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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Top stories of the year

    Top stories of the year

    Polk dies from blood clot

    The unexpected death of Arizona women’s basketball player Shawntinice Polk sent shockwaves through the UA community on Sept. 26.

    A blood clot had traveled to her lungs while she was in McKale Center, killing the 22-year-old instantly.

    Affectionately called “”Polkey,”” the 6-foot-5-inch center was known for her infectious smile and kindness to both friends and strangers.

    At a press conference shortly after her death, President Peter Likins said, “”I was so taken by her. She was shy, but at the same time (a) wonderfully appealing young woman.””

    Five months later, on Feb. 18, the Arizona Athletics Department retired Polk’s No. 00 jersey at a ceremony following what would have been her last home game on the team.

    She became the fifth basketball player to have her number retired.

    Bernsen sexual harassment accusations surface, found to be true by dean of students

    Former student body president Cade Bernsen was accused in November of sexually harassing women he worked with. Five months later, a Dean of Students Office investigation found “”more likely than not”” that he harassed them and violated the Student Code of Conduct.

    In January, before classes resumed, Bernsen fired five student officials, saying they were “”spreading lies”” in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona offices. Upon the firings, the Dean of Students Office asked Bernsen to take a paid leave of absence until the investigation was finished, while the five students returned to office.

    Erin Hertzog, executive vice president, acted as president for the remainder of the spring semester and filled Bernsen’s place during meetings for the Arizona Board of Regents, the UA presidential search committee and ASUA’s general elections. She was elected in March to be ASUA president for 2006-2007.

    Search committee selects Robert Shelton as next UA president after extensive search

    Robert Shelton, provost at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, was selected as the 19th UA president and will President Peter Likins after he retires June 30.

    The Arizona Board of Regents formed a search committee, led by Regent Fred T. Boice, to interview nominees for the presidency. The committee settled on four final candidates, including Shelton, who all visited campus for interviews and community forums the week of Jan. 23.

    Shelton was named the next president Jan. 27.

    Football routs UCLA 52-14

    Arizona football fans rushed the field in celebration after the Arizona football team beat the UCLA Bruins in a shocking game that ended 52-14.

    The unexpected win unfolded on Homecoming Day before a thunderous crowd of thousands of students, community members and alumni. It was the team’s third and final victory of the season, but it gave fans a reason to cheer atop the goalpost after the Wildcats demolished the previously undefeated Bruins.

    Adams cited for DUI

    Arizona men’s guard Hassan Adams was arrested in December for disturbing the peace at his apartment complex.

    Four months later, Adams was cited on suspicion of driving under the influence after being pulled over at 12:25 a.m. for going 10 mph above the speed limit near North Park Avenue and East Sixth Street.

    Later that week, Adams was suspended from the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament for breaking a team rule.

    Both of Adams’ court hearings have been postponed numerous times and are still pending verdicts.

    Fees creep onto ballots

    The fall and spring semesters brought fee measures that were set to increase student costs above tuition to help fund Student Union Memorial Center programs and an expansion of the Student Recreation Center.

    In November, 72 percent of voters agreed to keep the $25 per semester fee until 2041 to fund a $24 million expansion of the Rec Center.

    When students voted in April, 70 percent of students voters turned down the proposed phase-in of a $20-per-semester fee that would have raised $1.4 million to fund additional programs, enhance union services and help pay for building renewal projects. The student union director said without the extra funds, he would cut programs next year.

    Likins has heart surgery

    In December, President Peter Likins was admitted to the hospital to have a pacemaker installed after his heart exhibited an atrial fibrillation.

    Months later on April 12, Likins was readmitted to University Medical Center for emergency surgery after he nearly fainted in his office. Doctors found that the lead of his pacemaker had punctured a hole in a wall around his heart.

    Likins was discharged from the hospital in fair condition a week after his surgery. Though doctors said his recovery would take six to eight weeks, he was soon seen at staff meetings and is scheduled to speak at the commencement ceremony.

    Evacuees come to UA

    Hurricane season brought destructive storms to the Gulf Coast, affecting coastal states and bringing devastation to ill-prepared New Orleans and surrounding cities. While the disaster was hundreds of miles away, the UA community felt the impact as relatives of students and faculty lost their homes, jobs and belongings. The Tucson Convention Center opened its doors to some 100 displaced residents and the UA community donated time, money, clothing and services to the victims who had left everything behind.

    Several students displaced by the hurricanes were accepted to the UA as transfer students to continue their studies.

    Migrant bill protested

    Several UA groups protested HR 4437, an immigration reform bill introduced in April that would make being in the United States illegally a felony.

    Many students and faculty carrying signs and flags participated in walkouts and boycotts, rallying together in demonstration of their economic and political impact on the American economy.

    Legislature hits academics

    The UA community had its eyes on the state Legislature in Phoenix as bills were proposed this year that would have affected state universities.

    The bill HB 2583 would have required the UA and other publicly funded schools to put a flag no smaller than 2 feet by 3 feet in each classroom, an idea that President Likins called “”not practical.”” The bill passed through the Senate Higher Education Committee but died before it could be made into law.

    Another bill would have required instructors to provide alternative coursework for students who considered an assignment offensive. That bill, whose critics feared it promoted censorship, died in the Senate.

    – Compiled by Wildcat staff

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