University of Houston-Downtown student victim of personal attack on campus

Student's sexual orientation, HIV status targeted in flyer

Author: Keith Garvin, Anchor/Reporter, kgarvin@kprc.com
Published On: Mar 22 2013 11:08:42 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

A student running for vice president on the University of Houston-Downtown campus has become the victim of a slanderous personal attack.

Mudslinging has become almost the norm in political contests, but what's happened to Kristopher Sharp has launched a criminal investigation.

Political campaigns can get tough, but Sharp's planned run for student body vice president at the University of Houston-Downtown has gotten personal.

"I went home and cried right afterwards," said Sharp.

An unknown person circulated a flyer, targeting Sharp's sexual orientation and HIV status, thinks the junior social work major never tried to hide.

"I don't wear my status as a badge, but I've spoken at events on campus about HIV, individuals with HIV and kind of as a testament.

But it's the tone of the flyer and the way his personal information was divulged. Sharp believes someone went into his on-campus office as a student senator and pulled his medical records from his briefcase.

His medical information is posted on the back of the flyer.

"This is obviously a move on their end to distract from what we are really trying to bring to the student body which is, you know, a diversity, greater student involvement," said Sharp.

University administrators view it though, as much more than a dirty pre-campaign trick.

They've opened a criminal investigation.

"The UHD Police Department is very serious about figuring out what exactly happened here and determining who's responsible," said UH-Downtown spokesperson Claire Caton.

Sharp originally told his running mate he was quitting the campaign. He even considered transferring schools, but now has decided a different path.

"Attempt to address it and move forward, and that's exactly what I want to do," said Sharp.

Sharp and his running mate plan to officially announce their candidacy in the coming weeks.