If you happened to be on campus on June 22 for freshmen orientation, you probably saw a man running around in yellow sweat-shorts and goggles. Without a closer look, this man could be dismissed as a jogging fanatic, a sartorially challenged aerobics instructor, or perhaps a theater or chemistry major.
These logical assumptions, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. The person you saw is PlusMan, UVU’s newest (and possibly first) superhero.
This reporter was lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with PlusMan. And although it was over the phone — to protect his identity — a few telling facts about his life trickled out through conversation.
PlusMan is a regular student at UVU by day. He said that his inspiration to transform into a superhero took place at the Bookstore this summer. He was making a purchase, digging through his oversized wallet for coupons and cash, when the cashier informed him that he could make this simple by just using his Plus Card.
According to uvpluscard.com, UVU is transforming its regular student ID into a multiuse UV OneCard Campus ID. If students want to use this same card as a Visa debit for use with a checking account at UCCU, they can opt for the UV OneCard Plus.
The hint from the cashier about how much simpler his life could be was an epiphany for PlusMan. “That’s when it dawned on me, man. I was like ‘I don’t need all this. … I just need my Plus Card.’ And I … thought of some of the poor schmucks that were behind me and I thought, ‘So many people don’t know that they don’t need all this, that they can just use the Plus Card.’
“That was the impetus.”
With that, a regular university student became a superhero. He mentioned that balancing the life of his secret identity and the life of PlusMan can be difficult, but “luckily my secret identity is very boring.”
So far he has met mixed reactions from students. “I definitely feel that people are intimidated by me. Like one time I was addressing half of the marching band — I could definitely see the fear in their eyes.”
In the future, you can expect people to react in a much more appreciative way toward PlusMan. He’s planning on using his student loans to pay for card-carrying students’ lunches or even textbooks. He won’t give a schedule of these events, insisting that they are random, but says that if he sees “someone making a purchase … I’ll go up to them and say, ‘Yo, are you making a purchase with your UVU PlusCard?’ and they’re like, ‘No, I’m just doing cash,’ I’ll be like, ‘Alright! Cash on! Lose your money.’ But then if they’re going to use their Plus Card I’ll … just swoosh right in there for them.”
Another reason PlusMan is so excited about the UV Plus Card is that it works with a credit union instead of a bank. His father, a retired banker, suggested that he work with a credit union because “they’re not trying to get those fees from you and stuff.”
Starting August 4, PlusMan is planning on starting a blog at IAmPlusMan.com. He plans on posting about his day-to-day rituals and many adventures. “For example, two days ago I ran out of yogurt … Luckily I had my new UVU Plus Card, shot down, got myself some yogurt. Crisis avoided.”
A prevalent trait among superheroes is that they fight something. This is usually something like crime or injustice. PlusMan states that he’s fighting “unawareness.” In talking to him, it’s easy to get the feeling that seeing a student with a bulging wallet full of cards and multiple bank accounts really breaks his heart.
As for PlusMan’s ultimate message for UVU students? “Get away — get out from under all those cards and all the craziness that comes with … two banks accounts and … sixty credit cards. You don’t need it! Free yourself up. That’s my ultimate message. Free yourself up, man!”
PlusMan is still fighting to become more than just an unofficial spokesman, but authorities still see him as a “wild card.” For now, he asks students to “Go forth and plus.”