Student drug abuse deaths remembered

Daniel Senn participates at the memorial.Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

About sixty students stood outside of Glenn Hall today in remembrance of people in the Chico community that died over the past year as a result of substance abuse.

Participants stood along the span of the bridge over Big Chico Creek, holding signs displaying pictures of the deceased and information regarding the health-related consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.

Joni Meyer, a health and community services professor, organized the event with students in her Drugs and Society course.

The memorial gave passersby on campus an opportunity to reflect on the students and community members that have died as a result of substance abuse, Meyer said.

“Our memories are very short when it comes to tragedies involving drugs and alcohol,” Meyer said.

Substance abuse is prevalent in the Chico State community, said Jose Garcia, senior kinesiology major and participant in the memorial.

“I think that it’s part of the culture,” Garcia said. “It’s why some people choose to come here.”

Changing the atmosphere that enables students to risk their health is something that will take time, he said.

“It’s one of those things that’s been snowballing,” Garcia said. “It’s something you have to chip away at.”

This is the first year the class has held an event like this, Meyer said, adding that she hopes to incorporate it into her curriculum again in the future.

Nicholas Carr can be reached at[email protected] or @nikecarr on Twitter