Adam Rahmlow fails to deliver as student body president
“My highest hope as a public servant is that people judge me on what I do, in office,” said ASPSU President Adam Rahmlow in May, after details of his arrest months earlier surfaced. “I’ll do the best job that anybody could, and I promise to be open to criticism—you have to be. That’s just healthy.”
Rahmlow, who had also faced allegations of breaking campaign rules, was already on the receiving end of some intense criticism. Some people were unsure whether he could adequately represent them or if he could be taken seriously. Others shrugged it off as a mistake. But they took him at his word: they would judge him by his actions.
Six months later, Rahmlow has shown himself to be a less-than-ideal student body president. He’s more for parties than policy. ASPSU has voted to give itself a raise.
And earlier this month, Rahmlow was arrested for the second time—this time for violating the terms of his probation by not reporting to his probation officer that he would be crossing state lines prior to doing so. He informed the court that he “hadn’t realized” he needed permission, but later admitted that he had known he needed permission.
If we’re to judge him on these actions, there’s really only one conclusion we can come to.
Adam Rahmlow needs to be removed from office.
Earlier this year, Associated Students of Oregon State University President Milikaleakona Hopoi was impeached by the student senate for refusing to represent OSU in the Oregon Students Association, thereby eliminating its capacity to send representatives from its student body to negotiate on their behalf. The impeachment came after she skipped three board meetings and walked out of the transitional meeting early over the summer. However, she was not removed from office. Instead, she was merely given a reprimand.
While Hopoi may have gotten away with a slap on the wrist, the senate was correct in impeaching her. The ASPSU senate should follow OSU’s example and impeach Adam Rahmlow.
This is unlikely to occur, however, given that Rahmlow has hand-picked at least five members of the senate, and they have historically been unwilling to speak out against him. That leaves two options: either he steps down (very unlikely), or the students of PSU band together and recall him.
According to the ASPSU constitution, any student not presently involved in ASPSU can start the recall process. If enough signatures are collected (roughly 1,000, in this case), Rahmlow can be removed from office, and a special election to find a new student body president can begin.
The student body president should properly represent his constituents. A president should be responsible, diligent and honest—all of the traits Rahmlow has proven he does not have. He was sent to jail while on probation, violated the terms of his probation in doing so, and then lied about it in a court of law. This is not the behavior of someone who should be representing anyone, let alone over 20,000 students.
Rahmlow was given a second chance. He was judged by his actions, not his history. And his actions speak loud and clear.
Now it’s up to the students of PSU to let theirs speak, too.