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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

Going home for holiday break may be harder than students think

Some students opt to live in University Village to escape the issues of on-campus living. Photo credit: Brittany Mcclintock

Chico State has had many students walk in and out of its doors, but what seems to be a cause of concern no one really talks about is housing. More specifically, housing for the newest group of freshmen who have nowhere to go during their holiday breaks.

The campus has a total of eight dormitories for their students including Sutter, Shasta, Lassen, Mechoopda, Esken, Whitney, and Konkow on campus, and University Village, the lone dorm off-campus.

There are a total of 2,018 living spaces for freshmen to spend their first two semesters in. However, when the holidays come around, there seems to be an expectation that each of them will find their way home.

In fact, University Village happens to be the only dormitory that accommodates students that have no place to go, or who cannot afford the trip back home. Even then there is an entire application process that goes with it.

This has been an issue for years, as even seniors like Dustin Adams have had close friends that had nowhere to go.

“I know some people from my floor who had to stay on the couches of people they knew who didn’t live in the dorms during week long breaks,” Adams said.

Not only does seven out of the eight dorms shut down, the main dining hall, Sutter Dining, also closes its doors for the breaks too, forcing students to look elsewhere for food even if some may not be able to afford it.

“Sutter shuts down over break, mainly because the majority of the employees there are students who want to enjoy their breaks as well,” Brandon Sturges, employee for Sutter Dining, said.

With price ranges of $8,084-13,010 for a room and meal plan rate, shutting down a freshmen’s place to sleep and fill their stomachs forces these new students to search for, or pay out of pocket for, food and a roof over their heads.

Giving students the jobs at Sutter gets students employed and a base rate salary, but closing down those seven dorms hurts the students who don’t conveniently work on campus.

One student, Timothy Adams, decided that the best option for him would be to switch from his on-campus dorm, Sutter, to the one off-campus dorm, University Village which offers an apartment-style living environment.

“My biggest concern is with the extended break periods,” Adams said. “Being sent home for a whole month is catastrophic for the schedule of a student who not only goes to school but also works in Chico. Since there’s no way around being sent home, I myself decided to move from Sutter Hall to University Village solely on that inconvenience.”

Until Chico State implements other options for students in these specific situations, more stress about holiday breaks and housing added to already stressful lives is likely.

Joel Peterson can be reached at [email protected].

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