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Ani Ramazyan is ahead of the game

The student body president is the queen of ASU’s chess board.

By Natalie Metcalf, Valley Life Editor

Associated Student Union President Ani Ramazyan also devotes her time to the Armenian Student Association. The club meets Fridays at 4 p.m on Zoom. (Jeremy Ruiz | Valley Star)

With every executive decision, Associated Student Union President Ani Ramazyan moves another pawn on her chess board to create student engagement for Valley College.

The checkered game is a big part of Ramazyan’s life, as her father is a chess grandmaster. Lately, her busy schedule has forced the ASU officer to pause her favorite pastime. In the past, Ramazyan competed in chess tournaments. Because of ASU, the president brought her knowledge and skills to Valley’s campus.

“When you play chess, you don’t just play chess –– you use it in your everyday life,” said Ramazyan. “Chess really helps you in the decision-making process.”

In a game of chess, players have to think multiple steps ahead to conquer their opponents. When playing chess and holding the top seat on the executive council, Ramazyan plans inside and outside the board.

In the fall semester, Ramazyan organized Chess Game Night, an event series where Monarchs could learn and play chess. Previously, Chess Game Night was met with around 25 students. The first two have taken place this semester, with the second one bringing in less attendance than the last. Next semester, Ramazyan has an idea to create an official chess tournament at Valley.

A part of her role as president is making executive decisions in bi-weekly executive council meetings. Every other Tuesday, Ramazyan discusses financial decisions previously talked about in the finance council meeting. Monarchs can attend executive council meetings to receive ASU’s approval, guidance and support for events and workshops on campus.

Valley President Barry Gribbons and Ramayzan meet monthly. The ASU president is inspired by his work style.

"I think she has established a nice vision for what she wants to do during her presidency and has assembled a strong team around her that shares her vision and is developing nice plans to drive forward,” said Gribbons. “I can see in the dynamics between her and the other ASU leaders that she really welcomes folks' ideas and empowers them. All of those I think are important leadership traits."

Ramazyan described the ASU’s events as both informative and helpful. While student-led workshops are entertaining for Monarchs, the board’s focus is student networking. The student body president wants everyone on campus to feel supported and included.

Student success and engagement are a top priority for ASU’s president. Events for the spring semester are not concrete ideas at the moment, but Ramazyan is inspired by this semester’s student engagement. Her spring goal is to double the student interaction on campus from this fall.

In her future academic career, the first-year student wants to transfer to UCLA or UC Berkeley. Ramazyan is currently double majoring in political science and political affairs. With her combined experience in chess and politics, the president is always planning her every move.

“Always think before moving your pieces, so don’t act before thinking about your actions,” recalled Ramazyan. “A chess player's thinking can help to be a good leader.”

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