Daily Wildcat | New Year in Tucson | February 2023

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Tucson in the new year Explore some of what this vibrant city has to offer in 2023, and catch up on recent updates. INSIDE: Pandemic updates | Student leaders | New music and restaurants | More VOLUME 116 | ISSUE 66 | NEW YEAR IN TUCSON | FEBRUARY 2023 THE DAILY WILDCAT SINCE 1899, THE STUDENT VOICE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA & TUCSON • ONLINE, ALL THE TIME, AT DAILYWILDCAT.COM
A2 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● February 2023

6 Check out 2023 events coming soon

Baseball / New coach




JT Thorpe editor@dailywildcat.com

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13 Check out new music with these local artists

Student leaders

News Reporters

Cole Fields

Ambre Bertocchi

Anna Lineberry

Bailey Ekstrom

Caitlyn Murphy

Erika Howlett

Emma Shea

Danielle Hartshorn

Kanishka Chinnaraj

Kristijan Barnjak

Sabina Hernandez

Talia Doninger

Vivek Aking

Arts & Life Reporters

AJ “Stash” Castillo

Juliana Siml

Elle Nangia

Talia Doninger

Maayan Cohen

Sports Reporters

Delaney Penn

Aidan Alperstein

Jason Dayee

Cole Johnson

Madison Carney

Mary Grace Armistead

Nathaniel Levin

Photographers and Multimedia Reporters

Caitlin Claypool

Jackie Cabrera

Marrison Bilagody

Gracie Kayko

Antonia Muskat

Noor Haghighi

Annika Rogozin

Kohichiro Yamada

Amelia McAnear

Danielle Main

22 Play review

Broadway in Tucson: “To Kill A Mockingbird”


Jamelle Texeria

Nettie Gastelum

Jasmine Ma

Mary Ann Vagnerova

Valentine Modestine

Farrah Rodriguez

Emilie Marie Cuevas

Opinion Writers

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JT Thorpe

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February 2023 • New Year in Tucson DailyWildcat.com • A3
Volume 116 • Issue 66 February 2023
Campus spotlight
Sports roundtable
New Year in Tucson | VOLUME 116,
16 2023 Arizona Wildcat predictions
10 A breakdown of ASUA’s plans for 2023 Calendar
8 New Arizona volleyball head coach
Tucson bands 12 2023 season previews for both Arizona teams COVER DESIGN: Photo By: Tia Stephens | The Daily Wildcat

Tourism in Tucson rebounds after the pandemic

The city of Tucson can fell like a small town but it has a vibrant community. There are many locals who love this city, but there are also many people who flock into town for annual events like the Tucson Gem Show, the Tucson Rodeo and the Tucson Jazz Festival.

Each of these events have their unique characteristics and qualities that bring in people from all over to Tucson to explore and enjoy what the events have to offer.

The COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately put a pause on a lot of these annual events. There was not a single event that was not affected by the pandemic. Some events had the chance to rebound in 2022, but this year will be the year to expect the events to return to their full glory.

One event making a full comeback after the pandemic is the Tucson Gem Show, which according to visittucson.org is “the largest, oldest, and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world.” The 2021 Gem Show was unfortunately canceled, but in 2022 it was able to come back amid the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Now in 2023, the Gem Show is able to have a full event, even featuring some new sellers. Aeora Rocks is one of the new sellers that will get the chance to sell at the Tucson Gem Show.

Managing Partner of Aeora Rocks, Carolyn Cary, expressed her excitement about being able to be a part of the Gem Show this year.

“I’ve been in the business for about 15 years and about one year ago I decided it was time for me to branch out on my own,” Cary said. “I reached out to someone very

reputable in India and started my own place and I love it. I love meeting people, I love the stones, just all of it.”

Since branching out on her own, Cary has been able to grow her business using social media and doing live sales on the Facebook page for Aeora Rocks. Despite her success using social media, Cary is aware that being in the Gem Show can potentially give her business a large boost.

“This is basically gonna be my introduction to the wholesale and retail crowd,” Cary said. “I’ve been open for a while, but the gem show is my first opportunity to put myself out in front of a whole bunch of people and hopefully build my customer base and keep my business going.”

The Tucson Gem show will take place between Jan. 28 - Feb. 12.

Another annual Tucson event that brings in people from all over is the Tucson Rodeo, which was also impacted by the pandemic. Tucson Rodeo Committee Chairman, Jose Calderon, shared just exactly how the pandemic affected the rodeo.

“It affected us like everyone else,” Calderon said. “The regulations and rules that we needed to do to sterilize everything would have been impossible. We couldn’t do it and being on city property, we had to oblige by their guidelines. [2021] was the only year that we couldn’t put it on and we were able to resume the following year.”

This year will be the 98th year of the rodeo and rodeo organizers like to keep it as traditional and as true to their roots as possible.

“Our rodeo is very traditional and it’s been like that for the last 97 years. We keep it that way because we like to keep everything as

true [western] as possible,” Calderon said.

Calderon also shared that the Tucson Rodeo is one of the top 25 rodeos in the country and brings in $15 million to the city of Tucson. Part of what generates this money is the timing of the Tucson Rodeo.

The Tucson Rodeo is usually held in February, after the National Final Rodeo that takes place in December. The Tucson Rodeo is one of the rodeos that starts the season back up for the year, so many cowboys and cowgirls have to attend to get the points necessary to continue on in the rodeo season.

On top of that, another reason organizers like to hold the rodeo in February is to keep people who come to Tucson in the winter here longer.

“A large majority of our crowds are people who are from out of town,” Calderon said. “I’ve looked at the demographic and we have people from Mexico, Canada and all 50 states who come out.”

Another way that the rodeo remained so successful after the pandemic is because not only is it a treasured community event, but it is also an outdoor event that helped people be comfortable attending in the first place.

“The great thing about the Tucson Rodeo is that we sell out, we’re expected to almost every year,” Calderon said. “It’s a great outdoor event. After the pandemic people were hungry to get out and do something, and being outside people felt more comfortable being in an environment where it’s outdoors.”

Calderon added that this year, the rodeo country group Lonestar will be performing Saturday, Feb. 18. This will be the first concert in 20 years at the Tucson Rodeo,

so it is an event that organizers are looking forward to.

The Tucson Rodeo will be held Feb. 18-26. Another event that has already taken place but still generates plenty of foot traffic is the Tucson Jazz Festival. The Jazz Festival was held from Jan. 13-22.

Executive Director of the festival, Khris Dodge, shared how the festival was affected by the pandemic.

“In 2021, we had to cancel the festival so that obviously put a hit on our yearly celebration. In 2022, we were able to put on the festival, but it was a little muted due to the rising surge of Omicron,” Dodge said.

Dodge said this year the festival seemed to be back to normal and thriving better than it had in previous years. He also was able to share what he was looking forward to this year for the Jazz Festival following the pandemic.

“I look forward to the experiences and meeting artists and watching how audiences react and interact with the artists. Both on stage and in between performances as well,” Dodge said. “There’s a certain amount of magic in jazz and improvisation that makes each performance unique and seeing that happen in real-time is very special.”

Dodge says the festival brings in crowds of all ages, from high school students to older patrons, music lovers, first-time festival goers, people from all over the country and even a few Canadians. The festival purposely tries to program itself in a way to have a wide reach and find different audiences.

Each of these events brings different groups of people to the city of Tucson. With each event, there are new memories to be made and new experiences to be had here in the city.

A4 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● Febuary 2023 NEW NORMAL
MARISON BILAGODY | THE DAILY WILDCAT VISITORS WALK THROUGH THE 22nd Street Mineral, Fossil & Gem Show in Tucson, on Jan. 29.


How the University of Arizona continues the fight against COVID-19, new variant

With a new semester comes a new COVID-19 variant, called XBB.1.5, but University of Arizona campus protocols for the virus remain relatively unchanged this spring.

The Omicron variant has been called the most transmissible strain by the World Health Organization, but it has not been found to cause more severe infection compared to the other strains of the virus.

