Youthful actions follow students for their lives


Daniel Nickerson

More men than women say what they do now should not count against them later in life.

Sarah Noble, Multimedia Editor

AACC students said in October what students do in high school and college should not follow them for the rest of their lives, unless the offense is sexual assault.

In an informal poll of 45 students on the Arnold campus two weeks after the U.S. Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, 25 said college students make immature mistakes that should not affect their chances for success when they are older.

Eighteen men and seven women in the poll said what they do at this age should not have any major impact on their future. But 14 women and four men disagreed, saying students are old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong.

“As a current 18-year-old, [I] am fully aware of my actions and repercussions for them,” said first-year transfer studies student Shawn Pollard. “That being said, if I were to do something unspeakable, I deserve to be punished for it.”

“Anyone who cannot agree with that is plainly irresponsible.”

The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh on Oct. 6 despite accusations of sexual assault and misconduct from several women. The most serious came from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who said he attempted to rape her while they were both in high school.

“If someone were to be proud of something they accomplished at 17 or 18, then yes, have that achievement follow them and accept it as a part of who they are,” said Jump Start student Elizabeth Riley. “If one were to be a typical teenager and make mistakes, the actions should be followed throughout life, not to be ashamed of but only to learn from and help flourish as a person.”

Second-year visual arts student Jackson Truth Williams, agreed.

If “they did this way back when, and it doesn’t reflect on them now, it should,” he said. “In Kavanaugh’s case, he was definitely a jerk when he was younger and it is a tricky issue.

“You shouldn’t just ignore it.”

Some women took offense with the confirmation.

“It justifies men that sexual assault [won’t] follow him,” first-year computer science student Chanel Grant said. “The results of Kavanaugh … deeply affect me as a female.”

First-year theater student Kyle Roderick said college students are old enough to know that what they do now will affect them later.

“It’s your life, so if you slack off in high school you’re not going to succeed in the future,” he said.

Other students, like Gloria David, a second-year elementary education student, disagreed.

“I don’t think something you did far off in the past … should be held against you,” David said. “As humans we are evolving beings. We are constantly changing, constantly moving. We do dumb stuff in the past and then we mold and get better in the future.”

Second-year nursing student Marcy Augustin called college “your learning years and you’re supposed to make your mistakes.

“I’m not saying go rape a girl but it just depends on what it is,” Augustin said. “If it’s just a little thing it shouldn’t follow you.”

Similarly, third-year human services student Trevar McGritt said, “People grow from their mistakes so basically [it’s] a bump in the road, so they shouldn’t be affected by their past.”

Not all students decided for certain where they stand on this issue.

“I feel like it depends on what it is that you did,” Marrissa Parker, a second-year psychology student, said. “In the Kavanaugh case, I feel like sometimes if it really … damages them then I feel like they should forgive the person but I don’t think it should be forgotten. I don’t necessarily think he shouldn’t suffer any consequences.”Daniel Nickerson