Inside Admin

UA adds paid parental leave

The UA has changed it parental leave policy and will now be offering paid parental leave for up to six weeks to its employees.

Employees could previously get up to 12 weeks off for parental leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, though the time would be unpaid. About 160 people every year applied for leave under FMLA for the birth or adoption of a child, said Allison Vaillancourt, vice president for institutional effectiveness and human resources.

“We decided [paid parental leave] would be good for our U of A families,” Vaillancourt said.

The new policy came about through the Campaign for Common Sense, according to Vaillancourt. The campaign, which was started about a year ago, takes suggestions from the UA community about the UA’s policies, practices and organizational structures and what improvements can be made, she said.

“It’s an effort to improve the way we do things at the UA,” she said.

UAPD officer charged with DUI no longer employed at UA

A University of Arizona Police Department officer who was arrested for driving under the influence in February is no longer employed by the UA, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Andrea Smiley, associate vice president of university relations and communications, confirmed that Sgt. John McGrath does not work for the UA anymore, but said that she could not comment on whether it was related to his DUI arrest earlier in the year.

McGrath was arrested on charges of a super-extreme DUI on Feb. 1 after crashing a UAPD department vehicle into a wall on Speedway Boulevard at 76 miles per hour, according to police reports.

Tucson Police Department responded to the scene of the accident. TPD reported McGrath’s blood alcohol level tested .308 on a breathalyzer test, more than three times the legal limit. McGrath refused to perform multiple standard field sobriety tests.

McGrath was placed on paid administrative suspension during UAPD’s investigation. UAPD declined to comment on the reasons for McGrath’s departure from the UA or if it was related to his arrest, but Tucson News Now reported that McGrath was fired.

McGrath faces criminal charges related to the accident.

Board of Regents to host meeting on student safety

The Arizona Board of Regents will hear updates from the Statewide Student Safety Task Force on Monday morning at Arizona State University.

At the meeting, the UA, ASU and Northern Arizona University will separately present to the regents on their local task forces. Melissa Vito, senior vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, will present on behalf of the UA. Vito led a public meeting of the local task force at the UA in late April.

The task force was created in the fall of 2013 to promote student safety issues at the state universities, according to the regents’ website.

The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. and a live stream of the meeting can be viewed here.

Vito is scheduled to begin her presentation at about 10:10 a.m., according to the meeting’s agenda.

Campus Watch: Carjacking in UA parking lot

Today at approximately 4:59 p.m., a University of Arizona student was carjacked in a university parking lot on 7th and Fremont.

The victim was approached by a man with a knife. She surrendered her vehicle and the suspect left the area. No one was injured.

The victim’s car was later recovered outside of the Tucson area and a possible suspect was apprehended.

UAPD’s investigation of the carjacking is ongoing.

Humanities Week kicks off with evening of stargazing, history

The College of Humanities kicked off its sixth annual Humanities Week on Monday with a lecture that connected the science of meteorites to everyday life.

The event, titled “The Sky is Falling: The Fascinating Science and Crazy History of Shooting Stars,” featured Christopher Cokinos, an associate professor in the department of English and author of “The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars.”

The event took place at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, where audience members were able to observe shooting stars before the presentation began.

Cokinos spoke about the history of meteors, meteorites and shooting stars, including how they form, where they come from, their meaning in everyday life and the array of meanings that they share in different cultures around the world.

Cokinos’ interest in writing on this topic was sparked after realizing a lot of people who were meteorite hunters had “these amazing lives but there was a lot of heartbreak and tragedy in them as well,” he said.

The success of his book, along with his interest in meteors and shooting stars, landed him a five week-long scientific expedition to collect meteorites in Antarctica in 2003, granted by the National Science Foundation.

The event was the first of “Revival of the Fittest,” the title of this year’s Humanities Week.

More events are planned throughout the week week that will focus specifically on engaging the Tucson community.

Monday’s event initially stemmed from Mary E. Wildner-Bassett, dean of the College of Humanities, who wanted to “come up with a way to engage the community, not just the UA community, but also the Tucson community,” said Helen Bernard, coordinator of external and alumni relations at the College of Humanities.

