Is the party over?

Matt Crawford

Photo By Tom Gascoyne

Matt Crawford, 24, came to Chico two years ago from Lincoln, the small Placer County town that sits 30 miles northeast of Sacramento. Like so many others, he came here to attend Chico State University where he is a senior studying history. He came to school here, he said, because it was close to home, relatively inexpensive and he likes the small-town atmosphere. He’d never visited Chico before his decision to enroll in school.

Did the party-school image play into your decision to come here?

Not at all.

Did you know about it before you came here?

I sure did. I have a lot of friends from home who came here back when it was a really big party town and it had no factor [on my coming here]. That is why I live on [the east] side of [down]town.

Do you think the party reputation is deserved or overblown?

Overblown. It’s pretty bad. Before I came here I had no idea what to expect and I expected way more. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

When you tell people you go to Chico State, do they say, “Oh party town”?

Every time. They give me a hard time and ask me if I was in the porn movie [filmed last spring at a local fraternity] and “Are you over there in the big frat parties and all that kind of stuff?” I think [the frats] are getting better. I have a lot of people in my classes that are in the fraternities and in the [Associated Students] and they say they are doing stuff to make things better. Like this Labor Day [Sacramento River tube-float]. I’ve been to that twice. I didn’t drink because I was driving. It was really bad because of all the people and I’m glad they are cracking down on it because people get hurt.

Do you think things are changing?

Yeah. I think it’s changing. It takes the students to want to change. I don’t know. Maybe I’m tired of it. The first semester I was here, I was out every night. But it got old. Maybe all the people who were doing the big-time partying are getting over it too.