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Monday, July 26, 2021

2020-21 Goodbye Editorial

We’re not crying you’re crying

By The Editorial Board

Anjini Venugopal, Editor-in-Chief

By Margo Rosenbaum

Anjini, we have come so far from our time as features writers at The Aggie. Under the mentorship of the outstanding Olivia Luchini, I watched your journalism skills blossom. Before every desk meeting, I loved waving to you as I zipped past on my bike on the way to Lower Freeborn. Who knew two years later we would go on to lead The Aggie? 

I still remember your call last summer to offer me the role of managing editor. Even though my phone crackled with poor service, I could hear the warmth and excitement in your voice at the prospect of working with me, which instantly soothed my nerves about the responsibilities of this role. In the few short months before Fall Quarter, we climbed a steep learning curve together. As we became more comfortable in our roles, we asked fewer questions to our predecessors and instead turned to each other for help. By the time the school year began, I realized how grateful I was to see your face every day on my Zoom screen. I have learned so many life lessons from you this year, from how to be a thoughtful leader to the superiority of Roboto. Your ideas about outreach and engagement help me think critically about necessary change at The Aggie. Your pitches about data journalism and digital storytelling help me consider ways to keep The Aggie relevant. Your dedication to our publication, talent as an editor and skills on the pickleball court continue to amaze me. Above all, I am so lucky to call you my wonderful, smart friend.

Anjini, my fellow features baby, high school journalism star, tea lover, em dash extraordinaire and Aggie partner in crime, I can’t wait to spend another year leading this team with you—and this time, we get to do it in person! <3

Margo Rosenbaum, Managing Editor 

By Omar Navarro

Since this year was my first taking over the sports desk on the Editorial Board, I absolutely had no idea what to expect. Not only did I have to assume the role, but it all had to be remote—which made me 10 times more nervous than I already was. While I knew I could always still ask people whatever dumb clarification questions I had, my social awkwardness did not allow me to do so in fear of asking the wrong questions. Enter Margo, who not only had the answers to my many questions (and there were a lot), but also was very understanding in what was a wild school year for us all.

    The amount of time and effort you put in as managing editor is absurd to me. Not only that, but the way you organize virtual events, look over the articles and still have the energy to thoroughly answer whatever question arose for me at the time is something that I appreciate more than you know. This school year was incredibly difficult for me for a variety of reasons, and you were always so patient and helpful with everything. Even in a remote setting where one could get extra tired or lose motivation, you still found a way to be there and somehow have the energy everyday (you have to teach me your ways). I couldn’t have asked for a better managing editor and I am incredibly grateful for that—even though I have a hard time showing it. Although this isn’t a goodbye per se, it (hopefully) is a goodbye to interacting with you and the rest of Ed Board remotely. Thank you again, and good luck in your adventures this summer. I hope to see you and everyone in person next year. 

Sabrina Habchi, Campus News Editor

By Sophie Dewees

Sab, I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am to have met you this year. From playing pickleball a minimum of 10 times a week (and hearing you yell “get it together, Dewees” every time we partner together) to listening to “Stacy’s Mom” on repeat to getting out of the car to dance to “Disco Inferno” while waiting for the train to pass, I can honestly say that my life is made better every day because you are in it. You are so KIND, hilarious and easily my favorite friendly, neighborhood polisci major. This year on Ed Board you’ve brought inspiring ideas, managed to write incredible editorials in the most unlikely of places including the top of a mountain and made every meeting and event for The Aggie better with your energy and contagious laughter (even if it is sometimes incomprehensible). You are one hound p my all-time favorite coach, and I’m so lucky to call you one of my closest friends. Even though you’ll be off in SoCal next year (well whose fault is that?) doing incredible things or whatever it is San Diegans do (wait, you’re from San Diego right?) I know that we’ll stay friends and I’ll be cooking you stir-fry, drinking fancy tea from England with you and letting you talk me into hanging out despite my mountain of schoolwork for years to come. You’re absolutely going to kill it at UCLA next year buddy (fours up!) and I cannot wait to see all that you’re going to accomplish. Your visits to Davis need to happen A$AP Rocky. Love you forever, lady.

