by Cheryl Price
I was very sad to see Ossian's Hair Salon go. The business, owned by the Marlin family, had served UH above and beyond the call of duty for 29 years. Fantastic Sam's has a very tough act to follow.
Most people knew that Ossian's had always been very reasonably priced and very accessible to students. But what most people do not know is that the Marlin family had run perhaps the most supportive campus business of UH in spirit, if not in dollars.
Bobby Marlin quit pursuing his bachelor's degree here at UH to run the family business full time. He has always supported different campus organizations by providing prizes for campus events. He would he give away products, services and even cruises on the family boat. To my knowledge, he never turned down any student organization fund raiser and often helped fund campus events. He understood that part of being a campus merchant is serving the UH community, which is very rare around here. Just try to get anything from Black-eyed Pea or Pizza Hut, and you'll know what I mean.
While it's fairly easy to get businesses to sponsor athletics and other student activities, it is harder to get businesses to support academic services. The Marlin family have always been supporters of the UH Library. They even coordinated programs in which free haircuts were given all day for donations to buy books and magazine subscriptions. They have participated in many fund-raising efforts for other academic pursuits. I have never seen a campus business more voluntarily supportive to such a wide range of university needs.
Being a supporter of UH has made Bobby a true lover of education, and he has left the business to pursue that field. He would probably also like to spend more time with his beautiful wife and baby daughter. While the world could certainly use more educators like Bobby, what UH more desperately needs is more businesses like Ossian's.
Many area and campus businesses forget that if it were not for UH, they would not have any business. They do not support campus organizations or university programs, and are very surly and uncooperative if you approach them about it. Most surprisingly of all, most of these businesses either rent property or have contracts of some kind with UH, and UH keeps renewing these contracts. Although some of these contracts have stipulations that they support certain UH efforts, these businesses should go above and beyond what is in the fine print.
It's time that UH start looking out for its own interests, and kick out those businesses that are only here to make a buck.
I would like to thank Bobby and the Marlin family on behalf of all UH students for their many years of service and support. I wish you the best of luck in your future. You have made a shining example that all area and campus businesses should follow.
Price is a senior HRM major.