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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Column: Don’t screw up the alarm code

In my time as the Business Manager for The California Aggie, I was mostly known for being obsessed with not having false alarms in The Aggie offices. This goodbye column is my only editorial contribution I will have made to The Aggie, and I could wax lyrical about how the business health of The Aggie will be brighter and that the structural changes we have made will ensure a long, continued life for the paper for years to come.

Fuck that.

I want to bitch about what’s really steamed my chestnuts on campus for the time I’ve been here.

First: bikers, get off the damn sidewalk. I give you every opportunity to throw your healthy asses under my car every time I drive in Davis; so let me walk in peace. And while we’re at it — please remember the rules of the road apply to you. If you tangle with my car, I assure you it will win. And if you hit me when I’m walking, I will sue.

Second: don’t bag on The Aggie. Yeah, it’s not always Pulitzer Prize-worthy, but it’s a wholly student-run, formerly daily newspaper. Remember how stressed you are when you have two three-page papers due in a week? Well, we had the equivalent of that every day for a year. I’m damn proud of the kids, as I know how much they are paid (the ones that are paid at all, that is) and frankly, they can’t tip if they go out for beers on our meager stipends.

Third: show some love. Around campus if I get a grunt when I hold open a door for anyone under 30, I’m touched by the level of human gratitude I’ve experienced. “Please” and “thank you” will take you far in life, and that starts with the little things. If someone hands you anything — even a piece of dog shit — the appropriate response is “Thank you!” said in a hearty and heartfelt manner. And, if someone thanks you, we always respond with a warm “You’re welcome.” Being courteous will get you far in life and will occasionally get you the employee discount from your favorite stranger in your favorite retail establishment. Or a flavor pump at Starbucks. Or heck — you might even be nice to your future spouse, so start being courteous now.

And finally, please, for the love of God, UC Davis, stop nickel-and-diming the students. There’s a tiny charge for this, a parking permit payment for that, a usage fee this. We’re already paying $15,000 in fees as residents. What say you stop with the fabulous events like the climbing wall and adult bouncy castles bullshit over by Segundo last week, and maybe drop the Chancellor’s salary by half. I’m not saying start giving us all lattes in classes before noon, but let’s take half that woman’s over-the-top 1-percent salary and make a scholarship fund. Or perhaps use the money to automatically enroll each graduating class in the alumni association. God knows after $30,000 to $60,000 in student fees in two to four years we’ve more than paid our dues.

OK, rant over. To my fabulous staff and co-workers at The Aggie, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sense of community and belonging I’ve had here at UC Davis. I’ve partied like a rock star, had a few tears and read some amazing things here at The Aggie. Without The Aggie I’d have been another one of those re-entry students that seem to be wandering the Quad aimlessly as if part of an oncoming zombie apocalypse. You guys gave me a crypt to be keeper of, and I’ll both never forget or forgive you for that.

Janelle, it’s your turn to buy beers.

JONATHAN WESTER can be reached at jonathan.wester@gmail.com and hopefully will be doing a MA in history at CalPoly SLO where you can reach him this autumn at jwester@calpoly.edu. Either way, don’t contact him about bike issues. He will hunt you down.

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