Over the past 103 years, The California Aggie has grown from a small publication run by a handful of students to a weekly broadsheet paper
When The California Aggie first started printing, the President of the United States was feuding with Germany, tens of thousands of women were marching in protest across the country and the Giants had an awful season after their pitching staff fell apart, finishing dead last in the National League. In other words, it was a time not unlike our own. Of course, the devil’s in the details: in 1915, the President feuding with Germany was Woodrow Wilson, and he engaged with other world leaders via letters; the women were marching for the right to vote and the Giants were in New York, though their rivalry with the Dodgers (then the Brooklyn Robins) was as strong as ever.
Looking through the old pages of The Aggie reveals that while much has changed about the world since the early days of the paper, college students, for better or for worse, have remained about the same. After World War II, as enrollment surged, The Aggie complained about lack of classroom spaces and insufficient facilities to accommodate the growing student population. A 1946 editorial bemoaning the new fashion of women wearing Levi’s and their father’s shirts and stating that “Men like their women feminine and dainty” prompted a feisty letter to the editor in response, proclaiming that “the girls are here at school not to captivate a man, but to get a college education and have a little fun too.” The front page of the Nov. 20, 1979 issue featured an article titled “UCD Prepares for Lengthy Housing Shortage,” prompting current campus editor Hannah Holzer to ask, “Do you think the 1979 Campus Editor knew the ‘lengthy housing shortage’ in Davis was going to be ‘lengthy’ as in four decades or…?”
UC Davis was established as the farm school of UC Berkeley, then the only campus of the University of California, in 1905 and accepted its first class of 40 students in 1909. It’s a testament to the importance of journalism, particularly student journalism, that a campus newspaper was established less than a decade after the first students set foot on campus. UC Davis had a student newspaper before it even had a four-year degree-granting undergraduate program.
Over the past 103 years, The Aggie has grown from a small publication run by a handful of students to a weekly broadsheet paper staffed by nearly 150 writers, editors, photographers, graphic designers, layout artists and business staffers. With no journalism major at UC Davis, The Aggie is the best place for aspiring journalists to hone their craft, but they’re not the only ones who work here. Science majors who want to improve their ability to communicate findings to a general audience, English majors looking to take a crack at a writing style different than the academic essay and UC Davis athletics superfans eager to share their passion with a diverse readership all write for The Aggie. And that’s not to mention the openings for photographers and graphic designers to practice and publish their art or grammar geeks and fastidious fact-checkers to flex their skills with the AP Stylebook.
The Aggie hires new staffers every academic quarter — no experience necessary — and is one of the most impactful (and most fun, since all work and no play makes the office a dull basement) ways to spend your time in college. Keep an eye out for hiring notices posted in the fall, and pick up a copy of The Aggie every Thursday or read online at theaggie.org.