“We’re treating that variant just as we are any of the other variants […] . Just doing standard precautions, which is washing hands and then keeping the mask on,” Amy Blackburn, immunization and infection prevention manager at UA Campus Health said. “And if you’re actively sick, we’re requesting that you don’t come to work.”

According to the UA’s COVID-19 dashboard, out of 457 tests, 18 have tested positive for the virus from Jan. 17-23, a positivity rate of 3.9%. Testing rates remain relatively low and testing is still voluntary for students and employees.

University protocols

Similar to last semester, masks are recommended but not required in most indoor settings, with surgical masks being offered at indoor locations on campus. Clinical spaces still require face coverings.

TakeAway Testing continues around 18 locations on campus and test results come within two business days.

Vaccines are free and available through Campus Health by appointment on Fridays between 8:30-11:30 a.m. The clinic is only offering the booster dose, also known as the bivalent vaccine, for Pfizer and Moderna.

A walk-in vaccine clinic has been held at Bear Down Gymnasium almost monthly since the fall, with the most recent one held on Jan. 23-25. David Salafsky, interim coexecutive director and director of health promotion & preventive services of Campus Health, said whether the clinic will run next month depends on community demand.

“We’re seeing the numbers trail

off a little bit,” Salafsky said. “We’ll see where they’re at […] and see if there’s demand to continue that going forward in February.”

He recommended the latest bivalent vaccine booster to those who have not yet received it. Salafsky said that he believes the initial value of vaccines has shifted from preventing initial infection to now preventing people from experiencing more serious symptoms.

“It’s really protecting you from hospitalization and severe disease, and protecting those who are at greatest risk of death,” Salafsky said.

The COVID-19 Response Team, part of the UA’s Incident

Command System, remains active in case of another severe strain or virus. The team used to meet every day at the beginning of the pandemic, but have since scaled down to meeting around every other week, according to Dr. Richard Carmona, a laureate professor of public health and former U.S. Surgeon General.

The tripledemic and COVID-19 precautions

Worries about a “tripledemic” surfaced late last fall with three viruses appearing at the same time: Respiratory syncytial virus, flu and COVID-19. The number of cases for these viruses have seen a decline since a peak around

mid-November, with the current weekly emergency department visits for the viruses at 60,133 nationally, for the week ending in Jan. 21, according to the latest reporting by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the current flu season, keeping good health practices may be key to preventing the spread of not only COVID-19, but other respiratory illnesses.

“The common flu spreads just like any of these [COVID-19] viruses do,” Carmona said. “By droplet infection, hard surfaces, not washing your hands, touching somebody, giving a person a hug. You inadvertently inoculate them with the virus.”

However, at the end of the day it is up to the individual what steps they would like to take in light of the pandemic and what they are comfortable with.

Blackburn suggested having conversations with friends and colleagues about their practices and vaccination status.

“Then you can best inform yourself as to how you want to be. Maybe if you’re with them, you’re wearing a mask,” Blackburn said. “Or you’re with them but you’re keeping yourself distanced.”

Moving forward

Similar to flu shots, the FDA recently announced its proposal to offer an annual shot for COVID-19 to simplify vaccination efforts.

In the meantime, students and staff can keep updated on the UA’s COVID-19 response at covid19.arizona.edu.

*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

DailyWildcat.com • A5 February 2023 • New Year in Tucson
KYLER VAN VLIET | EL INDE ARIZONA A WALK-IN VACCINE clinic has been held at the University of Arizona nearly monthly since fall 2022 at the Bear Down Gymnasium. The most recent one was held from Jan. 23-25, but the continuation of the clinic will depend on demand.
Want to stay updated on UA community news? Subscribe to our email newsletters, full of a wide variety of coverage at: DailyWildcat.com/NewsletterSignUp


Tucson treasures: Kick off 2023 with these events

Tucson Gem & Mineral Show: Feb. 9-12

The main part of Tucson’s famous annual gem and mineral show is happening Feb. 9-12 at the Tucson Convention Center. This event draws visitors from around the world, and the 68th year will be no exception. As the largest gem and mineral show around, there is something for every rock-lover. Check out “SILICA - Agates and Opals and Quartz, Oh My!” this February.

Tucson Rodeo:

Feb. 18-26

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros is a yearly celebration of the traditions of cowboys and the culture of historic Tucson. With events including bull riding, barrel racing, roping, bareback riding and more, there is always something exciting happening at the rodeo. All these events are competitive, so you can go out and root for your favorite cowboy!

Tucson Festival of Books: March 4-5

In early March, the Univesity of Arizona Mall will be decorated with celebrations of books of all kinds. For the first weekend of spring break, there will be booths, pop-up stores and author panels for the readers of all ages to enjoy. Admission is free, but there are plenty of attractions where you can spend your time and money to walk away with something you’ll remember.

Fourth Avenue Street Fair: March 24-26

The Fourth Avenue Street Fair is a Tucson classic, running for the past 54 years, aside from a two-year pandemic pause. A transformed Fourth Avenue can be explored, bursting with culture and entertainment alike. Occurring in the height of Tucson spring, the weather is bound to be fair and make the experience a good one. In addition to the attractions, the event helps support the street’s infrastructure and invest in the local community.

Laser Fun Day: March 25

Laser Fun Day is a public community event held by the Student Optics Chapter at the UA Wyant College of Optical Sciences. The chapter holds demonstrations to display certain elements of the optics industry and educate the public about the impact of this optic technology.

Tucson Folk Festival: March 31-April 2

The Tucson Folk Festival is a free event hosted by the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association. As Arizona’s largest free public music festival, this event has multiple stages celebrating acoustic folk music, food, drinks and other interactive attractions.

Pima County Fair: April 20-30

The Pima County Fair has all the features of an old-fashioned county fair. There will be animals, concerts, rides, food, drinks and much more to explore.

A6 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● February 2023
COURTESY RCS/PIMA COUNTY FAIR THE PIMA COUNTY FAIR, held in Tucson annually, features rides, animals, food, concerts and more.

Historic Fourth Avenue shops in the new year

As February begins, there are many stores along Tucson Historic Fourth Avenue District getting ready for new merchandise and events.

With businesses still in the throes of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, things are looking up as they get back into a new sense of normalcy. One of the many stores is &gallery, located at 419 N. 4th Ave., where business owner Cynthia Naugle is ready to get started!

“We had our shutdown, and I feel like a lot of us are still navigating what opening up looks like. Luckily everyone has been safe enough to start again. I am excited to see this new Fourth Avenue with the things we’ve learned from the shutdown, as well as the community events coming up,” Naugle said.

The gallery has just celebrated its first anniversary under Naugle’s management with panels geared towards the art community. Their Bad Religion show is coming up in February, a Toy show in March, April is geared towards Air Force 1’s and more. Panels, markets and the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair are also in the future.

Naugle’s goal is to host different themes for the shows as a way to connect with the many different parts of the art community. She is also hoping to get the community heard through the art shown at the gallery.

“We are planning on doing more conventions and things outside of Tucson […] one of our goals has always been to take Tucson outside of Tucson. So doing these conventions outside of Tucson is really going to help everyone grow. We have a few things lined up for that,” Naugle said.

To Naugle, as long as people keep spreading the word about &gallery, the business will grow and be able to keep supporting local artists as more people hear about the shop.

The upcoming Bad Religion show will have an opening reception on Feb. 4 and be on display until Feb. 28.

Just across the street lies Aquamarine Daydream, located at 408 N. 4th Ave., a metaphysical shop that houses crystals, jewelry, tarot cards and more. What started out as an Etsy business is now a blossoming business that is still expanding as the owner Lovisa Axtell has goals set entering the new year.

“We actually just moved all of our back

of house and online sales into a new warehouse, which is something that I’ve been trying to do for nine months, and it’s just been really hard to find a space close to the store that was affordable. We’re going to be expanding the store another

fifteen feet or so and adding some new surprises to the mix,” Axtell said.

