWU) would bring a great community and it would certainly save me a lot of money.”

The shop will be located between McConn and the Hub in the three seasons room.

Kalib Kemper, the owner of FreshKuts in Marion will be the barber and will have reduced rates for students. 

“He’s still making a profit but also coming down and being able to serve our students and even though they don’t have a lot of money, they can still get a haircut,” Mpanzu said.

Mpanzu said the space will be available for students to come and hang out even if they’re not getting a haircut.

“Come get the service, chill and hang out,” Mpanzu said. “We’ll have couches, TVs, games, anything that makes someone even if they don’t want to get a haircut come in and hang out.”

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