Category Archives: Chico Experience

How I Turned My College Town into My College Home

Hello Chico State! My name is Shyna Deepak, and I am the new social media intern for the Department of Public Affairs and Publications. I am about to enter my senior year, working on my BFA in Electronic Arts with a minor in communication design. After spending three years in Chico, I feel comfortable enough so say I have experienced a great deal here—the good and the bad.

“Holi: Festival of Colors”

As we all are aware, Chico State has a mixed reputation. Every visit to my hometown in the Bay Area, I run into someone who asks me what I do. I tell them I am a student at Chico State, and in response, I almost always get a wink as they say something along the lines of “majoring in partying, huh?” You would think it would be people my age range making this comments, but in fact I mostly hear it from adults in my parents’ social circle. It’s pretty embarrassing, and I always try to come up with a clever response.

However, when I am in Chico, I try my best to help this “party school” reputation disappear. I want to be able to explain to people that there is so much more to Chico than the nightlife. Within this small college town, I have learned about the existence of so many different types of communities. Chico State offers so much more than an education—it offers a home. A home is a place that should be respected. Who enjoys people running through their house and making a mess? Definitely not me!

  Don’t get me wrong. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t had any youthful indiscretions. But I have learned from my mistakes and choose not to live an unhealthy lifestyle.

“Bingo’s a Drag” at the UHUB

Since I have ventured away from this scene, I have learned more about what opportunities present themselves here in the town of Chico. We have an amazing park that includes outdoor planetarium, not to mention the abundance of quirky stores, 24-hour donuts and diners, and the most delicious independent restaurants. Chico has a small-town charm that I’ve grown to love and cherish.

What is there to do here? Well, last weekend my friend and I biked to T-Bar  through Bidwell Park, and made it in time for their happy hour. I got pomegranate lemonade and a chicken wrap—yum! During midterms, I went to the WREC and saw people studying with their flashcards in the hot tub. They were able to study and de-stress at the same time! On occasion, I will invite a friend over to watch cheesy horror movies and eat pita chips with hummus. If I’m alone, I’ll just watch 30 Rock on Netflix or brainstorm ideas for DIY projects (via Pinterest).

CE 3
Participating in the Vagina Monologues

When it comes to your Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights, I’ve found there are plenty of things to do- you just need to figure out what makes your Chico Experience yours. 

Meet Some of Chico State’s Amazing New Graduates

damario-sims-thumbBasketball star Damario Sims has left an indelible mark on Chico State athletics history over the past four years. But beyond the buzzer-beating shots is his most defining aspect: the obligation he feels to be a role model for young people from his hometown of West Oakland. Read More

ariel-ellis-thumbIf there’s one thing Ariel Ellis wants those who feel depressed to know, it’s that they’re not alone. In fact, the graduating psychology major has dedicated most of her four years at Chico State to spreading that message and other facts about mental health.  Read More

mmartinez Spending time with Melissa Martinez today, you’d never guess that she was once a college dropout. After excelling in high school, Martinez enrolled in Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with the best of intentions, but found the transition to college life at 17 challenging. Martinez graduates on May 25 with a degree in biological sciences (cellular and molecular) and a minor in biochemistry. Read More

asherrodIf the start of Adrian Sherrod’s high school career was an indication of the rest of his life, his future would likely look different now. After spending most of his young life in Mexico, his mother moved the family back to San Diego County for a fresh start, and the transition to the States was a rough one. That all changed when he was introduced to running track and cross country. Read More 

nwalkerA few months before Nicole Walker started her freshman year at CSU, Chico, her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Being too far away from her San Luis Obispo hometown to visit often, Walker decided to support her mom in a different way—by getting involved with the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Northern California. Read More

ian ruddellWhen Ian Ruddell came to CSU, Chico as a freshman, he was prepared to make change. The organizer of the first gay-straight alliance at Atascadero High was already a seasoned activist, used to making things happen. But he may not have anticipated that he would leave such an indelible stamp on both the University and the CSU—changing the way CSU, Chico supports LGBTQ students and voting on issues that directly impact the CSU’s 437,000 students. Read More

tim-sain-thumbUntil he was 25, Tim Sain did exactly what he says was expected of men in his family: He got into drugs, he dropped out of high school, he became an absentee father, he went to jail. He lost his house, his car, his job, his wife, and nearly, his three children. And then Sain did the unexpected. He decided to change everything. Read More

greg-wells-thumb

Greg Wells, who uses a wheelchair, was paralyzed at the age of 15 in a high school wrestling accident and also has a documented learning disability. These challenges, he says, make everything a little bit harder, but by staying true to his mantras of “keep going” and “never give up,” he has overcome them in a way that’s impressive by any standard. Read More

Dee ThaoGraduating communication design major Dee Thao is promoting social change through a highly social medium: film. Thao, recipient of the College of Communication and Education’s 2013 Outstanding Student Leader Award, recently premiered a 24-minute film she created that documents her family’s journey as refugees from Thailand when she was 5. Read More

