Every Friday, the “BYU Boom Box Guy” can be heard throughout campus, blasting 80s and 90s tunes from the 15-pound boom box he carries on his shoulder.
People shout out or take pictures with him as he walks by, but for Ethan Unklesbay, also known as the “BYU Boom Box Guy,” attention is not his motive.
The Spanish major from Cincinnati, Ohio, explained the ultimate reason for the display is to bring joy to people’s lives.
Rachel Olsen, a recreation management major from Torrance, Calif., experienced this joy the last time she saw the BYU Boom Box Guy.
“It’s just funny because it’s Friday and he’s playing ’90s music, which is always good,” Olsen said. “You can’t be mad at someone for liking the ’90s. It always brings a smile.”
Unklesbay recently created a Twitter account under the name @BYU_boombox_guy to inform fellow students of his whereabouts and encourage interaction.
“What if people want to listen to a certain song?” he said. “They can send me a request on Twitter.”
The Twitter account is only a few weeks old, but Unklesbay hopes it will develop into something greater than just him and his boom box.
“If I can get a lot of people following, I want to move it away from the focus of being the boom box guy and get it focused on good things that you can do, like promoting a cause,” Unklesbay said.
He gave an example of tweeting reminders of events like Hemophilia Awareness Day.
“I have a friend that has hemophilia,” Unklesbay said. “He goes through a lot, and it would be nice to have more awareness of that so people can help out and understand.”
Unklesbay’s girlfriend of six months, Carli Hanson, an English major from Taylorsville, also believes in the power the boom box has for good.
She described an experience where she watched the boom box in action.
“We started a line dance in Brigham Square,” Hanson said. “All the EFY kids jumped in. It was great. The purpose of the boom box was fulfilled that day.”
Hanson also explained Unklesbay’s genuine motives.
“The thing is, he’s not really about being famous, he’s not about attracting attention to himself so that he can be popular,” Hanson said. “It’s so that he can make everybody happy.”
Unklesbay said he likely won’t continue the boom box tradition after graduating, but he will continue to help improve the world. He had plans to go into social work, but after listening to a recent talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he said he would like to go into adoption and help children who can’t help themselves.