Year: Senior Hometown: Knoxville Campus Involvement: Rhodes Student Government, BSA, Bonner
Sarah Johnson (SJ): What motivated you to be involved in RSG and eventually become president?
Thomas Mitchell (TM): I’d been involved in student government since middle school, so it was the easiest thing for me to get involved in when I started at Rhodes. I also wanted to find a route to make more of a quiet impact on campus, and RSG seemed like the route to take. As for President, I decided to run because I knew that RSG could be more effective than it had been in the past. I also just thought it was time—It was time to set forth a vision for student life that hadn’t been effectively presented before, and I thought that I well-placed to advance that vision.
SJ: What are the three things you would take to a deserted island?
TM: Does my cell phone count? In all honesty, I would take my water bottle, a journal, and a bag of airheads.
SJ: What is your big “project” or goal for your tenure as president?
TM: There a lot of goals—I think the biggest is setting all of our clubs and organizations, particularly student government on a path where the organizations work well, regardless of the personalities in charge. I also want to build cohesion among our student body to elevate our campus culture to a new standard.
SJ: Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
TM: Sidney Poitier. He’s dead, but we look alike, so I think it’s a good match.
Edit: Thomas contacted me after this interview was published to inform me that Sidney Poitier is, in fact, not dead, but very much alive.
SJ: What is your favorite thing about the Rhodes community?
TM: Our passion. Time and time again, I’m reminded of how passionate our students are about the things that matter most to them.
SJ: What is your #1 favorite song?
TM: Everything is Awesome, yes from The Lego Movie.
SJ: What are you most looking forward to this year, either as president or just as a student?
TM: The end. Not in a bad way. It’s just the way that education works, this time was preordained before we even set foot on campus and it’s time for everything to come to a close. So I’m really looking forward to deepening friendships and more intentionally focusing on the relationships and activities that matter most to me. And as part of that I’m also looking forward to new beginnings and taking my next steps.
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