The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 1st

Chatting with Mr. UNC candidate Russell VanZomeren

Russel Vanzomeren

Russell VanZomeren is hoping to bridge the gap between students and student-athletes at UNC.

The Shelby native is the public relations chairman for Carolina Fever. 

“I think a lot of the times people get here and they see the athletes and they feel like it’s an entirely different club,” he said. 

“As Carolina Fever, I like to think that we’re all on the same team — we’re supporting these athletes not only on the field but also we’re trying to get to know them outside of the gameday atmosphere.”

VanZomeren is double majoring in history and peace, war and defense. 

In addition to his studies, he is an orientation leader on campus, and he also works with UNC Campus Recreation.

But like a true fan, his strongest loyalties lie with Carolina Fever.

“I got involved my freshman year just like anybody else gets involved — I started going to events, collecting points,” he said. 

“After one year here, I realized that I was horribly uninvolved in campus life. So I applied to do the Carolina Fever thing — luckily I got it — and the rest is history as they say.”

Whether or not he’s chosen for Mr. UNC, VanZomeren said he wants to do his service project either way.

“I told myself that if I was going to run, that I had to make a promise to myself that I’d do the service project either way,” VanZomeren said. 

VanZomeren has started a funny Twitter account and promised he won’t take the campaign too seriously. 

“For me, I want to make a difference either way,” VanZomeren said. “The Mr. UNC thing would be good for me because it can raise awareness for the things that I’m passionate about, but at the same time I know that there are four other candidates all with great platforms and every one of us is hopefully going to take these projects out into the world and do it.”


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