One of the goals with the expansion is to host jewelry-making classes, tarot readings and other events. Axtell was gearing up for the gem show coming to Tucson as that is

a big time of year for business and finding any more new items.

New arrivals include emeralds, rutilated quartz, tangerine quartz, smoky quartz and Lemurian quartz, to name a few. Axtell is also getting new jewelry and hopes with the expansion to have another jewelry case in the store.

“This year, I’m excited to step back a little bit and really see how we can make things better and more efficient for our team. In the back, when we were working at the store for all of our online sales, we were working in less than 400 square feet of room. Now we’re working out of a 3,200 square foot warehouse,” Axtell said.

Axtell is also glad she was able to give benefits like health care to her employees. She’s also excited for the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair.

Right on the corner located at 411 N. 4th Ave., is Antigone Books, one of the oldest Fourth Avenue businesses. Founded in 1973, the business is coming up on its fifty-year anniversary with new goals and releases, according to Kate Stern, one of the owners.

“One of the authors I enjoy the work of, Fernanda Melchor, just or will soon come out with a new essay collection. Luis Alberto Urrea is coming out with a new book this year, which I think will be huge. He’s the author of ‘The Hummingbird’s Daughter.’ It’s been a while since he’s come out with books, so that will be exciting,” Stern said.

One of the first events that Stern mentioned Antigone Books was hosting is an event with local author Mary-Frances O’Connor. She has released a new book titled “The Grieving Brain.” O’Connor will be reading and signing the book as it is being released in paperback format.

Stern also mentioned that there would be a “Blind Date with a Book” promotion soon for Valentine’s Day. She said that tentatively, with every purchase over $10, the customer gets a free book.

The new year brings new hopes and goals for many local businesses as they continue settling in to a world affected by a pandemic. Some business owners, like Stern, are excited for try new things.

“New year’s resolutions: Probably to be a little bit more involved in the community in the aftermath of [COVID-19] just because we haven’t been able to do as much inperson stuff. I’m really hoping to be able to say yes to more things this year, even if it’s just a few things,” Stern said.

DailyWildcat.com • A7 February 2023 • New Year in Tucson
JORDAN CHIN | THE DAILY WILDCAT LOCAL SHOP AQUAMARINE DAYDREAM offers a variety of crystals, gemstones, jewelry and more on Fourth Avenue in Tucson. The shop started out as an Etsy business.
SOHI KANG | THE DAILY WILDCAT ANTIGONE BOOKS, A LOCAL independent bookstore on Fourth Avenue in Tucson, features book recommendations by category. The shop is also women-owned and solar-powered.

Wildcat alumna Charita Stubbs takes over role as head Arizona volleyball coach; ‘I bleed red and blue’

Previous head coach Dave Rubio retires after 31 seasons

Charita Stubbs was named the next head coach of the Arizona volleyball team shortly after the announcement of Dave Rubio’s retirement. With this promotion, Stubbs is now the first African-American head coach in the University of Arizona’s volleyball program history as well as the school’s fourth head volleyball coach.

The retirement

“After 31 seasons as the head volleyball coach at the University of Arizona, it is time for me to retire,” Rubio said in a statement. He leaves the program as the winningest head coach in program history.

Prior to arriving in Arizona, Rubio had already established himself as one of the great young coaching talents. He won a Division II National Championship at California State University Bakersfield, which was part of his successful five-year career at Cal State Bakersfield where he had a 122-66 record. He led the Roadrunners to two Final Fours and the 1989 National Championship.

Rubio inherited a program that never won a single conference match prior to his arrival. Over his tenure with the Wildcats, he guided them to a 570-380 record and won 692 matches in his 36-year collegiate coaching career. This is the 11th most amongst all active Division I coaches, and he guided Arizona to its first-ever Pac-10 title in 2000.

Rubio recently became the second Pac-12 volleyball coach in history to reach 500 wins in 2018. He now ends his career with 570 wins, making him the second-winningest Pac-12 volleyball coach in history.

Rubio said he was also very fortunate to join an incredible group of Arizona coaches.

“I owe a debt of gratitude to all the assistant coaches who have helped me grow and inspire me along this journey, including my athletic trainer Emily Johnson who has been with me for over 15 years,” Rubio said. “I want to especially thank my associate head coach Charita Stubbs who has been with me for over 20 years as a former player and assistant. I appreciated your loyalty and wisdom over the last 31 years.”

Rubio closed out his coaching career by giving his final thanks to his mentors.

“Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not properly recognize and thank these two people,” Rubio said. “Rocky LaRose mentored me and watched over me throughout the 25 years we were together. I can never give her enough credit and thanks for my longevity in Arizona. Suzy Mason took over for Rocky as my supervisor and made my job easier while always being there to help me.”

The promotion

As a former Wildcat, Stubbs played at the UA under Rubio from 1990-94 before spending 19 years on Rubio’s coaching staff. During a gap in her time at the UA, Stubbs also led North Carolina State University’s volleyball team as head coach.

“I am incredibly excited to name Charita Stubbs as our next head volleyball coach,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “As a former Wildcat studentathlete and longtime member of Dave Rubio’s staff, Rita has a great appreciation

and understanding of what it means to compete for the University of Arizona. Rita has a tremendous vision and outstanding skill set that will set the course for future success for Arizona volleyball, and I look forward to watching her add more chapters to the storied legacy of the program.”

In a press conference announcing the promotion, Rubio said he is confident Stubbs is the best person to take over the program.

“It was a natural transition for us, for me to recommend her to follow me,” Rubio said. “I’m so appreciative of Dave Heeke and the administration to have enough confidence in her and to carry on and make it better. We need to be better, and I have all of the confidence in the world that Rita is the right person for the job, and I’m excited she’s been given the opportunity to do that.”

With Rubio, Stubbs coached one of the top defenses in the nation during the 2022 season and helped bring the Wildcats to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances in her 19 total seasons with the team. Some of her other coaching achievements include helping coach nine Wildcats to

All-American status, including Devyn Cross, Arizona’s first middle blocker to earn honorable mention All-American honors since Melissa McLinden in 1985.

“I want to thank Dave Heeke for believing in me and naming me the new head coach of Arizona volleyball,” Stubbs said in a statement. “I am excited to lead my alma mater as I bleed red and blue. I cannot thank Dave Rubio enough for believing in this girl from Cleveland, Ohio as a player and as a coach. I stand for truth, hard work and discipline in this game, and I will continue Arizona volleyball’s culture where our student-athletes enjoy the process.”

Since Stubbs joined Rubio’s coaching staff, the Wildcats have appeared in five of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments. In this past 10 years, Stubbs has helped Arizona win a total of 175 games. This is one of the most successful 10year runs in school history.

Stubbs first began her coaching career in 1997 as an assistant coach under Rubio. In her first nine consecutive years with the team, she helped the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament every single year and finish in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll in eight of those nine seasons. She then began her first head coaching experience in North Carolina in 2006 before returning to Arizona in 2013.

Before her coaching career, Stubbs — known then as Charita Johnson — had accomplishments scattered through the university’s history books. She was the first player in Arizona history to record 300 kills, 300 digs and 100 blocks in one season. As a player, she also led the Wildcats to back-toback Sweet 16 appearances at the 1993 and 1994 NCAA Tournaments.

At the press conference, Stubbs thanked Rubio for encouraging her to take on the role and believing in her.

“I don’t know that I can articulate enough about what Dave did,” she said. “I like to tell everyone he saved me three times. He saved me as a player, he saved me when he believed in me to be a coach when I had no desire to coach [...] and when he brought me back from North Carolina. My hearts goes out for Dave and I can’t say enough about him.”

