A Q&A With the AS President

Associated Students Government Affairs is the official voice for the students at Chico State and you vote for its leaders. But do you really know them? To give a little insight into the student government world, we spoke to AS President Dylan Gray.

Who is the man behind the mic? The student behind the supportive smile? The advocate behind the academia? Dylan Gray came to Chico from Inglewood, near Los Angeles, and was elected 2017–18 AS president, following a year-long tenure as the student commissioner of diversity affairs. A passionate presence in the campus community, he said his goal is to see an increase of student involvement and achievement by the end of his term.

Q: What are you studying? 

A: I am studying political science and working toward a paralegal certificate because I want to work on creating legislation that gives historically disadvantaged communities an equal opportunity of success for the benefit of the overall community. That may look like attending a two-year or four-year university or creating projects that focus on addressing health or educational disparities within disadvantaged communities. I want to create change within the larger system.

Dylan Gray poses for a photograph on the Chico State campus.

Dylan Gray, Associated Student Government President. (Tyler Wright/Student Photographer)

Q: What are you passionate about?                       

A: I am passionate about removing institutional or systematic barriers to people who do not learn in a “traditional” setting. I truly believe that everyone wants better for themselves, and that we should not punish those who have less income and face barriers that limit their success through no fault of their own. We should try to assist in their advancement because healthier individuals create a better society that breeds the success of even our most vulnerable.

Dylan Gray speaks at a lectern next to other seated speakers on stage in Laxson Auditorium during the President's Fall Convocation.

AS President Dylan Gray addresses the audience during the President’s Fall Convocation. 
(Jason Halley/University Photographer)

Q: What is your most memorable experience?

A: Meeting President Barack Obama when he was president. The fact that he is the first black president elevated my admiration for him and was ultimately compelling enough for me to run for an elected position (with the Associated Students) and to continue fighting for social justice issues around the world. It is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It was truly a defining moment that established who I am as person and what I stand for.

Dylan Gray shakes hands with President Barack Obama.

Dylan Gray meets President Barack Obama.

Q: What is your favorite recreational activity in Chico?

A: Attending music concerts hosted by students and attending Chico State sports games. My band has not performed in a while but I still enjoy great musical talent anywhere! I also enjoy the hard work and dedication that our sports teams put out and I support them tremendously. I enjoy watching a baseball or softball game, a soccer game, and especially the basketball games that we host. This year I hope we can go all the way and win the championship!

Dylan Gray speaks at a podium to welcome new students to Chico State.

AS President Dylan Gray gives a speech at the Big C Welcome Ceremony.
(Aubrie Coley/Student Photographer)

Q: What does it mean to you to be a Wildcat?

A: A Wildcat is loving where you attend school, loving those around you, and being ready and willing to help out a fellow Wildcat if you see someone in need. Being a Wildcat means that you are committed to service and that you recognize you are a part of something larger than yourself, and are therefore dedicated to the advancement of the ’Cats that are all around you. Wildcats have the desire and resilience to be better and do better—no matter the given circumstance—and will stop at nothing to achieve success.

Two students listen to Dylan Gray as he instructs how to support DACA students on a whiteboard in the BMU.

AS President Dylan Gray and the AS Government Affairs Team hosted a “Phone Bank” in the BMU Atrium, encouraging students to call their representatives to protest the White House actions regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. (Jason Halley/University Photographer)

Q: If you could have any super power what would it be and why?

A: Super intelligence. I would be able to create any mechanism I would need to change any circumstance. I could implement a solution to solve world hunger! The list of possibilities is endless.

Dylan Gray helps a student move into her new dorm room outside of Whitney Hall.

Brianna Ellis (left) and AS President Dylan Gray (right) help Sarah Sybrant (center) move into her new dorm room. 
(Jason Halley/University Photographer)

Q: Do you feel the youth of today can make change to society as a whole?                       

A: I believe strongly that the youth of today provide an invaluable voice. It is the youth, the leaders of tomorrow, who will inherit this system and ultimately be impacted by it on a greater scale. There are so many people out there who will not truly listen to what the youth have to say when oftentimes, they provide the simplest solutions to the most complex problems. I consider myself as a part of this youth, and it is up to us to keep the vision of a better society as a whole, alive.