The Orion

Chico State fights against party school label

Photo+credit%3A+Katia+Berg
Photo credit: Katia Berg

Photo credit: Katia Berg

Photo credit: Katia Berg

Kyra Stemplinger

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The curse looming over Chico State is finally celebrating its 30th anniversary but is still making students suffer.

Being labeled as a “party school” in 1987 by Playboy Magazine gave Chico State a reputation that people have been fighting to get away from. It might be exciting to attend a school with a well-known party scene, but not when it’s looked down upon.

Niche’s list of 2017’s top party schools puts Chico at fourth under that of both San Diego State University and Santa Barbara University. Both of those schools are more well known for their academics than parties, but Chico State is still only associated with drunken students.

According to Dean of Undergraduate Education Bill Loker, “Chico State is well known for our focus on student success.” The focus that the university has isn’t entirely reflected on college-ranking websites.

College Scorecard reported that Chico State has an above average graduation rate of 58 percent and retention rate of 87 percent. This means that students aren’t only enjoying their time at Chico State, but that they are actually graduating because of it.

Over 50 percent of students graduate and make around the same average salary as all college graduates in California. Graduates are able to utilize their education in the workforce as efficiently as if they had attended other colleges.

Students are still able to pay off their loans and rank in the “top 15 percent of all public universities for graduates starting and mid-career salaries,” according to Joe Wills, former public affairs director in a Chico State press release.

Chico has proved the validity of its academia and its students more than worthy of a better label. The party reputation has been dead for a considerable amount of time, at least longer than most current attendees have been alive.

The athletics are within the top 25 in the nation and programs such as the college of business which is only one of 15 percent of colleges given accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business are setting high expectations.

There’s also more to do than just party and schoolwork. Clubs, sports and recreational activities are available for students of any kind.

From crazy to collected, Chico has long grown out of Playboy Magazine’s set opinion. The last time Chico State was ranked as a party school by Playboy Magazine was in 2002, with the No. 2 spot being more gratuitous than deserved.

The negative perception has caused Chico State to take an unnecessary amount of effort into disbanding the stale reputation. Rather than attempting to make the university have a different public image like Gayle Hutchinson put in her plan, Chico State should be addressing the concerns of the students.

Part of going to college is the party experience, But Chico does more than party, it performs.

Kyra Stemplinger can be reached at [email protected] or @TheOrion_News on Twitter.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Chico State fights against party school label”

  1. Lars Anderson on May 4th, 2017 11:50 am

    Nice column,. Clearly it’s ridiculous to scoff at CSU Chico and label it just a party school, the University has terrific academic programs now and top notch students from the high schools don’t hesitate to enroll. The academic programs are the big attraction now, not the partying. I do think though Chico State’s reputation as a dumb kids party school may have been earned in the 50’s and 60’s and early 70’s, the University just wasn’t that good then. It was a small rural college out in the middle of nowhere – they had trouble attracting faculty and students. The town of Chico then was sort of run down then, a dreary farm town really. Why did it get better? I think the state college system just got better, all up and down the state. A lot more money was invested in state colleges, and enrollments went way, way up, not just at Chico but everywhere. Another factor, I think though, is the town of Chico itself, its not a dreary farm town anymore, it hasn’t been for decades. Really, I don’t know why anybody would want to go to any other state college in California today, CSU Chico is magnificent.

  2. Get Real on May 5th, 2017 11:32 am

    How ironic that the Orion rails against the party school image… right after spending a full week extolling the virtues of marijuana and teaching residents how to get away with its use in the dorms.

  3. Nah nah on October 27th, 2017 3:03 pm

    Why fight the fact Chico is a party orientated school? You said it yourself in the paragraph you mention about the college scorecard report. Not only are Chico students having fun, but they’re graduating because they’re able to mix work and play.

    I have lived in the dorms for a few years now. Housing’s alternatives to having “fun” is extremely boring. Just looking at the notices about Halloween and Cesar Chaves are as university faculty want to baby it’s students.

    I also love the propaganda posters in the stalls, with their “statistics” on how many have not drank, partied, smoked, etc. I know I wasn’t included in those statistics, who exactly was collecting the numbers and when?

    It seems more like Chico admins want to post high numbers to make students believe “surely it must be true”. I am calling them out on the legitimacy of those polls they supposedly took.

    If Chico was truly about success, then why are departments constantly going through the hassle of losing not only COURSES, but also faculty?

    Do you remember when instructors almost went on strike because Chico wanted to misallocate funds to make the campus pretty instead of paying instructors what they should be paid? You even wrote an article on it Orion.

    There is no shame in being known as a party school. People have the grades to show how successful the university’s students are. Being a party school does not diminish or devalue the quality or perception on its students. Why not be known for loving to party and being smart?

    I believe at the rate were going, we’re going to be known as smart, but boring. Why would anyone be willing to do that?

    #ChicoAlwaysAParty

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Chico State fights against party school label