Final ASPSU candidates announced as polling dates near

Voting will officially begin for next year’s ASPSU staff on Friday. In contrast to last year’s uncontested shoe-in victory by current president Katie Markey, this year’s election has experienced a notable increase in interest: five parties intend to run for the ASPSU president and vice president positions.

Voting will officially begin for next year’s ASPSU staff on Friday. In contrast to last year’s uncontested shoe-in victory by current president Katie Markey, this year’s election has experienced a notable increase in interest: five parties intend to run for the ASPSU president and vice president positions.


Adam Rahmlow and Pearce Whitehead

Currently the second-longest-serving senator in ASPSU, presidential candidate Adam Rahmlow is no stranger to the inner workings of the ASPSU constitution. In addition to sitting on the Senate, Adam has also served as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, whereupon reviewing the Student Fee Committee’s budget he recovered $70,000 for student group spending.

Concluding a term plagued by institutional drama and polarizing disagreements, Rahmlow and his running mate, Pearce Whitehead, are promising to create a much more effective ASPSU that listens to the voice of the students, promotes transparency and fosters an effective relationship with university administration.

“One of the big issues we’re focusing on is outreach to student groups,” Rahmlow said. “It’s something that has been neglected in the past, and we really want to bring the focus back on the students.”

In conjunction with a renewed focus on the groups, Rahmlow and Whitehead promise to be powerful advocates for affordable tuition. As higher education has recently come under pressure from state budget cuts, they pledge to make the student voice heard, and guarantee to campaign for the best interests of Portland State.     


Ethan Allen Smith and Anandi Hall

Much like Rahmlow and Whitehead, presidential candidate Ethan Allen Smith and his running mate Anandi Hall are both veterans of ASPSU. Smith, ASPSU’s current vice president, is eager to transform ASPSU into a real student advocacy group during the 2011–12 school year. Hall is the chair of the Judicial Board, a branch of ASPSU that she has been serving on for three years.

A graphic design major and father of three, Smith represents the diverse and non-traditional student body that PSU has come to be known for.

Smith and Hall promise a renewed interest in the needs of the students, reaching out to and interacting with them more directly than past administrations. He plans on implementing a “mobile office” on Fridays and placing the ASPSU president’s office in different areas of the school to increase contact with students. He also hopes to integrate ASPSU into student activities to increase awareness of the organization. 

Fully embracing PSU’s motto “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” Smith also believes that due to the university’s unique urban setting, it is afforded the perfect opportunity to reach out and enrich the city with the knowledge and experience, increasing interaction with businesses as well as local government.


Corrine Gilbertson and Steve Taylor

Presidential candidate Corrine Gilbertson and her running mate Steve Taylor hope to bring a fresh approach to ASPSU’s politics. Having been deeply involved in both varsity golf and PSU’s debate team, Gilbertson has a passionate interest in the future of PSU.

Despite having little experience with ASPSU, Gilbertson is far from inexperienced in the world of politics, and views her disassociation with ASPSU as a blessing rather than a disadvantage. Gilbertson and Taylor are cognizant of the issues that have been plaguing student government, and believe that having new members with a fresh approach can only benefit the institution.

In the past, Gilbertson has interned for the United Nations, sat on the Student Athletics Academics Committee and worked with PSU’s Latino Network.

Gilbertson hopes to stimulate a greater sense of community on campus. She plans on establishing a connection between ASPSU and the Athletics Department, allowing members to speak during games. In order to increase senators’ accountability to their constituencies, Gilbertson said she plans on implementing a quarterly report system that would require senators to better understand their assigned groups’ needs.


Rezhna Rasheed and Ammatulluh Hussein

Despite entering the race at the last minute, presidential candidate Rezhna Rasheed and vice presidential candidate Ammatullah Hussein have a clear vision for what they expect to accomplish in their campaign. In the hopes of fostering a greater sense of community, Rasheed’s goal for office is simple: the creation of a government that responds to the needs of students.

“A lot of the other candidates are promising big changes, and that’s great, but it’s not realistic,” Rasheed said.

Rather, she hopes to help build community on the PSU campus in reasonably accomplishable steps. Her first priority is to keep college affordable in any way possible.

“The financial burden is already weighing on many students; with the projected increases next year already taking effect we have to fight to prevent any future increases,” she said.

Along with keeping tuition low, Rasheed promises to make meaningful changes in the counseling department that not only place an emphasis on clear and accessible guidance, but also increase aid for foreign students that may otherwise be at a disadvantage. Despite being completely new to student government, she’s not unfamiliar with adversity: She taught English in northern Iraq for three months.  

In the spirit of reacting to the voice of the student body, Rasheed also hopes to investigate alternatives to the increasingly problematic and costly parking situation that PSU students face.


Jenny Myrick and Nathaniel Buckner

Majoring in political conflict and cooperation with a minor in law and legal studies, presidential candidate Jenny Myrick has certainly invested a few hours in the political arena. She is currently working on her senior capstone (“Engage in Democracy”) and is interning with Rep. Jules Bailey, and feels prepared to tackle issues more locally focused here on the PSU campus.

Of particular interest to Myrick is the revamping of PSU’s career services—an institution that she believes hasn’t been maximizing its potential.

“It’s frustrating to go in there to get assistance with career placement and walk out empty-handed,” she said.

 Though Myrick and Buckner entered the race late, she said that student government is a goal she has been working toward since she enrolled at PSU in 2007.

In addition to reinvigorating the career services center, as a long-term goal, Myrick and her running mate Nathaniel Buckner hope to direct more funding to PSU’s often-neglected art department.

“A disproportionate amount of students attend PSU for art compared to other major schools in Oregon,” Myrick said. “We need a campus that reflects that.” ?