“We want to engage the community, and get them to understand what the value of humanities is,” Bernard added. “We want to get the word out as much as possible.”

On Tuesday, Humanities Week will continue with a lecture at 5 p.m. titled “Exploring Faraway Lands & Cultures,” which will be presented by the UA Critical Languages Program at the UA Poetry Center.

UA South now UA Sierra Vista

The University of Arizona’s south campus changed its name to UA Sierra Vista on Tuesday.

The campus, originally known as UA Sierra Vista, was an outlying satellite campus founded in 1995. The name changed to UA South in 1999, when the Arizona Board of Regents made the campus an official branch of the main University of Arizona.

The reason for the change back to its original name is because the faculty wanted the name to encompass the surrounding cities that made up and influenced the southern campus accurately.

“We want it to reflect the community we’re in,” said Jim Shockey, dean of UA Sierra Vista. “The UA South name doesn’t focus on the other locations.”

Shockey also said that because one of UA President Ann Weaver Hart’s goals is to engage more deeply in the community, he thought it necessary to change the campus name back to UA Sierra Vista.

“UA South doesn’t reflect what we do in Sierra Vista,” Shockey said.

UA Sierra Vista is intended to benefit students who want to earn a university degree without having to leave Sierra Vista. Between 900 and 1,000 students are enrolled in the Sierra Vista campus.

Q&A with Homecoming King and Queen

Following an application process that began in September, the Homecoming court was narrowed down to the final five last week and the winners were announced at Friday night’s bonfire. The newly crowned Homecoming King Sam Rowan and Queen Brigetta Barrett shared their thoughts on the process, their fellow nominees and their win.

What was your reaction to being nominated?

Brigetta Barrett: I didn’t exactly know how to feel at first. I never expected to be Homecoming queen ever in life. I just always grew up the tomboy and for most of my life I never really felt like I was that girl.

It was kind of like, “Oh, all right,” at first and then I grew to be really excited about it once it sunk in.

Sam Rowan: I was pretty surprised. I didn’t know what the time commitment was going to be, but I was kind of going into it with open thoughts and going to see what happened.

What events did you participate in throughout the week?

Barrett: On Monday night we went around the sorority houses and they announced us as the Homecoming court. We also had Club Olympics throughout the week. Friday was the coolest for me because we actually got to participate as the Homecoming court team at the tug of war.

Rowan: Throughout the week we met up pretty much every night. Me and the guys would go out to dinner and hang out, whether we were doing a philanthropy event or a mixer, just meeting with people, or introducing ourselves to sororities … we were all doing it together.

What are your thoughts on fellow nominees?

Barrett: They’re a really great and fun group of people. I knew Jill Moore already because we’re both athletes and we have this established relationship together.

It was really fun getting to know the other girls that are in sororities and that was really cool for me because I never really get to socialize with sorority girls because I’m in McKale all the time. For the most part our worlds never clash, so it was really cool to get to know them. These were a really cool bunch of people and they have such great dreams and are motivated in life.

Rowan: You know what, I’m going to be closer with those guys than I think I really expected to be, with those guys and with the Bobcats. I think I made some friends for life. The experiences we shared over that week were pretty memorable.

What was your reaction when you won?

Barrett: I was really shocked, to be honest. I just kind of stood there and they were like, “All right Brigetta, you can go get your flowers.”

I wanted to win, but for some reason half of me was not necessarily expecting it. Or maybe I kept that mindset so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t win. It was definitely a lot of shock and then a lot of appreciation for my fellow classmates that felt that I deserved it.

Rowan: I was in shock. Austin Thompson was the incumbent king last year and I swam with him for two years now. I think very highly of him so it was an honor to be even included in conversation with him I guess.

What does being Homecoming queen or king mean to you?

Barrett: I’ve just been thinking about my college experience and the experience of going through Homecoming week and how everyone has really accepted me for me and how I didn’t have to be a certain thing in order for them to accept me.

