Top 5 stories of the year

By Aaron Mackey and Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

A look back at the news around campus

5. RIAA subpoenas 4 UA students

The Recording Industry Association of America subpoenaed four UA students in late March for using the campus's computing network to illegally download music.

The recording industry used John Doe lawsuits - so-named because the identities of the students remain private - to require the UA to release the names of students who used certain IP addresses on the UA's network.

The UA was one of 21 universities subpoenaed by the recording industry.

Once subpoenaed, the UA was given time to contact the four students and alert them of the impending action.

Sally Jackson, chief information officer at the UA, said in March that she hopes the lawsuits raise awareness that property rights should be respected.

"We have been trying to promote acceptable use of the network and to inform people that using the network to infringe copyright is not acceptable," Jackson said.

4. Proposed student activity fee nixed in April special election

About 3,000 students shot down the $15 per semester student activity fee on April 7, after the measure was put on the ballot a little more than one week earlier.

The fee, which would have raised an estimated $1.2 million, would have brought big-name concerts and speakers to campus.

Student leaders were criticized by both the Arizona Board of Regents, who said the fee's implementation would face a time crunch, and other students, who said they were not given enough information to vote on the fee.

But student leaders argued that passing the fee was not a difficult choice, as many of the fee's details were unimportant for voters to know.

After the fee's defeat, returning student leaders said they would pursue the activity fee again next year and hope to put the proposal on the March election ballot.

3. UA fires football coach John Mackovic; Stoops to a new level

It may have taken months longer than some players would have liked, but Arizona football head coach John Mackovic was fired Sept. 28, 2003, just five games into his third season atop the UA program.

Mackovic compiled a 10-18 record in two-plus seasons with the Wildcats.

"John Mackovic is a good man and a good football coach," UA athletic director Jim Livengood said. "But, for whatever reason, he has not been a good fit for the University of Arizona football program."

Mackovic's ouster came 10 months after more than 40 of his players met secretly with President Peter Likins to discuss their discontent.

Assistant coach Mike Hankwitz replaced Mackovic for the rest of the season, with the Wildcats winning just two of 12 games on the year.

Arizona picked up perhaps its biggest score of the year, however, once the season was already complete.

Livengood named Oklahoma defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Mike Stoops as a permanent replacement for Mackovic, two days after the Wildcats concluded the worst season in team history.

Stoops has yet to coach a game for the UA, but fans are already embracing the new head coach. Season ticket sales have nearly doubled last year's total, and nearly 5,000 fans attended the team's annual intrasquad scrimmage at Arizona Stadium. Just 500 showed up for Mackovic's final Spring Game in 2003.

2. Regents raise tuition by $490

Just one year after raising undergraduate in-state tuition by $1,000, the board of regents raised tuition by $490 on March 12.

Out-of-state undergraduate tuition was raised by $700.

The $1,490 tuition increase in the past two years was more than the previous 16 years combined.

This year's increase brought resident undergraduate tuition to $3,998 and out-of-state tuition to $12,978.

Likins promised that 15 percent of the increase would go toward financial aid, meaning $600 of the roughly $4,000 paid by in-state students at the UA would go to aid.

For the first time, regents also approved separate tuition increases for each of the three state universities, as Arizona State University's resident tuition rose by $465 and Northern Arizona University's went up $475.

Local law enforcement cracks down on underage drinking

More than 100 minors were arrested and 57 were taken to jail on Aug. 31, 2003, when Tucson law enforcement agencies surrounded a west-side apartment party.

Many arrested at the party at Jefferson at Star Ranch apartments, 41 S. Shannon Road, were UA students.

Two weeks later, 25 arrests were made by UAPD while patrolling greek bid night parties on campus.

On Oct. 17, 2003, police arrested 36 people for minor in possession while the people rode a bus to a Gamma Phi Beta sorority date dash at a local hotel.

The next week, police led an effort to curb underage drinking in bars when they arrested three people and cited seven establishments for serving to minors.

The arrests and busts marked an increase in police patrolling for underage drinkers.

The busts, however, drew ire from students, who disagreed with police tactics used during the raids.

At a community forum in October, Tucson City Councilwoman Kathleen Dunbar reminded students that drinking underage is a crime.

"If you are under 21 years old and you are drinking alcohol, you are violating the law," Dunbar said. "It is zero tolerance."

Top non-story of the year

Bush not speaking at UA commencement ceremony

President George W. Bush declined an invitation by Likins to speak at this year's commencement ceremony after the UA consolidated the two scheduled ceremonies into one and moved the event outdoors.

In mid-February, Likins sent a formal invitation to Bush to speak at commencement after a faculty member connected to the White House said that Bush would welcome an invitation to speak at the ceremony.

Without receiving any word from the White House, the UA administration decided to combine the morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies into one and moved the event from the McKale Center to Arizona Stadium.

Likins extended the invitation to Bush after he asked former NBA star and UA alumnus Steve Kerr to speak.

On March 15, Likins learned that Bush would not be speaking, as he agreed to speak at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Commencement was again divided back into two ceremonies and moved into the McKale Center with Kerr addressing both