CHICO, Calif. -- At Chico State, students start classes on Monday. University President Gayle Hutchinson delivered a speech welcoming them back.
President Hutchinson opened up in her speech with how the Camp Fire changed the community that the school serves.
"2018 broke our hearts. It did not break our spirits," Hutchinson said. "We arrive here today strong. With new commitment to not just words, but to actions."
Incoming freshman, Yasmin Ramirez, is from San Diego. She told us why she was excited to start school at Chico State.
"They have a good criminal justice program," Ramirez said. "It's also a predominantly white majority campus so I wanted to tell people of color and everything, it doesn't matter, you can come to any campus you want."
This year Chico State said they're seeing a little more than 2,600 first-time freshman coming to school. That's about a 4% drop, 120 students less compared to last year, but the school says it is too early to know why the numbers are this way.
Caylee Hermanson just moved to Chico State from Tustin, California.
"100% honest like yeah, pretty nervous. I'm more excited because I know once I start getting into it, I mean, it'll all be good," Hermanson said.
Hermanson said she eager to do what she can to help her school in its efforts to assist Camp Fire recovery.
"Heartbreaking that that had to happen, but I think that really brought Chico closer together and I'm excited to be a part of this awesome community," Hermanson said.
Chico State said 1,735 students transferred, making the total enrollment for new students about 4,800.
Total enrollment for Chico State this year dropped by 1.5%, totaling to about 17,000 students.
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