Carley Chatterley wasn’t elected as Sonoma State’s AS President, but she’s served in the role for almost an entire year now. She started her term in June after originally receiving the position of Vice President, but when the elected president Manny Ojeda was removed from the role, she happily stepped up.
Chatterley is currently rounding out her senior year and will be graduating in May with a business management degree, leaving the AS presidency up for grabs.
Along with her presidency, she is involved in Greek life and volunteers with an organization that has her foster puppies to become seeing eye dogs. This is something she has become extremely passionate about and has helped her stay busy, which she thrives off. “I will admit I haven’t had the biggest social life this year but the more busy I am, the happier I am,” she said. “I live for being busy, with school always being the top priority.”
As president, Chatterley was able to get feminine hygiene products in the women’s and gender neutral bathrooms in the Student Center along with starting a conversation about having a winter commencement ceremony so everyone can have their big graduation moment.
After her time at here at Sonoma State she hopes to attend law school with the hope of getting into criminal law or public policy. “I was the kid who would always tell everyone that I wanted to be lawyer. My mom is a district attorney so I have that background,” she said.
Originally, Chatterley planned to get her Masters and do consulting but this changed after serving as AS president. After spending almost two weeks in Monterey at a conference, she was able to listen to over 44 speakers talk about their experiences and advice.
“It all changed when I went to a conference that all CSU presidents go to at the Panetta Institute for Public Policy,” she said. “After this I knew I wanted to go to law school because there are so many different opportunities you can get from it.”
Choosing to get involved in Associated Students was something that Chatterley said truly made her college career what it was. A sorority sister gave her a push last year to get involved, but before her time as president, she was the Business and Economics Senator.
Seeing her sorority sister make a change on campus really inspired her to want to stay active. “She pushed me towards it and after doing that for a year I fell even more in love with it. I wanted to get involved and be able to change things.”
When asked if she could take over the presidency only a month into the semester, Chatterley jumped at the opportunity. “I’m the type of person that likes to have a say in things. I’m not just a words kind of person, I’m an actions person.” She believes that in order to make a difference, one cannot complain unless they will take a stand.
With one of the complaints on campus being geared toward Greek life, she has worked hard to make the divide non-existent. As a part of a Greek organization herself, she knows this is a challenging subject and has tried to help greek life be seen in a better light. Being the one student representing the campus in a room full of people twice her age has been an obstacle she has had to face many times.
“The best thing I can take away from this is to believe in myself more. I’m a person that is always doubting myself and I’ve learned everything doesn’t have to be perfect,” she said.
Chatterly has learned that it is okay to delegate to others and that things can go wrong but you learn from it. Her first day as president was May 13, 2018, the day of the fatal dorm room stabbing. “It made me understand you can’t pick the way people act, but you can pick the way you react,” Chatterly said.
She wants to thank the university for all of the opportunities it has given her, along with thanking the students for letting her be their voice. She hopes to leave her title with a few solid changes.
“My biggest advice would be get involved,” she said. “Go to activities and show your school spirit. Student’s voices matter and the more they say things and the louder they say it, the more they are going to be heard.”