To market, to market

Students in a Butte College marketing class are getting some real-world experience via a project that sets them up with a client—Chico’s Miller Buick-Oldsmobile—and gives them the go-ahead to promote that business and raise money for charity at the same time.

The class, explained coordinator and publicity director Stuart Kuhlman, is being referred to as the “GM marketing class” because, in an interesting marriage of public school and the corporate world, General Motors is sponsoring the class and even setting the student team up with a “liaison” professional marketing agency. “We get the real experience of actually having created the concept and planning the promotional event,” Kuhlman explained.

That event will take place April 28 at Gold Nugget Days in Paradise. “We’re working to increase awareness of the dealership by 7 percent,” Kuhlman said.

The students have a $2,500 budget from Miller Buick-Oldsmobile, and Kuhlman said the team has already decided to donate any money remaining to the Boys & Girls Club of the North Valley. That nonprofit will also be the recipient of money raised through a food booth and face painting. (Conveniently, one of the students went to clown college. Kuhlman, 28, used to be a punk rocker before he mellowed and became a student of marketing.)Some other junior business types are up to good things in Chico, as members of the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi can attest. That group, which numbers about 20, just finished up some volunteer work at the Chico State University campus, restoring the look of the benches and tables outside Glenn Hall. The building houses the Business Department, and after fraternity member David Phelps died in a car accident in 1987, the group got together and put up the benches and tables in his honor.

But over the years, graffiti—some of it nasty—took its toll, until March 31 and April 1, when several members of the business fraternity set about sanding and varnishing the tables and benches.

Stephanie Azores, who is senior vice president of the fraternity, said. "That’s where we naturally hang." Her fraternity "brothers" (they’re all called brothers, even though it went co-ed in the ‘80s) usually focus their attention on "outer community" projects like an upcoming picnic for foster kids.Readers may notice that our Ag Page’s title has gotten a little, well, longer. That’s because, starting this week, we’re expanding that section of the paper to include both agriculture and natural resources. Our commitment to agriculture, a key part of the Butte County economy, has not lessened. It’s just that we’ve realized there’s a lot more to what’s outdoors, and we want the flexibility to cover environmental issues, water and other things that didn’t fit neatly under the umbrella of the "Ag Page."