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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA campus changed by highs and lows

    With finals right around the corner, the campus is abuzz with tension. But it’s a fitting end to a calendar year of campus shakeups and surprises, replete with promising highs and shocking lows. This year was, in more ways than were imaginable, the year that rocked the UA.

    Just as winter break was wrapping up, tragedy struck. On Jan. 8, Tucson’s Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot by Jared Loughner while holding a “Congress on Your Corner” event. Twelve were injured and six killed, including Arizona federal judge John Roll and 9-year-old Christina Green. Giffords was rushed to University Medical Center where an incredible team of medical professionals worked to save her life. The tragedy brought international attention to the UA and Tucson, as the country tried to heal.

    President Barack Obama came to speak at a memorial service held right at the center of the Tucson community, the UA campus, in McKale Center. Tucsonans and Americans grieved and regrouped together.

    But as the national media faded away and time passed, everyday routines resumed. Things went back to normal, even as Loughner underwent psychiatric evaluations in Missouri to determine his competency for trial. Arizona basketball returned to its old form, and in March, the campus was swept up by the joy of an Elite Eight appearance. During the same month, the campus was also gripped by the rare excitement of a student government scandal. The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, often criticized for rarely being relevant, briefly captured our attention when both presidential candidates were disqualified for violating the ASUA Elections Code, forcing a second election more than a month later.

    As students and faculty vacated the campus in May, the campus reached the calm before the storm.

    Just as the annual August migration back to campus was ready to begin, UA President Robert Shelton, who had served since July 2006, dashed from the UA to become the Fiesta Bowl’s executive director among rumors that the Arizona Board of Regents had no plans to renew his contract once it expired.

    More administrators followed in his wake, including the provost, vice president for external relations and the dean of students.

    As interim president Eugene Sander was announced, the search committee to find a replacement was formed. Since then, no permanent replacement has been found and Sander has expressed his intent to serve only on an interim basis. Yet again, the UA was on unsteady footing.

    As the semester drew on, the hope of football glories returned, but were quickly squashed. Head football coach Mike Stoops was ousted and Tim Kish was announced as his interim replacement. The Kish era quickly got off to an uplifting start with a stomping of eventual Pac-12 South division champion University of California, Los Angeles. Then bragging rights were restored when the Wildcats upended rival Arizona State University. And finally, the head coaching position was permanently filled as Rich Rodriguez was brought in to head the football program.

    The UA campus has been rocked by tragedy, student government controversy, and shakeups in administration and athletics. The future looks uncertain, but the stage is set for a better 2012.

    — Editorials are determined and written by one of the members of the Daily Wildcat opinions board. They are Kristina Bui, Storm Byrd, Nicole Dimtsios and Steven Kwan. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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