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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

More than student government: ASUCD is in charge of many events and services on campus

Over 1,000 students are involved with the association

When students are new to campus, they might not realize that services they use on a regular basis — like the Coffee House, Unitrans buses, and the Bike Barn — are actually all run by students like them. The student government of UC Davis, known as the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis is in charge of these services.

More than just student government composed of 12 senators, an executive office and multiple commissions and committees, ASUCD is in charge of 20 units that each provides a service to students and allows them to get involved with different parts of campus. These units focus on everything from media that provides information to students to food insecurity to environmental awareness. 

Units like the Coffee House and CoHo South Cafe feed students every day. Several units are also completely in charge of planning some of the biggest events on campus, including Picnic Day and Whole Earth Festival. These two events draw crowds to Davis every Spring Quarter. Picnic Day, for example, is the largest student-organized event in the nation.

“Whole Earth Festival is a three day art and music festival that is completely zero-waste and student run,” said Tinka Peterka, one of this year’s festival directors and a third-year design major. “We have about 35 staff positions […] Our staff is an incredible group of creative, supportive and hard working people, and it just feels like family.” 

Davis has also hosted a variety of artists over the years, including Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Khalid. Entertainment Council, another unit of ASUCD, is responsible for planning these concert events. The unit also puts on Sunset Fest and Lawntopia, popular events in the fall and spring, respectively.

“The unit is run entirely by students and offers work experience in talent buying, marketing, productions, and event planning,” said Liz O’Neill, director of Entertainment Council and fourth-year managerial economics and psychology double major.

Even the buses seen around campus and Downtown Davis are an ASUCD unit. Unitrans began running with two vintage London double decker buses in 1968 after they were purchased by ASUCD. Since then, Unitrans has partnered with the City of Davis and expanded to 48 buses that service 22,000 people each day. Even though it is such a large operation, Unitrans has only 14 career staff, and the rest are students. 

“A lot of our shop mechanics are students and we fix a lot of our buses in house,” said Akshara Bangalore, a human resources manager at Unitrans and third-year communication major. 

Other units include Aggie Studios, which allows students to gain experience in video production; The Pantry, which provides students with free food; KDVS, the campus radio station; and The California Aggie, the campus’ student-run newspaper.

Written by: Andrea Esquetini— campus@theaggie.org


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