For a student who decided to come to Sonoma State before even stepping foot on campus, Carley Chatterley has made the most out of her time here. Set to graduate with a bachelor of science degree in business, Chatterley also will be leaving with a list of life-changing experiences, from her role as a campus tour guide and an executive member of her sorority Alpha Delta Pi to serving as president of Associated Students at Sonoma State this past year.
“I’m clearly in the roles that I have because I love my campus,” said Chatterley, who’s from Vandenberg Village, near Santa Barbara. “I have had the most amazing four years here, and I have gotten so much out of this campus and the people I've met have just been amazing.”
Despite being involved in multiple campus organizations on campus, Chatterley didn’t expect she would be as occupied as she has been during her for years. While maintaining a high GPA, and working multiple jobs, she chose to run for a position in Associated Students, a student-run organization advocating and representing Sonoma State students. While originally winning the title of executive vice president, she was then thrust into the role of president due to the winning candidate dropping out. Chatterley originally choose not to run for president out of concern for her time. In addition to her other activities, she earns money raising guide dogs. While she may not have been ready for the experience to be the head of Associated Students, she said she doesn’t regret the lessons it gave her.
“It's been the most challenging year of my life, but also the most rewarding at the same time,” she said. “I think it's definitely challenging to go into something when that wasn't what you expected, but just like the entire current student body and the ones before us, our number one concern has been about students.”
Chatterley said her involvement around SSU has helped her grow and has prepared her for life after graduation. “It was really hard for me at first to balance academics, extracurricular activities, my jobs and social life, but my involvement on campus has helped me grow so much,” she said.
She also credits some influential people in assisting her to make the most of her time on campus. In particular, Chatterley admired Kelly Sullenberger, a 2017 graduate of Sonoma State, who was involved in Alpha Delta Pi with Chatterley, was a tour guide at SSU and is currently working in the field of law. “She’s just always been this leadership model that I want to be one day,” said Chatterley. “She’s just helped me through a lot of things and has given me great advice.”
Chatterley said her other mentor is Greg Sawyer, Sonoma State’s vice president of Student Affairs. Sawyer is a seasoned professional of higher education who previously was the VP of Student Affairs at Channel Islands. He has worked with 36 student body presidents at four different universities and said Chatterley is one of the best he’s worked with. Chatterley has been an “exceptional student body leader,” Sawyer said. “She is collaborative, thoughtful and shows trust in her team. She has learned how to delegate and is one of the three best student body presidents I have come across,” added Sawyer.
Sawyer said that Chatterley is very concerned with equality and diversity on campus, recently embracing and encouraging the new student body president Breana Archie. Archie said she would not have had the confidence to run if it were not for Carley.
After she graduates Chatterley said she will work as a traveling leadership consultant for Alpha Delta Pi. Chatterley said she will be on a plane every four to seven days going to different universities to help women with their leadership skills. After that, she will be going to law school to pursue a career in criminal law.