A8 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● February 2023
COURTESY REBECCA SASNETT, ARIZONA ATHLETICS THEN ASSISTANT COACH CHARITA STUBBS talks to Arizona volleyball players in McKale Center during a game against the University of Colorado at Boulder on Nov. 23, 2022. The Wildcats lost the match 3 games to 1.
DailyWildcat.com • A9 February 2023 • New Year in Tucson

ASUA in the new year: Student government’s plans for 2023

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona launched the #WhyIRide campaign last semester to rally the community in support of fare-free transit, and on Dec. 20, 2022, the Tucson City Council voted to extend fare-free transit on all Sun Tran services until June 30, 2023. The extension was not only a win for the UA community — 70% of Sun Link riders are students, according to a Sun Tran survey — but it also demonstrated how effective the student government’s advocacy can be.

With the new year in full swing, ASUA has newer, bigger plans ahead, among

which include tackling food insecurity on campus, improving accessibility and visibility for clubs and promoting competition during its election season.

Campus food insecurity

ASUA is fighting against food insecurity on two fronts: meal plans and SNAP benefits.

Since fall 2021, ASUA has been working with Arizona Student Unions to make upcoming changes to the university’s meal plan program more inclusive for all students.

The university received backlash in 2021 when it announced that it would mandate meal plans for all freshmen living in university residence halls. It previously intended to

implement the change in the fall 2022 semester but decided to push it back to 2023 after receiving feedback from students.

Jack Haskins, ASUA senator for the College of Fine Arts, is on a committee with representatives from Student Unions and other members of the university community. Haskins said that right now, the committee is discussing the payment structure for meal plans (like whether it should be paid monthly or by semester) and which student groups should be exempt from the mandate.

“The point of this, Student Unions would tell you, is to combat food insecurity on campus,” Haskins said.

The argument in favor

of mandatory meal plans is that it discourages students from skipping meals. Freshmen will have access to dining options that are close to where they live and study, and since most freshmen will have a meal plan, they can dine together.

Student Unions is also investing in diversifying dining options on campus. Saffron Bites, which serves traditional Indian dishes, opened in the Student Union Memorial Center last semester, and Radicchio, a plant-based all-youcan-eat restaurant, will be opening in the SUMC soon. Haskins also mentioned the possibility of an on-campus grocery store starting construction next year.

Although he was optimistic that the meal plan mandate will help reduce food insecurity, Haskins mentioned that the changes aren’t the right fit for some student demographics, including low-income students.

“My concern is making sure that students who can’t afford to pay have support, and that’s what we’re figuring out with the waiver subcommittee,” Haskins said.

Food insecurity doubled among UA students during the pandemic, according to fall 2020 UA research. One of the original criticisms of the changes was that mandating meal plans would add another cost to students who can’t afford it and who wouldn’t have purchased it otherwise. According to Haskins, the waiver subcommittee is exploring the possibility of providing exemptions to students from low-income households.

Haskins said that the

subcommittee plans to finalize its proposals by around March so incoming students can receive information about the changes as soon as possible.

In the meantime, ASUA will begin lobbying state government officials to extend SNAP benefits for students. SNAP eligibility for qualifying students was expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the temporary expansion is set to expire 30 days after the federal government officially declares an end to the pandemic.

ASUA Student Body

President Patrick Robles said in a previous interview with the Daily Wildcat that ASUA wants to advocate for a more permanent extension.

“We’re looking for an extension, but an extension that is sustainable and solidified so that college students don’t find themselves again in this weird limbo of trying to apply for SNAP benefits, but those that are helping them apply aren’t sure how far to go with the application if those benefits may be taken away from them tomorrow,” Robles said.

It was announced at the Jan. 18 senate meeting that ASUA would begin advocating to keep the expanded SNAP student eligibility. More details regarding the initiative have yet to be announced.

To learn more about SNAP benefits and eligibility, visit fns.usda. gov/snap/students.

Student clubs

Improving clubs’ interactions with ASUA and their ability to reach out to students will be a

priority for Executive Vice President Nico NieriLang, whose office is in charge of recognizing and serving over 500 ASUAaffiliated clubs and student organizations.

In January, Nieri-Lang oversaw the launch of @ asuaclubs, an Instagram page for over 500 ASUAaffiliated clubs to receive important information.

So far, the page has posted reminders for club registration and spring club fair deadlines.

ASUA held its first FAQ session for clubs on Jan. 25 regarding club registration and troubleshooting. The FAQ sessions will be a way for clubs to interact faceto-face with ASUA officials and receive answers to any club-related questions.

The FAQ session in February will focus on club appropriations and funding. The date has not yet been set, but more details will be announced via @asuaclubs.

ASUA also plans to hold a club talent show as an opportunity to promote club visibility. Though specific details have yet to be determined, including dates, Nieri-Lang said that it will likely occur sometime in March or April.

“It’ll just be like a talent show. ASUA senate will be involved, and club advocates will be involved. It’ll be an opportunity to showcase talent, a capella groups will be able to perform, stuff like that,” Nieri-Lang said.

Those interested in participating in the ASUA talent show should keep an eye on ASUA communications in their inbox, on social media or on asuatoday.arizona.edu.

A10 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● February 2023
CAITLIN CLAYPOOL | DAILY WILDCAT THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF the University of Arizona are getting ready for elections at the end of the semester. The deadline to submit one’s candidacy for an ASUA senate or executive position was Feb. 1.

UA theater program to present

‘Romeo and Juliet’ but with a twist

The University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film & Television program is hosting its fourth play of the 2022-23 season, “Romeo & Juliet,” from Feb. 26 to March 19 at Tornabene Theatre. The production is expected to have 10 performances, with two being previews and one including a post-show discussion.

Although the program is performing this classic, there will be an added twist to the production. Instead of taking place in Verona, Italy, “Romeo & Juliet” will instead be taking place in Verona, Kentucky.

The Daily Wildcat had the opportunity to interview the director and the two leads for a behind-thescenes look at the production.

Brent Gibbs: Professor and director

As the production’s director, UA TFTV professor Brent Gibbs explained why he picked “Romeo & Juliet” as this season’s Shakespeare production and how he plans on making it stand out.

“I was driving through the hills of Ohio and it suddenly occurred to me that Appalachia is full of tales of fated lovers who meet untimely deaths,” Gibbs said. “It got me thinking that maybe that might be a fruitful setting for our production and so we are indeed setting our production in Verona, Kentucky.”

Gibbs believes this twist on the play, including the addition of Southern accents, will help the audience take in and understand the over-400-year-old story more easily.

Overall, he said he hopes the audience will not only have their hearts break over the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet but also admire the students’ efforts.

This will be the professor’s 50th production he’s directed at the UA as well as his 23rd Shakespeare play.

interesting and exciting.”

Murray also spoke about why he loves the UA theater program, highlighting the community amongst students and staff.

“You go to any show after opening night and a lot of the building is just student actors and student stage managers and student costume majors and everybody working in their different parts,” Murray said. “It’s a lovely community working together to make a lovely thing.”

Sydney Di Sabato: Playing Juliet Capulet

Sydney Di Sabato, a UA senior studying musical theater, was thrilled to be cast as Juliet.

“It’s such a titular role, and it’s classical, and I had never done it before,” she said. “There’s not a feeling like it. I was floating amongst the clouds for like a week.”

Max Murray: Playing Romeo Montague

Max Murray, a UA junior studying acting, is excited to play Romeo. Landing this role has been a momentous opportunity for him, he explained, since he typically plays more comic relief-type characters.

With this lead role, Murray wants to bring a lot of himself to the character.

“I want to make a fun, energetic Romeo,” he said, “like you want him to succeed.”

Murray holds a deep love for Shakespeare and said he’s excited about the added twist in this production.

“I think that’s one of my favorite things about Shakespeare is that you can do so much with it,” Murray said. “These stories have been told so many times that it’s almost like a game to see what new thing you can do with it to make it new and

Di Sabato’s reaction to the change in setting of the play held a special relatability factor to her since she is originally from the South.

“Putting it in Kentucky makes it so different,” Di Sabato said. “And I

feel like it makes it more accessible to people because it makes it more of an American rivalry almost, like an American thing, and I think our patrons will love to see that.”

