A place of your own
Student housing rundown for incoming freshmen
As an incoming Chico State freshman, you are about to begin learning how to manage life on your own terms—no parents telling you what to do, when to go to bed, or when to study for your classes. This major shift from a dependant lifestyle starts the minute you walk through the door of what will forever be the first place you lived outside of your parents’ house.
Thankfully, Chico State students have several housing options available to help them transition more smoothly from complete dependency to an independence that features some of the back-home perks built in. Chico State’s University Housing and Food Service department has six residence halls of varying sizes on campus; a university-owned apartment complex off campus; and a few on-campus thematic houses for enhanced academic and cultural programs.
Together, these halls provide housing for 1,500 students who are typically freshmen.
And if you don’t want to go through the school for your housing, but aren’t ready to find a bunch of roommates and look for an off-campus house or apartment, there’s Craig Student Living, a private student-housing option, as well.
Student housing is often lumped together as being all the same, but each dormitory is unique, explained University Housing and Food Services Director David Stephen.
“It’s difficult to characterize that in very concrete terms,” said Stephen, adding that oftentimes the physical makeup of a residence building attracts particular students who are drawn to the features forming its personality—whether it’s a nine-story dormitory or a small, apartment-like fourplex.
“Shasta and Lassen would have inherently a different kind of vibe than Whitney Hall,” Stephen said.
University housing offers many advantages over off-campus choices for students, as each comes equipped with some form of study lounges and Internet access, live-in staff to assist residents, meal plans and dining facilities, on-site laundry and plenty of opportunities to meet other students and form social bonds.
Of course, the on-campus halls also offer the convenience of being within walking distance of your classes. But even the off-campus options are within walking—and quick bicycling—distance.
While housing is not guaranteed in the residence halls if there are no rooms available, the first priority is usually given to incoming freshmen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here’s a rundown of the different options available to Chico State students:
The newest dormitory, the five-story Sutter Hall, opened in August 2010 for both transfer students and first-time freshman and houses 220 students. It’s one of the most modern-looking buildings on campus, with a spacious courtyard and a grand staircase heading up to the front entrance.
Sutter’s large dining facility services all of the on-campus residences halls and resembles a food court more than a dorm cafeteria with the variety of food options at each counter, from burgers and sandwiches to Italian and Mexican food.
Sutter has free wireless Internet throughout, and has a 24-hour front desk.
Whitney Hall sits at the corner of Warner Street and Legion Avenue, across from the student health center, and at nine stories it’s the tallest building north of Sacramento.
Whitney looks a little dull with age next to its shiny new neighbor, Sutter, but is still one of the most social of the dorms, with up to 512 students creating their own micro community on campus.
Whitney offers two ethernet connections per room and a 24-hour front desk, and looks to have a new study hall this summer.
Shasta and Lassen Halls
Shasta and Lassen Hall are the modest residence halls located on the other side of Sutter from Whitney. Even though these two dormitories first opened in 1958, they still offer all the amenities that Whitney does, but they definitely don’t look the same. Shasta and Lassen have a more typical college-campus look: long, three-story buildings with a grassy field and volleyball court in between the two buildings inviting residents outside during sunny weather. Shasta and Lassen Halls hold a total of 420 students, with 210 in each. Rooms are equipped with two ethernet connections.
Mechoopda, Esken & Konkow Halls
Mechoopda and Esken Halls are across Warner Street from central campus, next to the parking lot of the soccer stadium. Both halls are both just a short, five-minute walk to the dining hall in Sutter, and together house 232 students in what looks like a small, shady apartment complex with a center courtyard and good-size parking lot.
While there are 60 openings set aside for Mathematics and Science students in Mechoopda Hall, 60 openings are set aside for College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management students as well.
Konkow is a complex of six thematic houses near Mechoopda and Eskin, with 13 students in each house and one resident adviser. Four of the houses have residents connected to the honors program, and there is also an International House, a Sustainability House, and a Mathematics and Science House.
University Village is the university-owned apartment community, and is located less than a mile from campus on Nord Avenue. UV offers the same conveniences of living in the campus residence halls, while giving residents the experience of living in an apartment community. There are kitchens for preparing their own food, and there is more privacy than dorm facilities.
A few different styles of rooms are available: the six-person clusters with four apartments connected to two bathrooms, a kitchen with two refrigerators and a patio/balcony; a double studio that houses two residents; or a four-person cluster room with nearly the same amenities as the six-person.
UV offers wireless Internet, a computer lab, live-in staff, two pools, a spa, BBQ and free bus service to campus.
The only privately run student-housing option is Craig Student Living, located off Walnut Street/Nord Avenue a mile south of UV but about the same distance from campus—with bus service provided for residents. Craig accepts both Chico State and Butte College students, and consists of three sections—Craig Hall, Bradley Hall and The Abbey.
The compound features a swimming pool, dining hall, a large game room, a gym, a tanning booth and a computer lab. There is also a small café on the first floor of Bradley. And, out in the parking lot, there is a full-court basketball court for residents to get their game on.
More than 700 students live at Craig, and though the rooms are equipped with only a microwave and mini-refrigerator, residents have the option of choosing a flex plan that allows them to eat as much as they want in an on-site cafeteria through different meal options. Each flex-meal option also allows residents to convert their meal points into a kind of dorm currency at Chico State and Butte Hall dining facilities and local restaurants like Woodstocks, Mr. Pickles and Celestino’s, too.
“It’s very exciting, it’s pretty much all inclusive,” Craig Student Living General Manager Mandy Burson said about the Craig experience. “Everything’s taken care of for you, which is different from those people who may choose to go into apartment living where they have to pay monthly bills and worry about all their food and cooking.”