Prof: ‘Chico First’ approach sets back internationalism Glamorization of university detracts from broader world view

photo courtesy of Tony Waters

(This commentary was adapted from a longer speech delivered by the author at the Sept. 11 International Forum at Chico State – Editor.)

by Tony Waters

Chico is a wonderful town. City and university leaders have spent endless time and money to remind us of this, and largely the campaign for us to stay in love with Chico has worked. But, I wonder if the glamorization of Chico has diverted us from broader interests.

To a certain extent, we have a “Chico First” focus, or “North State First,” which is nice, but can also be provincial. The reality is, though, that the world is a much larger place than Chico; our student population illustrates this. Only about 29 percent of Chico State’s students come from its “service area” of northeastern California and fewer will spend their careers in this part of the state where jobs for college grads are clustered in agriculture, beer production, Enloe Medical Center and social services. For the 71 percent from elsewhere, and even the 29 percent from around here, there is a statewide, national and international world of experiences, and jobs waiting for them too. read more

Chico PRIDE explores concepts of gender Four days of activities include plaza performances

photo by Jessica Lewis

Nikita Diamondz

by Jessica Lewis

A crowd sporting an array of rainbow-colored flags gathered ‘round the stage in Chico’s City Plaza, amid a cluster of various organizations Saturday.

A woman, applauding from the gallery, encouraged a girl to give a dollar to a performer on stage – an obviously appreciated reward for Nikita Diamondz, making her drag debut performance. Each performer got their chance to lead the crowd in an exploration and celebration of gender, by proudly showcasing their own concepts of gender during this year’s “Seeds of Change” PRIDE event. read more

From Africa to Inglewood to Chico State Senior from Nigeria overcomes challenges

Krystle Tonga with Samuel Akinwande

by Nicte Hernandez

Although he’s dealt with typical challenges that come with being the first person in his family to attend a university, Samuel Akinwande’s route to Chico State was far from typical.

Akinwande was born and raised in Nigeria, moving at age 11 to Inglewood, where education took a backseat to everyday worry about simply making it home alive after a day’s schooling.

“We had no help in high school when pursuing higher education,” Akinwande said. “Our counselors literally gave us our transcripts and said figure it out. That’s it.” read more

Japanese student likes U.S. culture’s openness Youth activism lauded; election turmoil worried her

Kanako Otani

by Alisa Thorsen

When Kanako Otani first left Hiroshima, Japan, to study at Chico State, she was afraid she would face discrimination on a daily basis. To Otani’s surprise, she found that the culture in the United States was very open, expressive and diverse.

“Here, I can pursue whatever I want and be whoever I want to be,” said Otani, who came to the United States four years ago. “In Japan we practice collectivism, so everyone tries to be the same. If you do something different you might be considered weird and a lot of people don’t like that.” read more

Prof: Chico State ‘in retreat’ on internationalism Sociologist Tony Waters decries declining language requirements

photo courtesy of Tony Waters

By Dave Waddell

With isolationism on the rise nationally, Chico State’s commitment to internationalism and to having its students learn a foreign language is likewise “in retreat,” a veteran sociology professor argued last week.

“Is Chico State really not bucking national trends which trend toward isolation despite the rhetoric about inclusivity coming from Kendall Hall (the university’s administration building)?” asks a speech written by Professor Tony Waters, who read portions of it May 8 at the spring semester’s final International Forum program. read more

Splash students study vernal pools Outdoor science classroom incorporates writing and art

“My real calling is I’m a pollinator. I kind of look at this world of people and nature as this thing that we need to better connect with. …it’s just that we sometimes fail to recognize that the connection is real and that it’s important to us as human beings” — Eva Butler, Splash founder.
(video by Guillermo Mash for AquAlliance.)