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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Welcoming Fall Quarter columnists, new academic year

From left to right: Nicholas Irvin, Justin Chau, Jolena Pacheco (BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE)

New columnists to address both the political and personal

Welcome back to school, Aggies! It’s wonderful to be back on campus, and just a quick look around will tell you why: The Quad is full of energy and excitement, the leaves are changing colors, the first-years are looking panicked in the chaos of the bike circles — and, of course, The Aggie is back on newsstands after a long summer break.

This quarter we have a group of columnists looking at a wide range of topics, covering both the personal and the political. Readers can expect to learn, among other things, how mental health is shamed on a societal and an individual level, as well as the ways people form their political perceptions — and what this means for our future.

But the opinion section is nothing without its readers, and we want to hear from you as well! A college newspaper can’t thrive without interacting with the people who make up the community. If you’re passionate about a current event, whether it’s across the globe or right in your neighborhood, reach out to us. If you take issue with something we published, let us know. We welcome and encourage all guest submissions for consideration — you can submit one at opinion@theaggie.org.  

Let’s keep our newspaper democratic, robust and brimming with discussion. Join the conversation and speak up for what you find important — you’ll likely find that others think it’s important, too.


Here are your Fall Quarter columnists and their respective topics:


Justin Chau

Third-year history major Justin Chau recognizes that many topics of political debate are complex and messy, yet are often reduced to one-sided discussions and easy talking points. Acknowledging that we must first understand where a person gains their political perceptions, Chau wants to analyze how these unshakable values fuel intense political polarization. Looking at all sides of political discourse, Chau will urge readers to question the perspectives they’ve held onto for perhaps their whole lives.


Jolena Pacheco

Many shy away from addressing the sensitive topic of mental health, but not Jolena Pacheco, a fourth-year English and communications double major. Pacheco will tackle the stigma surrounding mental health disorders, investigating what prompts these misunderstandings, as well as offering self-care advice for those living with mental illness. By deconstructing some of the sources of stigma and its repercussions, Pacheco aims to create an environment where all people — whether they’re personally struggling with mental illness or not — feel more comfortable having mature, effective conversations about mental health.


Nick Irvin

Breaking away from the political theme of his former column, third-year comparative literature major Nick Irvin will return to the opinion desk to focus on some of the lessons he’s learned through his life experiences. Irvin will complement personal anecdotes with advice and morals that can be felt universally — on topics such as love, loneliness, introversion and the vital importance of travelling. In a time when the opinion section of every newspaper seems grave and ominous, Irvin wishes to present arguments about the more lighthearted and overlooked aspects of life — in a way that’s entertaining, informative and heartfelt.


Written by: Taryn DeOilers — tldeoilers@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.


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