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The Department of Student Wellness and Safety in the Vann Administration will be working in both the physical and mental health spaces to improve the well-being of students at Carolina. We intend to break down systemic barriers in receiving healthcare by ensuring students are able to easily and equally access resources for their mental health in a safe and comfortable environment. Our plans and overall vision for the department will directly respond to the voices of our student body by taking preventative and proactive measures to address any wellness or safety issues that may arise.

Physical and mental health are critical aspects in a student’s success and who they become. Student wellbeing is a priority that we will put at the forefront of our work every day. We plan to expand mental health and safety resources for students as well as create a thorough and detailed guide on where students can go for any wellness resource they need. Both mental health and sexual assault are primary focuses for us and we will work with the Administration to ensure the accessibility of these resources.

We also hope to cultivate a space where we encourage physical activity and self-care among students through both fitness and body positivity in a way that is healthy and comfortable. The Department aspires to advocate for student health through amplifying their voices and collaborating with other organizations around campus as well as Carolina Dining Services and CAPS.

Meetings of the Department of Student Wellness and Safety are currently not being held during the summer. When regular meeting times for the school year are decided, meeting times and places will be posted here.

For all Student Wellness and Safety-related inquiries, please email Co-Director Stevens (tafts@email.unc.edu) or Co-Director Shah (bhaumi@ad.unc.edu).


William “Taft” Stevens (he/him)

Co-Director of the Department of Student Wellness and Safety || tafts@email.unc.edu

Taft is a Honors junior Colonel Robinson Scholar majoring in Biology and Psychology on a pre-med track. Taft’s main passion surrounds mental health and the applications of mental health resources and advocacy on campus in Chapel Hill. He is starting a men’s mental health organization and podcast called “Men-tality,” which aims to provide resources, education, and connection to defeat men’s mental health stigmas through those means. Taft has been involved in the Executive Branch for two years, where he planned and organized events such as the Intersectionality Conference and stepped in mid-semester last year as an Assistant Director for First Year Experiences in the Department of Campus Life and Student Experience. Beyond these involvements, Taft aims to use his time as a Co-Director in the Department of Student Wellness and Safety to put the well-being of the student body at the forefront of UNC’s initiatives and community for all people of all places within UNC.

Bhaumi Shah (she/her)

Co-Director of the Department of Student Wellness and Safety || bhaumi@ad.unc.edu

Bhaumi is a sophomore Eve Marie Carson scholar pursuing a BSPH in Health Policy and Management, a BA in Political Science, and a Public Policy minor. She is a pre-law and an Honors student from Atlanta who is passionate about the intersection of public health and policymaking and how the government plays a role in the health of the people they serve. During the 2021-2022 school year, Bhaumi served on the Health Promotion and Public Health Messaging team within the Department of Student Wellness and Safety. Beyond Student Government, Bhaumi serves as the Director of Media for UNC American Mock World Health Organization and the North Carolina and Georgia associate for the non-profit Vot-ER.

 

 


Department Initiatives for the Vann Administration

Campus-wide Mental Health Reform

  •  Create a web platform that guides students on how to receive mental health assistance and resources
  • Centralize information regarding health insurance and legal rights as a patient
  • Create and lead a hiring plan for CAPS to bring the best mental health providers to students

Create a sexual assault resource hub where students can easily find information about what support is available and who to contact

  • Reform the sexual assault training modules and mandatory training for fraternities and sororities

Angel Shot Programming

  • Collaborate with local bars to publish a list of what the Angel Shot is and what bars/locations acknowledge it

Destigmatize what healthy bodies look like

  • Host an event/campaign spreading body positivity/neutrality at UNC to break down the stereotypes revolving around health, especially among college students and first years combating harmful messaging
  • Promote physical health and mental health in all different forms and varieties

Encourage physical activity in a positive and inclusive light

  • Host a wellness Olympics with a focus on mental health to encourage physical activity and self-care among students with healthy competition. We will cultivate a space where we learn that healthy doesn’t look the same for everybody and provide educational content about how to provide for your mental health during the year

Improve variety, quality, and nutrition of dining services

  • Provide more options for students who have specific dietary restrictions during religious holidays
  • Better rotation and more variety on a daily basis

Create an Interorganizational Mental Health Council

  • A council of select members from a large pool of organizations on campus where the members would serve as designated mental health advocates/advisors in the organizations.
  • To increase connection amongst the community, each representative of the respective organizations would come together to reflect in an open environment on options and ideas that have been taken in their own organizations for handling mental health issues that may have arisen.