’Cat Tales: Students Who Are Changing the Way We Commute, Eat and Study

By Quinn Western, social media intern

A Wheely Good Time

It’s a long haul for the student with the morning shift, pedaling the Bike Cart to campus from the shop at Fourth and Cherry streets.

bike4 copyAriana Altier, a junior sustainable manufacturing major, often rides the Bike Cart back to the shop at the end of the day. She has worked at the cart since her freshman year.

On Monday through Thursday, noon-4 p.m., the Bike Cart is parked in front of the Bell Memorial Union, weather permitting.

“Pretty convenient, students can drop off bikes before class and pick them up later after class,” Altier said.

Another plus for students are the prices.

“The huge advantage for students is that it’s cheap,” Altier said.

For example, the Bike Cart offers most tubes with labor for $7, which is almost half of what other shops are charging.

What most students don’t know about the Bike Cart is that it is affiliated with a Bike Shop a few blocks away. The shop has more parts and resources and the option to leave bikes overnight. The shop is open Monday through Thursday, 2-6 p.m., even when it’s pouring rain.

On rainy days like the ones this week, Altier pulls her motorcycle into the warehouse to work the closing shift at the shop rather than on campus.

But she enjoys working in front of the BMU and seeing how grateful students are when their bikes are fixed.

“I really like interacting with students,” she said. “It’s fun to just be on campus and people-watching.”

“Yeah I can work an office job on campus, but with the bike cart, I get to work outside with my hands, and it’s sometimes a puzzle to figure out someone’s bike,” she said.

•   •   •

Got Kettle?

“What’s that smell?”

Some days it’s the aroma of fresh bread from Marketplace or sizzling tri-tip from the Young Cattleman’s Association, but then there’s that sweet, sugary smell of kettle corn that is the best form of advertisement on a college campus.

kettle2R & K Gourmet Kettle Corn has been delivering that sweet smell from outside Plumas Hall for about a year. The students —yes students—started the business in 2013.

Ryan Scagliotti, a senior business agricultural major, and fiance Karen Flickinger, a senior agriculture science major, had just transferred to Chico State from Modesto Junior College when they decided to start up their popping business.

Scagliotti first got into the business when he met a popper at a farmers market where he and Flickinger were selling eggs.

“It got started basically with a first name and a handshake,” Scagliotti said.

Since branching off into their own venture, the high-school sweethearts have appeared more and more on campus and farmers markets in nearby towns.

“People know when we’re on campus,” Scagliotti said. “You want to have that constant smell around the venue.”

Scagliotti said that he’s learned a lot from owning his own business because there’s no one else to pick up the work. You don’t just clock out when your shift is over.

“Starting a business and running a business in college was probably my greatest learning experience I’ve had at this point in my life,” Scagliotti said.

There definitely has to be a balance.

“It’s hard, trying to find venues and keeping up with your schoolwork,” Flickinger said.kettle1

Since the founders are graduating this spring and Scagliotti is starting a job at Foster Farms, the future of R & K Gourmet Kettle Corn’s presence on campus is in question.

“I’ve got some buddies here that could potentially pop,” Scagliotti said.

While they have all the necessary equipment to continue the business, more training and hiring would need to happen.

“There’s ways of making it work,” Scagliotti said.

But who knows? The couple said they could always end up continuing the growth in Northern California.

“As alumni, it’s hard to resist Chico,” Scagliotti said.

For information about when R & K Gourmet Kettle Corn will be selling on campus, check out their Facebook page here.

•   •   •

Say Hello to The Grove

The Laptop Lounge has gotten a facelift—and still has a few accessories to come.

About a year ago, about eight interior design students, their professor, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Belle Wei concocted an idea to bring a more appealing space to campus for students to congregate. The project was part of the Positive Spaces project.jfuji

These students designed a plan; went through the processes to get it approved; and selected colors, furniture, and carpet to revamp the Laptop Lounge into a more inviting place for students: The Grove.

Jenna Fujitsubo, a senior interior design major, was selected as the project manager.

The new carpet, curved walls, and painting was done during winter break, and some pieces of furniture was added, said Fujitsubo.

“I came the first week of school and people are already in there, and that’s a really good sign,” Fujitsubo said. “If it’s being utilized the way we envisioned it, then it’s success.”

There is still more furniture to come, along with a mural and a new logo to accompany the room’s new name.

Fujitsubo said learned a lot about pricing and the physical look of fabric versus when previewing it virtually because it’s completely different.

It’s been a hands-on volunteer project for students to do outside of the classroom.

“You learn a lot about time management and working with personalities and a lot of people’s strengths and weaknesses,” Fujitsubo said.

With her graduation approaching quickly, Fujitsubo found the experience valuable during her last year.

“This process has been over a year long, so it has been really rewarding to know that we’ve been taken seriously as professionals,” Fujitsubo said.

The ribbon cutting hasn’t been scheduled yet, but is expected to take place in April, Fujitsubo said. That is when the unveiling of the new logo will take place too.

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