Phillips for bridging student and community

Jeff Pendleton and Jeff Pendleton

To a great number of BGSU students, the name Dan Phillips probably rings a bell.

Over the two years I’ve known him as my fraternity brother, I have come to see him as one of the most active members of the Bowling Green community, on campus as well as off. Involved heavily in Greek Life as a brother of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, a former Interfraternity Council President, numerous professional internships and in case you don’t know, he’s running for mayor of Bowling Green while simultaneously juggling the responsibilities of a student about to graduate; kind of a big deal.

Dan, currently in his fifth year attending BGSU and majoring in construction management, began petitioning in the spring of 2015 to present a student candidate to the Bowling Green mayoral ballot with the purpose of giving a voice to the student body of BGSU, whose population makes up over half the total population of Bowling Green while classes are in session.

Dan, along with other students, believes the students of BGSU have “an obligation, not only to ourselves, but to the community as a whole, to represent ourselves.” By the end of the 2014-2015 academic year, Dan had collected enough signatures to put his name in the mayoral race, as well as recruit a campaign team entirely staffed by BGSU students including fellow SigEp brother Devin Aller, who is acting as Dan’s campaign manager.

What I find unique about Dan’s campaign is its focus on students like us.

For example, all campaign funding is generated from within the student body and the University. While other candidates receive campaign funds from businesses and sources outside of Bowling Green, Dan seeks to avoid taking these kinds of endorsements and funds his campaign exclusively through donations.

Some of his major campaign platforms include enacting projects to restore the older homes around campus in order to provide improved living conditions for students and residents alike, environmental sustainability initiatives, building community relations among BG students and residents, as well as bringing more business opportunities and industry to boost the economy.

In Dan’s own words: “I am working to shift the view of mayor from the traditional chief community problem-solver to a more dynamic and useful purpose. I believe the mayor should be a catalyst able to connect the people and build consensus within the community as a whole. After all, that’s what this is all about, connecting the community and including everyone in the conversation. One of the great things about running as an independent is that I have no party lines to work within. No one to please other than the people in our community as a whole.”

Despite having goals and ambitions for the city, Dan is still a student at his very core, one of us. If elected mayor, we would have a major voice in the decision making of Bowling Green’s local government, driving policy on campus as well as off.

As a student of BGSU, I care deeply about the University and this city as it has become as much of a home to me as my own birthplace. I think it’s safe to say if Dan Phillips is elected mayor, the improvements to the quality of life in Bowling Green for its residents and students have no limits. Snappy, you have my vote!