Springfield, MO., Dec. 7, 2022 -Drury University’s campus bookstore now sells ethnic hair care products, an initiative started by three Drury students. Raven Haney, Serenity Sosa and Cris Cuevas are all sophomores and members of Drury’s Black United Independent Collegiate. They each share a passion for inclusion and accessibility and say they want to utilize their passions to enhance the student experience at Drury.
“There are not that many stores for black hair care in Springfield and it’s really difficult to get the products in stores, especially when there’s not that big of a selection,” said Haney. “We thought about what we could do that would be helpful to people on campus.”
So, they decided to bring the products to students. “These products provide people of color with the tools they need whenever they lack transportation or even money, because the campus prices are so affordable,” said Cuevas.
They worked with BUIC advisor Dr. Rosalyn Thomas, and other BUIC students, to choose the highest-demand products, most of which were sourced from local hair care shops. They also worked with Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd, to ensure the products were at an affordable price point.
“This is really about accessibility. It’s a big statement from the university that these products are not taxed or priced higher than the cost,” said Sosa. “Having that commitment from the university is so meaningful.”
The trio hope this initiative, and others like it, will be a welcoming sight for current students and possibly a deciding factor for potential students.
“Not only are these initiatives for us, but it’s for future Panthers to feel included. It means a lot more than people realize,” said Haney.
“For us, this is the beginning of things we want to do on campus to help raise awareness,” Cuevas added. “But more than awareness, it benefits people of color on campus and gives them more of the things they need to feel included and welcomed.”
The next project in sight for the students of BUIC is renovating the Findlay Student Center Diversity Lounge during the spring semester. This will be done in collaboration with Drury’s Student Government Association and other student organizations.
Pictured: Serenity Sosa (L) and Cris Cuevas (R)
Media Contact: Jasmine Cooper, Director of University Communications and Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or JCooper020@drury.edu.