New A.S. president pledges to ‘work with students’

It was after midnight on Friday night when Amber Johnson got the news: She’d just been elected as Chico State University’s Associated Students president.

The news came via cell phone. She was on her way to check the vote tabulation that had just been posted at the student union when a friend, who’d already been there, called her. At first, she didn’t believe it. With three candidates in the race, she was hoping just to make the runoff.

“I was like, ‘Don’t mess with me right now. I’m stressed and I’m tired,'” she said. “I sprinted the rest of the way, and it was true.”

Johnson, 23, who’s currently the A.S. director of university affairs, managed to garner just over 51 percent of the vote, with 1,686 ballots marked in her favor.

Johnson is a senior nutrition and food science major who hopes to join the Peace Corps after graduation and then work as a lobbyist for nutrition education and research. She’s a 1996 graduate of Orland High School and a native of Oregon.

She said she plans to make her student constituency her main focus and pledged to spend at least two hours a week in the Free Speech Area making herself available for student questions and comments.

“I really want to reach out to students,” Johnson said. “I want to get rid of the assumption that the A.S. knows what the students want … and I want to actually find out what they’re thinking.”

Johnson will sit on several university committees as A.S. president and said she looks forward to starting work in the fall.

Johnson isn’t the only newly elected A.S. officer. An entire slate of them will start terms in the fall. The winners are as follows: Walt Tinagero, commissioner of re-entry affairs; Mike Clark, commissioner of environmental affairs; Tiffany Yost, vice president for business and finance; Katie Bebee, director of legislative affairs; Ryan Esposito, commissioner of community affairs; and De’Aunta Richmond, commissioner of multicultural affairs.