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

Former resident adviser couch surfs after firing Off-campus party costly for more than 20 Chico State students

photo by Dave Waddell

“I was very honest about what happened” – Edgar Vasquez

by Dave Waddell

College is supposed to be full of lessons. This semester, Chico State junior Edgar Vasquez is learning a particularly painful one that has left him homeless and losing weight.

Vasquez, 21, says he was one of about two dozen university resident advisers who were fired en masse in early March after they attended an off-campus party at which some drank alcohol. With the firings, the university forced the RAs out of their dorm rooms and off their meals plans. Vasquez valued the economic hit to him at between $2,000 and $2,500.

According to another fired RA who asked not to be identified, a total 23 RAs were terminated, including 16 from Whitney Hall, a nine-story dorm that houses exclusively freshmen and has a reputation for rowdiness. The remaining seven RAs came from the Shasta, Lassen, University Village and North Campus dormitories, she said. Some of those terminated have been rehired as resident advisers for the 2017-18 academic year, she said. read more

Fear grips communities as immigrants prepare for new administration Information is empowering, rights advocates say

OneJustice legal fellow Maureen Slack and Orland Unified Student Support Services Secretary Neli Peña discuss the upcoming immigration fair.
OneJustice legal fellow Maureen Slack and Orland Unified’s Neli Peña at a planning meeting for the March immigration fair.

by Leslie Layton

Scared.

That’s how attorneys and immigrant rights advocates were describing their clients in the weeks preceding the inauguration of a president whose campaign was laced with hostile anti-immigrant rhetoric.

As a candidate, Donald Trump talked about massive deportations and vowed to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that has brought relief to hundreds of thousands of young adults who were raised in this country without legal status.

The best antidote for fear, say rights advocates, is preparation. In California cities, immigrants can usually find a qualified organization that offers free or low-cost services – including legal consultations and know-your-rights forums. But in rural California, those kinds of resources are often rare or nonexistent. read more

UC Expands Enrollment Opportunities for Underserved Californians

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by Peter Schurmann / New America Media

OAKLAND, Calif. – November 1 marks the start of the month-long application season for the University of California. And the administration is determined to build on its momentum in expanding enrollment for California’s diverse communities.

That was the message from UC President Janet Napolitano, who spoke at a recent briefing for Bay Area ethnic media.

Napolitano began the briefing by reminding reporters that applicants to the 9-campus system would for the first time be allowed to use previous year tax filings to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form. read more

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Meeting with a Chef on the Road to Adulthood

Chef Thomas Rider

photo by Gabby Miller

Chef Thomas Rider prepares Strawberry Caprese Crostini with local strawberries.

by Gabby Miller

He stood before a crowd of college students and alumni. On the table in front of him was a basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables displaying the colors of the rainbow. A grey Chico State Wildcats baseball cap sat on his head, and his black chef’s jacket was lined with red trim and embroidered with his name and title on the front.

It read: “Thomas Rider, Executive Chef.”

“I’m on the Food Network at Chico State,” he said, receiving chuckles from the audience.

On the rainy Thursday evening before spring break more than 60 students arrived at CSUC’s Bell Memorial Union to watch Rider—the executive chef for Associated Students—put on a show. read more

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Continuation Schools Struggle to Beat the Odds

Diana Chavez

photo by Leslie Layton

Diana Chavez: “Fair View changed my life around in a lot of ways. I felt people cared about me.”

by Leslie Layton

During her freshman year at Chico High, Diana Chavez ditched all but about 20 days. “We’d go to the mall, do anything to fill up the day,” she said of herself and a friend. “Then we’d go back to school to get picked up.”

Chavez enrolled at Fair View continuation high school in fall 2009 after failing her freshman year classes. There, she was able to make up lost credits and get on track with emotional and academic support from school staff. Chavez will graduate from Fair View May 23 with plans to attend Butte College next fall. read more

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