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Housing Preview CONTENT
Housing horror story
Slob of a roommate
Living with roommates
Frank Rebelo, entrepreneur, philanthropist and two-time winner of The Orion’s Best Photographer. After three semesters as a lowly photographer, he took the reins this semester as photo editor. Frank is from Novato, loves the San Francisco Giants, prefers Canon, and loves all things cute and cuddly.
Samantha is a senior graphic design major minoring in photographic studies. She joined The Orion in fall 2010 as a photographer before becoming photo editor for two semesters and taking on multimedia manager last semester. “Always online at theorion.com.”
Ben is a junior majoring in English and journalism with a passion for teaching and storytelling. He believes in keeping students informed in every way possible — through in-depth print articles, multimedia presentations and rapid-fire tweets.
Juniper joined The Orion in fall 2011 as a news writer and worked as assistant news editor in spring 2012. The Orion awarded Juniper with the Best News Writer award both semesters, and Juniper wrote for a news series that won third place in the California College Media Association in 2012.
Quinn joined The Orion as an opinion columnist in fall 2011 and won Best Opinion Columnist before becoming the opinion editor in spring 2012. Quinn now works as the assistant news editor and anchor for The Orion’s daily newscast. She enjoys long walks on the beach and is mostly known for winning the Hunger Games.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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.
WedneSday, DEC. 19, 2012
the orion •ILLUSTRATION BY Lindsay smith
Housing horror story creates nightmares for tenants Frank Rebelo Photo Editor
Imagine turning on the water to take a shower and having thousands of ants pour out of the drain. It may sound like something out of a horror movie, but it’s not. It happened to some friends of mine in their apartment. Their complex had a horrible insect problem. Ants and spiders, including black widows, were an issue for this tenement. The ants were not
the normal, “I’m going to eat your food” insects, but larger ones that occupied the bathroom to the point where I was too afraid to sit on the toilet for fear they would bite. Upon moving into this apartment, my two friends were missing kitchen drawers, doors, they had light switches that don’t control anything and dead wall outlets. The landlord explained that everything would be fixed by the Monday after they settled in. Monday came and went, and some weeks later only they got a door and a few
more drawers. The electrical issues were never fixed. The complex became know to us as the “Mundy” apartments because the landlord always promised to have everything done by Monday, but it never happened. After meeting some of the neighbors, we came to find out that the reason why most of the items were missing in my friends’ housing was because when the previous tenant moved out, the landlord had left the apartment unlocked. It was a free-for-all, with neighbors grabbing what
they could to replace what was missing in their own apartments. My friends may be having nightmares of giant radioactive bugs, but my neighbor is living like a bum in his own house. Chico recently experienced large amounts of rain. My neighbor got home after spending the night at a friend’s house to find his mattress, carpet and various other items in his room soaked. His ceiling had leaked large amounts of water even though new roofing was placed over our side of the
complex last year. After talking with management, his room will get new carpeting and his ceiling is being torn apart to find the source of the various leaks. He has vacated his room for at least a week to have these things fixed. Currently, his belongings are piled in the kitchen and he’s sleeping on the couch. At least he doesn’t live in the “Mundy” apartments. If he did, he’d still be sleeping under a leaky roof until Monday. Frank Rebelo can be reached at email@example.com
WedneSday, DEC. 19, 2012
the orion •PHOTOgRAPH BY Frank Rebelo
Three ways to get your slob of a roommate to clean up his mess Ben Mullin Ne ws Editor
I knew I had to clean the fridge when my roommate exhumed three Tupperware containers full of months-old food from the crisper drawer and put them on the counter, where the mold glistened through the foggedup, greasy plastic. If you’ve been in this situation, it’s likely your cleaning method is the same as mine: stuff the leftovers in the nearest available container and exile them to the fridge, where they are free to fester out of view. But for cleanly roommates, sharing an apartment with a slob like myself presents a challenge: how do you enlist the cooperation of a sub-human who has no concern for the way his lair looks? How can you make him scrub when his cleaning vocabulary consists of three words, two of which are “shove” and “pile?” After some thinking, I’ve compiled a list of the top three ways to get your messy roommate to drop his video game controller and pick up a sponge. A word of warning: This isn’t easy. In some cases, it might just be easier to do the cleaning yourself.
1. Doing the dishes If you’re a clean person, you grind your teeth to the gums every hour as you pass the watersauce bog that the plates are floating in. But here’s the thing: Your slob roommate is totally oblivious to the mess. The only way to make your roommate clean the dishes is to force him to confront the fact that the dishes are in fact dirty, and to make
their unclean state as annoying to him as it is to you. That’s why I suggest taking every single dish that is slowly accumulating indelible layers of gravy film and slipping them cozily into places that your roommate retreats to for comfort. For example, consider replacing the bookmark in his favorite book with the food-encrusted tines of a dinner fork. Slip a ketchup-coated plate in the space between the pillow and pillowcase. Or, if you’re really daring, gently cradle a soggy sponge between his head and neck, where his phone usually goes. If you survive the ensuing fight, your roommate will never leave the dishes undone again.
