Sept. 24, 2012 


Traditions, social norms and stereotypes are inevitable wherever we go, and when something goes against the grain, it makes people uncomfortable.

UVU has its own social norms, influenced by the dominant religion present in Utah Valley. The stereotypical male in Utah Valley is clean-cut and the stereotypical female is conservatively dressed. So what happens when a guy walks across campus with diamond studs in his ears, or when a girl shows up to class with a tattoo on her neck? Many of these “non-traditional” students feel judged because their appearance goes against the norm in Utah Valley.

Jack Waters, a former student, has the Bob Dylan logo tattooed on his right arm. According to Waters, his tattoo has sparked some interesting behavior across campus.

“I feel like an animal in a zoo,” Waters said as he recalled an instance when a student whom he had never met asked to touch his tattoo. “It’s dehumanizing.”