Mr. and Ms. Morgan State candidates sit on the hot seat

Benjamin McKnight

The 2016 Student Government Association electoral race heated up when the Mr. and Miss Morgan State candidates were put to the test in the annual Hot Seat event, Wednesday night.

Morgan students filled the seats inside Turpin Lamb Theater at the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center to hear what the five candidates had to offer.

Junior candidates Chelsea Johnson, Ricco Pena, Andrew Mitchell, Shawn Elliot and Andrew Egiefameh were asked questions by students in the audience on issues ranging from school spirit to how they plan to get involved in the community.

The candidates had to articulate their passion for Morgan and share how they can translate their passion to ignite the student body. “I transform my energy by being a very active being,” said Mitchell, a member of the football team. “If I see someone down, whether I know them or not, I’m going to picked them up. I’m not going to walk pass somebody, look them dead in the face and not speak to them. That’s just not me.”

On the evening, Mitchell was forced to address a tweet from November when he said “Morgan state is not a real HBCU,” which he earned much backlash for. “When I said what I said on Twitter, I said that to make people more aware of how I really felt,” he said. “I hear a lot of people say they don’t like Morgan. I’m going to feel what I said is true until we stand up and unite. I’m way past that situation and I’m ready to represent this university.”

As Mr. and Miss Morgan, it is important to bring to light challenges that has an impact on Morgan, and to face them head on. “I don’t believe we have many problems academically, but our school is very divided,” Mitchell said. “We have to bring our school together, if not we’re going to fall apart and we’re going to leave the freshman confused. Because right now they are lost.”

Mr. and Miss Morgan are also tasked to represent the university on and off campus, which requires the him and her to step outside of the the comfort zone of their own organizations and circles to interact with others. “It’s all about being who you were before you crossed over; sometimes when you become part of an organization, you find yourself changing and thinking you’re above everyone else,” said Johnson, the current Miss Junior who is running unopposed for Miss Morgan State University. “We all are Morgan State university and we weren’t greek before we got here. Always be humble.”