With the campus abuzz over ASPSU President-elect Adam Rahmlow’s arrest last August, some students are starting to wonder what is going to come of all this. Will he carry on without any negative repercussions?
With the campus abuzz over ASPSU President-elect Adam Rahmlow’s arrest last August, some students are starting to wonder what is going to come of all this. Will he carry on without any negative repercussions? Was this actually a reasonable news story to begin with? Or will we all eventually just get so tired of hearing about it that all discussion will die off? It’s hard to estimate what the future holds.
None of us are infallible. I guarantee that there is not a student on campus who doesn’t have at least one regret from their past. Granted, our own mistakes may not match up to the alleged head-butting of a female cop outside of a grody bro-bar after an altercation with a bouncer, but they are mistakes nonetheless. And as such, it would feel pretty terrible if one of our greatest regrets was enough to follow us into future endeavors and tarnish our reputation forever.
Mistakes are part of life, and they will happen to all of us. We have to move forward.
Moving forward from this issue means we’re just “letting it go.” The entire school is now privy to a personal incident that most people would only disclose to their close friends and family.
A number of people have put forth the argument that the story is, in fact, not a story at all—one read-through of the Vanguard’s own online comments reflects this. After all, it happened last August. However, the story is certainly news. It was news when Rahmlow was a student senator and it remained news when he became ASPSU president-elect.
With any public and political figure—especially those bearing power—information regarding responsibility, character and other attributes relating to their position of influence is news. Even when the former mayor of Portland and governor of Oregon, Neil Goldschmidt, had spent years out of office, the information of his inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor that occurred over 30 years ago was news.
Since the story has gone public, Rahmlow has reacted to the situation with poise. He agreed to do both an interview with the Vanguard and shortly after held a press conference to further discuss the incident on May 23.
I’m not saying it’s time to turn a blind eye and carry on as if the event never occurred altogether. But as with any other slip up, it is now Rahmlow’s job to prove that getting into situations such as this is not part of his true character.
According to a national survey conducted by MyBackgroundCheck.com, a prominent organization used by schools and businesses for criminal background checks, one out of every 29 college students has some form of criminal record. And of those with a standing record, the majority land under types of disorderly conduct.
While such statistics do not justify an incident like that in question, it does help draw a clearer picture of how common encounters like these are. We just have to own up to the decisions we make and the consequences they incur.
Rahmlow has yet to even take office as ASPSU president, and it would be unfair to solidify decisions on how he will act as a leader before he is even given the opportunity to lead. He has a terribly difficult task ahead of him. Few elected individuals are put under such criticism before they even take office.
This wasn’t another uncertain election or a hanging-chad debate. Rahmlow was elected fair and square. The student body obviously chose Rhamlow for a number of reasons, one being they felt he would best serve our campus as a worthy leader. Whether or not he will lead us tastefully while making beneficial decisions for Portland State has yet to be seen.
Rahmlow undoubtedly has a lot to overcome. But if he can rise to the occasion and make beneficial changes for PSU, I think we can try to let the past remain in the past. Rahmlow clearly isn’t trying to sweep this under the rug. He’s being responsible by addressing the issue and engaging the student body.
Perhaps it is now our job as students to respond with understanding. And if you can’t understand, at least move on so ASPSU can get some work done. ?