Category Archives: Recreation

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).

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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. 


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:

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:

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!:

Follow us on Twitter @ChicoState.

Fall Photo Challenge

Fall is the time of year Chico, the city of trees, comes to life. Leaves change from green to yellow, orange, or red and blanket our streets with their beauty.

As the seasons change, we ask our followers to share their photos of the current season. With over 100 entries, the Fall Photo Challenge has once again been a big hit with our Facebook and Twitter communities. Twitter and Instagram users tagged their photos with #chicofall, while Facebook users posted on our wall. Here are some of our favorites:

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Instagram Contest for Chico Experience Week

During Chico Experience Week we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to use Instagram to take photos of themselves during the week. Here are some of our favorites:

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Here is the contest’s winning photo by tbufete!

“The man in black himself, President Zingg. #chicoexperience I wish I was dressed as cool.”

Riding to End AIDS/HIV

Tray RobinsonBy Tray Robinson, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

When my big brother Karl died of AIDS in July of 2000, it changed my life forever.  I struggled with the fact that I did not support my brother as he battled this horrific disease. My family never really talked about Karl being HIV positive because of the many assumptions, stereotypes, and the stigma associated with this disease. We could have and should have done more to support him. What my family failed to realize is that HIV/AIDS does not discriminate. My hope is that one day, we will deal with HIV/AIDS patients in the same compassionate way as we deal with people diagnosed with other diseases such as cancer.

Tray RobinsonFor years I dealt with the guilt of not supporting Karl and vowed that I would somehow help educate the public and do my part in making a difference. One day while watching the Logo Channel, I saw a documentary highlighting AIDS/Life Cycle. I learned that this seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles raises money and awareness about HIV/AIDS.

I was so inspired that I signed up, even though I had never ridden a bicycle for more than 15 miles at one time. On June 9th this year, I completed my sixth AIDS/Life-Cycle ride; I truly love the experience and the community that is formed during those seven days. I have met lifelong friends who I cherish and communicate with on a regular basis. I am filled with joy as I cross the finish line in Los Angeles and am greeted with loving hugs from my adorable partner Jim, family members, and friends. I am already looking forward to riding next year.

Tray Robinson in front of the Pacific Coastline

Since joining the AIDS/Life-Cycle Family, I have been inspired to become a HIV certified test counselor, HIV local planning committee member, and chair of the Chico AIDS Walk Planning Committee.

HIV/AIDS is a community issue – if one person has this disease, everyone does.

With gratitude,

Tray Robinson

It’s Worth Every Mile

Alison HealeyBy: Alison Healey, Senior, Major: Marketing & Recreation

Summer is the time to get outside and enjoy your surroundings, and one of my favorite places to go is Feather Falls in Oroville. The trailhead to this stunning waterfall is about 45 minutes from campus, and then there’s a four-and-a-half mile hike to get to there, but it’s worth every step!

Along the way you will see the vast beauty of the Plumas National Forest. The trail crosses Frey Creek, which runs through the forest. Bald Rock Dome, a 2,000-foot granite slab located in the Feather River Canyon, can be seen in the distance at two points along the trail. Bald Rock Dome

Once you reach the falls, the lookout point is a great place to enjoy the remarkable surroundings and take a break before starting your journey back. This 410-foot waterfall is one of the best outside of Yosemite, and it’s in our very own backyard!

If you are feeling adventurous, take the spur trail, which leads you to the head of the waterfall, where you can actually look over the edge of the falls. But take caution, because the rocks can be very slippery!

Feather FallsEven if you have already seen Feather Falls, it is a hike that many choose to experience over and over again. The hike takes about four and a half to five hours roundtrip, depending on how long you stay at the lookout. The trail is bike and dog friendly, so bring your furry friends or get to the falls faster on a bike! The trail is not paved, so be sure to have a mountain bike or bike that can withstand an unpaved trail.

Directions: From Oroville, take Hwy #162 east (Olive Hwy) for 6.7 miles; turn right on Forbestown Road for 6.3 miles; then turn left on Lumpkin Road for 11.4 miles to the signed turnoff for Feather Falls. Turn left at the sign and drive 1.5 miles to the trailhead.

As the new social media and photography intern for the Public Affairs and Publications department, I will use the official university social media sites to keep you connected to what is happening on and off the Chico State campus. Chico is filled with opportunities and beautiful destinations, so consider enjoying all of them while you’re here! In addition to describing fun places to visit, I will also keep you up-to-date via Facebook, Twitter and this blog on all that’s happening in Chico during the next year.

I’d love to share your favorite local destination, so please send me your ideas at!

Volunteering’s Valuable Lessons & Valuable Skills—For Now and For a Lifetime

Jennifer Jewell, volunteer coordinator for Gateway Science Museum on the campus of CSU, Chico

Did your parent, school or church ask you to volunteer when you were a child? Mine did. All three asked that I serve some amount of volunteer time for some organization or effort each year. For school I worked at the local library – helping to stack books or file papers. One Sunday twice a year, I joined my church group for an outdoor clean-up effort: trash from a town roadside or the garden areas of our local public areas. My parents were the most insistent of all – volunteering was required to live life in their household: volunteering to help others and to support small organizations like the Humane Society, Literacy Volunteers of America or Hospice Care.

But in between all these “requirements” by my elders that I must work for the good of others, something funny happened. I had fun. I had fun and I grew both personally and, as I found out at my first college interview and my first real job interview, I grew professionally.

I met new – often odd and interesting – people, learned to work with them, learned that I could learn from them, and learned that when my day of dogs and cats or people with beginning literacy skills or end stages of cancer was over, I felt satisfied with myself and the world around me.

To this day, as a grown woman with children, I volunteer regularly – and I take my kids along. They roll their eyes some, but they also roll up their sleeves and come home tired, with emotion and stories to share.

“Each day, millions of volunteers make a statement that despite everything – despite poverty and hatred, despite apathy and the seeming intractability of some of the challenges we face – people can change the world for the better.” Former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

Gateway is always accepting interested and enthusiastic volunteers – for an afternoon, or for regularly weekly shift in the galleries. Upcoming Volunteer Orientations are being held: Tuesday, May 22, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. & Saturday, May 26, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

If you’ve always wanted to get involved in science, education, and your community, have fun and learn a lot, then this is just for you!

Volunteers bring Gateway’s mission to life: creating a life-long learning environment that enables people to explore, interpret, and celebrate the magnificent natural heritage of our region through science, research, and education.