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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

New speaking series addresses life lessons

Mimi Baez speaks to Basement Talk attendees about how she hopes administrators, as well as students, will join future talks. Photo credit: Lizzie Helmer

Love, relationships, spirituality, honesty, success and fear. These topics and more were covered in Basement Talks, a new speaking series created by the Student Philanthropy Council. The first ‘talk’ was held in the basement of Sapp Hall on Normal Street Wednesday night. The featured speaker was the Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Chico State Allen Lunde.

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Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Chico State Allen Lunde spoke on many topics but said his speech could be summed up by the two concepts: love everyone and be honest. Photo credit: Lizzie Helmer

Lunde is no stranger to public speaking. He talked about his passion for acting and how he gave a talk last summer at the Burning Man festival. The name of Wednesday’s talk was “Personing 101,” a not-so-subtle reference to the Adulting 101 professional workshops put on by Chico State.

“I got Personing 101 because we had Adulting 101 as workshops you can take to teach you how to go to a job interview,” Lunde said in his speech. “Those are all good things but again they are designed for two things so that you can meet those basic needs (to) have a life that allows you the opportunity to expand to higher areas…and also so that you fit comfortably with the society that you’re in.”

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The first talk took place in the basement of Sapp Hall which is used as the office for the Student Philanthropy Council and the Chico State Calling Center. Photo credit: Lizzie Helmer

Lunde said his speech could be summed up by the phrase “love one another and be honest.”

“Student Philanthropy Council is students helping students, and this is just another way to help our students,” said Mimi Baez, a member of the Student Philanthropy Council. “(We) teach them life lessons and tell them everything is going to be okay at the end of the day.”

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Mimi Baez, a member of Student Philanthropy Council says these talks can help students and the overal Chico State community in a variety of ways. Photo credit: Lizzie Helmer

About 30 students showed up to the talk, which was the limit because of the small venue, yet students in the Student Philanthropy Council said this small group was intentional to ensure the talks remained intimate.

One of the students attending was Marisol Najera, an applied math major at Chico State.

“I like how (Lunde) mentioned love isn’t something you get attached to or something you possess, it’s something to rejoice in,” she said.

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Marisol Najera, an applied math student, says the first speaker Allen Lunde taught her a lot about love and what love means. Photo credit: Lizzie Helmer

Going forward, the Student Philanthropy Council has goals to do about three Basement Talks per semester. The council hopes to bring in alumni, staff, faculty and community members to speak to students about the life perspectives and lessons they’ve learned that they can pass down.

Baez would like to see President Gayle Hutchinson come in to give a talk. “I think it would be awesome for (President Hutchinson) to come in and just talk about life and adversity,” she said.

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Lunde posing with a picture of him hiking the Inca trail when he was in his 20's. He shared a wide range of stories including this traveling experience. Photo credit: Katelyn Gregori

Overall, the Student Philanthropy Council is looking at its first installment of their new speaking series as a success.

“If I can help people relieve their anxiety and fear through courage and compassion, then great, it worked,” Lunde said. “That’s how I would measure the success of the talk.”

Lizzie Helmer can be reached at [email protected] or @lizziehelmer on Twitter.

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