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Reflecting on the news of the past year

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Cars line up on the University Mall east of Cherry with passengers awaiting their COVID-19 vaccination on Friday, Feb. 12.

It has been a crazy year with many events, changes and experiences in Zoom university. However, the news reporters at the Daily Wildcat have worked hard to keep you up to date with everything going on statewide, locally and at the University of Arizona. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

On Sept. 18, 2020, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. 

The Wildcat took a look back at her 2006 visit to the UA in order to honor her. During her visit, she "advocated the importance of respect and tolerance in the face of disagreement." She also talked about the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who was honored at the UA by the James E. Rogers College of Law's unveiling of the William H. Rehnquist Center. 

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Ginsburg also may be getting a commemorative bench in the Women’s Plaza of Honor on campus. The effort is being spearheaded by the UA's Women's Studies Advocacy Council.  

COVID-19 and the University of Arizona 

The first COVID-19 vaccine shot was given in December 2020, which led to vaccines becoming available in Phase 1 soon after. In February 2021, the UA became a high-capacity state vaccination site. This gave the UA more resources to run a close to 24/7 vaccination site and to be able to vaccinate state residents beyond Pima County, increasing vaccination capacity to 6,000 vaccinations per day. 

A few months before the vaccine came out, back in October 2020, it was announced that spring break would be canceled. Spring break was replaced with reading days spread out through the semester. Some students were not able to participate in reading days due to laboratory classes that still met on readings days. 

Many people expressed concern about the lack of faculty, staff and student involvement in the decision, including the Coalition for Academic Justice at the UArizona. 

Employee Salaries 

Next, we look at the 2019-20 UA employee salaries, which showed that former men's basketball head coach Sean Miller was the highest-paid employee with a salary of $2.4 million. The other higher-paid employees included Peter Nakaji with about $1.6 million former football coach Kevin Sumlin with $1 million and President Dr. Robert C. Robbins with $898,625. Of the 100 highest-paid employees, seven of them were a part of the Arizona Athletics Department and 88 of them were members of the Health Sciences Department. 

Elections

The 2020 presidential race was too early to call the night of the election, but President Joe Biden was announced the winner of the 2020 election on Nov. 7. Multiple states had yet to be called due to the amount of mail-in ballots, which led to the election taking longer than expected. 

For local elections there were seven constable positions up for election this year, all running unopposed. Democrat Anna Tovar, Republican James O’Connor and Republican Lea Márquez Peterson were elected to serve as corporation commissioner. Democrat Suzanne Droubie was elected as the new county assessor, and Democrat Laura Conover* was elected as county attorney. 

Democrat Gabriella Cázares-Kelly was elected as county recorder and Democrat Dustin Williams was elected as county superintendents of schools. Republican Beth Ford* was reelected county treasurer and Democrat Chris Nanos was elected as sheriff. All judges up for retention in the Arizona Superior Court were reelected as well as the candidates elected for justice of the peace.

Mark Kelly was also elected as a U.S. senator alongside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. This was the first time since the 1950s that there were two Democratic U.S. Senators representing Arizona. 

As well, Proposition 207 passed, which legalized marijuana for the state of Arizona. Proposition 208 passed, which increased funding for public education, and Proposition 481 passed, which increased the base factor of the expenditure limit. Lastly, Proposition 486 passed, which replaced the expenditure limit set by the state. 

This year has been full of changes and adapting to life during a pandemic. The news reporters at the Daily Wildcat look forward to next year and continuing to provide you with the latest news.

*Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Laura Conover was reelected as county attorney and Brian Bickel was elected as county treasurer. The article has now been updated to reflect the winners. 


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (9/21)
993 29 2.9%
Total (8/2)
23,557 463 2.0%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated September 22, 2021