It was cool because I felt like God was telling me I had always been enough so it didn’t matter if I won necessarily, but that it was great for me to accept myself for who I am.

Rowan: It really solidifies my place in the university, more than anything. I’m a transfer student and I think, more than anything, it just means that this is where I was supposed to be in the first place.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?

Barrett: I want to say thank you to everybody at the University of Arizona, staff, faculty, alumni, undergrads for all their support of me on and off the track.

I would also like to say thank you to Jesus Christ for just all the blessings I’ve had this far in my life.

Rowan: I would like to thank [Associate Athletics Director] Becky Bell, for thinking of me when thinking about nominations, my parents for coming down and continually supporting me, and Arizona Athletics.

I’d like to thank my coaches for letting me do this, they’ve been pretty accepting of the time commitment it takes to do the Homecoming court.

Community Chatter: Women's reproductive rights & the election

Given all the controversy regarding politicians’ remarks about rape and abortion, what role do you think women’s reproductive rights should play in the presidential election?

“I think it should play somewhat of a role. They’re important issues because they affect half the population. It seems like … men are making decisions for women even though it’s kind of like their [women’s] decision … I think everybody should have their free rights … Morals and all that religious stuff affecting people’s decision shouldn’t be. Separation of church and state. “
Kevin Foiles, history junior

“I think that women should have the right to choose but at the same time I value life, so I believe that anything should be done in order for that baby to have life. But I mean it’s the woman’s choice … I think it’s a really important issue.”
Connor Ahern, pre-business freshman

“I feel like women should make their own choices. I mean, you’re the one carrying the baby and it’s your body. You should be able to make your own choice of what you get to do with it. Discussing it [the issue] hasn’t really even helped it so, I mean, discussing it more doesn’t seem like it’ll do anything. “
Germe Poston, public health junior

“I do think it’s a major role because it’s a serious issue that nationwide we face … I definitely think that it needs to be one of the primary focuses in the election. We need to be made more aware of it.”
Max Gross, pre-business freshman

Community Chatter: Presidential debates

Have the presidential debates affected your decision for the upcoming election?

“They have not. I’ve been pretty solidified in my decision since basically the last presidency.”

— Cassidy Johnson, film and television production freshman

“I just think that what they have to say really about it doesn’t really affect who I’m going to pick. I know already. But I feel like it affects some other people’s vote.”

— Bradford Jellison, pre-education freshman

“Not really because I already know basically what I’m voting based on and whatever they say isn’t going to change my opinion necessarily.”

— Michael Montoya, environmental sciences sophomore

“I don’t think they’re going to affect my vote just because I personally like Obama and I always have … I just don’t get a good vibe from Romney. I really don’t think the debates have changed my vote.”

— Hailee Singley, pre-public health freshman

“I think maybe to an extent, maybe strengthening or weakening my opinion. I usually get most of my data from my parents and I do enjoy watching the debates. I think Obama’s done a nice job where he’s at and I look forward to seeing him and … Romney battle that a little bit more.”

— Calvin Burns, physiology senior

Family Weekend events and activities

Kick-off Dinner

Redington Restaurant will cater a dinner with live music from Cousin Affect on the UA Mall from 5-7 p.m.. Admission is $5 for students and children under 12, $20 for adults.

Wildcat Pool Party

The Student Rec Center will host a pool party from 1-3:30 p.m. The party will feature music, food, contests and giveaways, and is open to entire families. Pool party admission is included in the cost of Family Weekend regsitration.

Family Weekend Shabbat Services and Dinner at Hillel

The Hillel Center will host a brisket Shabbat dinner at 6 p.m. The dinner is free for full-time college students, and there is a cost for non-students. For more information, contact Hillel at or call (520) 624-6561.

Late Night Variety Show featuring Sailesh the Hypnotist

Audience members will participate in hypnosis, improv and music from 8-10 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center’s Grand Ballroom. Tickets for the show are sold out.

Wildcat World Fair

A vendor fair and a number of campus clubs will hold a fair on the UA Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost for the fair is included with registration.

