September 5, 2023

Barbershop Opening in Student Center in September

Santana Pleasant Hopes to Use Clippers to Serve Campus

Barbershop Opening in Student Center in September


MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Saxon,, 301-860-3607

(BOWIE, Md.) – A Bowie State University student is opening a barbershop on campus and aims to give haircuts to everyone on campus, even those who may not be able to pay.

Santana Pleasant, a sophomore VCDMA major with a concentration in Digital Cinema and Time-Based Media, is looking forward to opening his barbershop in the Student Center on September 18 and giving students, staff and faculty the service of a fresh cut. The way he sees it, looking one’s best goes a long way towards optimal performance.

“When you look better, you perform better,” said Pleasant, who believes the principal extends into life beyond the classroom or workplace. “You have a better day, feel better about yourself and the people around you.”

For Pleasant, who started as a barber in 2012, his vocation is more than just a means to earn money and support himself. He believes he’s called to serve the community with his clippers and has history giving haircuts to those who need it most, regardless of their ability to pay.

“I’ve always been a community barber. That’s always been my thing since I started,” said Pleasant. “I do back-to-school events and displaced individual events all the time.”

And he wants to extend his services to students who don’t have stable housing or are stretched thin trying to take care of other basic needs and don’t have extra funds for a haircut.

“It’s such a big population of homeless students on campus, and they just don’t have extra money for things of necessity outside of the basic needs,” said Pleasant. “A lot of them are trying to survive and trying to still get good grades. I want to be of some assistance in a way.”

Before gaining space on campus, Pleasant was operating his barbering business out of a mobile trailer, which he purchased with his wife in 2020 in order to keep cutting hair after shops closed during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He conducted a barber pop-up at last year’s Torchfest, which caught the attention of Wade Henley, the associate vice president of Auxiliary Services. Henley talked with Pleasant about moving into the old barbershop space that’s located in the game room of the Student Center but had not been used for many years. With the help of Johnetta Boseman Hardy, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Pleasant was able to acquire a grant to renovate the space for operation.

“Entrepreneurship is about more than just making a profit, it’s also about finding and filling a need that serves the community,” said Hardy. “I’m proud of the fact that we have those resources on campus that allow our students to put those ideas into practice.”

With the opening of the barbershop, Pleasant not only looks forward to firing up his clippers, but also l to meeting new people and being able to speak with them and maybe share lessons he’s learned from life with some of them. At 31 years old, Pleasant believes he has a lot to offer his clients beyond a sharp line up, as barbers often serve as a listening ear for those that grace their chair.

“Being a barber, I’m also almost like a psychologist or therapist,” said Pleasant. “I like being able to meet people and talk about where they came from, what they’re doing and where they want to go.”

So, whether it’s a simple cut or if it comes with life advice on the side, Pleasant is eager to answer his calling and serve the campus doing what he does best when his barbershop opens.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about getting people the basic necessities that they need,” said Pleasant. “That’s always been my focus. It’s being a barber for the people.”


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit