Thursday, April 26, 2012


By Julie Ruocco, Account Executive

The “G” word has been the most feared term in my vocabulary as of lately. I’ll just go ahead and say it – graduation. Fewer than 30 days separate me from the most anxiety-filled, exhilarating and perplexing time in my life. As I near the end of my college experience, I reminisce about what made these four years great:
  • Greek life.  What I’ve received from being Greek is far more than cute T-shirts and a busy social calendar. Greek life has opened many doors for me and has resulted in friendships and a sense of belonging that will extend far beyond graduation. My sense of confidence, communication skills and leadership can be directly attributed to the core values learned from being Greek.
  • Department of Journalism & PR.  Not only has the faculty given me a multitude of skills on using various media, but the program has given me hands-on experience that is rare in the college realm. Besides the strong skill set taught, more than anything the program has given me incredible passion I plan to take on in the journalism field. 
  • Work.  Believe  it or not, working throughout college has been extremely positive. Besides earning some extra income, managing work, school and internships has allowed me to develop great multitasking abilities which is something invaluable in the public relations industry.

Although what’s to happen in the next couple of weeks is unclear, I am confident in myself and my experiences acquired in the past four years. The “G” word, although looming, doesn't seem quite as scary when I look at what’s been accomplished.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse....In Chico?

By Megan Greene, Graphic Designer

If you are a Chico State student you might wonder why, once every semester, a bunch of people run around campus in arm and head bands. If you are not a student, you might just be curious how a game called Humans vs. Zombies is played. Either way, I am here to tell you about a game that has easily given me some of my favorite Chico State memories."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Letters Today, Leaders Tomorrow.

By Kayla Noriega, Social Media Assistant and Editorial Assistant

It is no secret that there are preconceived notions about what it means to be in a sorority or fraternity.  Having seen the film “Legally Blonde,” I thought I had sorority life all figured out—overly bubbly, girly-girls who look perfect all the time.  As a college freshman, I knew I wanted no part in it.

If someone would have told me four years ago that I would end my college experience living with 12 other women in a sorority house, I would have laughed in that person’s face.  Yet here I am. I’m graduating in May, I have 12 roommates and I live in the Gamma Phi Beta house.

What initially sparked my interest in sorority life was seeing all my friends who were members have the opportunity to do the things I missed most from high school.  There were dances, fundraising events benefiting philanthropies, sports, and, above all, the opportunity to meet wonderful people that you may not have met otherwise.

Becoming a sorority member my sophomore year not only opened me up to what initially interested me, but also fed my love of leadership.  When I started college, I had six years of previous leadership experience and was looking for a way to get more involved on campus.  Joining a sorority allowed me to do that.

I held the position of activities chair within my chapter in which I was responsible for planning and putting on parents’ weekends for more than 100 women and their guests.  At the same time, I served on the Panhellenic Executive Board, the governing board representing the five chapters on campus, as vice president of programming and scholarship.

By holding positions within a chapter and by interacting with many different people, sorority and fraternity members have the opportunity to gain valuable skills that prepare them for their future.  Current Panhellenic President Katie Ennis shared how she has benefitted from sorority life.

“Taking on leadership positions within my own chapter, as well as the greater Greek community, has challenged my skills as a leader and allowed me to gain experience that I know will benefit me in the future. Working as a team with my fellow executive members has provided me with skills in communication, delegating and time management,” Ennis said.

We’ve all heard that in the workplace, it’s all about who you know.  Probably the most important skill that chapter members develop is networking.  Belonging to a sorority or fraternity forces you to interact with individuals in your own chapter and with members of other chapters.  This gives members useful communication skills and practice with putting themselves out there.

Krista Fisher, a senior accounting major and former financial vice president for her sorority, has experienced networking firsthand.  Both of her advisors for her position were accountants and helped teach her valuable lessons for a career in accounting that she may not have been able to learn in the classroom.

“You meet so many people when you’re in a sorority. You not only make friends, you make professional connections that can help you fulfill your career aspirations,” Fisher said.

