Feds: Butte College broke gender law Alleged rape by football player investigated

photo by Gabriel Sandoval
Butte College

by Gabriel Sandoval

The U.S. Department of Education has concluded its years-long investigation into Butte College’s handling of a student rape allegation, determining the community college violated federal law.

The investigation began after a student filed a federal complaint in February 2013, alleging she was raped by an unnamed college football player at an off-campus party in September 2012 and that the college’s response did not comply with the gender-equity law known as Title IX.

Under the law, colleges must investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual assault, on- and off-campus, in order to maintain safe learning environments free of sex-based discrimination, so as not to deny or limit a student’s participation in activities or programs. Colleges failing to comply risk losing federal aid. read more

CSUC students to run World Championship Ten of the SAGE student mentors to travel to Ukraine

photo courtesy of SAGE
Chico State SAGE student mentors

by Hannah Yeager

When Chico State third-year student Jaclyn Soller arrives in Ukraine, she will not just help manage an event. She’ll also travel in a new country and meet other students from a total of 20 nations.

“Learning their different cultures and traditions is just so cool,” Soller said. “Especially the cultures I haven’t been able to encounter yet in my life. I mean, you’re in one place and can experience all of these cultures.”

Soller is one of 10 Chico State student mentors who will help run the World Championship event for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship program (SAGE) in Odessa, Ukraine. read more

Bigotry, stress, more evident at Chico State Reporting to national database is "bearing witness"

defaced flier

defaced flier

by Leslie Layton

This is the second  story in our “Tracking Hate” series. Our first story,  “CSUC student newspaper sparks hate speech debate,” was posted June 8.

When a Chico State staff member posted her “You Matter” flier on a wall in the Meriam Library stairwell after the Nov. 8, 2016, presidential election, she believed it would convey an uplifting message.

Instead, it was defaced, and the defaced flier circulated on Facebook, to be shared and commented on dozens of times by alarmed staff and other members of the campus community. read more

CSUC student newspaper sparks hate speech debate Critics of Chico State's The Orion call for more sensitivity

OrionSign_359_286

This is the first in a two-part series. Part 2 on Chico State’s political climate will be posted June 9.

by Leslie Layton

On a recent Wednesday, Chico State journalism professor Mark Plenke was messaged that he should check the campus newspaper racks. The student-run weekly newspaper, The Orion, had come out earlier that day, and an opinion column was already producing a stream of angry social media responses.

Plenke, the faculty adviser to The Orion, found some 600 newspapers missing from racks in Tehama and Butte halls and rescued them from nearby garbage and recycling bins. The May 10 column by student journalist Roberto Fonseca, “Debunking GSEC Myths,” had already inspired a newspaper theft and was on the verge of sparking a campus debate that would veer from angry threats to culture-wars name-calling to thoughtful discussion. read more

Student challenges mental health stigma College can be tough time for those with disorders

Alexa Thornblad

photo by Hannah Panten

Studying at the coffee shop

By Hannah Panten

“I’m bipolar,” Chico State freshman Alexa Thornblad says casually, sipping her white mocha. Thornblad uses the tattooed back of her arm to wipe milk froth from her lip. Giggling, she holds up a No. 1 with her tiny index finger, then explains: “Bipolar 1 Disorder.” Tugging on her four-sizes-too-large corduroy pants, she sits in the corner of Naked Lounge — an eccentric cafe she frequents sometimes when she feels no drive to go to class.

Thornblad, an 18-year-old Los Angeles native, is majoring in sociology and liberal studies. Contrary to popular practice, she has no issue speaking up about her recently diagnosed mental disorders. Her first glimpse of depression came in 10th grade, soon after realizing she’s bisexual, but it wasn’t until last winter that she got diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and Borderline Personality Disorder. Thornblad attributes her late diagnosis to her parents not believing in mental disorders. She also believes that her parents’ lack of concern about mental health is not unusual. read more

Professor finds a home in nature Former KZFR host keeps it simple in classroom

photo by Karen LasloRandy Larson

photo by Karen Laslo

Randy Larsen

By Hannah Panten

In an “Environmental Ethics” class of 10 students who would rather be sleeping, it’s a few minutes before 8 a.m. when Randy Larsen enters, exclaiming “good morning scholars!” with a wide grin and scruffy beard.  Pulling up a chair to the family-dinner-style seating arrangement, Larsen begins class with his usual pep (and his red, ceramic coffee mug, of course).

When interrupted by a student trailing into class late, he greets the tardy student with a genuine, “thanks for coming,” then proceeds teaching.  Sporting a plain T-shirt, patched denim, and a neon-green knit hat, his appearance sums up his personality and teaching style quite well — unconventional and refreshingly simple. read more