Meet Shivam Patel
Like all other ETSU students, Shivam Patel spent the last part of the spring 2020 semester at home connected to the campus via his laptop. The virtual world was not just his classroom; it was his campaign ground.
“During the process of campaigning for the SGA presidency, I had to spend most of that time using social media to get the word out about issues,” said Patel, who won the election and is currently serving as the 2020-21 SGA President.
“What meant the most to me about winning the election was that it showed that despite the challenges and changes our students were experiencing, they exercised their voices and backed a cause,” he said.
Patel says he has a passion for making change, and the opportunity for students to have a voice at ETSU is one of the reasons he says he loves the campus so much.
“I am very interested in policy, and one of the reasons I got involved in SGA was that students have the unique opportunity to have a voice at the tables of boards and committees and to tell the administration what the students want,” Patel said.
Patel added that it is important for all students to get involved on campus in some way. “You are not just one voice, because chances are that there are others who have experienced similar struggles, and you can help bring them to light.”
Currently in his junior year, Patel is studying health sciences and says he is a firm believer that health is the first step to happiness. Ten years from now, Patel hopes to hold both a Master of Public Health degree and an M.D. degree and to be working to address the health challenges in rural Appalachia.
Patel graduated from a high school in Morristown and notes that he was surprised by the cultural impact being made by ETSU.
“I was amazed by the different cultural groups embraced by this campus that demonstrated what diversity brings and how they felt included,” he said. “I was a name and not a number. People see differences and they embrace them.”