Mitchell/Khayat Announce Write-In Campaign For 2016 UPUA Presidency
At Wednesday’s final meeting of the 10th Assembly, current at-large representative Anthony Mitchell announced his write-in candidacy for UPUA president with running mate Zico Khayat. Mitchell’s announcement comes on the heels of a tumultuous campaign cycle headlined by leaked GroupMe messages associated with the Agnihotri/Fleming campaign ticket.
“We do not need to make Penn State great again — it’s already great,” Mitchell said after announcing his campaign during comments for the good of the order. “We just have to make sure we keep it that way.”
In the leaked GroupMe messages, Agnihotri/Fleming staffers suggested distracting Anthony in order to prevent him from receiving final signatures to register his campaign. However, Mitchell stated that by the time of said GroupMe messages, he had already decided not to pursue the presidency.
“I was planning on running for president for the UPUA, and throughout the two weeks of registration, I had some personal issues that were going on,” Mitchell explained why he chose not to run on a registered ticket. “My grandmother had been bedridden in the hospital, and I was doing some soul-searching within myself, and I didn’t feel that I was fully committed to running for office.”
Mitchell originally endorsed the Ford/Jordan ticket, but later rescinded said endorsement. “After things came out about what was going on in the GroupMe and once The Underground released the GroupMe messages and the screenshots, I didn’t feel comfortable endorsing Terry anymore, so I asked him and the campaign to remove my name off their list of endorsements and I rescinded my endorsement.”
Mitchell is currently a junior political science major with a minor in psychology.
“I’m excited about [my campaign], and I think that it’s needed,” Mitchell said. “I, as well as a lot of other students, don’t feel comfortable leaving student government in the hands of either Divy or Terry….these are people who are going to be representing us with administration, and if they win, then they promote a culture of ‘it’s okay to do all this, you know, shady stuff behind closed doors’ and they promote that culture among student government…I definitely will be pursuing office, so win or lose, I think that it speaks volumes that students are taking an active stance on this.”
“I thought about it, I prayed on it, I talked quite extensively with the folks that are on my campaign staff now, and we think that it’s in the best interest that we do it.”