Nicole McAllister

Major: Political Science and Women’s Studies
Hometown: Fairfield, CA
Class: Junior
Program Position: AS Director of Legislative Affairs

How did you first get connected with Government Affairs?
As a freshman in the residence halls I was very active in Hall Council because I was interested in getting involved. I really wanted to make Chico my home. There is so much to do here you literally have to work at NOT being involved. I’ve volunteered at CAVE; I served on the AS Multicultural Affairs Council as a member then as a vice chair; I’ve been an intern at CLIC in the Family Law Department; and now I’ve moved on to the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC). I think I’ve found my home there! Currently I’m an intern for the Women’s Program and I’m able to put what I learn in class to work at the GSEC.

How would you describe your current elected office with the AS?
I was appointed to fill a vacated position as Director of Legislative Affairs last fall right before the national elections. It was a very hectic time with so much at stake for higher education. I had to jump right in. Trial by fire! My job is to look at legislation to see how it affects the student population. I speak to legislators to share our student voice with them. I sit on several university committees as a student representative. I’m also on the Board of the California State Student Association (CSSA) which is the strongest system-wide voice for students. We lobby and advocate to effect positive change. My goal in this position is to work with other students to collaborate on creating or supporting legislation rather than working in opposition. Being an officer isn’t about having more power than other students, but rather an obligation to share the resources to better the student experience.

What does working as the Director of Legislative Affairs do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
I want a career in advocacy and action because I enjoy effecting change in my community. My job is never going to feel like work to me. It’s what I want to do and ought to do. My job as the Director of Legislative Affairs directly applies to the real world experience I plan to have as an advocate/activist. My time management skills have really improved trying to juggle all my commitments.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position as a director?
My experience with CLIC and GSEC allows me to bring the social justice perspective to the table. I also bring passion for student advocacy. My sole purpose is to be the collective student voice. I’m personable and have a fun sense of humor which allows me to engage students and relate to them so I can better serve them.

What are your career plans and how does your job with Government Affairs better prepare you for that path?
I plan to pursue my master’s degree in social welfare and public policy at UCLA or Berkeley. I’d like to work for (or perhaps even start) a non-profit organization specifically to support young girls of color pursue their education. However, before I graduate, I plan to apply for a semester long internship at the California State Capitol. Somewhere in there, I hope to study abroad in Turkey. I’ve seen photos of Istanbul and I can see myself there!