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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Poverty affects college students too

Work, school and paying bills. It’s a common scenario. Many students at Chico State support themselves completely. Being a student and working is quite common on our campus, but unfortunately, for some students, it isn’t enough.

A recent study by the California State University system showed that approximately 10 percent of students in the system are homeless.

In addition, a large portion of these students is actually employed by the school.

When a student is unemployed and homeless, there are services the city can provide for them, but when a student is working for the school and is still homeless, that is unacceptable.

The study also noted that 25 percent of all students don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Chico State was shown to be at 40 percent.

These statistics aren’t surprising considering how inflated tuition rates are and how student wages haven’t risen accordingly.

Nobody said being a working student should be easy, but there is no reason any student should ever be homeless.

The school does a good job at providing outlets for receiving food, from food pantries to food drives, but simply doesn’t offer as much help when it comes to student homelessness.

There are a lot of possible solutions to this problem.

One solution could be cutting wages from overly-paid administrators in order to allow for a larger budget dedicated to paying student employees a “student living wage” instead of minimum wage.

In addition, Chico State could offer its student employees more benefits that would suit a student. These would include things like a meal plan or discounted tuition costs.

Lastly, we wonder if this issue is actually on the administration’s radar. It’s no secret that Chico turns somewhat of a blind eye to its homeless problem. But does Chico State do the same with its students?

Homelessness is something no student should ever have to worry about, especially if they are working. When someone is both a student and employee of an institution, they should be taken care of.

A student who works, attends school and has to worry about where he or she is going to sleep at night likely doesn’t make for a well-performing student or employee.

This group of students needs to be better compensated by the school as both their academic institution and their employer.

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