Ethan Phillips’ first day at UNC was pretty ordinary. At 18 years old and wearing a mismatched outfit, he ate his first meal at Chase Dining Hall, walked around campus and took a photo with his new suitemates.
Phillips said he had no idea that just a few years later, he would run for student body president.
“I remember it feeling foreign and that there was so much going on,” he said. “But at the same time felt like I knew this was my home. I was ready to spend the four years here.”
Before those four years are up, Phillips hopes to make a lasting impact by becoming the University’s next student body president.
Phillips is a junior from Fairfax, Va., majoring in health policy and management. From the moment he stepped foot on campus, he wanted to continue his mental health advocacy work, which he said he began nearly a decade ago.
This work has led to roles on the Undergraduate Student Government mental health committee and the student advisory committee to the chancellor.
Phillips currently serves in the Richards administration as the director of the Department of Student Wellness and Safety. In this role, he’s led a team that has worked to support student mental health, sexual violence prevention and safety.
If elected as student body president, Phillips said, he plans to expand upon these efforts. His platform includes initiatives aimed at hiring more therapists at UNC Counseling and Psychological Services, integrating wellness training more broadly on campus and increasing flexibility for classes during the pandemic.
He said recognizing the different wellness needs of students will be a large part of his work on student government if he is elected.