LUU to introduce Afro-Caribbean hairdressers

The decision comes after a unanimous yes vote

afro caribbean hair hairdressers leeds LUU multicultural uni Union

Leeds University Union have agreed to introduce an Afro-Caribbean hairdressers.

The decision gained a unanimous yes vote at the Union’s November forum

Third year Lian Gooden campaigned for the cause after the current Union hairdressers refused to do her hair as they were “not insured”.

The campaign has been a long time running, with the idea first being suggested over two years ago with no action being taken.

Lian argued there should be a place in the Union where students of any hair type should be able to get their hair done locally.

She said: “I went to the Union hairdressers in my first year expecting to be able to get my hair done and was told that they weren’t ‘insured’ to do my hair.

“I was so confused and remain confused as to what they meant by ‘insured’ so I put the idea forward to have an Afro-Caribbean hairdressers in the union however as I was only 18 and it was my first year I was nervous so I didn’t have the courage to carry it through.

“Last year I went on my year abroad to Shanghai and when I came back I realised nothing had changed so this time I decided to follow it through and I presented the idea to 16 randomly selected students and members of different committees and societies at the idea forum and I explained that I felt that as a student at the university and a member of the union, I should be able to go to my student union and get my hair done as other students have the choice to do so.”

Education Officer Melissa Owusu also backed the campaign, saying: “I think it’s great that the Union now has policy on this. I know that to some people this may seem insignificant but it is so important to so many Afro-Caribbean students across campus.

“People too quickly forget the simple privileges that are afforded to them for having a European aesthetic. This is one small thing we can do on campus to combat this inequality.

“I really do hope more ideas like this are submitted to our forums in the years to come.”

Lian added: “At first I was kind of in shock and I didn’t think it was a big deal but I realised I’ve actually made quite a big difference to a lot of students at the uni.

“Now I won’t have to travel two and half hours back home just to get my hair done, or text all my friends asking if they know anyone at all that can do hair.”