Eden Winniford, City News Editor

By Allie Bailey

The Eden I know (and love) today is not the Eden I expected to get to know when we first met over Zoom in the fall. It’s not like there was anything wrong with her—she was very sweet, and had plenty of good ideas to share, but she was a little harder to get to know on an Ed Board full of big personalities. Especially compared to the rest of us, she isn’t the loudest person in the Zoom room. But slowly but surely, Eden shined through our screens. At first, it was a clever comment in the chat, then, a snarky reply to Sabrina giving her a hard time, and now, you never know what you’re gonna get. 

Eden is like fine wine and good cheese; she only gets better as time goes on. I knew I’d like her when we first met, but over the course of the year, I’ve grown genuine admiration and appreciation for her. She is bubbly and kind, but also strong-willed, bright and an integral presence at Zoom meetings and pickleball games alike. An informed member of Ed Board, she consistently offers new ideas and insightful perspectives, and she always brings that bit of sass to keep things exciting. I am thrilled that I don’t have to end this paragraph with a goodbye. Eden, it has been an absolute blast working with you while also becoming your friend. I can’t wait to continue what we’ve started. 

Calvin Coffee, Opinion Editor

By Sabrina Habchi

If you’re lucky enough to know Calvin Coffee, chances are you adore and respect him. In fact, I think you’d be very hard-pressed to find anyone who has anything bad to say about him. He is the definition of cool, calm and collected, his kindness knows no bounds and he is easily the funniest out of the nine of us Editorial Board members. He fearlessly leads our meetings with the frequent “alright, we’re in business” and “what are we thinking here?” and the occasional “I gotta catch a cat.” 

Although his part-time job is smack talk, Calvin is just as good at taking it as he is at giving it. With that being said, it’s very important to him that you know he likes sports. I am pretty confident he won’t ever come close to speaking in a legitimate New Zealand accent (oi, gov!). His page is filled with beaver TikTok, whatever that means. And the man thinks it’s die in instead of die up, effectively causing every frat star to shudder every time he utters (well, yells very loudly) those words.

It’s going to be weird not seeing you every day, Coffee, but I’m glad that we’re both ending up on the correct side of the same state. I’m not sure I’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting anyone who uses as many sound effects, who has perfected the art of pushing my buttons or who talks as much smack (even when you’re losing) as you. Cheers to many more years of me calling you to come kill a Black Widow during an NBA playoffs game (did I mention you like sports?), hearing your iconic phrases and having to watch the TikToks you send in Safari. 

I can’t think of a finer person to call my pickleball pal, you know what I’m saying?

Sophie Dewees, Features Editor 

By Eden Winniford

I remember meeting you during one of my last times in Lower Freeborn and thinking, “I bet we’re going to become friends.” The pandemic put that on hold, but eventually I was right—we became fast friends over socially-distanced games of pickleball and post-vaccination hangouts. Our paths at The Aggie are so similar—we both started out as first-year writers, moved up as co-assistant editors of our respective desks and then became second-year editors, the two babies of the group. But we’re also different in ways that balance each other out and make us a great team. Like how I can’t cook to save my life, but you’re great at cooking and I’m happy to wash dishes (side note: when are you making me dinner?). 

I always admire the energy and dedication you bring to your role as an editor. You’ve taken on so many projects this year, from podcasts to Best of Davis, and the content your desk puts out is consistently incredible. We collaborated together on a project to map out Best of Davis winners, and I was so impressed by your enthusiasm and how quickly you answered any questions. In Editorial Board meetings, you consistently bring such creative and important ideas, and you never fail to write impactful and persuasive editorials.

I’m so glad we’re both second-years, since it means we’ll be stuck with each other at UC Davis for two more years. I can’t wait to go on more hikes with you, talk with you about Spanish classes and finally get around to that movie night. I’m so lucky to be your co-worker and friend.