Michael Bluing

Michael Bluing came to Chico as a freshman, sight unseen, on the recommendation of high school teachers who were Chico State alums. “I heard their stories; I saw the brochure, saw all the trees, and thought ‘Hey, I like trees,’” he said, laughing. Bluing is especially passionate about integrating diversity awareness into the learning process. Read More

Swan TomaFew understand or embody the meaning of service work and leadership quite like graduating political science major Swan Toma. Born in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Toma and his family, along with others, faced the threat of persecution in 1997 related to his father’s work with Western countries. Evacuating as refugees to camps in Turkey and Guam, the family eventually immigrated to the United States through the sponsorship of an uncle in San Diego County when he was just 6. Read More

#ChooseChico

We all know selecting a college is a tough choice. Here at Chico State, we want new students to be sure. That is why we offer an open house and day of activities that will help prospective students decide if Chico is the place for them.

In anticipation of this year’s Choose Chico! event (April 6, 2013), we asked our current students and alumni on Twitter to share why they chose Chico State. The response was overwhelming; Chico is a special place.

Many based their decision on our program offerings:

https://twitter.com/alexreadymusic/status/319182637010939906

Several students/alumni mentioned our small class sizes:

Some even chose Chico because of a personal connection:

And, of course, almost everyone mentioned the overall atmosphere of Chico including downtown, Bidwell Park, friendly folks, and our beautiful campus:

http://twitter.com/Mirabrody/status/319254883201081344

https://twitter.com/Grade8SSLove/status/319177288069550080

Have another reason to share? Leave a comment and tell us why you choose Chico.

Admitted students, visit us this Saturday, April 6 for Choose Chico!: http://www.csuchico.edu/admissions/choose_chico.shtml

Follow us on Twitter @ChicoState.

Facebook Cover Photo Challenge!

We want to put your photo here!
We want to put your photo here!

What:
Help us choose CSU, Chico’s Facebook cover photo! Share your photos, and then help select from our favorites to be the next California State University, Chico Facebook page cover photo.

Guidelines:
Photos should show off the best of Chico State and the Chico experience. Take photos of our beautiful campus in all its spring glory or your student club hard at work—or make a creative collage of campus scenes. All photos should represent your own work, be in good taste, and comply with the Chico State Social Media Comment Policy.

Photos need to be large enough to work for a Facebook cover photo (851p x 315p, file sizes of 1 to 2MB work well). Most current smartphone camera photos are OK. (Sorry, Instagramers—most Instagram images won’t have high enough resolution when cropped and enlarged to Facebook cover size.)

You may submit up to three photos.

How to Enter:
Share your photo(s) with us in one of three easy ways!

  1. Post it to our Facebook Timeline. Put “cover challenge” or “photo challenge” in the comment
  2. Tweet it to us by tagging @ChicoState and including #coverchallenge or #photochallenge.
  3. Email your photo as an attachment to PAintern1[at]csuchico.edu. Include “cover challenge” or “photo challenge” in the subject line.

Selection Process:
Share your photos with us by Monday, April 15, 2013, at 5 p.m. The Chico State social media team will select up to 10 photos to be featured in a photo album posted on our page Wednesday, April 17. The photographers’ names will accompany the photos, so feel free to brag to your friends if you’re featured. The photo within the album with the most “likes” by Wednesday, April 24, at 5 p.m. will become the next CSU, Chico Facebook cover photo!

Note: This challenge is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook Inc. Any and all information provided with your submission is to California State University, Chico and not to Facebook.

The Orion’s Going #DigitalFirst

Ben Mullin - Journalism and English Literature major, and Managing Editor, The OrionBy Ben Mullin, Journalism and English Literature major
Managing Editor, The Orion

When The Orion news team convened for the first meeting of the semester, I told them all to take a deep breath and close their eyes.

Some raised their eyebrows. Some cracked hesitant smiles. But they humored me while I began my speech:

“I want you to imagine you’re all big shot reporters for the New York Times,” I said, eliciting genuine smiles from the group. “Suddenly, you get the call: the Empire State Building is on fire. You rush over to the scene and talk to the police, who tell you the building could collapse at any minute.”

I paused for dramatic effect. It’s possible one of them yawned.

screen cap of daily newscast
Daily Newscasts posted to YouTube now fill the gap between print issues.

“Suddenly, you’re confronted by a mother who’s out of her mind with worry because her baby’s stuck on one of the floors. When she asks you about the situation, what do you do? Tell her everything you know right away, or ask her to wait until tomorrow morning for the print edition?”

It may sound like a no-brainer, but there are still a few news organizations who operate using the latter method: they report the news all day and put their stories into the next day’s newspaper, just in time for it to be outdated and irrelevant.

Up until about last year, The Orion, Chico State’s student-run newspaper did just that, even though we’ve had a website since the late ’90s. A few stories inevitably found their way online between weekly editions, but the majority was posted Tuesday night, right before our print edition came out on Wednesday.

orion twitter feed
@TheOrion_News Twitter account posts stories as they break throughout the week.

