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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Gaia Villani, Marlena Moreno run for College of Communication and Education senator

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.
Gaia+Villani%2C+Marlena+Moreno+run+for+College+of+Communication+and+Education+senator

Gaia Villani and Marlena Moreno are running for College of Communication and Education senator in the 2024 Associated Students general election. To read more about each candidate, see below.

Gaia Villani, shown above, is running for College of Communication and Education senator in the 2024 Associated Student general election. Courtesy: Gaia Villani

Gaia Villani

Gaia Villani is a junior communication education major hoping to start her own audiology practice after she graduates. She aims to follow in the footsteps of her friends and previous senators of legislative affairs and the College of Communication and Education.

“I got to see firsthand the impact that they had on their college and how they were trying to help make Chico a better place by putting themselves out there by being on AS,” Villani said.

Having been part of student government from a young age, Villani took up leadership positions during the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic as people were just returning to school.

“I was my senior class president in high school, and I essentially ran the biggest events like prom and graduation.  I was the president at a time when we were coming out of  COVID-19, and people were looking for someone to restore that hope and normality that we had lost,” Villani said.

Villani continued her streak of leadership in Greek life, and served as the vice president of alumni relations of Sigma Kappa in 2023. 

“In that position, I had great experience running events that consisted of large amounts of people micromanaging my time, and focusing on creating events that were fulfilling for not only the alumni from my chapter, but also the seniors, and even the active members,” Villani said.

Gaia seeks to enrich not just the present generation of students but all alumni. She has immense respect for all the students who step up to strengthen the community. 

“Every leadership term that I have had is knowing that your hard work and dedication to your community, college and school are helping, leaving a footprint and blueprint for tomorrow’s generation,” Villani said. “I applaud all the candidates applying and running for Associated Students because it really does take a special type of person to step up on such a large scale and put themselves out there as leaders for hundreds if not thousands of people.”

For students hoping to get involved in university life in the future, Villani believes it is essential to take a leap of faith. It is worth putting oneself out there regardless of their level of experience because it is possible for them to succeed and bring their ideas to reality. Everyone who has something can find a leadership 

“We all have the chance to have our voices heard so if you are passionate about being in leadership roles, find one that you know you can fulfill to the best of your availability,” Villani said. “Leadership is not just big title roles like president or senator, you are just as much a leader as anyone else in any position.”

For information on Villani and her campaign, go to her Instagram page or go here.

Marlena Moreno, shown above, is running for College of Communication and Education senator in the 2024 Associated Students general election. Taken by Ariana Powell on March 28.

Marlena Moreno

Marlena Moreno is running for the College of Communication and Education senator position in the 2024 Associated Students general election.

Moreno has been a part of the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center as a cultural program coordinator for around a year, which has allowed her to network with different people — including international students, and underprivileged and privileged communities — and learn about the different resources available on campus.

As the cultural program coordinator, Moreno said she helps create events for specific ethnic groups to ensure they are inclusive and everyone’s welcome.

She also completed diversity training that current senators go through, which Moreno said gives her more insight.

Moreno said she wants to put the skills she’s learned while working at CCLC to good use and make sure people don’t feel afraid to “meet different cultures.”

Her passion for her major, communication sciences and disorders, and love for Chico State are just a couple driving forces behind running, she said.

“I really love the community I found, and I really hope people can find their community within Chico State,” Moreno said.

She said she felt like she should put herself out there by applying for the position and running. Moreno said her classmates and coworkers helped motivate her and push her toward running.

She loves her major and the resources available within it, however, there are areas she hopes to improve upon if elected senator. These include finding a bigger space and expanding upon the Student Success Center, as well as making it more inclusive and welcoming.

If elected, Moreno hopes to expand upon the college itself by increasing seminars for the seven or eight different majors within the college, as well as creating incentive systems for students attending College of CME events.

She also hopes to inform students about the free resources available to them across Chico State but also in the College of CME and help students get what they need or want, even if they’re outside the College of CME.

Moreno also wants to make sure international students feel heard and at home.

“… I really wanna make sure that they feel included within the major because you know, they’re paying a lot of money,” Moreno said. “Maybe they’re in grad school too, but I just want them to know like, ‘Hey, you have a community here, there’s resources you’re paying for.”

Moreno — who is graduating this year and will be entering graduate school — said she recognizes the sacrifice it takes to take on a senatorial position and is “really willing” to do so.

While at Chico State, Moreno said being a part of Zeta Sigma Chi, a multicultural sorority, has been a large part of her experience. She said the organization helped her find community and put herself out there, despite the negative emotions that sometimes surfaced.

For more information on Moreno, go to her Instagram page or go here.

To learn more about the College of Communication and Education senator 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.

Ariana Powell and Ari Sorokin can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.
Ari Sorokin, Reporter
Dogs are Ari Sorokin's first true love and caring for them is his pride and joy. He loves keeping an active and creative lifestyle through his passion of drawing, writing and yoga. Sorokin is also a bit crazy about Indian culture.

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