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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

Chávez weekend proves Chico hasn’t changed


What happened, Chico? More importantly, why does this keep happening?

César Chávez weekend has, unfortunately, grown infamous for its reputation as a long party weekend for many college students, emboldened by being given an extra day off from school to binge drink.

And many take advantage. There are too many parties offered by different sororities and fraternities to choose from on this weekend. Many students get started early Friday and don’t stop until the night before classes resume. Due to the increased amount of people in a college town and an increased amount of binge drinking, increased crime is always expected by local police.

This year, however, the crime in town took a more violent turn.

By Saturday night, several incidents leading to critical injury had already occurred. Shootings near campus connected to these parties led to several individuals being taken to Enloe Medical Center in critical condition. We’re still waiting on statistics on alcohol overdoses and the number of parties busted. Trash litters blocks like Ivy, Hazel and Warner.

Why does this have to happen every year for this particular holiday? Why do so many people claim to know who Chávez was, but use this holiday as an excuse to drink three nights in a row? It feels like every year the campus must warn students.

Sororities and fraternities cannot be excluded from this discussion. The events around town in different frat houses clearly focused on the fabricated drinking aspect of this holiday, rather than the true historic aspect. Given the opportunity to stand out by following Chico State’s plea for more respect, it’s disappointing that Greek society isn’t trying harder to honor the holiday. Honoring does not mean wearing sombreros, by the way.

Another key problem is that out-of-towners use this opportunity to come to Chico, from cities as far away as the Bay Area for the “Chico experience.” This is an old problem but an ongoing one that keeps leading to further public disturbances and increased chances of crime in a college town every year. These are people who simply don’t care about our town or the people in it. This lack of respect can lead to dangerous situations.

Not only that, but let’s all be honest, underage drinkers are the majority of partygoers. People who can’t go out to the bars and party any other weekend use these celebrations as an opportunity to rage and get access to things they might not have otherwise. Drugs and booze, pumping through young bodies, already hyped on adrenaline is a horrible combo.

There is a reason the drinking age is 21. Grow up then you can drink.

Chico, this is a disappointment. If you’re going to go out binge drinking, be honest with yourself and do it on any other weekend. Don’t use this holiday as an excuse to get sloppy.

We know this editorial can’t change anything that happened. We know that our release ahead of the holiday, with Chico State’s alternative events, couldn’t change this either. But for the sake of your fellow students and for the sake of a town you live in temporarily, we hope that more students take a critical look at their actions, educate themselves about this holiday and understand why the amount of crime and destruction that took place is disturbing and disrespectful.

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About the Contributor
Natalie Hanson
Natalie Hanson, Editor-in-Chief
Editor-in-Chief, Spring and Fall 2019. Former Arts & Entertainment editor, Breaking News editor and reporter.

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