First-Year Experience Program

Chico Great Debate

Great Debate - Bringing Together Members of the Campus and Community

Save the Date!

The Chico Great Debate for the Fall 2021 Semester has been postponed, check back in next semester. To learn more or to find out how you can participate, email us at or follow us on Facebook(opens in new window) and Instagram(opens in new window)!

What is the Chico Great Debate?

The purpose of the Chico Great Debate is to bring together members of the campus and community to speak, listen and learn from one another about issues that are important to our students and our communities. This semester's topic is How to Advocate for Change?Means, Methods, and Messaging. Presentations and discussions throughout the event will be focused on how to best advocate for change. Students will present findings based on their research of specific issues, discuss possibilities with their peers, and experts in the area of advocacy will offer advice and feedback.

This semester will offer virtual presentations and discussions that prioritize active listening, respectful exchange of ideas, and collaborative civic learning.

Resources for Students and Faculty

Being and Becoming A College Student (PDF) 

Engaging Students as Participants in Democracy (Google Doc) 

What is Public Sphere Pedagogy?(opens in new window) 

Using your Voice is a Political Choice(opens in new window) 

The Chico Great Debate

'Engaging Our Democracy' is the Theme for Chico Great Debate

What Students Had to Say About Chico Great Debate

"Before the Chico Great Debate, I was never interested in politics at all. I never really cared about who would win. Now, after participating in the Great Debate, I realized that it is very important to vote and to make my voice heard."

"It was nice to see students my age getting involved in the community and making others aware of what is going on in our world. I actually learned a lot at the Great Debate and the information I took away will help me make educated decisions in elections and in everyday life."

"I left the Great Debate way more informed than I entered it. I did not plan on gaining much from my experience other than 20 points, but I can honestly say that I developed a sense of knowledge about current economic and political issues in Chico."

Previous Debate Issues

  • Fall 2021 Climate Change
  • Spring 2020 Climate Change
  • Fall 2020 Cancelled
  • Spring 2019: Engaging in our Democracy
  • Fall 2018: Engaging in our Democracy
  • Spring 2018: The Brain: Trauma, Technology, and Addiction
  • Fall 2017: Issues in Public Health
  • Spring 2017: Gender, Equity, and Marginalized Voices
  • Fall 2016: Politics, Elections, and Citizenship
  • Spring 2016: Higher Education
  • Fall 2015: Criminal Justice
  • Spring 2015: Controversies in Technology
  • Fall 2014: Privatization and the Role of Government
  • Spring 2014: Diversity and Discrimination
  • Fall 2013: Mental Health
  • Spring 2013: Water and Agriculture Policy
  • Fall 2012: Government Spending and Taxation
  • Spring 2012: Issues Surrounding Freedom of Speech
  • Fall 2011: Would policies to increase teacher accountability through merit pay and/or ending tenure improve K-12 education in the State of California?
  • Spring 2011: Should California Increase Restrictions on Immigration?
  • Fall 2010: Should California Repeal the Global Warming Solutions Act?
  • Spring 2010: Should California Legalize Marijuana?