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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

What a different world I could have lived in

Narrowly escaping a life in ASUCD, I could never be more grateful that I found myself at The California Aggie

Looking back, I feel like I haven’t made as big of a splash as campus news editors before me. I evaded major controversy, wasn’t in cahoots with anyone in ASUCD and didn’t have to issue any major apologies.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t left my mark. My role with campus news has been more subtle than previous editors’, but I’ve never held back on my commitment to make this campus the best possible. Nonetheless, my quiet role has also let me fly under the radar to such a degree that I sat next to two former ASUCD senators at Rajas while they talked shit about one of my own writers. 

Yes, I eavesdropped, and yes, I gossiped with my fellow editors about it. Oops!

Regarding those senators, something I’ve particularly prided myself upon is my commitment to hold the ASUCD government accountable — sometimes to a slightly hyperattentive degree. The ASUCD Bylaws are, for lack of a better word, a complete shitshow. Yet I pride myself on combing through them, trying to catch the Senate table off guard. 

In Winter Quarter, my attention to detail drew the attention of some senators. When I walked into a meeting and asked an extremely specific question about confirming an Elections Committee Chair, my writer covering the meeting later heard a senator remark, “Who even cares that much about the bylaws?”

Well, I guess I do.

Maybe this habit of mine comes from another life where I’d be applying the bylaws in a different way. After all, during my first quarter at Davis in 2015, I applied to be on the Internal Affairs Commission. Needless to say, I wasn’t hired (I didn’t even get the courtesy of a rejection letter from the person who went on to be ASUCD vice president later that year), and I landed at The California Aggie, a place I’ve called home ever since.

My goal in life has always been to try and make a better world. That includes our small campus community at UC Davis. I thought that being in ASUCD would be a way to do that. Now, I sit back and watch endless infighting, bickering, circular arguments, debates that are not germaine and ad hominem attacks cloud the ability of ASUCD officials to do their jobs and serve the students they chose to represent. 

I’m glad I escaped that world, and I’m glad I landed at The Aggie. And, to quote former Aggie Editor Becky Peterson’s own graduation column, “I’ve had the last [five] years to use The Aggie as my personal agenda-pusher,” so I’ll move onto something else.

These past five years at UC Davis have shaped me in so many ways. Major losses have been accompanied by new companions. I’ve worked hard in many jobs to serve our campus community. I now speak four languages. Y además, nunca escribí nada para este diario en castellano, aunque creo que la ausencia de esa lengua en nuestros reportajes es una gran tristeza. 

So, to end things off, I owe some thank-yous to some very special Aggie staff who have helped me along the way. Thanks, Ritika Iyer, for hiring me in the first place. Jason Pham, Alyssa Vandenberg, Lindsay Floyd, Emilie DeFazio, Bryan Sykes, Hannah Holzer, Liz Jacobson, Janelle Marie Salanga (and more): Thank you all so much for everything you’ve taught me. I would never be who I am without you, and I hope you know that I carry pieces of your spirit with me every time I sit down and start to write.

Written by: Kenton Goldsby — ktgoldsby@ucdavis.edu

Kenton Goldsby, a fifth-year religious studies and Spanish double major with a minor in professional writing, is the outgoing campus news editor for The California Aggie. He took on this position in spring 2019 and served in it until his graduation in spring 2020. Prior to that, Kenton joined The Aggie in spring 2016 as a campus news reporter. He became an associate campus editor in fall 2016 and continued in that role for the remainder of that academic year. Kenton took a year off from working at The Aggie during the 2017–18 academic year while he studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, donde mejoró su castellano i on va aprendre el català. He returned as an associate campus news editor in fall 2018 and held that role until he became editor in spring 2019.

This column is a part of our 2020 Senior Issue. The rest of the issue can be found here.


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