Over the course of my college career, St. Thomas received a makeover that most schools couldn’t dream up. From a state of the art fitness facility to the sparkling new student center, it was out with the old and in with the new.
As this multi-million dollar investment unfolded before my eyes, so did the opportunities to get involved. From fitness classes to bowling leagues, it was clear that St. Thomas established its own little world, and we’re lucky to be at the center of it all.
Unfortunately, the revamp proved to be a breeding ground for criticism. The stereotypes and labels seemed to multiply overnight. Suddenly, it was our new campus, above all else, that fed into the idea that St. Thomas students were rich, spoiled kids that have everything handed to them.
I thought it was ridiculous because frankly, they’re just buildings where we learn and grow and develop as students. Except for one, that is.
An Aveda Salon? Give me a break.
Hairworks was St. Thomas’ original beauty locale. The barbershop served predominately men on campus and shut down amid construction and renovation last November. When TommieMedia looked into the reasoning behind it, manager Zac Pease said he didn’t want to leave, but St. Thomas wanted him to purchase manicure and pedicure equipment for a whopping $15,000 to $20,000, an investment he just couldn’t make.
After Hairworks bowed out, St. Thomas went in search of a replacement and decided on St. Thomas alumnus Andrew Jurgens and his wife LeeAnn. Together they would open Estetica, a branch of Aveda. The salon offers services ranging in price from 25 to 70 dollars, payable by student account if you wish.
What I really wish, is for funding to be allocated to areas of our university that need it, like the dorms. Estetica is not a college necessity.
In my humble opinion, investing in a full-service Aveda salon is inadvertently fostering a reputation that we’ve denied for so long. The one that says, “We’re not superficial, we’re just invested in the students’ well-being.”
Does well-being include manicures and pedicures? Do foils and bangs benefit our lives as students? I just don’t buy it.
Some may argue that Estetica is about convenience for students living on campus, but there are more than 10 hair salons and barbershops within walking distance of St. Thomas. If well-being is at stake, then the walk would probably be a good thing.
Nails and hair are about aesthetics, just like the name of the salon denotes. By definition, it is “pertaining to a sense of beautiful” and while I am all for students taking care of themselves, I don’t think attaining beauty has anything to do with our college experience. That’s a personal choice, left up to us. We’re here to learn.
Carly Samuelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.