First-Year Experience

Sense of Place: A Symposium on Connection

What is SOP?

The Spring 2023 Sense of Place Symposium will be held in the BMU on April 27th! SOP is a biannual event designed to foster active student participation in mutual engagement with the campus and community.  Student's research and write throughout the semester about an issue of concern connected to the campus and/or community and present their research to and engage in dialogue with a public audience about the issue of concern.  Students than use that dialogue to identify ways they could further their connections with the campus and/or community.

Sense of Place will help students:

  • connect their classroom learning to the greater community
  • foster a sense of belonging
  • find resources offered on campus and in the community
  • encourage student involvement with the campus and community beyond the SOP event

The Civic Expo!

One of the main components of our event is the Civic Expo, where campus and community organizations are given the chance to inform students of the resources and opportunities they offer. Not only is this a great opportunity for Club Outreach, but it allows for students to see what is offered in their community and how to get involved.

An organization tabling at the Sense of Place civic expo.

How to get involved!

We are looking for campus and community members who can engage our students, offer positive and constructive feedback, and are willing to learn and incorporate their ideas into the work they do. Volunteer slots are one hour (but not limited to) on the day of the event.  Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions at

Attend a Presentation

Audiences of all backgrounds are encouraged to sit in and add to the conversation surrounding the student presentations whether they know about a topic or not. This vital role helps to foster academic discussion and provides students with a fully immersive experience.

Civic Expo

We are also looking for student organizations and campus departments who would like to table at the event to share information with students about how to get involved or what resources are offered to them at Chico State and within the Chico Community. The goal is to help our students find connection and a sense of belonging in Chico.


As a moderator, your role is to help ensure student presentations run smoothly. This includes helping students and respondents get set up, keeping track of time during presentations, and stamping the student’s stamp sheets at the end of the session. 


As a respondent, you are expected to actively listen and engage in student presentations while providing feedback using the Feedback Forms (Google Doc). After the students present their work, you will ask them questions about their research and presentation that will further engage them with their content. 

Student Presenters

The Student Presenters role is a very unique opportunity for students to showcase their learnings and knowledge acquired  following their semester long projects which are focused on topics surrounding the Chico State community. Click here to see participating courses.

What students had to say about Sense of Place

  • “The experience was an opportunity to push myself to be better and to get out of my comfort zone.” - SOP 2022 Student Presenter
  • “It meant a sense of personal growth and a way for me to gain more public speaking skills which I know are essential and important for my future.” - SOP 2022 Student Presenter
  • “It meant that there was a place for everyone no matter how different you are.” 

                        - SOP 2022 Student Presenter

  • “The sense of place experience was a good way to promote ideas and spread awareness of many issues and that was a good experience to have.” - SOP 2022 Student Presenter

Courses involved this semester

MATH 198, MATH 105, CMST 132, and UNIVERSITY 101


Two members of the ballroom dance showing off their skills at the civic expo.

Students giving a presentation at the Sense of Place

Two Fye employees