This semester was different. The majority of news writers made Twitter accounts for The Orion and posted brief bulletins whenever they noticed something interesting or newsworthy happening on campus. When we were notified that Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Brett Olson went missing during the annual Labor Day float, we posted it to Twitter immediately. When we heard that Governor Brown was visiting campus to promote Proposition 30, it was online within the hour. And when Chico State president Paul Zingg suspended the Greek system, we had a videographer, a reporter, and two photographers on the scene, with coverage to match.

On Halloween weekend, reporters and photographers stayed out until 2 a.m. capturing images and stories for publication the next day. I would routinely get called at O’Dark Thirty from staff writer Pedro Quintana, who slept during the day so he could listen to the police scanner at night.

The Orion isn’t the first collegiate newspaper to attempt to bolster its online presence through Facebook, Twitter, and a neverending stream of online stories. In many ways, we’re behind the times. But this year, the Associated Collegiate Press acknowledged our efforts by naming The Orion as a finalist for an online Pacemaker award, widely regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of digital college journalism.

orion app screen cap
Screen shot of The Orion app, now available for Apple and Android devices.

When the awards were announced last semester, The Orion wasn’t among the winners. But most of the editors saw our failure to clinch the award as inspiration to try again next semester, with a focus on delivering news to Chico State’s students in real time, with text, photos, and video. We’re also launching an app which students can use to get their Chico State news from their smartphones.

Chico State, welcome to the future of journalism. We’ll see you all on the other side.

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Visit The Orion online at theorion.com, twitter.com/theorion_news, or facebook.com/the-orion.

Winter Break Plans? Zzzz…

  1. In the midst of fall final exams last month, we asked our Facebook and Twitter community what they were looking forward to the most during winter break. Aside from graduation and travel, it seems like most Wildcats are hoping to catch up on their sleep!

    Check out the responses below:
  2. Suzi Bailey
    Relaxing, spending time with family and friends, and cleaning my apartment
  3. Greg Bloom
    the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth’s collision with a planet called “Nibiru”.
  4. gregoriardz
    @chicostate gonna be glad to get outta the #crazystorms we’ve been having lately! I’ll be back for #Januaryintercession though! #2weekbreak
  5. Well, we hope you are all resting up and enjoying your time off.  Tell us how you’re spending your break in the comments section below! See you back in classes January 28!
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    Want to stay in the loop with campus news and events?
    Follow @ChicoState on Twitter.

I <3 Chico, Even If It’s Not My Hometown

Maija

By Maija Glasier-Lawson, Anthropology Graduate Student

“My name is Maija Glasier-Lawson, and I am an anthropology graduate student at CSU, Chico.” I have written or spoken a variation of that sentence literally hundreds of times during my time here at Chico. At first I did so out of a need to identify myself, now I say it with pride. I am proud of my role as a graduate student, I am proud to be a student at CSU, Chico, and I am proud to call Chico my hometown, at least for now.

I moved to Chico in 2010, just in time to settle in before the start of the school year. My first weekend here, my roommate and I picked nectarines and experimented with homemade chutney, a great introduction to the bounty of Chico. I spent time in the park, hit the market, and checked out a few local watering holes. Then classes started, and my life as a grad student began. At first, I was a bit daunted by the reading (the unending reading!) and the high expectations of the faculty. Somewhere along the way, I realized that though they had high expectations, the entire anthropology department would be there to support us. Time and time again this has proven true.

The department, the entire university, has exceeded my expectations…all of them. I have worked with people across the campus on a variety of projects, and every single person has been helpful, supportive, and easy to work with. This kind of collegial atmosphere makes, well, it makes everything just a little bit easier. It has also made me want to be more engaged as a student and as a member of the campus community. The more involved I become, the more people I meet and the more impressed I am with the number of faculty, staff, and students who truly care about the students and this University.

My experience as a grad student is not limited to my time in classes, in the library, or late nights pouring through journal articles. When I look back on this part of my life, these things will actually fade, and it will be the Saturday market, swimming in the park, the long days, and the occasionally crazy nights that I smile about. Before I moved here, I had made the decision to plant a few roots in the community, and Chico welcomed me with open arms.

The rich soil and sunshine grows great food and enriches amazing people. There is music and art around every corner and friendly faces on every street. I can get my Thai fix or walk across the street for fine wine or great pub food. No conversation about Chico is complete without a mention of the beauty and sheer enjoyment that can be found in Bidwell Park. I could go on and on, but if you live here, you already know what I am talking about; if you don’t, then you should come and check us out. You won’t be disappointed!

I tell people that I love being a student, and I really do. I like my classes, I get to work on interesting projects, I respect and admire the people around me, and most of the time even the reading has its rewards. In my clearly biased opinion, the anthropology department is top notch, and the students who make it through are already doing great things. CSU, Chico is a place of opportunity and reward for the students who are up to the challenge.

I also mean it when I tell people that I love Chico. Whether you are from here or just passing through, Chico has something to offer. Though I cannot stay, I hope to be back some day. Though Chico is not my hometown, Chico will always have a home in my heart.

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Maija Glasier-Lawson is the 2012 recipient of the the William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Trustee Emeritus Murray L. Galinson Scholar. Read more about her award and achievements on the CSU, Chico News website.