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Top stories of the year

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Filmmaker Michael Moore addresses a crowd of more than 14,500 Oct. 11 at McKale Center. Moore made the stop in Tucson as part of his 60-city "Slacker Uprising Tour."
By Jennifer Amsler & Natasha Bhuyan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
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A look back at the news around campus

1. Michael Moore, Ann Coulter, voting booths highlight civic engagement's 15 minutes of fame on campus

The 2004 presidential election evoked political uproar across the country, and the UA was no exception. The UA College Republicans and the UA Young Democrats battled to win over student voters, a demographic that tends to be scarce at the polls. ASUA got caught in the political whirlwind, inviting controversial speakers to campus like left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore but failed to bring a big-named speaker from the other side.

The College Republicans countered with Ann Coulter, and protesters greeted her with custard pies. However, the campus political groups banded together and fought against a Pima County registrar, who told out-of-state students they could be felons for voting in Arizona, a statement that was later overturned. Regardless, 2,300 students voted at the UA's first polling site, exemplifying the belief that universities are forums for free speech and progressive thought.

2. December commencement ceremony cancelled ... then restored

When administrators cancelled the university-wide commencement ceremony in December citing a "lack of decorum" (aka tortilla tossing), students didn't take the news lying down. Through poignant forums, phone calls and e-mails, students fought for their right to celebrate surviving all-night study sessions, trips to Mexico and a

four-year diet of union food and pizza - they fought to celebrate a milestone. In response to the protest, Likins agreed to restore the ceremony as long as airborne tortillas had seen their last flight. While a few tortillas still rained on the December ceremony, the restoration was the quintessential example of the power of student voices.

3. Money, money, money: Regents reject fees, Likins slices budget

Although regents approved a 9.8 percent tuition hike this year for undergraduate residents, they rejected Likins' proposed $60 information technology fee and three undergraduate differential tuition charges. Student leaders from the Eller College of Management and colleges of engineering and architecture said they supported the differential tuition to improve programs, however, regents were concerned how additional fees would be viewed at the Legislature. Although the state has decreased UA funding by $47 million in the past three years, legislators expect the regents to keep university costs low.

Because of the tight financial situation, Likins imposed nine budget reallocation strategies on the campus for 2006, including a half-percent budget cut across the board, an increase in summer tuition, a 10 percent carry-forward tax, a 6 percent tax on donations and a sweep of vacated faculty lines by the provost. The move came as a result of administrators' aim to centralize funding with the reallocation expected to bring in $6 million to central administration. Although department heads protested the reallocations and pointed out already meager budgets, administrators said the reallocations are necessary for smarter money management in a time of shrinking state appropriations.

EVAN CARAVELLI/Arizona Daily Wildcat
ASUA president-elect Cade Bernsen celebrates his election victory with supporters March 10 in the Kiva Room of the Student Union Memorial Center. Bernsen won the job in just his second semester at the UA.

4. Bernsen pulls election upset

Cade Bernsen, a first-year transfer student and ASUA outsider, won the presidency after losing in the primary election, proving a passion for campus can surpass the odds. Bernsen is the first student to win without prior ASUA government experience since 1947, when Morris "Mo" Udall swept the student vote. Udall, co-captain of the basketball team and Arizona native, re-enrolled at the UA after he returned from World War II. Udall went on to play basketball for the Denver Nuggets, practiced law and ran for the 1976 Democratic Party presidential nomination. According to Arizona Daily Wildcat editions dated back to 1944 from the newspaper's 106-year reign, Udall and Bernsen were the only two individuals who prevailed in the race without ASUA experience. If history repeats itself, Bernsen will have a strong presidency and go on to create a legacy of leadership.

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Zona Zookeeper Andy Lemieux, left, a biochemistry senior, and Zona Zoo member Nilay Jariwala, an economics junior, cheer during Arizona's matchup against Washington in McKale Center. ASUA passed a resolution this year to reinstate a designated student section in McKale Center.

5. UA sports back with a bang

After 2003-2004 posed one of the worst years in recent memory for UA athletics, Wildcat sports were back this year and bigger than ever. Men's hoops came within a point of reaching the Final Four. Mike Stoops gave the campus hope for the football program. But nothing could be more meaningful down the road than the students finally getting what they've wanted - a student

section in McKale Center for men's basketball games. Students have griped since the late 1980s about being dispersed throughout the arena at home games. But this year, student government officials not only listened to what students wanted, but they made it happen, creating a floor-to-ceiling stretch of seats in McKale meant to revitalize school-spirit and unite sports-minded students.

6. Selby hangs self, sexual assaults trouble campus

Just hours before the serial rapist was to be sentenced, James Allen Selby, whose victims included a UA student and 13-year-old girl, hanged himself in his cell at Pima County Jail. Selby was captured in Arizona and was found guilty for 27 counts, including sexual assault, kidnapping, attempted murder and was supposed to stand trial in Oklahoma, Nevada and California for similar charges. His suicide came as a shock to victims and authorities, who said he would never again be a threat to the community.

7. Expansion of UA College of Medicine to Phoenix

President Peter Likins, Arizona State University President Michael Crow and Arizona Board of Regents President Gary Stuart signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August, which outlined the collaborative efforts to expand the UA's College of Medicine to Phoenix. The new school, expected to start its first class of 24 students in July 2006, will use faculty from both universities and work closely with the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix. Last week, legislators agreed to provide the school $7 million in start-up funds pending a review. With the advent of the medical school, BIO5 and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus of the Arizona University System, Arizona is ready to usher in the biotech era.

8. Professor's eye-opening confession

Psychology professor Robert Bechtel shocked his students in November when he announced he murdered a dorm mate in college 50 years ago. Bechtel, who was a victim of constant ridicule and bullying his entire life, decided he had enough, retrieved a gun over winter break and went to his dorm with the intent of "shooting the whole place up."

The feeling dwindled after the first man he shot fell dead. Bechtel later spent several years in a psychiatric hospital. Bechtel's story sparked discussion among students about the UA's employment practices.

9. Student killed in grinder accident

Joshua Morgan, an agricultural education junior, died after falling into a birdseed grinder at a mill in Arizona Feeds Country Store on 4743 N. Highway Drive in October. The 20-year-old student was cleaning the birdseed grinder, a rotary machine which mixes and bags pet food, when it accidentally turned on. According to police reports, Morgan was sucked inside and killed instantly.

10. Thefacebook takes over campus

Introduced to the university in September, spread like wildfire and brought a new form of communication to thousands of students. With profiles, candid pictures and course schedules, Thefacebook became the stalker's best friend, providing a snapshot into students' lives. Phrases such as "facebook me" and "poke me" infiltrated everyday language. Some students competed to add multiple friends to their profiles, while others used it to connect to people in their classes. Facebook groups, much like online message boards, range from "F*ck ASU" to "I want to be in Police Beat."

Write a Letter to the Editor
Best of the best sit on stage during ceremonies
Top seniors move on to brighter futures
Getting ready for graduation
Seniors get ready for graduation, goodbye
Three profs retiring
Seniors bid farewell to UA favorites
Graduating seniors will miss college lifestyle
No class gift this year: cell phones, Alumni Plaza to blame
Job outlook looking bright for graduates
ASUA wants Flutter Fetti, not tortillas
Gifts for grads vary, pricey
Debts come and go
Grads move on to bigger places
Top stories of the year
Top crime stories of the year
Year sees tuition hikes, budget reallocations
Campus a work in progress
Students to vote on Rec Center expansion
Governor targets prof, teacher retention
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