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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Christian Sullivan, Grant Rooney run for AS president

Voting for the 2024 AS general elections will open on April 4 at 8 a.m. and will close on April 5 at 8 a.m.

Christian Sullivan and Grant Rooney are running for president in the 2024 Associated Students general election. To read more about each candidate, see below.

Christian Sullivan, shown above, is running for the Associated Students president position in the 2024 AS general elections. Courtesy: Christian Sullivan

Christian Sullivan

Christian Sullivan, a first-year graduate student, is running for the Associated Students president position in the general election. 

He is studying student affairs within the social science program and graduated with his Bachelors of sociology last spring, and a minor in multicultural studies, as well as ethics, justice and policy.

Born in Inglewood, Sullivan said that he was driven to seek higher education with the help of several mentors in his younger years. When he started his college career, he came to Chico State due to the cost, the fact that several of his friends came, and that his high school had a partnership with the university. 

When he arrived, Sullivan remarked that he sought all of the tools at his disposal, taking advantage of the First Year Experience and the Educational Opportunity Program.

Later on, he would come back to those programs as well as the Raising Educational Achievement in Collaborative Hubs program, but now as a mentor and counselor, rather than as someone using the tools. He would later join the Black Student Union, embedding himself even deeper within the fabric of Student Affairs before he became the director of social justice and equity last year.

But now as he gets older and more experienced, Sullivan seeks the seat of the president, inspired by his mentors and Autumn Alaniz-Wiggins, the current AS president. He plans to bring his perspective as a first-generation student, as well as a Black student, to the position.

Additionally, he plans to improve communication between student affairs and the student population, and to improve student standing within the circle of power of power between students, faculty, and the administration of the school. 

After his graduate program, he intends on joining the administration to continue his work as a mentor and help fellow students like him move up within the field of education. 

Sullivan said he has “big shoes to fill,” referencing his potential predecessor Wiggins, and the mountains she’s had to traverse during her tenure as president. 

In regards to the positives of the office, Sullivan said that he was “looking forward to the influence that it comes with, and how much momentum it will bring to the campus community by being a familiar face.”

To learn more about his Sullivan and his campaign, go here.

Grant Rooney, shown above, is running for president in the 2024 Associated Students general election. Taken by Steven Amador.

Grant Rooney

Grant Rooney, a sophomore economics major, is running for president in the Associated Students general election.

Rooney is running his campaign on three core principles: affordability, safety, and access. He says bringing these values to student government will help solve the issues many students face on campus.

He is well connected with local politics, interning for Chico City Council member Addison Winslow. As an intern, Rooney said he has lobbied members of the city council to pass local ordinances that benefit students.

“I helped introduce the elimination of minimum parking requirements,” Rooney said. 

In October, the city council discussed plans to ease parking regulations in the city’s downtown. 

“If developers are required to build parking, they have to increase rent … for students who don’t even have cars,” Rooney said. “This is such a central student area, eliminating requirements would be good especially since it’s a college town and many people walk.’’

One of Rooney’s major goals as president is to reduce the cost of tuition.

 “The CSU Board of Trustees just passed a 33% increase [in tuition] over the next five years. I’d like to reduce that down to 26%,” Rooney said.

He said he knows how much  tuition costs affect many students, especially first-generation students. 

“That’s the reason why I’m campaigning on affordability, I want to improve that,” Rooney said.

Rooney said he also plans on promoting fiscal responsibility, “By trying to reduce spending … and improving the financial situation of Chico State, we can lobby the CSU Board of Trustees to reduce the amount of tuition increase,” he said.

Safety is also central to Rooney’s campaign. He plans on working with the city council to improve safety measures in the city.

“I want to increase the number of streetlights to make people feel safe when they’re walking home from a party,” Rooney said.

Removing technological barriers is a policy Rooney also plans to implement. He would like to remove policies such as the Wildcat Recreational Center requirement for students to sign in on the app.

“It’s super annoying. Even though it’s a good security measure, it’s a nuisance for students who are trying to go to the WREC every day. I’d like to get rid of that,” Rooney said.

One of Rooney’s biggest aspirations is to create a relationship between AS leaders and local and statewide politics. 

“This would be a great experience, not only for me but for future presidents,” he said, “Trying to at least have your voice heard … I imagine would be the most important thing.”

To learn more about his Rooney and his campaign, go here.

To learn more about the AS president duties, go here.

Voting for the 2024 AS general elections will open on April 4 at 8 a.m. and will close on April 5 at 8 a.m.

A link will be sent out to all Chico State students via school emails when voting opens.

Maki Chapman and Steven Amador can be reached at [email protected].

Correction: the article previously stated “Decreasing enrollment is one way Rooney said Chico State can reduce spending,” it has been removed due to the inaccuracy of the statement.

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About the Contributors
Maki Chapman, Reporter
Maki Chapman is a journalism major with a minor in German and is currently in his final year at Chico State. Having been interested in journalism for a long time now, he looks forward to working on The Orion again. In his free time he plays Dungeons and Dragons on the weekends. After graduation, he hopes to become a freelance journalist and writer.
Steven Amador, Reporter
Steven Amador is a fourth-year journalism major; it is his second semester on The Orion. He enjoys reading, keeping up with politics and spending time with friends and family. He is part of the Chico State Rowing club, which competes year-round. He plans on pursuing a career at a daily newspaper in California after finishing school.

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