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Davis, California

Monday, May 27, 2024

The fall quarter columnists

Every quarter, The California Aggie hires a new group of opinion columnists who write weekly pieces on a topic of their choosing. This Fall, our columnists represent a wide array of beliefs and concerns.

Jesús Olivares Guerrero, a senior communications and business double major, turns our attention to Europe. Recently, the continent has been the site of conflicts ranging from a refugee crisis to the instability of the Greek economy. Guerrero, an international student from Spain, offers pointed opinions on these matters, and critically examines institutions like the European Union to help identify problems and solutions. He writes with the Davis community in mind, hoping to bring what may be an overlooked continent into clear focus.

As Guerrero’s topic is driven by geography, Hayley Prokos’ is driven by age. A senior French and English double major, Prokos will write about Millennial culture. Generally defined as the generation born between the early 80’s and 00’s, Millennials are one of the largest demographics in the United States. But despite the population size, questions about this generation’s identity — including their preferences, priorities and composition— remain contentious. Prokos wants to analyze these questions, first by identifying what we know about Generation Y and then using these facts to create her own narrative.

Martha Greenburg, a junior communications major, focuses on one of the millennial generation’s trademark concerns: how to be a good consumer. Greenburg’s interest in how and why the products we buy affect our environment leads her to explore the concept of so-called ‘ethical consumerism’. Do we boycott goods produced by employees paid sub-par wages? How do we choose whether to buy meat at the supermarket or the farmer’s market? Greenburg has a particular mission to inform readers about which companies might best reflect their political, social and economic views. She will recount her own experience of becoming a more conscious spender in order to show others what steps they can make, and what mistakes they should avoid in changing their own consumption habits.

Similarly concerned about making important decisions, Jazmin Garcia will write about online dating and some of its intersection with one of her majors: psychology. With her other major, English, Garcia’s columns promise to be a unique exploration into one of the fastest growing modes of courtship. Her writing will focus in part on the stigma of online dating, which she will parse to see which myths hold up, and which don’t. A part of her concern about online intimacy comes exclusively from technology (she notes that since the 1870’s, two people need not be in the same room to carry a conversation), but she is careful to describe how culture, morality and simple compatibilty play into a potential relationship.

These columns were chosen with a careful consideration of their relevance to the Davis community. Prokos’ column on Millennials won’t just be geared toward an audience of twenty-somethings; she is also writing for Baby Boomers. Guerrero believes that European conflicts can provide a lesson to students right here.

These columnists find value in what you make of their work. If you would like to share a reaction to one of their pieces, you are more than welcome. Their UC Davis emails will be provided at the end of each column.

I hope you have as much pleasure reading their work as I will editing it.

You can reach Eli Flesch at ekflesch@ucdavis.edu.

Graphic designed by Jennifer Wu.


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