Allie Bailey, Arts & Culture Editor

By Madeleine Payne

With all of our editorial meetings being over Zoom this year, the first time I really met Allie was through her incredible writing. She quickly volunteered to take on one of our most challenging editorials during the first few weeks of Fall Quarter—a daunting task when you’re writing with people you don’t really know yet—and she absolutely crushed it. When someone can write so clearly and eloquently about a topic you’re passionate about but struggling to verbalize yourself, like Allie did that week, it’s the best feeling in the world. After that editing session, I remember thinking how lucky I was to be working with such an amazing writer and I couldn’t wait to read what else she would write that quarter.  

    As the year progressed, I learned that her writing style mirrors the grounding presence she brings to our meetings with her confident and witty contributions. She is really good at being able to take a step back and recenter us when we stray too far on tangents and I’ve always admired how she is never afraid to speak her mind if she disagrees with someone. Occasionally, you can find her joining our meetings while lounging by the pool in her mini black sunglasses, munching on a delicious looking gluten-free snack or serving looks in her many gorgeous fits that would make even the most accomplished closet connoisseur jealous. 

Yet no matter how much I love that she showed up to our meetings in pearls one time, my favorite thing about Allie is how fiercely kind she is. She is never afraid to speak up when she thinks someone is being too mean or reach out to you if she can tell you’re having a bad day. I’ve absolutely loved working with her this year and I can’t wait to read more of her eds, play many more games of pickleball with her, and (finally) attend some of the couch concerts she hosts.

Omar Navarro, Sports Editor

By Calvin Coffee

There’s no one I would recommend more to if you want to sit down and really talk about sports than Omar, our sports king. Not only is his mind vastly knowledgeable about classic games big and small, much like LeBron James, his thoughtful approach to the intricacies and forces at play not only in sports, but in our world and culture is unmatched. 

Omar is the wise owl of our Editorial Board—always ready to drop ideas that get to the heart of what many struggle with today. He’s also a great follow on Twitter (please give him his account back @jack). 

I’m bummed that we couldn’t have this past year in-person because I know we probably would have caught many games downtown, but discussing and reminiscing about random sports stuff before or after Ed Board meetings were always a highlight to me. 

He’s equally kind as he is driven and knowledgeable. His wealth of experience as the leader of sports for The Aggie, his world-class kindness and amazing talent as a writer make him an editor I would absolutely love to write for and one I have very much enjoyed working with. And I cannot wait to see the work he continues to do at The Aggie.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Omar, I wish him all the happiness and success. I’m very lucky to call him a friend. 

P.S. I hope the Cowboys and Eagles are actually good this year so the rivalry can really resume. Go Birds.

Madeleine Payne, Science Editor

By Anjini Venugopal

Whether she’s asking a follow-up question in an endorsement interview for ASUCD senate candidates or pulling off a miraculous comeback on the pickleball courts, Maddie’s persistence never fails to impress me. As we’ve all learned over the past year, being informed about science is critical—her leadership on the science and technology desk this year has fostered a strong group of science writers and her hard work has directly allowed the entire UC Davis community to read informative, detailed articles about COVID-19 as well as topics some of us would never have even known existed. In our daily Editorial Board Zoom meetings Monday through Thursday, Maddie, despite being an Aries, is actually quite patient when providing practical and reasonable solutions when we (OK fine, it’s usually me) get stuck on whether a word is appropriate in a given context, and it makes our editorials that much stronger. On top of her work at The Aggie, she is a prolific contributor to our out-of-context wall quotes that spark a lot of joy when school and existing during a pandemic become particularly tiring. Maddie also has impeccable music taste, which makes it even funnier to me that we first met in a psychology of music course. I recently discovered that each time Spotify has refused to let me add a song to our collaborative Editorial Board playlist, it’s because Maddie has already added it. 

Maddie, I’m still not sure why you always accidentally message me instead of the group on Zoom, but I look forward to another year of me pointing at you—not through a computer screen—and saying “women in STEM” whenever there’s something even slightly related to science. Here’s to spending time in the Aggie house with its fantastic air conditioning, walking to get coffee downtown and thinking of some better words when we next play Chameleon.  

Written by: The Editorial Board

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