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Monday, May 27, 2024

Farewell to the 2023–24 school year, from the opinion desk

We have accomplished a lot this year, and the future is exciting

 

By OWEN RUDERMAN — opinion@theaggie.org

 

Well, here we are: Week 10. Not only is the quarter over, but the entire academic year is coming to a close. Many students are celebrating a successful finish to their first year, while others, like myself, are celebrating their last. And since I’m graduating, I thought I would be remiss to not reflect on my time as the opinion editor here at The California Aggie.

When I initially considered applying for the position of opinion editor, I had a lot of doubts. I didn’t know if I had time in my schedule for such a commitment and I didn’t know if I would be a good leader. But after encouragement from my peers, friends and family, I decided to take the leap. I can assure you that it was, hands down, the best decision I’ve made during my time at UC Davis.

In my first-ever editorial, I expressed my excitement about “delivering the hottest takes, wittiest satire and most relatable cartoons I can.” And thanks to all the incredible student writers and artists on my desk, we were able to fulfill that goal. I’m extremely proud of the content we were able to put out over the course of this academic year, from columns about Harry Potter’s colonialist fantasy to humor pieces about Frat Bro classes and cartoons about Canvas-related anxiety. However, the opinion desk has responsibilities beyond producing entertaining and thought-provoking content.

An opinion desk is an integral part to any good publication, as it allows hearty and healthy discourse; something that UC Davis never seems to lack. Throughout the year, we spotlighted numerous guest writers — students, professors and more — as they spoke out on issues close to them. 

As the Editorial Board, we also produced two editorials every week that dealt with pressing issues, but also sometimes highlighted our favorite recipes or songs. I’m forever grateful for my fellow Editorial Board members, who brought so much energy, laughter and journalistic skill to our many heavily opinionated meetings. It was the variety of our personal opinions that brought nuance and life to our articles this year.

I’d also like to mention the launch of our new humor Instagram, @thecaliforniagaggie, which posts satirical “Onion”-like content a couple times a week. I want to thank Annabel Marshall for getting me in gear and helping make that account a reality. Running the account has been one of my most cherished responsibilities, even though it has only existed in my final quarter. I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of the account’s potential.

During winter quarter, I was too focused on school and keeping the opinion desk running to write. But for my last quarter, I challenged myself to produce an article for every single issue of The Aggie. I hit my goal, and then some. This feat really gave my final quarter a sense of completeness and connected me with The Aggie more than ever before. As editors, it’s easy to lose sight of what I think is the core aspect of journalism — writing. I challenge all of next year’s editors, new and old, to continue practicing writing and to continue producing original content for this publication that we all love so much.

My time as the opinion editor for The California Aggie has been a magical, life-changing experience. I only hope that some of that magic has come through in our articles and I can’t wait to see my successors infuse the opinion desk with their own magic. Get ready, Davis — opinion is just getting started.

 

Written by: Owen Ruderman — opinion@theaggie.org

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.