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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Nobody knows the swag of Craig

Illustration by Miles Huffman

Shasta, Lassen, Whitney and Sutter — four mountains that are the namesakes of the most popular dorms on campus. Esken, Mechoopda and Konkow — three north campus dorms named after Native American tribes.

Craig — the off-campus dorm named after some guy?

On-campus residents are immersed in campus culture. Plus, with beach volleyball courts, clean-cut grass and easy access to food and class, life on campus can be lavish.

Craig Hall has a less appealing reputation.

Craig, found at 1400 W. Third St., is located some six blocks from campus on the sketchy, west side of the train tracks — the side cops warn students about at orientation the first week of school. Few students prefer to live in Craig versus the conveniently located on-campus dormitories.

Yet Craig has some lavish amenities of its own that plant envy in the minds of visitors that had never been explored beyond the glass doors.

Standing on Third Street outside the orange and beige dorms, one can see a basketball court with street lamps that automatically shine come dusk, making the court suitable for pickup games, day or night. This also lights up the parking lot, making it a safer environment.

Not visible from Third Street is the swimming pool with shady cabanas on deck and lounge chairs ideal for tanning. Adjacent to the pool is the fitness center, rudimentary compared to the Wildcat Recreation Center, but complete with gym equipment nonetheless.

Chico State students who are residents of Craig Hall still have full access to the WREC. Amenities at Craig, such as the pool, gym and basketball court, are a bonus on top of standard student benefits.

The coffee bistro serves Starbucks. The game room contains pool, pingpong and arcade machines. The cyber lounge has computers available.

Similar to flex dollars that on-campus residents can use to purchase food, Craig residents are supplemented with dorm dollars they can use to buy food from local restaurants — food that is certainly more appetizing than the gas station munchies offered at Butte Station.

A shuttle bus available to all Craig residents provides free transportation to and from campus, so walking to class every day is an option, but not a necessity.

On campus, resident advisers and desk attendants are forced to implement strict living codes. Regulations at Chico State are so strict that college students may have their living rights revoked for activities high school students often experiment with. On-campus residents are kicked out of the dorms after one mishap with any marijuana-related incident and two mishaps related to alcohol.

Resident advisers at Craig keep students in check without breathing down their necks, so residents have their freedom.

I understand why incoming freshmen and transfer students prefer to live on campus, especially at the renowned party dorm, Whitney Hall, or the new and modern Sutter Hall. Life is made easy and comfortable.

But academically, life is not generally stressful as a first-year student. Class is easy. The year is geared toward adapting to college. After finding the library to study, most first-years just need a place to sleep.

Craig is a place to sleep with a free ride to class, a meal plan comparable to the on-campus Sutter meal plan, physical recreational facilities, a game room and the freedom to make mistakes and get a second chance.

Craig gives students a chance, so students should give Craig a chance.

Miles Inserra can be reached at [email protected] or @m_inserra on Twitter.

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