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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Perezism: Chico State’s newest ideology

Photo by Ovadia Cohen

Last week around midnight, I was strolling across Trinity Commons, taking a shortcut to get home. Suddenly, I found myself walking toward a group of about a dozen young men and women, standing in a circle, chanting something low and rhythmic.

They were all dressed identically: dark gray Costco slacks, a red Wildcat Bookstore T-shirt and “tennis-like shoes” from On Cloud. At exactly the same time, they all stopped chanting and turned to me in unison. “Welcome, brother,” one of them said. “Have you heard the good news?” 

Steve Perez is Chico State’s newest President. At an alarming rate, Perez has gained an underground student following that bewilders the rest of the faculty.

Equal parts life-coach mentor and velvet-tongued spiritual leader, Perez is the guiding force for many a flock of impressionable young college students. The practices and guidelines for this hip, new Chico-exclusive religious group are hazy and mysterious.

The members of this fledgling convent are cautious to relay information to the press, or anyone on “the outside.” However, from sources that will remain anonymous, there are some regularly structured practices that the group engages in on a weekly basis. 

Many of the group’s events take place at Chico State’s presidential mansion, Perez’s new home since assuming office. The presidential mansion is now registered under the Chico zoning ordinance as a place of worship, which means Perez doesn’t have to pay federal income taxes.

Our sources tell us each Monday, there is an animal sacrifice held at the mansion. This animal sacrifice begins with a reading from the holy scripture, which is usually Nicholas Sparks novels, or whatever Perez happens to be reading in his off-time. 

Then, the slaughtering of a wildcat, typically one not on the endangered species list, such as a bobcat or mountain lion. This ceremony concludes with a lively dance around a large, sustainably constructed fire. For those who don’t wish to participate in animal death, there is a vegan-option sacrifice. Perez places an enormous cube of tofu in a separate, smaller circle. The participants take turns insulting it and releasing their inner turmoil by way of guttural screams. The tofu is left unharmed, and is repurposed for later use in the Éstom Jámani Dining Hall.

Tuesdays are taco Tuesdays.

Every other Friday, after the nightly sermon, Perez and his followers take part in a sacred couch-burning. According to anonymous sources, Perez is trying to bring back this destructive Chico tradition. The couch is generously donated by Associated Students.

The other days of the week are divided loosely between reading from the scripture, praying together for several hours during the night and recruiting new members.

Members also devote a considerable amount of time each day engaging in “Pereztivities,” or activities Perez is fond of. These include golf, drinking bourbon cocktails, hanging out with friends and shopping at Costco. 

“I start every morning with a couple Manhattans and then I play 18 holes before class. It’s really taking a toll, but it’s what our leader desires. I would do anything for our leader.” Said an anonymous economics major. 

“I shop at Costco for all sorts of stuff now, not just for pants. I usually down a Manhattan or two beforehand.” 

– Anonymous English major 

From the limited number of members I managed to speak to, they insist that the wave of Perezism is an overwhelming positive: 

“I felt like I had nothing before [Perezism]. I was just going through the motions. Now, I have a new lease on life. Life is good, life is Perez.”

-Anonymous economics major 

“Anytime I feel like I’m falling behind on schoolwork, I simply turn to my brothers and sisters and they have all the answers. Like, literally, the members have the answer sheets for virtually every exam on campus. I don’t know how they get it; I don’t ask questions.” 

-Anonymous political science major 

“I don’t know much about history. I don’t know much about biology. I don’t know much about a science book, but I do know that Steve Perez is the messiah and I will follow him to the ends of the earth.” 

-Anonymous music major  

Many others were completely under lock and key about information. Oftentimes, they would simply utter the refrain “Perez be with you.” 

For all the praise of our new president, Perez is really just a humble, relatable everyman.

Perez was born in a volcano and raised in the mountains of the Himalayas. He did not speak a single word until he was 16 years old. He spent his childhood split between studying astrology and animal husbandry, growing his own food, and learning parlor tricks like self-immolation and sword-swallowing.

Perez moved to the States to work as a spiritual consultant in the cabinet of Gerald Ford. He was close with other titans of industry such as Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Hoffa and Marshall Applewhite.

Eventually he wanted to work in education, so he started as a janitor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Perez had a head for numbers, and would often solve difficult combinatorial mathematical problems on chalkboards when nobody was around. After getting court-ordered guidance from a therapist, he followed the love of his life to California.

In January 2022, Perez became interim president at San Jose State University, before finally landing the role of president at Chico State. He also enjoys Kool-Aid and bird-watching. 

Recently, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase over the next five years. Wondering if this controversial decision would impact the popularity of our president, I took to the streets to ask students what they made of the decision. 

“I understand the leader and his clergymen need more money. I have absolute trust in their reasons. It is a little disheartening though; I just started construction on a 30-foot shrine to our noble leader and I really could have used that money for marble and pyrotechnics.” 

-Anonymous engineering student 

“The tuition hikes make sense to me. I mean, those blood orgies aren’t gonna pay for themselves. I even heard the most devout followers are going on a cruise to Uruguay at the end of the year!” 

-Anonymous communications student 

“I don’t even like money. I have no use for it now that I am in the inner circle of Perez’s divine children. I’ve been fasting for 13 days.” 

-Anonymous nutrition and food science major 

It is clear that Perez has made a tremendous impact on student success here on campus and has won the hearts of many of our student body. 

Perezism is not just the man, it’s not just a lifestyle, it is life itself. I wake up in the morning and I breathe Perez. I lay my head down at night and dream Perez dreams.” 

-Anonymous faculty member 

“We are all his children. Perez is a great man among measly ants, following in the footsteps of such selfless and monumental leaders as Gandhi and Boris Yeltsin.” 

-Anonymous religious studies major

“Hey, man, you don’t talk to [Perez]. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say ‘hello’ to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner and he’ll say, ‘Do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,’… I mean I’m… no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man!”

-Dennis Hopper, former member of Perezism 

What is next for this new-fangled sewing circle, time will tell. Although Perez has denied our requests for comment about his underground religion, he had this to say in his latest interview

“Anything that helps our students feel connected to a group, that helps them feel connected to the university, I think is good,” Perez said.



DISCLAIMER: This article was written as satire and does not reflect reality. All people and events referenced in this article are fictional or distorted beyond objective truth. Perez be with you. 


Artwork by Ovadia Cohen


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About the Contributor
Kit Beauchamp
Kit Beauchamp, Reporter
Kit Beauchamp is a Communications Major at Chico State University. Originally from Fairfax, CA, he transferred to Chico from Santa Barbara City College following the Covid-19 pandemic. Kit has always been interested in writing and journalism, and this is his first semester writing for The Orion. He hopes to use his platform to give voice to all facets of the student body, shed light on interesting and relevant topics, and present the unbiased truth. In his spare time, Kit enjoys music, fried foods, run-on sentences and looking at colorful birds.    

Comments (3)

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  • R

    Roberta "Birdie" Ruiz // Oct 3, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    This is hilarious!!! Perez be with you….I’m dying🖖.

  • E

    em // Oct 3, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    this is the best thing i have read in years

  • A

    Antonio L. Garcia // Sep 29, 2023 at 8:49 am

    Most. Dumb. S***. Ever.