Stargazing at Steward Obervatory

Attendees will be able to view Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, stars, nebulae and galaxies from 7-10:30 p.m. Cost of the event is included with registration.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Third Annual Chili Cook-off

Proceeds of the cook-off will benefit the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Scholarship Fund. Event will run from 12-1:30 p.m. on the Bological Sciences West patio. Cost is $7 and includes beverages, chips, cornbread and chili.

Rainbow Family Reception

The free event will showcase resources for the capus LGBTQ community, and will run from 3-5 p.m. in SUMC’s Union Gallery.

Wildcat Carnival

The Mall will feature live music, a number of carnival attractions, inflatables and games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will cost $5.

Legacy Lunch

The lunch will allow past and present Wildcats to hand out UA lapel pins during a ceremony. The event is sponsored by the UA Parents and Family Association. The lunch will start at noon in the Rincon Room, cost $20, and is intended to finish in time for attendees to make it to the tailgate.

MIS Department Zipperman Scholars Parents Brunch

Invite-only event is hosted by the Management Information Systems department in the Eller College. The brunch will provide parents an overview of the MIS field, and will last from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in McClelland Hall.

UAMA presents an “Artist Talk with NY-based Abstrat Painter David Headley”

Event will feature four works of New York artist David Headley from 2 p.m. in the UA Museum of Art. Cost is included with registration.


Redington Restaurant will cater a tailgate on the Mall from 4-7 p.m. before the football game. Admission is $5 for students and children under 12, and $20 for adults.

Campus Recreation Free Fitness Saturday

The Rec Center will feature free fitness classes all day for UA students and their families from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Family Mountain Bike Ride

Outdoor Adventures is offering gear rentals and a guided ride through the bike trails of the Tucson Mountain Park from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Cost is $22, with an additional $10 to rent a bike.

Campus Rec Family Sport Tournaments

Various tournaments will be held throughout Saturday for free. Tournaments start at 9 a.m. for singles racquetball, 10 a.m. for two-on-two basketball, or 11 a.m. for four-on-four sand volleyball. Registration will be at Friday’s pool party.

— Compiled from

Campus events on Thursday

Pre-Law Week: Admission Panel Workshop

Attendees will learn how to make their applications stand out when applying to law school. Students will have the opportunity to ask law representatives questions about the law school admissions process at the Student Union Memorial Center, Santa Cruz room from 9-10 a.m. This event is a part of Pre-Law week.

Workshop — ‘Punctuation Refresher’

The workshop aims to provide an overview of basic rules and styles, discussing punctuation with audience members by working together on writing exercises. This event is part of a semester-long series of workshops held every Thursday and geared towards international and second-language speakers. The workshop will be held from 4-5 p.m. at the Social Sciences building in room 222.

AME Lecture Series

Stanley Pau, an associate professor in the College of Optical Sciences, will give a seminar from 4-4:50p.m. at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building. It will be held in room S212 and is open to a audience of 51-100 people.

Panel Discussion- ‘The Politics of Science, Health and Education: What you should know Before the Election’

UA Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) Ambassadors are hosting a panel from 5-7 p.m. at the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch building in room 103. Experts have been invited from the fields of science, health, education and government to join the panel and help to inform UA students and the public community about the issues in the upcoming election. The panel will be formatted as an open question-and-answer session between the experts and the audience.

‘Evolution’: A lecture by architect Peter Stutchbury

The College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture will be hosting world-renowned architect Peter Stutchbury. He will be lecturing from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building.

Campus events on Wednesday, Oct. 17

Professional Development Seminar – ‘Planning for Graduate School and Professional Programs’

The seminar is held from 12-12:50 p.m. at the Student Union Memorial Center and includes information on evaluating strategies for applying to graduate and professional schools. The seminar will discuss admission timelines, references and admissions interviews, testing strategies and much more. It is open to all UA students.

BIO5 Wellness Series: ‘Does Nutrition Play a Role in Cancer Prevention?’