From the outside, sorority and fraternity life may have negative associations such as exclusivity and superficiality.  Those are just perpetuated stereotypes and in reality, membership is about creating friendships, philanthropic endeavors and cultivating leadership skills.

To cite a familiar phrase that we never seem to outgrow, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  The letters we wear represent the strong bond of sisterhood or brotherhood that exist within each organization despite the misconceptions that are out there.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Under the Cover

By Leza Ahrens, Graphic Designer

I never really gave much thought into how much went into putting a book together, up until now. You have the jacket, the binding, the endpapers, blank leaves, bastard title, frontispiece, title page, copyright, dedication, forward, preface, acknowledgements, contents, introduction, body, glossary, index and colophon. Phew! See what I mean? There are so many aspects. 
The two main cooks: My tia Carmen and grandmother in Morelia Michoacan, Mexico.

Well, this semester I am glad I learned to appreciate how precious a book can be. I found a few sites helpful for printing a book in InDesign and researching parts of a book. The two main cooks: My tia Carmen and grandmother in Morelia Michoacan, Mexico.

The most important thing to my family is family; We do everything together, I mean everything. What brings us together most, though, is food. Every dish that is made has a story behind it. That is why I decided to make a Mexican family cookbook, entitled “A Family Gathering,” for my CDES “Publication Design” class. 
My family is known for its awesome food, but with every generation the recipes die off a little. I wanted to make sure I had these old recipes while I still have my grandmother to teach me. I also decided to include old stories that my aunts had while they were growing up –  a bit of family history to always remember. 

Making this book was quite a challenge. Almost every other day family members are at my grandparents’ house, which is where we all gather. I had to make sure I got back from school in time for dinner so that I could write the recipes and take photos. The hardest part was probably making measurements. My aunts never use them. They cook for about 10 people, and they cook so fast it is hard to keep up with them.  It was fun gathering old stories and talking about the past. Every day at my grandparents’ is full of laughter, food and love. 

After I got the body of the book written, I began the front and back and finally got to the real tedious part of sewing the signatures and gluing the book cloth and endpapers. Finally, I topped the project off with the book jacket, which is a photo of a bunch of Mexican objects that belong to my mom, aunts and grandma. 

I am more than happy with the end product, and my book has become like a precious little baby to me. I almost had separation anxiety when I had to turn it in to be graded. When I showed my family the book they were crazy excited and proud. Because of our love for each other and food, we will always continue our traditions. Now we have a book to remind us, just in case we forget.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The New Art Form

By Sara Koniniec, Lead Photographer
Ever heard of Van Gogh? How about Picasso? My guess is that if you retained any art history information these names would sound familiar. How about
Banksy? Does Shepard Fairey ring a bell? These are legendary names in the graffiti community, and they are pushing their way into mainstream recognition.

3D Joe and Max break the Guinness World Record
for the largest ever 3D street art.

It’s Not Just for Gangsters
Graffiti is not just the dirty black spray paint writing on a garbage can. When people think of graffiti, they think of their tax dollars being spent on covering up the graffiti eyesores; they think of how it degrades the value of their neighborhood.

It’s understandable why people do not like to look at graffiti, but that’s because they don’t know the side of it that I 

do – the beautiful art that takes a keen eye and attention to detail, just like any other art form.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the legitimacy of this “new” art form. When you really think about it, graffiti can trace its roots all the way back to the cave paintings on the Lascaux caves 17,300 years ago. Because of its subculture roots today, the general public hasn’t accepted that graffiti can and will be a respectable means of expression. There’s an ongoing tension between city officials who want to restrict graffiti, and others who want to promote art in public locations.

It’s Inspirational
When I hear the word graffiti, I think of vibrant color palettes, gas masks, political messages and elaborate sketches. I’m not talking about the scribbles of someone else’s tagged name.

I’m talking about the thirty-foot-high murals that take hours on end to create.

I’m talking about the skill involved in controlling small particles of paint at high pressures and crafting them into the specific shape you want.

