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Farewell to the Fiesta: The Demise of Chico’s Party Reputation

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

After a lengthy Chavez weekend, a jury of our peers has concluded that the Chico State’s party reputation officially perished as of April 1, 2024. With rumblings on TikTok and Yik Yak emerging about surpassing Cal Poly Slo’s Saint Fratty’s Day, Chavez proved to be enjoyable, but failed to meet expectations. In my view, Chavez should have been a communal affair, something like a large block party involving professors, students, faculty, and Chico locals. However, it appears that only fraternity members and women partook in the major festivities while others decided to stay home and enjoy a more low-key kickback. I don’t mean to imply this is negative; I believe it’s commendable that fraternities prioritize women safety (from what I have heard), and the absence of troublemakers amid last year’s party chaos suggests that this Chavez may have been the safest yet. It was still fun but nothing notable enough to keep the reputation as a supreme party school alive, unless you count a woman student wearing a hot dog costume at the parties.

We must ask ourselves: What does this signify for the decline of Chico’s reputation as a party school? I recall when mentioning Chico upon my acceptance, immediate associations with “the party school” emerged. While many view this as a burden, attending a school with such widespread recognition, independent of a major D1 sports team or academic prestige, is somewhat noteworthy. However, Chico’s notable mentions seem limited to references in The White Lotus, Julian Eldman’s podcast, and of course, Riley’s Bar being the top-rated college bar in the nation back in 2021.

While the party reputation of Chico State persists in older generations, the reality is that it has officially died. And without a shift towards a new identity, Chico risks slipping into obscurity, relegated to the status of “Oh, I’ve never heard of that school!” for those outside the Bay Area or unfamiliar with the CSU school system. Achieving nationwide recognition seems increasingly challenging.

There’s a glimmer of hope in discovering a new identity, and the reality is, it all begins with us. From the freshman to the seniors, we hold the power to shape Chico into whatever we envision. Perhaps, we could embrace a unique aspect like allowing wildcats to roam freely, transforming us into the university where cats replace squirrels. Alternatively, we could aspire to be the quintessential Harvard of the West, producing a supply of ambitious engineers, doctors, lawyers, and culture shifters. Imagine if your classmate becomes the first female president of the United States, giving Chico a shout-out on their campaign trail, inspiring young people to aim for the presidency and consider Chico as their alma mater.

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses during the 59th inauguration in D.C.
Photo by U.S. Army Private 1st Class Laura Hardin distributed under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 license

In conclusion, the demise of Chico State’s party reputation marks a pivotal moment for our university. As we contemplate the future, let’s remember that we hold the power to redefine Chico’s identity. Whether it’s embracing new traditions, fostering academic excellence, or producing future leaders, the possibilities are endless. Let’s take this opportunity to shape Chico into a temple of innovation, diversity, and achievement, ensuring its legacy surpasses mere party stereotypes. Together, we can move Chico towards national recognition and cement its place as a university of choice for generations to come. Or, we can just start partying like it’s the 90s and win back our title!

Haston Paul

Cal State Chico '24

Haston is currently a 25-year old student at Chico State. He grew up in Los Angeles. Haston loves the color navy blue, In n Out, and the ocean. He has a passion for romance and poetry, the moon, and meeting new people. He enjoys stargazing and practices fortune telling! He spends most days in solitude, listening to music and writing about his daydreams. Haston's Horoscope Chart: Sun Sign (Zodiac Sign): Sagittarius - 7th House (28° 8') Ascendant / Rising Sign: Gemini (19° 22') Moon Sign: Virgo - 4th House (7° 32') Mercury Sign: Sagittarius - 7th House (21° 51') Venus Sign: Aquarius - 8th House (3° 1') Mars Sign: Aquarius - 8th House (1° 21') Outer Planets: Jupiter Sign: Aquarius - 9th House (19° 51') Saturn Sign: Aries - 11th House (13° 32') Uranus Sign: Aquarius - 9th House (6° 30') Neptune Sign: Capricorn - 8th House (28° 32') Pluto Sign: Sagittarius - 6th House (6° 21')