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We’veGot YouCovered! 1, 2, 3 & 4 Bedrooms Available Homes & Town Homes. LOW DEPOSITS! Leasing office located at: 849 Pomona Ave. Chico, CA 95928


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HOUSING GUIDE Contents Settling into a temporary home


Upgrading to the avenues


A guide to off-campus housing


Do-it-yourself apartment craft


Roommate wars


The Orion encourages letters to the editor and commentary from students, faculty, staff, administration and community members.

• Letters and commentaries may be delivered to The Orion, Plumas Hall Room 001. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Letters are also accepted by e-mail and go directly to the opinion editor at

• Commentaries should be limited to 500 to 700 words and are subject to editing for length and clarity. Please include your phone number.

• Letters to the editor should be limited to fewer than 300 words, must include writer’s name and phone number (for verification) and are subject to condensation. Please include your year in school and major, or your business title.

• The Orion does not publish anonymous letters, letters that are addressed to a third party or letters that are in poor taste. The opinions expressed by The Orion’s columnists do not necessarily reflect those of The Orion or its staff.


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Landing in an empty apartment For a woman who has never been to California, filling an apartment wasn’t much of a challenge to change Yessenia Funes Staff Writer

One morning, I woke up in my usual chilly New York suburb. The next morning, I woke up in a sunny California college town. Flying across the country to live in Chico for four months may not sound like a simple thing to do, but it sure isn’t that complicated with the Internet bridging the gap between people nearly 3,000 feet away. It saved me when it came to finding a place to live and items to put inside my new, temporary home. 1. Finding the apartment I was determined I would find an apartment off campus. I already enjoyed a semester living without the annoyances of resident assistants, and anyone who’s flown from the nest of dorm life knows it’s a flight of farewell. Plus, my home would lack the sour, dank smell of victory if I lived under a watchful eye. So my search began. Google listed apartment after apartment. That didn’t work too efficiently. Sure, I could search through and call every single apartment Google threw my way, but that seemed too tedious. Luckily, Chico State lists off-campus apartments online. This cut down the number of offices I had to call. Eventually, I stumbled upon a prime choice. I could sign a

single-semester lease. The apartment wasn’t too far from campus — and it even had a pool. Most college campuses list off-campus apartments they recommend to their students. 2. Finding the furniture Most, if not all, my apartment’s furniture came from Craigslist. I was clever enough to have my mattress delivered the night I arrived. I was not sleeping on a hard floor after my day of airplane transfers and layovers. It took only a few days to fill the rest of the apartment with Craigslist bargains. My maroon loveseat was free. I still wonder what whitehaired critter once slept on the couch, but it’ll do until the semester ends. The rest of my furniture cost me less than $200: a comfy sofa chair with an ottoman, a huge wooden kitchen table with wobbly kitchen chairs and a rugged coffee table to name a few. I even got a huge bundle of kitchen plates and silverware with the coffee table. I didn’t have to pick up any of the stuff, either. It was all delivered. So for students with no huge pick-up trucks or vehicles, Craigslist works the magic.

3. Making it home Even with furniture and a bed, apartments need a little more to become homes. This calls for decorating. Tapestries add a little comfy feeling. Sure, everyone has a tapestry but if the one that hangs from your wall is one of a kind, it’ll feel yours. In honor of my love for journalism, my roommate had the brilliant idea of creating a collage of my articles on our wall. All students have that one thing they can showcase through their home decor. My parents may have never hung my prized quizzes in elementary school, but now I hang my prized stories.

Even with furniture and a bed, apartments need a little more to become homes. This calls for decorating.

When looking for an off-campus apartment, don’t let furnishing it sway you away. If you can find a furnished apartment, kudos to you. But a non-furnished apartment isn’t an automatic reject. With the challenge of filling the space, the apartment becomes more of a home — an important quality when your true home sits across the country. Yessenia Funes can be reached at or @yessfun on Twitter.


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The tale of two college neighborhoods since moving to the Avenues:

Katrina Cameron Editor-in-chief

My dad always told me to take pride in my home, but I struggled with doing so until moving to where I currently live. Chico has been my home for about three years now, but the townhouse I currently reside in is the first place to truly feel homely. Every other college home felt more like a hotel room: undersized, overpriced, temporary and of little importance. I spent most of my college years living in apartments with beer stained carpets, makeshift kitchens and the kind of neighbors who drink on a Wednesday afternoon while blasting terrible country music. After two years of living in “the streets,” also known as the south campus neighborhood, I decided that I needed to get away from the ruckus during my senior year. Although I knew I’d miss living across the street from campus, I decided that I needed to spend my senior year living in a more quaint neighborhood. I feel like one of the most grown-up decisions I’ve made in my early 20's was deciding to live in the quiet avenues, away from the downtown scene. Here are some ways that my college living experience has improved

