For Associated Students President Deanna Jarquin, Chico always felt like a hometown. While attending high school in the East Bay, Jarquin spent many summers, breaks, and long weekends in the college town visiting a close friend. She has vivid memories exploring Chico and the University, browsing used music at Melody Records, and walking through Bidwell Park. So when the time came to pick a college to call home, Chico State was an easy decision.
Now, Jarquin, a senior double major in psychology and women’s studies, is preparing to share her Chico Experience with thousands of students during Choose Chico as part of the president’s welcome. We sat down with Jarquin to learn more about her decision to choose Chico.
Why did you choose Chico?
One of my very best friends moved to Chico when I was a sophomore in high school in the East Bay where I grew up, and we remained really close. I would come and visit her during the summers or during breaks, so I felt like I had a kind of coming-of-age story in Chico. I learned about myself and what I value. I’ve always really felt like Chico was more of a home than the East Bay. I really fell in love with the community and the campus, and I wanted to come to school here.
Did you attend Choose Chico? What do you remember most about it?
I have this very vivid memory of President Zingg’s speech. He’s just an amazing speaker and he’s really good at telling stories; it’s probably the historian aspect of his background. I remember the setup at the Student Services Center plaza with different colleges and different programs. I walked around, took a picture with Willie. It was awesome because my mom had never been to Chico and now she really loves it.
Did Choose Chico helped you make your decision?
It solidified my decision because I was really nervous about Chico State’s party reputation. I was always a little nervous and thought people were just going to think I was a partier and not take me seriously. It showed me that this is a really special community and a special college that has a lot to offer. People have a lot of stereotypes about what Chico State is but when you choose it, there are just so many opportunities.
What were your first impressions of Chico State and what have you found here as a student?
I remember not really knowing that there was an avenue at Chico State to get involved with social justice—I thought it was just Greek life and partying. Then I started getting involved with the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center and the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center. I learned there are many avenues to get involved with changing the world at Chico. I was nervous that I was going to come here and not find a ways to do that, and that was something I was really passionate about it.