Student runs for mayor, looks to build relations with community

Michele Mathis and Michele Mathis

Dan Phillips, a fourth year construction management major, began his candidacy for Mayor of Bowling Green on April 26.

Phillips said he possessed the types of leadership qualities from the very beginning as he developed from an Eagle Scout to serving in a student leadership position on Interfraternity Council.

Phillips serves as an active member in the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon.

“[Greek life] has positioned me very well to do the things I want to do,” he said.

Devin Aller, a former Interfraternity colleague and personal friend of Phillips, said to his character, “Dan’s a go-getter kind of guy.”

Aller will be looking into participating in-depth with Phillips’ campaign as a possible campaign manager.

“I’m ready to see how the community reacts to seeing a college student being involved in city government,” he said.

The beginning conversation about running for mayor came from a group of students, Phillips said.

“There was a group of students…there was a conversation about student involvement in the city. Over time, the conversation started to develop to, ‘Well, maybe we could do something about this, maybe we can get a little more involved,’” he said.

Phillips is excited to be focusing on merging the city and campus together.

“We don’t represent ourselves the way we should be,” he said. “Students should see that there is a need to represent themselves.”

Phillips explained that the community does a lot for the students, but the students don’t necessarily appreciate it.

“We need to show that we do care and it is important to us…. Students are only here for 9 months out of the year and that’s [only] for 4 years. One could argue that they’re not affected by what goes on in the cities, but the fact of the matter is, that’s entirely false,” he said.

The campaign will begin with Phillips looking into how he can “build the bridge” between the community and the University.

“[This] campaign is a call to action,” he said.

Phillips urges that his candidacy is coming from a “friendly and loving” place.

“We intend to be better,” Phillips said.

He is running against two other canidates, Kelly Wicks and current mayor Richard Edwards.

Wicks said a student-launched campaign is speaking to the idea that there are voices that feel like they are not being heard, and the Wicks campaign will stay positive.

“Our campaign encourages those to stand on their own merit,” Wicks said.

Wicks will taking advantage of the warm weather to outreach to the community and to look heavily on campus as well.

“When I say this community, I mean everybody,” he said. “I am counting on voters to look at the three candidates and make the best decision for Bowling Green.”

While the Wicks campaign continues, Phillips’ is just getting started.

“He’s going to be that guy that stays up late,” Aller said.

Phillips will be officially signing into ballet tomorrow morning at the courthouse.