Jonah Zinn: The face of the campus left?

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For everyones sake, I am really beginning to hope so.

For far too long certain figures (mostly just one), who are perceived as severe and unwelcoming, and who spend far too much time and effort on vague or international goals, have been the most visible leaders of the campus left. You don’t need me to tell you that battle lines hardened as a result, leaving the campus left on the lonely side of the fence, separated from a growing amount of liberal and moderate students that probably agreed with some of the things the left was doing.

Zinn appears to offer something different. As Sam Clegg wrote in his column in the Herald today, recounting Zinn’s involvement in the passage of a smart but undoubtedly left of center ASM resolution last fall,

…he should be commended for addressing a cause with which students can sympathize.

But, that was round 2 for Zinn last semester. He was also all over the campus press last fall for his role in leading a new ASM textbook campaign. Again, a smart and tangible issue that students can get behind, but which also generally aligns with leftist politics.

Campus is a better place when the energy and activism of the left is being funneled into these kind of effective actions, and Zinn appears to understand this. So, here’s to hoping this post’s title continues to be as true as it appeared to be at the end of last semester.

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8 Responses to “Jonah Zinn: The face of the campus left?”

  1. Anon Says:

    It’s not that impressive. Yawn.

  2. ASM Fail Says:

    Are you fucking kidding? The only reason Zinn is getting good press is that the campus press is so shitty, and ASM members are too chickenshit to say anything bad about anyone else on the council.

    Zinn’s union thing was DOA, and he was such a jackass about any compromises that it wasn’t going to pass. The only reason it got through is because Paulson rewrote it to be something that could survive. Clegg is completely wrong when he says this was an example of the way-left working with the mainstream, it was an example of the mainstream taking a way-left idea, ignoring the way-left, and doing it themselves. It’s not like ASM isn’t liberal, there’s no way be more than one or two of them voted for McCain.

    Zinn is every bit as bad if not worse than Gosselin at being the lone uncompromising holdout in ASM who insists on wasting time making dumb arguments. If the campus press actually spent some time doing some real background work and taught their reporters anything, and occasionally got people to say things off the record, campus would know whats really going on with ASM.

  3. Anon Says:

    This isn’t impressive Alec. It’s the combined work of many ASM members spanning several years. You have very little understanding about this and shouldn’t write this politically-framed bs. You’re not on the Huffington Post.

    • Alec S Says:

      I would point out that at no point do I claim to have a deep understanding of the inner workings of ASM. The whole post was about how things appear to be occurring from the outside. Hence, is he the new “face” of the left, Zinn “appears” to offer something different, Zinn “appears” to understand the importance of tackling issues that are soluble and widely supported. It is not an inside story about the inner workings of ASM. It is a story about how one member of the left is reported and is being written as (notice the column I cited was one by a former editor of the Herald opinion section, seemed to me a relatively credible source).

      Its hard to deny this guy has been the most visible member of the campus left for the last few months. I have no axe to grind here, just an observation that I hope Zinn is as reported, especially as opposed to his predecessors who I largely can not stand.

      I’m not on the Huffington Post? What does that even mean?

      • Jason Smathers Says:

        “notice the column I cited was one by a former editor of the Herald opinion section, seemed to me a relatively credible source”

        Talking out of his ass — while Zinn was “becoming the face of the campus left”, Clegg was in France. Sure, it appears to him and others that Zinn is getting a lot of press. But he wasn’t really paying attention. I would ask: How is two stories a lot of press? His presentation to UC committee lined up with an ASM series we were doing and the Ac Affairs portion.

        Besides, I think the SLAC stuff was far more prominent in our reporting than Zinn. If anything, give the crossover award to Jan Van Tol.

  4. Alec S Says:

    These are all stories where he is quoted significantly or featured in the story. I believe he also showed up in the cap times for their article on SLAC following the announcement that the Honduras workers’ were getting their jobs back as well. Not a criticism, just reasoning for my observation.

    http://badgerherald.com/oped/2010/01/17/workers_rights_debat.php
    http://badgerherald.com/news/2009/11/17/academic_affairs_pus.php
    http://badgerherald.com/oped/2009/11/11/pick_up_the_slac.php
    http://badgerherald.com/news/2009/11/16/uw_group_votes_to_no.php
    http://badgerherald.com/news/2009/11/13/student_council_endo.php

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