Biggest stories of ’09 (an attempt)


I’m a sucker for wrap-ups of the most interesting events of the past year. So here goes an attempt at a list of the biggest stories ON CAMPUS from the Sconz’s perspective. There may be future installments dealing with other city and state issues as well, depending on whether I can rope Jack into this.

1. The ALRC saga: booze + boycotts = story the most students on campus probably heard about

2. Herald breaks story of alleged rape at Sigma Chi: Former-editor of the Herald opinion section Sam Clegg is fond of saying that the opinion page is really only relevant during select times. This was certainly one of them. Overall, this story, like the ALRC saga, was one of the most visible and talked about around campus.

3. Chancellor Martin passes Undergraduate Initiative: Not the sexiest story, but certainly one with the most important implications. I always thought Martin’s plan was well thought out and necessary. It was interesting to me that no real opposition ever surfaced to it.

4. Bryon Eagon wins 8th aldermanic district in rout, Bridget Maniaci upsets Brenda Konkel in district 2: Eagon was impressive, and Maniaci’s win was interesting. Elections always garner a lot of attention, these were no different.

5. Edgewater Renovation fails to pass: What started this summer as a good idea fell to city politics earlier this month.

6. Diversity Wars engulf campus: I am, of course, joking about this engulfing campus. But, it did dominate the pages of the opinion sections of both campus papers for a couple weeks as well as , according to Herald editor Sean Kittridge, precipitate an inordinate amount of letters to the editor.

7. Mifflin Block Party survives assassination attempt from MPD, gets sponsor: This was a big story in the spring. I don’t remember all of the specifics, but certainly relevant on campus.

8. FACES slate fails to gain control of ASM in spring elections: This was spun as an embodiment of the growing distaste for the campus left (along with Konkel’s defeat in city elections). My view is that the jury is still out on that conclusion.

9. SLAC has a productive fall (meeting with the Chancellor, generally gaining attention from the campus press): The success of SLAC turned ’09 from a failed year for the campus left to a year with mixed results.

I only included 9 because I am sure I have left out some obvious story that I am hoping one of our commentors will remind me to add.

7 Responses to “Biggest stories of ’09 (an attempt)”

  1. Todd Stevens Says:

    I’d probably put H1N1 paranoia in the 10 slot. It was a pretty big focal point/ongoing joke on campus for an entire semester.

  2. sonneman Says:

    Please don’t feel obliged to make a list of ten, really.

    And, though it was a big story, the entire Sig Chi saga was actually a moment where the Opinion page at the Herald demonstrated a large amount of irrelevancy. Even Sam was not the reasonable wordsmith we all know him to be. From his “Sig Chi rape piece”: “So I can understand, on a limited level, the romantic frustration some inhabitants of the Sigma Chi fraternity house must feel on an almost perpetual basis.” It was a situation where no one putting words into that section really knew anything about an incredibly personal issue for a particular student, while a wedge was driven deeper into the chasm between big Frats and the other 95% of students. This is not a recipe for constructive debate.

    And campus closes due to snow is a big ’09 story.

  3. Jason Smathers Says:

    “This is not a recipe for constructive debate.”

    Kindly sir, go fuck yourself.

  4. Required Says:

    Alec, your number 8 is a good start but pretty underdeveloped intellectually. The lack of a viable candidate to challenge Bryon Eagon in the aldermanic race is, in local political terms, titanic. Also, the purely absymal performance of the majority ‘FACES’ members on ASM quitting (Benford, Flores, now Wrigley) is legislative failure – add in the inability to get money for the STRU and CWC. In the old days when the far left mattered, these groups easily won. You’re too novice you make any serious judgement on campus politics, but I like the effort!

    • Alec S Says:

      Of course I knew nothing of those events, and was completely in the dark on the infinitely subtle notion that just maybe the influence of the far left has changed since the “old days.”

  5. UW-Madison Says:

    What, no snow day?

  6. Gerald Cox Says:

    Snow Day

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