The play will also be incorporating song and dance. Di Sabato highlighted a particular moment in the play that is her favorite so far, one choreographed by Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Christie Kerr.

“In the party scene, which is towards the very beginning of the show, normally in the original version it’s a really fancy ball with gowns and masks and such, but since we’re doing it in Kentucky […] we’re clogging,” she said.

Di Sabato also spoke about her thoughts on the school’s decision to pause the recruitment in the Acting/ Musical Theater and Design Tech BFA and MFA programs for the 202324 academic year.

“A big part of the show is trying to … show [the school] administration that we’re a successful program and we have talented people,” Di Sabato said. “We’re just trying to do our best work and [show] that live theater is very much alive and well.”


• Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Rd.


• Feb. 26 - March 19


• Student: $15

• Senior / Military / UA Employee: $30

• Adult: $32

• theatre.arizona.edu/ shows/romeo-juliet

DailyWildcat.com • A11 February 2023 • New Year in Tucson
COURTESY BRENT GIBBS PROFESSOR BRENT GIBBS (CENTER) is directing the University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” this semester with Sydney Di Sabato cast as Juliet and Max Murray cast as Romeo.
Enjoy this article and want more? Subscribe to our Arts & Life newsletter, full of cultural news, events, features, profiles and more at: DailyWildcat.com/NewsletterSignUp


Local talent brings high hopes for Arizona baseball in 2023

It is safe to say that Chip Hale’s first season as the head coach of Arizona baseball was a success. The team went 39-25 (16-14) on the season and went to the NCAA regionals as the No. 2 seed in the Coral Gables Regional.

The offense did well last season hitting .286 as a team with 391 RBIs, 74 home runs and a .462 slugging percentage, averaging just over 6.5 runs per game.

However, the lineup is taking a significant hit before the 2023 season. Outfielder Blake Paugh is out of eligibility and star catcher Daniel Susac was drafted by the Oakland Athletics 19th overall in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft. The draft also took outfielders Tanner

Arizona softball returns with new ambition

After a promising 2022 season, the Arizona softball team was knocked out of the Women’s College World Series by the University of Texas at Austin early last summer. Now the Wildcats are back in action, ready to get the season started and aim for another run to the Women’s College World Series.

Arizona softball player Allie Skaggs said the team’s downfall last season was, in part, because of a collective lack of ambition and competitiveness.

“Last year got a little frustrating halfway through. It didn’t feel like we were competing and it didn’t feel like we wanted to win as badly as I hoped we would,” Skaggs said.

The Wildcats were given a preseason ranking of No. 14 in the country by Softball America and No. 15 by ESPN/USA Softball, making them the second and third-highest ranked Pac-12 team,

respectively. Six out of the 12 teams in the Pac-12 have a top-25 preseason ranking this year.

Arizona softball will start their season at home during the Candrea Classic, which runs Feb. 9-12. The teams competing this year will be Arizona, California State University Long Beach, the University of Kansas and North Carolina State University.

After the Classic, the Wildcats will go on a 10-game, twotournament road trip. Four of the teams they will face also ranked in the top 25 in the preseason polls.

“We tend to load pretty early in the spring, so we tend to play some really good teams early on. Opening up with top-25 teams right off the bat will be huge and great for getting some experience,” Skaggs said.

This new season brings a new Arizona team dynamic full of competitive players.

“You’re gonna see girls making doubles out of a ball they barely hit into the outfield. It’s those

O’Tremba (Round 15, Pick 466) and Mac Bingham (undrafted). The team lost first-baseman Noah Turley to Oklahoma State University as well.

The Wildcats will also be taking a bit of a hit on the mound. Javyn Pimental and Chandler Murphy are transferring to the University of Missouri, the pros took Garrett Irvin and eligibility took Holden Christian, Quinn Flanagan, George Arias Jr. and Jonathan Guardado.

Luckily, Arizona signed nine new pitchers to the 2023 class, with three of them being lefthanded. This will be the first glance at the recruiting skills of Chip Hale. When Hale took control of his old stomping grounds on July 5, 2021, he was not able to make any additions to the roster.

Hale has been doing quite

a bit of local recruiting. With two players signed from Pima Community College and six more players from high schools and community colleges in Southern Arizona, it seems Hale has a strategy when it comes to the 2023 signing class.

“It’s just not that we’re recruiting [in] the Tucson area, Southern Arizona, Phoenix, the whole state of Arizona [alone], but we have really good baseball in Arizona,” Hale said. “Did we get all of them? No. And that just shows how good our state is [at] producing baseball players.”

After playing eight major league seasons between two clubs, managing the Arizona Diamondbacks and winning a World Series with the Washington Nationals in 2019, Hale is more than qualified to take the Wildcats all the way.

types of players that will speed the game up so fast and if teams aren’t ready to pick up the pace with us, we’re gonna run all day and I think that’s really cool,” Skaggs said.

Skaggs also talked about needing to do better in the Pac-12, as the team was not as dominant as players wanted it to be last year.

The first Pac-12 game will take place on rival turf in Tempe against a preseason-ranked ASU team on March 10.

Then, after facing Stanford University on the road, the Wildcats will face a No. 4 preseason ranked UCLA team at home on April 14. UCLA is the highest-ranked Pac-12 team during the preseason polls.

The Wildcats will finish their season at home against the University of California Berkeley after three games from May 5-7.

The Wildcats then host the firstever Pac-12 Softball Tournament starting on May 10 at Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand

Memorial Stadium in Tucson.

“There’s no better place to host. Rita is a beautiful place and having all the teams here will be awesome, especially for us being here we are going to have that little extra edge of having the home-field advantage, which will be great,” Skaggs said.

Looking for another postseason berth, Skaggs talked about being fortunate to play in such a

competitive conference with so much talent.

“I think just playing a couple more games against the [Pac-12] in the tournament will get us ready for the postseason.”

With the 2023 season approaching quickly and the thrill of hosting the first-ever Pac-12 tournament, there’s a lot to look forward to in this upcoming Arizona softball season.

A12 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● February 2023
NATHANIAL STENCHEVER | THE DAILY WILDCAT ARIZONA SOFTBALL PLAYER ALLIE SKAGGS throws the ball during a game on Friday, March 4, at Hillenbrand Stadium. After a slow start, the Wildcats won 11-3. AMELIA MCANEAR | THE DAILY WILDCAT ARIZONA BASEBALL PLAYER GAREN CAULFIELD enters the dugout, receiving high fives and cheers from his teammates after scoring a run during a game against Pima Community College on Oct. 15, 2022, at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson. The Wildcats won 5-0.

OPINION: Five local Tucson bands you need to check out in 2023

After taking some time to listen and reach out to local bands in the Tucson area, I found that the music scene was truly worthwhile. From the five bands I interviewed, I found a sense of hopefulness and understanding — a community that is not only working to bring Tucsonians together, especially Tucson youth, but also working toward building a strong connection amongst each other as musicians. Here are five local bands that students and all Tucson residents need to listen to in 2023.

Annie Jump Cannon

“Our mom was cool with it, so we just set up in the house and invited a bunch of friends over, so that’s really where it started– in our house, in our living room,” Logan Membrila expressed when asked about how Annie Jump Cannon began.

The local band is comprised of four members — Logan Membrila is the backing vocalist and bassist, Rory Membrila is the lead singer and guitarist, Jake Cowen is the drummer and Ian Starks is the lead guitarist.

Logan Membrila shared that Rory Membrila and him “started playing music together at a pretty young age. I think that we grew up around a lot of music in our family and it led us to get introduced into the rock scene.”

They now have a thriving album that was released recently in 2022 titled Flourishing Apart The band traveled to New Jersey in October 2020 to record the album with No Sleep Records.

Both the band’s favorite, my favorite and one of their most well-known songs on the album is “Strawberry Fiona.” Rory Membrila told me that the song was originally not supposed to be on Flourishing Apart but it ended up being one of their most played songs from the album.

