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The Department of Student Wellness and Safety in the Richards Administration aims to increase access, quality, and equity in mental health resources on campus, promote student voice in conversations of safety and wellness, facilitate collaborative and intersectional work across committees and subdepartments, and chart a course of impassioned advocacy for the department as a new structure within student government.

It is the Department’s goal to unapologetically and unceasingly advocate for student health, wellness, and safety in every conversation and at every table, charting a new course for the Department within Undergraduate Student Government that will last beyond their individual tenures in Chapel Hill. The Department also recognizes the incredible work that students across campus have done and continue to do for student wellness and safety. The Department seeks to create intentional relationships, partnerships, and coalitions to amplify and support the work of students in other departments, branches, and outside of student government. Equity, access, and quality serve at the center of all of their work.

Meetings of the Department of Student Wellness and Safety are held weekly on Mondays from 7:00-8:00 pm in Greenlaw 104.

For all Student Wellness and Safety-related inquiries, please email



Department Initiatives for the Richards Administration

  1. Rebuilding and rechartering of the Mental Health Coalition.
  2. Analysis and dissemination of best practices for departmental support of mental health, inclusion, and peer support.
  3. Reform of training and accountability for sexual and gender-based violence within Greek life.
  4. Institution of internal USG policy for sexual harassment and violence.
  5. Improvement of resources for peer support within student organizations.
  6. Creation of student experience-informed policing practices including unarmed officer response and mental health crisis response teams.
  7. Reduction of stigma and greater awareness in discussing and accessing mental health resources.
  8. Improvement of nutrition and quality in campus dining services.
  9. Reform of uninformed notions of physical health and wellness in campus recreation and LFIT requirements.
  10. Advocating for additional social and emotional health supports in the context of COVID-19 impacts on campus.

Ethan Phillips (he/him)

Director of the Department of Student Wellness and Safety ||

Ethan is a junior pursuing a BSPH in Health Policy and Management and a BA in Public Policy with a minor in Chemistry. At Carolina, Ethan has served on the student government Mental Health Committee and the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor for two years. At the outset of the Fall 2020 semester, Ethan was selected by Chancellor Guskiewicz to serve as one of three undergraduate representatives to the Campus and Community Advisory Committee, where he advocated for equity and wellness in planning for the Spring 2021 semester. Outside of student government, Ethan is an advocate and housing team member at the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), a research assistant at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research (CHER), and an engagement manager in Consult Your Community (CYC).

Assistant Directors & Coordinators

Nada Panjwani (she/her)

Assistant Director of Mental Health and Counseling ||

Nada is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. As the Assistant Director of Mental Health and Counseling in the Richards Administration, Nada is currently working to create a Mental Health Hub at UNC which will allow students and faculty to have greater knowledge about the prevalence of mental illnesses and available resources.

Tyra Rubin (she/her)

Mental Health Awareness and Stigma Reduction Coordinator ||

Tyra is a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in sustainability and cognitive science. She is from South Africa but currently lives in Charlotte, NC.

Megan Wohlfarth (she/her)

Assistant Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and EOC Liaison ||

Megan is a sophomore majoring in Health Policy and Management with intended minors in Chemistry and Hindi-Urdu. Among other projects, Megan is passionate about increasing accountability for incidents of sexual and gender-based violence and harassment within the Student Government.

Joe Benson (he/him)

Assistant Director of Safety and Security ||

Joe Benson is a senior double majoring in public policy and statistics. Joe is passionate about how research and data intersect with meaningful change. Aside from academics, Joe enjoys a range of activities from being a whitewater guide to writing for several storytelling mechanisms on and off-campus.

Andrea Santiago (she/her)

Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Public Health Messaging ||

Andrea Santiago is a senior double majoring in Psychology and Public Policy, minoring in Education. She is passionate about health, accessibility, and community at Carolina, and values wellness, advocacy, and empowerment for all.