Before Kristopher Sharp even knew the final results of this month's student body vote at the University of Houston-Downtown, he learned that there was a petition circulating that was already demanding an election recall. The petition was simply the latest move in a remarkably vicious smear campaign against Sharp, a third-year social work major, who was seeking a place in the student body government along with Isaac Valdez.
Following a smear campaign targeting his sexuality and HIV status, Kristopher Sharp came out victorious in UHD's election for student body vice president.
Sharp had already had to deal with an as-yet-unidentified individual peppering the campus with flyers highlighting Sharp's HIV-positive status. "DON'T SUPPORT THE Isaac and Kris HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA," they read. But not only did the flyers out Sharp's health situation, they also pasted his medical records on the back of the papers, allowing the 14,000-strong student body a glimpse into a part of their peer's life that no one should have had. Graffiti later pockmarked bathroom stalls, urging students to avoid voting for the students who would bring "AIDS" to campus.
Now, during the weeklong vote, the pre-emptive petition began making the rounds. It was the latest salvo in the dirtiest election the campus had likely ever seen.More »