“Strawberry Fiona” started with Rory creating a “slow, sweet acoustic song,” which they reworked by adding new verses to make it more upbeat.

If you want to hear “Strawberry

Fiona,” any other songs from Flourishing Apart or other music by Annie Jump Cannon, you can find them on Instagram @anniejumpcannon_ and most streaming platforms. Their next upcoming show is at the Groundworks in Tucson, on Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.

New Misphoria

Lee Parada is the singer and guitarist and Bella Crump is the drummer of the local band New Misphoria. Although they are only a two-member band, they are able to effectively convey a powerful message through their music.

“You need to accept your sadness [...] that’s what New Misphoria’s music does in every single song,” Crump stated.

Parada and Crump both use music as an outlet to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way and then encourage that behavior in their listeners and audience.

“I think that we as the musicians are the ones who basically control the perceived importance that comes from the music. So I am excited that we generally promote a good message,” Parada said.

Their new singles “Chocolate Fondant” and “Reflective Skin” illustrate the positivity they are trying to bring into the music environment by emphasizing the importance of accepting your emotions in a way that is beneficial to you. “Being really pissed off, but being able to communicate it in a way that’s healthy,” is what Parada said they do best.

Check out “Chocolate Fondant” and “Reflective Skin” on all streaming platforms and if you want to learn more about New Misphoria and its upcoming

projects and shows, you can find the band on Instagram @newmisphoria.

Coffin Hotbox

Daniel Knight, the rhythm guitarist and singer of Coffin Hotbox, said the band members “try to keep our music open and not too predictable.”

The band consists of Knight, Andrew Weesner the lead guitarist, Max Michaud the drummer, Shane Harkins the bassist and Dennett Brown the lead singer.

Their music is far from predictable and I found that what they create explores many different deep topics including experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, encountering poverty and feeling the emotions of ecoanxiety because of the global climate crisis.

“The song ‘Second Wave Surf’ on our live album is one I wrote about my experience during the heights of the pandemic, hence second wave. It was one of the lowest points in my life and not just because my family totally locked down and stopped doing

really any social activities but also because I was super broke at the time,” Knight revealed.

The members of Coffin Hotbox find that it is crucial to speak upon issues that matter most to them. “I know some people will be upset that this song is somewhat political but these are just things happening in our lives that will have a huge impact on what our world ends up looking like,” Knight said.

To find out more about Coffin Hotbox, you can find the band on Instagram @coffinhotbox and most streaming platforms. Its next show is on Feb. 17 at the House of Bards.

The Basements

On Jan. 28 The Basements opened with their new single “Changes (Stay the Same)” at 191 Toole in Tucson.

Sebastian Driver, the singer and guitarist, Brandon Pors the lead guitarist, Dylan Goode the bassist and Alex Sciortino, the drummer, drew a large crowd to the local venue that Saturday night.


DailyWildcat.com • A13 February 2023 • New Year in Tucson
SOPHIA HAMMER | THE DAILY WILDCAT THE BAND, COFFIN HOTBOX, will be performing their next show on Friday, Feb. 17 at the House of Bards in Tucson. SOPHIA HAMMER | THE DAILYWILDCAT THE BASEMENTS PERFORM AT the Tucson venue 191 Toole on Jan. 28. The band played its new single, called “Changes (Stay the Same).”


OPINION: The best newer restaurants to check out this year

With the new semester bringing us into 2023, there are lots of new restaurants to check out around Tucson!

All of these places opened recently, and lots of them are different from foods and vibes you might be used to. They’re a great sampling of what Tucson has to offer.

5. The Monica

The Monica has become so synonymous with Congress Street to me that it feels weird to list it as a restaurant that opened in 2022. Yet, it absolutely did!

The Monica opened last March, delivering a cool take on downtown breakfast: You can choose to order cafeteria style or off a menu. That convenience means a lot.

Combined with the ultramodern aesthetic, The Monica is a must-stop downtown.

4. Bubbe’s Fine Bagels

Bubbe’s Bagels now has two locations, one out east on Wilmot Road and the other location, the new one, up north near the


I’ll admit my own biases are what got me so excited for Bubbe’s. Specifically, I’m Jewish, and I remember driving by with my mom shouting “A real bagel place!”

The important part of Bubbe’s is that the bagels are really good and honestly worth the trip away from the University of Arizona campus.

3. Tran’s Fats

Local art-showcasing hotel Hotel McCoy houses a new permanent food truck. I was there for a friend’s birthday party, and I just needed something to eat, but I was blown away by chef Jackie Tran’s dumplings!

Since Tran’s Fats focuses on dumplings, it’s also a cool opportunity to try something that might be new to you. I had only really had bao with dim sum, so it was nice to have bao as the main course rather than just part of the dim sum.

2. Ni Hao Tea

Local boba spot Ni Hao Tea has very cool flavors of boba that you might not be used to, and that’s what keeps me going back there.

Look at the menu! Personally, I can say Ni Hao introduced me to cream cheese boba, which was something I’d never even heard of, and I loved it.

These exciting varieties of boba you’re not used to are still drinks you’ll love.

1. The Blacktop Grill

The Blacktop Grill has my favorite quesadillas in Tucson, and, for a city with so many quesadillas to choose from, that’s a high bar, but they’re just so good.

I’d call them “hipster greasy” if that makes sense.

They’ve just opened up their Fourth Avenue location, and the flavor is so quintessentially Fourth Avenue: fancy, cool ingredients that taste like something you still would have loved when you were 9 years old. They’re also known for their hot dogs and they have wonderful vegan options (I always opt for their delicious soyrizo), so give Blacktop a shot.

—Kate is a sophomore at the University of Arizona. She loves improv comedy and comic books

For more Arizona news and community updates, follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter at: @DailyWildcat


The song “Changes (Stay the Same) is, “about things that tend to stay the same even though everything is changing around you,” Driver said.

The band began in Goode’s basement during the COVID-19 pandemic and has since released its first EP, Long Stories Get Short

They have performed at the DUSK Music Festival and have played at several local venues within the Tucson community and elsewhere.

“We are amazed by how supportive of a community Tucson is for local artists and have tons of gratitude for all the people that have helped us along

our journey,” Goode said.

The members of The Basements said they are ecstatic to continue performing throughout Arizona and revealed that they have many exciting opportunities coming up in the next few months.

Their next show will be at The Nile Theater on Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.

Goode joked that for people who want to see them live, he hopes they acquire, “permanent hearing damage, the urge to dance and be inspired to be themselves and do what they want.”

To learn more about The Basements you can find them on Instagram and TikTok, both @thebasementsmusic and on most streaming platforms.

The Sinks

The Sinks is a four-member band consisting of Jackson Kimball, the singer and guitarist, Gabriel Noriega, the bassist, Harrison Cable the drummer and Aidan Ochoa, the guitarist.

Kimball, Noriega and Cable have known each other since middle school. They decided in high school they wanted to start a band. “We started playing some jazz together at Tucson High, but we decided we wanted to play rock music,” Cable said.

Kimball joked that “Back then we all played bass. But we kind of switched to guitar and drums. We realized we couldn’t have three bass players in a band.”

They mainly focus on creating

alternative rock music but have since been trying to incorporate country western influences into the music they play. The members of the band explained that they love to go heavy on the guitar — attempting to build it up and break it down throughout their songs. “If we make a really good song, we want people to lose their minds over it,” Cable said.

More information about upcoming shows and music can be found on Instagram @thesinksband and on YouTube.

Many of these bands regularly attend live performances throughout Tucson. Many of us, but especially the younger generation, have undergone devastating impacts from growing up during the COVID-19 pandemic and being secluded from

live social activities.

Parada from New Misphoria relates to a lot of what we are feeling right now. “After this pandemic, it’s so hard to navigate everything [...] the way that we are so consumed with being online, it’s hard to connect with people your own age in person,” Prada said. Now with the return of live music, it is important to encourage ourselves and others to get involved to build up our Tucson community and connect with others in person again.

