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Monday, September 20, 2021

Editorial: Thanks, business manager

As members of ASUCD, we know how important the Association is to so many students. And most active members know how important Brett Burns is to the Association.

Burns is the ASUCD Business Manager, meaning he works with student government and unit directors to ensure financial stability within the Association. He’s the man behind the scenes, and he’s been dedicated to student success since he joined the UC Davis staff in 1998 and specifically ASUCD in February of last year.

Burns has accepted a position as Senior Assistant Dean for Administration at the UC Davis School of Law. It’s a level up, and we’re happy for him, but we’re also sad to see him go so soon.

Before Burns, we had former Unitrans General Manager Geoff Straw acting as interim manager, and before that, we had the legendary Mark Champagne, who held the position for a whopping 32 years. We hope the next manager is as enthusiastic as the others have been, and that they stick around a little longer.

We student leaders have lofty goals, with the Association acting as a training ground for bigger things. We need a financially solvent Association, but also one with a business manager that will allow students to take risks.

The ASUCD Coffee House started out as a hippie dream — a student-run alternative to corporate food service. Now it’s a thriving business and a major staple of campus life. The Bike Barn, Unitrans and Whole Earth Festival were once crazy ideas thought up by students, and now they’re respected institutions. Other, newer ASUCD units, like The Pantry and Aggie ReUse, could be similarly established sources of pride in the future.

We know that when the interim business manager is chosen, Burns will make the transition as smooth as possible. In the meantime, we encourage student leaders to continue dreaming big and hope the next business manager can assist with those dreams. And, of course, we thank Burns for all his hard work and mentorship over the past year.

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