Chico State fights against party school label


Photo credit: Katia Berg

Kyra Stemplinger

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.