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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Students start safety efforts

Illustration by Liz Coffee
Illustration by Liz Coffee

Chico has been the target of many community calls to action over the years, but it would seem the word “community” is not a common word in many students’ lexicon.

Student apathy toward safety is understandable — this town is merely a stopgap for some to earn a degree and participate in the quintessential college experience of partying and revelry. Unfortunately, this attitude only contributes to the negative stereotype Chico students face.

Remarks by Chico locals regarding their relief when students leave for the summer are all too common.

When an individual or a group of students take it upon themselves to make their community safer they should be applauded.

There have been several efforts in the past month to make this college town a safer place for its students.

Last week, representatives from Associated Students and student volunteers took to the  streets to map unsafe lighting conditions around campus.

This group is not alone. Members of Phi Chi Theta, Chico State’s co-ed business and economics fraternity, have also worked to find and report street lights that were in need of repairs.

The efforts by Matthew Riebe, a junior public administration major, are also of note. Riebe personally started a designated driver service to help students get home safely after a night out.

These projects are commendable and students should take pride in their fellow Wildcats who strive to make Chico safer.

There are safety concerns in all college towns — if students are perceived as a part of the problem, they should be a part of the solution.

Sadly, Chico has seen multiple student assaults and fatalities in the past year. It is comforting to know that there are some individuals that care and are willing to do something. The community call to action is alive and well thanks to the efforts of these students.

Whether or not Chico State students consider themselves a part of this community, their actions are noticed.

The city’s local government has been watching closely. Chico’s latest social host ordinance, aimed at punishing underage drinking and those who foster it, is a direct result of the actions of students.

However, Chico doesn’t need misguided legislation to change the culture. This town needs to hold itself accountable. It needs students that are willing to make a positive change. It needs people who look out for one another.

Students considering contributing to the community should know they are not alone. That curiosity could easily become something positive.

The Orion can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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