—Sophia is a sophomore studying family studies and human development and global studies. She loves to write about politics that affect Tucson and the UA community

A14 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● February 2023
EM CUEVAS | THE DAILY WILDCAT WILBUR AND WILMA, THE two mascots of the University of Arizona, buy food from a food truck selling hotdogs on Fourth Avenue in Tucson.

Local artisan market Floozy Flea features thrift finds, original works, live performances

Handmade jewelry, local art, vintage clothes and live performances are some of the many gems to be found at Floozy Flea, a local Tucson market.

University of Arizona student May Downs once sold a hot pink shirt at her online thrift business, Saint Misfit, that said “little floozy homewrecker” on the front. That very shirt served as an inspiration for naming Floozy Flea, a thriving artisan market, curated by Downs.

On Jan. 22, an estimated 200 people attended the fourthever Floozy Flea market, with 17 vendors selling a variety of products such as art, clothing and jewelry. There were also six live performers, including solo acts

and bands.

Downs started her entrepreneurial track in 2016 with her Etsy shop, Vintage Thriftique. She eventually rebranded to the current Saint Misfit, which features vintage, thrifted and handmade pieces of clothing and jewelry.

“I was one of the first few people who started thrifting in middle school, because Mom wouldn’t buy me fancy clothes from PacSun. People thought I was some sort of magician for wearing mom jeans back then,” Downs said.

Besides running her own personal small business, Downs is now the cultivator of Floozy Flea, which brings together local artists and businesses. As for vendors, Downs wants Floozy Flea to feature queer, BIPOC, women-

owned and disabled-owned businesses.

“I prioritize those applications so that they can have a space,” Downs said.

Performer and vendor Rowan Snide recently had her live-reading poetry debut and sold prints of her artwork at Floozy Flea.

“It’s been a really easy way for me to get out and showcase my art,” Snide said. “I’m familiar with the environment, and it’s a comfortable setting. I’m not at all anxious about what’s going on.”

Floozy Flea is a curated community. Each table is full of unique merchandise, and Downs said everyone at the flea market is committed to making it a welcoming and artistic space.

“It is a place to hang out at, not just something to go to and shop for

10 minutes then leave,” Downs said.

Pulari Kartha is another recent performer and vendor at the market.

“I feel like Floozy Flea gave me a space to be more artistically creative because I don’t think I would have ever performed if I didn’t have a space that I felt comfortable,” Kartha said.

Before the last Floozy Flea event, Downs printed out 80 flyers and handed them out to people around the University of Arizona campus and local businesses.

“There’s so much admiration there for [Downs]. There are not lots of people who organize events who are as inclusive and down to earth as [Downs]. The way she is able to just hand people flyers, she’s able to just go up to random strangers,” Kartha said.

Downs hopes to continue to grow her audience, and continue exposing her vendors to more customers. The next Floozy Flea should be sometime in March. However, the best way to keep updated with the latest news, dates and information is via Instagram @floozyflea or @maybugss.

DailyWildcat.com • A15 February 2023 • New Year in Tucson TUCSON START-UP
MAAYAN COHEN | THE DAILY WILDCAT UA STUDENT MAY DOWNS runs the Floozy Flea, a local Tucson artisan market featuring clothes, jewelry and more.

Predictions for Arizona Athletics in 2023

After a first-season Sweet Sixteen appearance from Arizona men’s basketball head coach Tommy Lloyd, I think he will take the next step in this post-season. This has been a weird year in college basketball so far, as each week, the rankings have changed a lot. Although I feel that last season’s men’s basketball team was a little bit better, this year’s team will get over the hump and get to the Final Four in Houston, Texas this April.

This upcoming football season will show continued improvement for a young squad that is still learning how to mesh together. After putting up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage last season, senior running back Michael Wiley will eclipse the century mark once again to cap his college career. Even with the University of Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and University of Southern California’s Caleb Williams returning, Jayden de Laura will lead the Pac-12 in passing yardage with over 4,500 and find the end zone six times through the ground.

The Arizona men’s basketball team entered February ranked in the top 10. They are starting to get back into rhythm after a rough few weeks in January. If Arizona can continue shutting down its opponents, then the Wildcats can make a deep run in March Madness. Therefore, my prediction is that Arizona will reach the Elite Eight in this year’s March Madness.

Arizona softball should have no problem obtaining wins in its non-conference home games. In conference play, the team will do well and make the NCAA tournament as a top-16 team in hopes of hosting the first round at home. Allie Skaggs has a high chance of making first-team AllConference.

I predict the Wildcats will be successful all around in 2023 from the women’s and men’s basketball teams to softball and baseball. Softball should be ranked all year and with the new additions to the baseball roster, there’s a good shot at Omaha as usual. Both teams will get 40 wins.

In Arizona athletics, my prediction is that the Arizona men’s tennis team, baseball team along with softball team will all become Pac-12 champs. I think Arizona men’s basketball will finish second behind UCLA, and that Arizona women’s basketball team will get to round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. I believe Arizona women’s tennis as well as swim and dive will both finish top 45.

Wildcats won the game 104-77.

A16 • The Daily Wildcat New Year in Tucson ● February 2023
NATHANIAL STENCHEVER | THE DAILY WILDCAT THE ARIZONA FOOTBALL TEAM’S Kyon Barrs and Jacob Kongaia hold the Territorial Cup after beating ASU 38-35 on Nov. 25, in Arizona Stadium. NATHANIAL STENCHEVER | THE DAILY WILDCAT THE ZONAZOO STUDENT SECTION at an Arizona men’s basketball game cheers and waves ballons around while the opposing team tries a free throw on Nov. 17, in McKale Center. The
For more Arizona sports news, follow the Daily Wildcat Sports Desk on Twitter at: @WildcatSports
CAITLIN CLAYPOOL | DAILY WILDCAT SALMA ZIOUTI, A PLAYER on the Arizona women’s tennis team, serves the ball in a Jan. 22 match against Grand Canyon University. The Wildcats won 4-0.
As the second month of the new year begins, Daily Wildcat sports reporters forecast what could lie ahead for the Wildcats

New museum opens to highlight contributions of African Americans in Southern Arizona

The African American Museum of Southern Arizona held its grand opening ceremony on campus at the Student Union Memorial Center on Saturday, Jan. 14.

The mission statement for the museum said: “We are devoted to gathering and sharing stories, images, and artifacts as we document, digitize, and preserve African American and Black life, culture, and history in Southern Arizona to benefit the community.”

The museum was co-founded by Beverly and Bob Elliot who have deep ties to the Tucson and the University of Arizona community. The idea for the museum came two years ago after their 7-year-old grandson

was assigned to write a report about an influential African American for Black History Month.

What made the Elliots take on this project was that they were upset that there was not a place in Tucson for their grandson to find this information, so they took it upon themselves to create one.

Inside the museum, there were various displays of Black history specifically dedicated to Southern Arizona, including displays for Buffalo Soldiers, the CROWN Act and a display honoring the first Black head coach at a major university: Fred Snowden.

The turnout included people from all across Arizona with various interests in Black history.

“This museum is important because we need our young

people to know that there were Black cowboys and cowgirls across history, and this museum shows them that,” Maxine Turner, a member of the Arizona Black Rodeo, said.

The annual rodeo is dedicated to Buffalo Soldiers in Arizona.

Others in attendance included Lehman Benson III, the vice president of Black Advancement and Engagement at the UA. Before the ribbon cutting, Benson shared a few words from President Dr. Robert C. Robbins who was unable to be in attendance at the ceremony.

“I want to express my immense and many thanks to the University of Arizona Alumni Beverly and Bob Elliot for making this museum possible. The museum will serve as a much-needed resource not

only for our students but for the community as well,” Benson said on behalf of Robbins.

A comment Robbins shared was also featured across signs of the museum, which stated, “We are a movement, not just a museum!” According to Benson, Robbins previously stated this about the new space at another event.

