(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.