Living large Filling my current living room with furniture is out of reach for the average college student because it is simply too spacious. This is a good problem to have. This was a pleasant upgrade from my last apartment, especially since it lacked a common space to be utilized as a living room. I basically invited friends over to hang out in my bare kitchen, scantily-furnished bedroom or dangerously tilted balcony when I lived downtown. My avenue home is actually large enough to have personal space, entertain visitors and actually have a guest bedroom. Downtown housing always felt so crammed, as if the tight spaces were to accommodate school children rather than college students. Feeling like rent is worth every penny The fact that the total rent for my two story townhouse is less than $1,000 a month is so unreal. My roommates and I have all that we need in a home and it’s only a 10 minute bike ride from campus. I remember seeing an advertisement from my current home on Craigslist and thinking, “this place is too good to be true; there must be a flaw somewhere.” Crappy, cheap downtown housing in “the streets” led me to the notion that there must

be something wrong with a home if the rent is so affordable. I later realized that my previous places were so worn down because they were abused as party homes for years and years. Less noisy neighbors to deal with Besides the occasional loud truck bumping music or a neighbor's dog barking, my neighborhood is very hushed. Although I was unfamiliar with the sound of silence at first, I now find it extremely comforting. I can finally do homework without bass-heavy tunes blasting through my headphones to drown out the sound of drunkards outside my window. I lived at The Zoo, a party central apartment complex, for a year and then moved to a place behind a boisterous fraternity the following year. Needless to say, I really longed for a home that came with peace and quiet. Moving to a quieter neighborhood for my senior year was a great decision, even if I miss being near Chico’s thriving downtown scene. The home I live in currently is more than just a pit stop. This might be a sign of growing up, but I finally feel like I can actually take pride in my home in the Avenues. Katrina Cameron can be reached at or @KatCameron91 on Twitter.

Transfer student doesn't have time for 'home' Mozes Zarate News Editor

I’m a 23-year-old transfer student. I spent four years in the community college trying to figure it all out before deciding to make Chico home. For my first year, I chose to live in the University Village, the off-campus housing on Nord Avenue. I live in a four-person cluster, meaning I have my own room, share a bathroom with a guy and a kitchen with him and two others. I have a resident adviser. His name is Chris. I don’t have to pay utilities. Internet is free. The police regularly scare away those people on bikes who like to recycle. They say we’re

a little safer for it. Everybody else is on the same boat you’re in, all students. It’s simpler. Though, it’s at least $500 more expensive than getting an apartment that’s comparable. When I moved in, I had all these plans. I was going to get a couch. Put some posters up. Get a nice television. Make it home for the time I was going to be there. It’s been seven months and I’ve done none of that. These days it’s a place where I sleep. The plain walls are nice for staring into at night. Dreaming, wondering whether I should start thinking about that couch, though I’ll be out of here in two months when the spring semester’s over and the lease is up. It doesn’t feel like home, and I’m not sure it should. I’ve got another year before I get what I came for, and it seems like I’m here to get it over with.

I have this Word document on my desktop. I read it every day to remind myself why I’m here. Things like discovery, experience, change, independence and, of course, that sheet of paper that I’m accumulating debt for. It’s a reminder that I came here for a reason, or reasons. Home isn’t one of them. A lot of us consider this a momentary place in our lives. Time gets a little less generous every day, and it’s hard to settle down when you’re still sprinting for the goal line. Wherever you decide to live, make it a home, or don’t. Personally, I’m not here to lay on a couch. Mozes Zarate can be reached at or @mzarate139 on Twitter.

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The Orion ∤ Infographic by Ernesto Rivera


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Craft Cat: Handy key hanger Keep track of your keys by making this creative wall hook

Lindsay Pincus Do-It-Yourself Columnist

The project I chose to do this week is a key hook for the wall. My roommate and I both wanted this for our apartment. It costs a pretty penny to lose a mail key and I want to be able to keep track of mine. This do-it-yourself project did not go exactly as planned, but I improvised and it turned out great. Price: $10 Time: 30 minutes Lindsay Pincus can be reached at

The materials are hot glue, brushes, nails, hooks, paint, a hammer, a wooden board and a wooden cutout. or

Step 1: The materials for this project include: paint, paintbrushes, a hot glue gun, a hammer, nails, hooks, a small wooden piece and a wooden cutout. I purchased all of the crafting materials at Michaels and the hooks and nails can be found at any local hardware store.

@theorion_news on Twitter.

Step 2: Next, paint the wooden board and cutout. I painted the board and the cutout different colors to make it pop. A variety of wooden cutouts were available when I was shopping for the materials. I chose a key because it fit perfectly with this project.

Step 3: Once the paint dries, hot glue the wooden cutout to the board.

