Two years after Call to Action, how far has Chico State come?

Jan 28, 2015 6:56 PM by Brian Johnson

"Everyone that I've seen here drinks. It's a weekend thing...typical."

But believe it or not, Chico State Freshman and Chico native Dylan Batie does not drink.

"I think it's stupid and I'm kinda scared. You black out [and] you don't know what's going on. I just prefer not to."

When asked whether growing up here was a factor in his choice not to party, Batie admitted that could be part of it.

After all, he was around as numerous tragedies unfolded a result of alcohol and drug abuse by Chico State students and visitors.

Those tragedies eventually culminated in a Community Action Summit held at Chico State in the February of 2013, bringing hundreds of students, city and school leaders, business owners, and law enforcement officers.

"I think everyone matured up a little bit and [there was] a lot less craziness going on, because they started figuring out how to handle this situation. And they're doing a good job I think," said Mike ‘G-Ride' Griffith, who often offers a helping hand (or ride) with his pedicab service.

Chico State Alcohol and Drug Education Center Director Trisha Seastrom says fighting the "serious problem" of alcohol abuse takes a multi-pronged approach.

But she says Chico State has come a long ways, successfully rolling out the Red Watch Band Team, now known as Wildcat ROAR.

"Look out for each other, step up, be safe, if you see something, say something, get help," she said.

She says nearly 1,600 Chico State students have been trained to say something and adds her alma-matter, UC Davis, wants help to start a similar bystander intervention program.

Also in 2013, Chico State joined the National College Health Improvement Program and created a task force.

For those efforts, Seastrom says, the Chronicle of Higher Education recently profiled Chico State in a piece titled, ‘Four Campuses Respond to Risky Drinking.'

"So we were very proud of that," Seastrom said. "It really was an affirmation that we are on the right path, we are making strides."

Other new programs for parents and incoming students have helped, along with the city passing a Social Host Ordinance last year, she says.

As recent as last week, she was collaborating with local bar and restaurant owners to discuss amendments to Title 19 of the Chico Municipal Code, as a way to gain more local control over alcohol outlets.

For a list of all the ROAR workshops, click here.

Click here for the article profiling Chico State's efforts to combat alcohol abuse.


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