Recent research has located a few protective measures that can possibly lessen the chances of developing cancer in specific organs. This free presentation will be discussing the new research. This event is open to everybody in the Tucson community, and is being held from 12-1 p.m. at the Medical Research Building room 102 on the University of Arizona Medical Center — University Campus.

Talk – ‘Listen Closely: Lyric Voices from Dad to Nicki Minaj’

John Melillo from the English department will give a talk at the UA Poetry Center from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Melillo will be discussing the lyrics to songs and how they tell us about our social world. He will be taking a closer look with the audience into the daily voices that we hear in our lives.

Sylvan Street in Concert

Sylvan Street members are UA faculty artists that will be performing from 7:30-9 p.m. in the School of Music Crowder Hall. Sylvan Street will be presenting a jazz ensemble.

Humanities Week to inform students on benefits of humanities, degrees

The College of Humanities will host its fifth annual Humanities Week, where faculty will focus on building awareness of the humanities and showcase work within the college.

The event kicks off on Oct. 15 with a series of free lectures and events taking place at the UA Poetry Center throughout the week, ending Friday evening. In keeping with this year’s theme — “Inquire, Explore, Impact,” the events will focus on educating people about what humanities can bring to the community and to the campus.

“This is an opportunity for us as a college to show what our professors do, what we research and what the humanities really are,” said Helen Bernard, coordinator of external and alumni relations. “It just showcases all of our great programs.”

Although the theme has changed, the structure will stay the same, and events are picked based on current topics that an audience will respond to, Bernard said. Attention is also placed on topics that professors are currently researching within the college.

“We’re expanding on topics that maybe there isn’t a course for at the moment,” Bernard said. “It’s really just a time where people can hear discussion, and it’s open to the greater community, so you will get a diverse audience.”

Events will range from talks to presentations and performances, beginning with a political party discussing the rhetoric of politics on the first day and ending with Russian poetry and music, as well as a reception and refreshments at the end of the week.

The goal of Humanities Week is to inform those who are not aware of the benefits of humanities, as well as demonstrate the scope of what students can do with a humanities degree, Bernard said. This week serves as an “entrée” into the humanities, she said.

“I think a lot of times the humanities are an area that lacks a lot of promotion within the university and that’s an area we want to promote more awareness for,” said Melissa Miller, administrative associate for the College of Humanities and a former UA student who worked on events for Humanities Week.

Some faculty commented on the ability to engage with a wider audience and promote interest in the humanities.

“This shows both the campus and our community the relevance to the humanities, how interesting they are, the variety of what we offer and do,” said Mary Wildner-Bassett, dean of the College of Humanities. “It’s very interesting and fun for people to come and see and explore that.”

Humanities Week

Monday, Oct. 15
4:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Personality Politics: How Persona Plays into our Political Thinking

Tuesday, Oct. 16
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
UofA-TUBE: Turning Language Students into Film Makers

Wednesday, Oct. 17
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Listen Closely: Lyric Voices from Dada to Nicki Minaj

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
There’s an App for That?: The Evolution of Humanities

Thursday, Oct. 18
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Technological Sublime: Virtual Money & Physical Violence: Suarez’s Daemon & Freedom

5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
A Meme’s Memory: A Meditation on the Viral Spread of Ideas

Friday, Oct. 19
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
DANTE #&@%!: Dante’s Poetry of Insult

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sins of the Father: Nazi Progeny in the Postwar Era

6:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Moscow is Burning!: Russian Poetry, Music, and Mayhem

ASA to send line-by-line budget breakdown

With controversy currently surrounding the Arizona Students Association, student leaders are looking to make improvements.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona President, Katy Murray is currently waiting for a line-by-line breakdown of the organization budget. If changes need to be made, the budget and the organization itself will be restructured.

“I want to get every director, president, vice president, including the ones that just resigned, get them in a room and let’s talk about what the best decision is for our students,” Murray said. “Even if that means going from the ground up and completely remodeling our organization I’m open to collaborating.”

Currently, UA student leaders have put their support behind ASA, but have said they are open to making changes if necessary.