Step 4 and 5: Next, hammer the hooks into the board. You can also hot glue the hooks down, but nailing it will give it more support. Finally, put the key hook on the wall. I used sticky strips, but you can attach a string or a hook in the back of it, too.


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Readers, Digest: Simple spicy stir-fry Christina Saschin Food Columnist

Between studying for tests, going to the Wildcat Recreation Center and spending time with friends, having to make dinner can be daunting. After coming home from a late class, I like to make a simple dinner that is still as flavorful and delicious as something I would order at a restaurant. Eggplant is a misunderstood food for most people. For one thing, it isn’t even a vegetable; it’s a fruit. The key to preparing eggplant well is the seasoning you use. Eggplant almost resembles tofu when diced — it is spongy in consistency and does not contain a lot of flavor. The bland flavor makes it possible to be creative and flavor the fruit however you like. I coated the eggplant and other veggies in this stir-fry recipe in a homemade sweet and salty sauce. Christina Saschin can be reached at or

@Stina127 on Twitter.


ere plant, whe. Slice g g e e th f e top o ith a paring knif . Cut off th s tw le b ta e g g g e e plan the e ve th th l f e o e p ll a d oms. Chop ro h s u 1. Washtem is located, an. m d ers an the s ise, then dice bell pepp n e e r w g th d g n n a en le garnish. nt and red and gret 10 ice the red s d a t, e x s e u N 2. side to ggpla ; abou jalapenoe.en onion and set ah olive oil. Saute ebles become softf the veggies, o eta wit gr 3. Chop a large frying pandium heat until vegr it in with the rest t ti e a s o m d 4. C peppers over y sauce ach an d the spinach is tender. e tomato sauce, so bell d a t, x e N minutes. cooking until spinlty sauce, combinl mixed. sweet and continue the sweet and saall bowl. Stir unti dd the homemade ,a m ke ve. 5. To maagave nectar in a sinto serving bowls ion to ser n o n e e r g bles and ped with chop the vegeta 6. Spoonsauce and garnish salty


Total Time HAT YOU NEE D: :2 Yield: 4 1- 0 minutes cu • 4 min p servings i

bre • 1 table ad rolls spoon oli ve oil • 1/4 cu p mushro oms, dice • 1/2 cu d p spinach • 1/2 re d bell pep per, diced • 1/2 gr een bell p ep • 1 egg plant, dic per, diced ed • 1 gree n onion • 1 jala peno • 2 table (omit to avoid spic iness) spoons to ma •

to sauce 1 tablesp o o n s o y sauce • 1 table spoon ag ave necta r

Saute a medley of vegetables for a simple stir-fry.

The Orion ∤ Photograph by Christina Saschin


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The war over who does dishes Liz Coffee Art director

“This year things are going to be different. We’re going to all pull our weight. We’re only going to drink on the weekends and never run out of toilet paper.” There is a beautiful glimmer of hope that surrounds a new roommate situation. Too often that promise of a tranquil home slowly turns into the situation that many of us know too well: the roommate war zone. There’s that pot that has been “soaking” for maybe a week now, a slew of passive aggressive post-it notes and the ever delicate balancing game of “how much trash can I stack on the can before it falls.” I think my personal record was well over a foot before I caved and took it out. Whether you live with your besties or the least sketchy person you could find on Craigslist, it’s all fun and games until someone got drunk and ate your leftovers. They should have made room in the high school curriculum on how to be a good roommate. It’s a class I certainly did not take. My late night post-bar meals have often left our kitchen atrocious, I have to be reminded to put pants on when we have a guest and must take credit for a good percentage of the post-it notes. I live with three other women, and not one of us is perfect. Imagine a small house with four very big personalities and only one bathroom. Patience gets tested, especially when your roommate is taking a shower and you really, really have to pee. My mind wanders to a wonderful dream of having a place to myself where I

don’t have to put my name on my groceries and have the freedom to recklessly watch crappy TLC shows without judgement. The grass is always greener on the other side, I just happen to not be able to pay the utilities by myself on that side. As I stand proudly with all my medals from war, I realize just how pointless the entire thing is. When we lower our weapons, it becomes clear why we chose to live together in the first place. We saw something in each other that said, “yeah, I could totally see you at your worst and love you nonetheless,” and the biggest pile of dirty dishes in the world wouldn’t change that. Maybe its just that we got so caught up in the “war” that we never realized that we had been on the greener side of the entire time. Liz Coffee can be reached at or @lizthecoffee on Twitter.

n i e mov AL! I C E SP Grenade FREE ! ! g n i n at sig

The Orion ∤ illustration by liz coffee

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Housing Guide – The Orion Vol. 72, Issue 9  

This is the electronic issue of the print edition released March 26, 2014.