2. Cleaning his room You’re roommate’s messy room is a different animal, because even though it isn’t community property, it still affects your enjoyment of the apartment. In that sense, his unclean room is the equivalent to the forest of big, shiny pinwheels your neighbor keeps on his lawn, or the flatulent cow pasture next to a colonial farmhouse. The bottom line here is that you can’t employ the same tactic you did with the dishes, because you can’t infiltrate his room and mess with his property. That’s why I recommend a different strategy if direct confrontation doesn’t work. To get your roommate to clean his room, simply tie every conversation that expires between you back to the fact that his room is still a heaping pile of trash. For example: Roommate: Did you hear what Jessica said at the movies last night? You: No, but if it sounded anything like your room looks, she should’ve been arrested.
Or: Roommate: I feel like my heart is broken. Rachel just left me after five years. You: It was probably your messy room that drove her off, dude. This technique can put a strain on your friendship, but it’s better than leaving the problem to fester.
3. Maintaining his hygiene The only thing worse than having a messy shower is having a roommate who never uses it. We’ve all lived with this type before: He’s the kind of crustacean who would sooner wear his girlfriend’s baby-doll, extra-small T-shirt than complete a load of laundry. Water scares him. So does detergent. So does social contact. That’s why you have to reach out to this kind of person where he spends most of his time. No, not in his room, that subterranean cave lit by the wan glow of his computer monitor and strewn with Mountain Dew empties, but in the virtual world, the place where he does most of his interaction. To politely tell your friend that soap has been invented, try making a series of Facebook posts that get progressively more specific as the problem gets worse. Hopefully he’ll get the message before you have to tag him in a post that includes a picture of himself, accompanied by the status, “We can’t breathe around you!” If those these tips don’t get you anywhere, my only suggestion is to try finding a new apartment, or pretending that his rent money keeps getting lost in the couch cushions. Given the state of my room, I’d probably believe you. Ben Mullin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
WedneSday, dec. 19, 2012
the orion •ILLUSTRATION BY Lindsay smith
Living alone provides freedom, space Samantha Youngman Multimedia Manager
My PG&E bill is around $15 a month. When I had a roommate it was more than $90 a month. Divided by two, I was paying at least $45 for the heater I didn’t want turned on and lights glowing in rooms I didn’t use. It was terrible. Getting ready for school meant not being able to shower because my roommate would get to our shared bathroom before me. She would spend the morning blowdrying her hair while I sat in my dimly-lit bedroom throwing on makeup. I would come home from school tired and hungry. Every light in the house would be on, the TV would be blaring and my roommate would be cooking dinner. This meant I got
to sit in my room waiting for the kitchen to be clear so I could eat. Once dinner was made, I couldn’t sit on the couch because my roommate was there watching one of her shows and I couldn’t sit at the kitchen table because she had all of her stuff piled there. Back to my room I went to eat at my desk or spill on my bed. These may sound like first world problems, and I agree they are, but I like to have things done a certain way. I am fortunate enough to have help paying rent from my mother, so I am able to live alone. It was the best decision I ever made and mom no longer has to listen to me whine about the mess I was living in. When I come home the house is exactly as I left it. I know that only my stuff is going to be sitting out, and I can clean everything in just a few minutes. I don’t have to clean up after anyone else or wait for him
or her to do it. When I go grocery shopping, there is room for my food. One thing I absolutely hated when I had roommates was buying frozen food and having nowhere to put it because all the freezer space was taken. When I want something to eat, I know my food is there for me. There is never an IOU in my empty egg carton or slices of bread missing because a roommate forgot to go shopping. If I have no food, it is my fault and I had better head to the market. When I sit down at night to watch TV, I know I have my couch waiting for me. I know my shows are recorded and weren’t deleted because my roommate had to watch “Law and Order: SVU” reruns. I know I’ll have uninterrupted time to watch an episode of “The Office” without having to strain to hear on account of my roommate and her
boyfriend’s loud conversation. When I want quiet study time I know I will have it. No need to go to the library, because I have everything I need at home and no roommate having a party in my living room during finals week. When I run out of toilet paper, I put a new roll on. When I spill, I clean it up. When I need to do laundry, the machines are empty. When I need to nap, it is quiet. When I want to have a party, I do. When I want the heater on, I put on a sweatshirt – let’s not be rash. Some people don’t do well without people around all the time. I’m not one of those people. I need my space, and I need to be able to breathe. Though sometimes I do wish someone was around to kill those spiders. Samantha Youngman can be reached at email@example.com
