Editorial | Why we chose “The Best of Orange”

best of orange
Illustration by Gaby Fantone

Chapman’s campus has changed immensely in the last couple of years. New buildings have seemingly appeared overnight, expansions and remodels have become a common sight. Students even received an email on Sep. 5 that informed us of Chapman’s proposed enrollment target of 10,500 students, an increase from the current enrollment cap of 8,700 students. Expanding our school and increasing the enrollment size is an incredible thing – not only does it add to the value of our degrees, but it allows other students to relish in the amazing experience we have had at Chapman. Yet despite all these changes, there’s one thing about Chapman that has remained constant throughout the years: Old Towne Orange.

Chapman’s proximity to Old Towne is part of the reason so many students chose to attend this school. It’s quaint, it’s safe, it’s accepting and it quite literally looks like a 1950s movie set. That’s why we believe that more credit needs to be given to the amazing neighborhood that makes Chapman, Chapman. This lesser-known appreciation we have for Orange led us to create this issue: an issue dedicated to celebrating and highlighting the unique features this town has. “The Best of Orange” is devoted to acknowledging our admiration for this one-of-a-kind place.

While it is true that Chapman students help sustain Orange’s economy, it’s also true that Old Towne sustains Chapman’s atmosphere. In recent years, Orange residents have felt like their town is being overtaken by the increasing amount of Chapman students benefitting off of the community without giving back to it. We can’t mend the past divides between Orange residents and Chapman students, but we can encourage ourselves to do better.

So although we usually report on topics affecting Chapman and Orange County, we wanted to take the time to acknowledge Orange for what it offers. We want to highlight the things that make this area wonderful. We designed this issue in hopes that it would show students other sides of the city that may have been looked over in the past. We hope to use this issue to remind students to give back to the city as much as they take from it. This town is what makes Chapman so special. And although everyone may value Old Towne, they also take it for granted.

Yes, Chapman expanding its presence is something we don’t want to discredit or discourage. But if that’s the case, we need to remember that there’s a whole town that needs our support not just economically, but through increased, genuine engagement. That could look like attending the Orange Home Grown Farmer’s Market each Saturday, working at a local restaurant or making sure to support the place that allows us the opportunity to experience a quaint town, a bustling campus and a beautiful suburb all in one.

Old Towne is not an extension of our campus. We need to make sure that we do our job of protecting and maintaining its charm. That’s what attracted us to Chapman in the first place.