The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 10th

UNC Student Body President candidate Calvin Lewis to focus on 'people, not politics'

Buy Photos

Calvin Lewis Jr. doesn’t get a lot of sleep.

A SafeWalk walker at least two nights a week from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., the student body president candidate also attends ROTC physical training three days a week from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

On top of that, last semester Lewis got a job as a bouncer at Top of the Hill on Thursday nights from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

“Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at sleeping for three to four hours and being perfectly fine,” Lewis said.

From an early age, Lewis said he was inspired by his mother, Anita Powell, to strive for excellence.

“I wanted to be a police officer at one point,” Lewis said. “My mom said aim higher. Then I wanted to be a firefighter, Mom said aim higher. And then I decided one day that I wanted to be president, and my mom said fine, go for it.”

Powell said Lewis will stop at nothing to excel at what he does.

“We all have certain gifts that God has given us,” Powell said. “C.J. has a gift for helping people on a political level.”

Powell served for 18 years as chief nurse for an army reserve unit, and Lewis said his serious demeanor might be a result of that.

“I am serious, but I don’t want people to think it’s the only thing about me,” Lewis said. “People that really know me would say that I’m talkative.”

Emily Lopez, Lewis’ campaign photo manager, said she has learned another side to Lewis’ personality.

“When I got to know him, I realized that he has a lighthearted part to him that’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Lewis said his campaign’s focus is “people, not politics.”

But the peace, war and defense major said he is also serious about accomplishing platform points.

“I want to make sure that we get it done,” he said.

As a freshman, Lewis was selected by the public safety committee of student government to be the program manager of SafeWalk, and later became the chairman of the committee.

Through an internship with the Department of Public Safety and his experience as an orientation leader, Lewis developed people skills, he said.

Junior Cory Deaton, Lewis’ “battle buddy” in ROTC who also works on his campaign, said the human element matters to Lewis.

“Calvin has a solid ideas,” Deaton said. “He’s very sincere about what he wants. It’s not about the title — it’s about the people.”

Lewis’ main goal is to involve more students in student government through partnerships with student organizations, he said.

“When students get to UNC and find that organization, that’s what they put all their time and attention into,” Lewis said. “If we partner with more organizations, we can effectively do things that students care about because we’re working with those organizations.”

Looking forward to the rest of the campaign, Lewis said he wanted a low-drama election process.

“Will (Leimenstoll) and Tim (Longest) are good candidates — this is going to be a serious election,” Lewis said. “I’m not going to throw stones first. I’m not going to throw any stones. I may dodge a few.”

Contact the University Editor at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel's 2022 Year in Review

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive