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A YEAR IN REVIEW: 2014

By Alban Murtishi
On May 8, 2014

  • Akeem Priestley and the Huskies face stiff competition this weekend as they play in their first road games. Dan Gindraux

2014 was a tremendous and turbulent year for UConn, and the world. While this year signaled the passing of many greats as well as the beginning of many conflicts, there were constant reminders of achievement. UConn itself was subject to its share of shame and bad press, however students and faculty continue to prove their excellence in classes and clubs. Following are some of the highs and lows from Fall 2013 to Spring 2014 semesters.

Aug. 21 Syrian Civil War chemical weapon use

In the Ghouta suburbs of the Markaz Rif Dimashq district in Damascus, Syria at least 281 civilians and possible Syrian rebels were bombarded with missiles containing the chemical agent Sarin. This attack, possibly the worst chemical weapon attack since the Iran-Iraq war, sparked national attention, leading to American denunciation of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's regime. At the climax of the attack, President Obama pledged to take action by launching tomahawk missiles to destroy the chemical sites but Iran and Russia condemned that response. Eventually the Syrian government surrendered its weapons and dismantled its weapon production sites after peace talks with the U.S. and Russia.

Sept. 29 Breaking Bad ends

Over 10.28 million television viewers tuned into AMC to watch the final hours of Walter White a.k.a Heisenberg. The high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin had captured the national imagination with his unbridled ruthlessness and clever use of science to overcome his adversaries. The show had a slow start with viewership but through word of mouth it quickly rose to one of television's most popular shows. The finale was highly reviewed and seen as a fine way to end the series.

Oct. 21 Students filed Title IX complaint
Seven current and former UConn students filed a complaint against the university citing negligence on the handling of sexual assault cases. Nationally known lawyer Gloria Allred represents the students. The case opened up national discussion over university treatment of sensitive cases such as these, with over 55 schools now facing similar charges. The federal government released official statements regarding sexual assault and installed a task force to deliberate possible solutions to this pressing national issue. The university has created its own task force as well, however, the administration denied the claims that it handled the cases unfairly.

Dec. 5 Death of Nelson Mandela
International civil rights and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela passed away at 95-years-old after a suffering from a respiratory infection. Mandela served 27 years in prison after leading a sabotage campaign against the colonial government of the time. After his release, Mandela joined the still heated civil rights landscape and began peace talks with leaders at the time to end apartheid. He was then elected South Africa's first black President. After his tenure, Mandela spent the rest of his life doing charitable work to combat AIDS/HIV through the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He will forever be remembered as a Nobel Prize winning hero and as "the father of the nation" to South Africans.

Feb. 2 Philip Seymour Hoffman dies
Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a heroin overdose at age 46, shocking the film and theater world. Hoffman has been described as one of the finest actors of our generation, appearing in "Capote" for which he was awarded an Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for several awards after for films like "Charlie Wilson's War," "Doubt" and "The Master." A funeral was held in St. Ignatius Loyola church in his honor and was attended by many costars and friends. Broadway had even dimmed its lights for a single minute in respect.

Mar. 2 Russia declares war and seizes Crimea

The Ukrainian crisis took a dramatic turn as Russia mobilized troops to occupy Crimea, an area of the Ukraine that has many Russian descent citizens as well as pro-Russian ideals. Since this movement, the world is watching intently so see if the conflict will drag any other powers into the fray.

Mar. 14 USG Election decided by disqualification
 For the third year in a row, USG has dealt with a controversial election leading to yet another decision based on disqualification. Mark Sargent and Claire Price were elected into office after Carlyle Bethel and David Rifkin were disqualified for missing mandatory USG meetings, among other reasons. Sargent and Price additionally won the popular vote.

April 9 Men and Women's Basketball seize dual championship
UConn was thrust into national media attention after achieving two national championship victories. The men triumphed over Kentucky, and soon afterwards thousands of students rushed into the Fairfield Way to celebrate. Similarly, the women defeated Notre Dame in Tennessee to scoop two national victories in two days.

April 23 Hillary Clinton visits UConn
      Former senator and Secretary of the State Hilary Clinton visited UConn to share her knowledge on politics, media and involvement. In front of thousands of students, faculty and President Herbst, Clinton discussed pressing national topics such as Russia and Ukraine, and public consumption of media. Clinton urged students to get involved in their local politics, as well as keep updated with national events through news.
 


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