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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Letter from the Editor

Congratulations to the class of 2022, and goodbye! 

I can say with certainty that I never anticipated becoming the editor-in-chief of a college newspaper during a pandemic. I found my way to the role in a not-quite traditional way, after having attended just a handful of storyboard meetings as an assistant editor. Though it felt overwhelming at first, I soon got used to quick turnarounds and even more deadlines. It wasn’t all that bizarre for me to constantly have work to do — and I loved it.

I’ve been lucky enough to support our staff as they tackled challenging projects. With countless stories on changing COVID-19 guidelines, articles on the ongoing discussion on student fees, investigations into UC healthcare coverage and so much more, The Aggie’s staff has worked to uphold its commitment to keeping our community informed.

Over the past two years, I have updated our code of ethics and staff manual per changing professional standards, facilitated a website redesign, contributed to an overhaul of our editor-in-chief selection process, developed an outreach and engagement board and compiled sensitivity guidelines for Aggie reporters. We’ve also committed to compiling annual diversity reports to inform us on staff demographics — being aware of where we fall short and have room for growth is essential for supporting our staff and promoting responsible reporting. As I’ve learned from my time at The Aggie, journalism is about nuance, and I have tried my best to impart that to everyone I know. 

I wouldn’t have reached where I am without the people who came before me. So thank you to some legendary Aggie editors (Olivia, Kaelyn, Hannah, Kenton and Liz, just know that I will always be in awe of you and that you’ll forever have a place in my heart for responding to my texts). A tremendous thank you is also owed to my partner-in-crime, the one and only Margo Rosenbaum. I am so grateful to have you as my managing editor and that through the rollercoaster that has been the past two years, we have been around to support each other in such intensive roles both in and out of the newsroom.You’ve already accomplished so much and I can’t wait to see you continue to shine. 

It has been a privilege to serve on Editorial Boards with Allie, Calvin, Eden, Katie, Maddie, Margo, Michelle, Omar, Sabrina and Sophie, and it’s a gift to call them friends. I don’t take for granted that during a pandemic, I had a support system, always ready to share insight and provide advice — journalistic or otherwise — when I needed it most. 

It is weird to even think about leaving this publication that has shaped my college career more than anything else, but I feel confident leaving Sophie Dewees and Katie DeBenedetti to captain this ship next. They both started their Aggie journey on the features desk (just like me and Margo) and have demonstrated commitment to journalism and community over the past three years. I can’t wait to see where they take The Aggie.

Over my four years at UC Davis, I have taken empowering courses toward two majors and a minor, engaged in valuable and rewarding work and finally learned where to obtain the best lunch on campus (the CoHo coconut curry pho with tofu, all the vegetables, two packets of sriracha, half a packet of Hoisin sauce and an extra lime). And I’ve done this over a college career that involved over a year of online school. Dare I say, it’s pretty impressive. But I have to admit: It is my work at The Aggie that I am most proud of. 

The Aggie has given me so much both personally and professionally, and I will forever be honored, grateful and humbled to have served as the editor-in-chief for two entire years (and in a pandemic). Go Ags, and go The Aggie.

Signing off,

Anjini Venugopal, Editor-in-Chief

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