WedneSday, dec. 19, 2012
the orion •ILLUSTRATION BY Lindsay smith
Living with roommates essential part of college life Juniper Rose Housing guide
Roommates are an essential part of college life. I have three housemates, and I can sum up the reasons why I couldn’t have gotten through this semester without them in three words: laughattacks, milk and hair. Laugh-attacks I know the contours of my linoleum kitchen floor far too well, thanks to my roommates and their unrelenting ability to make me laugh so hard I can’t stand up. When you can barely handle the stress of college, there is not much that can compare with coming home to someone who makes you laugh. The most quintessential reason to have roommates is because roommates can be your best friends. More than best friends, roommates are the people that are there for
you. My roommates are like my sisters away from home. When I need a ride home, I know I can call them. When life gets overwhelming I know where they are, and I can pull them along on a midnight trip to go stargazing and get my mind off things. I never have to be alone when it is 3 a.m. and I still have homework to do, because they’ve been procrastinating with me. College is a time when friends are constantly changing, but when you live with someone you have them on-lock no matter what. Milk I can’t even imagine living alone and having to be entirely self-sufficient. No one to takes turns sharing the trips to the store to buy toilet paper. No one to make you tea when you are sick – or just too deep in the couch to be able to get up. No one to share your ice cream with when you feel too guilty to eat it alone. Okay, don’t read this part roomies.
Everyone else: What about that moment when you have already poured the cereal, when you realize you are out of milk. And then you just steal some of their milk and assume they will do the same next time they are out. If you don’t have roommates what do you do? Put the cereal back in the box? That can’t be a thing. Hair If you have a lot of roommates, or even just three, you can always blame the mess, the broken cup or the scratched DVD on someone else. I grew up in a big family, so this is a game I can’t help but play. Then, there are chores. I am aware that this street goes both ways, but I know I don’t want to be the one who has to run the dishwasher every single time. Having roommates gives you a chance to get a break, and be pleasantly surprised when you come home to a clean kitchen. On the days when you have free time, you have the chance to do the
dishes for them and brighten someone else’s day. One more thing that you can only relate to if you have roommates who are women, when it seems a longhaired mastiff has shed all over your house, you can always tell yourself it’s someone else’s hair. Juniper Rose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE ON Perks of Roommates Safety: -Your home is less susceptible to intruders if you have roommates to share the responsibility of looking out for one another. -You can trade off on taxi duty and pick each other up from night classes. Finances: -It’s less expensive to rent a room in a four-bedroom apartment than a one-bedroom. -You can split utilities.
WedneSday, dec. 19, 2012
the orion •PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY Frank Rebelo
The do’s and don’ts of office sleepovers Quinn Western Ne ws Editor
The university police officer opened the propped door to Plumas Hall at 2 a.m. and made his way down to The Orion office. There he found the current managing editor sleeping on a row of chairs — probably drooling — in the dark room. It wasn’t the first time an Orion staffer made camp in the dusty newsroom. I, myself, have taken naps that turn into sleepovers and late-night walks that change to “maybe I’ll just stay here
tonight.” I spend so much time in The Orion I’m surprised President Paul Zingg hasn’t popped his head in asking me for rent money. The basement has become my second home as it has for other aspiring journalists in past years that have left their mark — literally. I’ve considered investing in a couch, but luckily I was reminded of an Orion alum who kept a pillow down at the office that seemed to be made up of dust, stench and sweat. Since that option is out, I have rounded up the do’s and don’ts of office sleepovers. So when you Wildcats enter the real world and
find yourself working late nights at the office, keep these in mind: DO arrange four to six chairs together for a not-so-comfortable night. Be mindful of which chairs you choose because weaving through armrests can be painful. DON’T keep going back to the water cooler. Going to the restroom by yourself at night is sketchy. DO keep a blanket in your desk. Just don’t tell anyone and be sure to wash it periodically to keep the nastiness away. DON’T bother cleaning your dishes. I find that the photo room sink is a great home for my leftovers. What’s the purpose of a sink in the photo room anyway?
Welcome digital! DO keep a tooth brush in your desk. DON’T bathe in the photo sink. I was drawn in by the smell of newspapers and coffee and the sounds of typing and the screaming printer. But there’s something unhealthy about your place of work becoming your home. I can’t promise that I’ll make it home to my bed next semester, but I’ll lock the door to prevent an officer’s flashlight from beaming in my face. Quinn Western can be reached at email@example.com.
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