And, I’m talking about the serious political issues that these artists have chosen to make public.

Street art by Mesa
What I’m really trying to do is shed some light on the beautiful side of graffiti, and hopefully everyone will appreciate this amazing form of expression.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kiss My CSS

By Mark Rojas, Art Director

There are plenty of things I do to entertain myself such as eating jalapeƱos and playing with LEGOs, but my new favorite pastime is HTML coding.

The social media network Myspace became the norm in the later years of my high school career. One of the interesting aspects of the website was the ability to customize the layouts so long as you input code in the correct spaces.

One code I was particularly fond of was the “<marquee>” tag. Depending on the script, one could use the marquee tag to make images or text scroll in a desired direction. I recall setting up the code so a small image of Pac-Man was being chased up and down my profile.

Myspace has declined in popularity, but my interest in manipulating the appearance of Web pages has not. I enrolled in some courses at Chico State involving Web design and was informed, that since the Web standards are changing, not to buy books but instead conduct research via the Internet.

My Google searches for “How to make a drop-down menu” or “adding Web fonts to a Web page” brought many results and helped me learn on my own time.

I tend to steer clear from WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) programs such as DreamWeaver and KompoZer simply because I do not have access to those programs on my personal computer. There is something very rewarding about typing in different code commands and successfully getting the desired outcome.

As part of my art director duties, I wanted to update the TGC website. I searched around the Net for inspiration and found some styles that I thought would enhance the site. The biggest challenge was dealing with jQuery, a concise JavaScript that enhances HTML coding. The new slider on the home page required adjustments to the jQuery code to allow for complete customization to fit the new template.

There are a lot of amazing things that can be done with HTML, and I am hoping to learn as much as I can with the resources on the Net and the professors at Chico State.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Do You De-stress?

By Megan Grasty, General Manager

Public Relations has been classified as the seventh most stressful job in 2012. In order to be successful in such a stressful career path, it’s important to figure out your best way to blow off steam. Here’s a look at my relaxation method: baking.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Better Living Through Video Games

By Megan Hoffman, Editorial Assistant

I am not ashamed to call myself a gamer.

I’m proud to say that whatever time my parents might have spent trying to suppress my desire to play video games came out in college, and I’m even prouder to say that I’m going into video games as a career after I’ve graduated from Chico State.

Despite much controversy, video games have become a major staple to American culture, and the benefits of playing video games are numerous. In fact, a survey in 2010 by the
Entertainment Software Association showed the gaming industry made $25.1 billion in revenue that year alone.

Just think of how much that actually HELPS the economy.

Video games don’t just improve the economy, though. They help people improve themselves. According to the
Entertainment Software Rating Board, 67 percent of U.S. households play video games, which means that more than half the people in the U.S. understand these personal benefits.

Video games help change your point of view of a situation.
The diversity in games means that there are many different types of logic games that you can play. For example, Minesweeper is a numbers game that teaches you to find all of the problems in a situation, whereas Portal puts you into a situation that you need to find your way out of. So if you’re stuck on one solution and would like to change your perspective, logic/puzzle games might be your solution to seeing all sides.

2. Video games teach you to work as a team.

Mass multi-player games are steadily rising in popularity. The benefit to these games, such as Modern Warfare or World of Warcraft, is that in order to do well, you have to work together as a team. In WoW especially, players of various skills must team together, utilizing all of their assets, in order to defeat a problem they would not be able to solve alone. These teams must use communication as well as trust in order to achieve success.

3. Video games can be used as a tool to exercise.

With many complaints about how video games are just a mindless activity, there are now consoles such as the Wii and Kinect that get gamers moving and losing those calories. The Wii Fit helps you keep track of your daily intake and pushes you to do more to lose that weight. My personal favorite, however, is Zumba for the Kinect, which works you out but leaves you entertained.

I might fall into the small percentage of gamers that are actually women, but, as a representative of my gender, I can say that my life has improved greatly from my gaming.

Yours might as well.