The ribbon was cut by the Elliots’ 9-year-old grandson, Jeremiah, otherwise known as Jody. Since his school project sparked the idea for the museum, Bob Elliot figured it was only right if Jody did the honors.

Inside the museum, Kimberlee Avant, Jody’s mother, shared why she wanted to join her parents in the quest to create this project.

“My boy needed to learn that there is Black history all

across this country, even here in Southern Arizona,” Avant said. The event was highly celebrated by members of the community and those who were able to attend. This has been a project two years in the making, so for many people to see the culmination of it was very exciting for them.

“They’ve worked so hard on this,” Benson said about the Elliots. “The contributions of African Americans in the Southwest deserve to be recognized.”

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, parties interested in volunteering or attending the museum will be able to make an appointment by emailing aamuseumofsouthernaz@gmail. com. Admission is free and regular hours are planned to be established soon.

DailyWildcat.com • A17 February 2023 • New Year in Tucson
KIARA ADAMS | THE DAILY WILDCAT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA’S new African American Museum of Southern Arizona, located in the Student Union Memorial Center, opened on Saturday, Jan. 14, to celebrate Black history and culture in Southern Arizona.
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OPINION: Free weekly Comedy Corner show at the UA

Stuck in the midweek slump? Need a pick-meup? Grab your friends and check out the free weekly Comedy Corner shows every Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. in the Modern Languages building Room 350.

Reem Farhat is a sophomore studying film and television and a member of the club.

“It’s like a perfect midweek reset; a midweek laugh,” Farhat said. “Comedy Corner is especially special because nothing we do is for one type of person. We come from all sorts of majors and the comedy appeals to everyone.”

Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of Comedy Corner’s many practice sessions. I was expecting to sit back and observe, but I was immediately beckoned on stage and made a temporary member of the group. They then created an entire skit about the happenings of my day right before my eyes.

The members were extremely friendly and welcoming — it was evident how much they enjoy what they do. I was warmed by how supportive they were of one another for stepping out of their comfort zones. Nothing at the weekly shows is planned or staged, instead

featuring improv comedy.

J Grigory, a senior studying molecular and cellular biology and co-director of Comedy Corner, gave a rundown of what improv is.

“The short synopsis that we give people is that it’s acting without a script,” Grigory said. “We are going to put on a play for an audience, but we don’t know what the play is yet. And neither does the audience. And we’re going to figure it out with their help.”

One of the key features of the weekly shows is interactivity. During the skits, such as Quick Edit, New Choice and Talk Show Advice, the audience members have a chance to participate by yelling out suggestions.

All of the members employ a variety of comedy techniques, including fake accents, strong emotions and even physical stunts.

I cannot agree more with the president and other

co-director of the group Doug Adam Hauck, a senior studying industrial engineering, when he said that Comedy Corner is a “break from the real world.”

I was surprised by how clever, interactive and relatable the mini-show they put on for me was. I left wanting more!

To keep things fresh, the weekly shows incorporate a different theme, such as holidays, “The Bachelor”

and silly wigs. Some of these themes are appropriately tradition-based, considering Comedy Corner is the nation’s longest-running collegiate comedy show operating since 1979.

If you are interested in becoming a new member of Comedy Corner, auditions are held at the beginning of every semester. Those who audition do not need to have anything prepared beforehand.

“Don’t worry if you’ve never done improv before. We guide you through it. It’s not as scary as it looks. It’s just being yourself. You are entering a really fun group of people. And to me, it added a whole other element to my college career,” Hauck said.

Gabe Berkey, a sophomore studying business and a new member of the club, captured it best, “It’s a free thing to do on Wednesday nights, and we are funny.”

Comedy Corner is bareboned comedy at its very best — simply a group of funny people and a stage that does not require anything else to let the humor shine. The weekly shows are a hidden escape found right on campus.

Follow Comedy Corner on Instagram @comedycornerua and Twitter @comedycorner for show updates and other news.

—Emilee is a sophomore studying psychology with minors in business administration and pre-law. She enjoys hiking, movies and sunny weather

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EMILEE CEUNINCK | DAILY WILDCAT A GROUP PHOTO OF Comedy Corner members, including Vinamra Kumar, Doug Adam Hauck and J Grigory, who make up the back row (pictured left to right).
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Daily Wildcat photographers

We asked our photograhers to capture their favorite places around Tucson. Tucson is more than just the University of Arizona campus. Our photographers find the beauty everywhere, both inside and ouside the city.

A SUNSET OVER TRAIN tracks at the start of Dragoon Rd East. Dragoon Mountian is the sight of a historic Stagecoach Station that was used by Butterfield Overland Mail from 1858-1864. NATHANIAL SENCHEVER | THE DAILY WILDCAT KOHICHIRO YAMADA | THE DAILY WILDCAT STUDENTS WORK AT TABLES inside of Bear Down Gym. Bear Down Gym is a spacious spot on campus with lots of natural light making it a perfect spot for studying. THE ARIZONA DESERT STRETCHES out beneath a setting sun at Gate’s Pass. Gate’s Pass is located at the west end of town off Speedway Boulevard.
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New Year in Tucson ● February 2023

favorite places around Tucson

THE FRONT ENTRANCE OF MoMos, a popular Taco restraunt located on the corner of Campbell and Sixth. GRACIE KAYKO | THE DAILY WILDCAT THE FRONT OF AMERICAN EATS Co. Restaurant, an eatery which showcases a diverse set of dishes and cultures located off second Street and Fourth Avenue in Tucson. DANIELLE MAIN | THE DAILY WILDCAT CAITLIN CLAYPOOL | THE DAILY WILDCAT THE SUNLINK STREETCAR MAKES its way down Fourth Avenue, a popular street in town that houses a variety of shops, restaurants and bars. ANNIKA ROGOZIN | THE DAILY WILDCAT
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THE ENTRANCE SIGN TO SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK stands out against the saguaros around it. The park is located just to the Northwest of Tucson and is apoximatly 91,700 acres.

REVIEW: ‘All Rise’ for Aaron Sorkin’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

In the coming months, I will be writing reviews for a variety of theater productions that come to Tucson, so keep an eye out for them on our website, DailyWildcat.com.

Hi everyone!

As the new year starts, many new and fresh changes are coming. Along with the exciting events coming to Tucson, the Daily Wildcat is also creating new content for its readers whether it be new podcasts, new comics, new beats or even the creation of new columns!

And speaking of new columns, I am happy to announce that we will be incorporating a new column called “Tereza’s Theater Corner.” I personally hold a deep love for theater and the city of Tucson offers its community the opportunity to have a taste of Broadway near home.

Tereza’s review:

On Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m., Centennial Hall hosted the last showing of the play “Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird,” play script by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bartlett Sher. Produced by Broadway In Tucson, the curtains rose and fell for the last time for the cast and stage crew of this production, and I managed to be there for its final showing.

I have simply one word to describe the production: astounding.

For those who have never read the novel or seen the 1962 film adaptation, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is essentially a story that explores innocence, youth, injustices, racism and compassion.

Although relatively the same plot, the play has the story be narrated by the children Scout Finch, Jem Finch and Dill Harris, as they all recount the summer of 1934 in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, where Scout tries to figure out how Bob Ewell really died. Flashing back to that summer, Scout and Jem’s father, Atticus Finch, is faced with the task of representing Tom Robinson, a Black man who has been falsely accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. Flashing between the trial and the children’s attempts to lure out the mysterious Boo Radley from his home, “To Kill a Mockingbird” ultimately gives a glimpse of rural life in the South and the children are ultimately exposed to the harsh realities of the cruelty that their neighbors are capable of and the injustices present in the world.

The play also makes a small adjustment in its pace and focus. Although it sticks true to the events of the novel, the focus of the play is more on Atticus Finch and his growth throughout the play as his ideologies are challenged throughout the duration of the trial. The play also condenses the events of the novel to take place in one summer rather than through the years of 1933-35.

I had read the book when I was younger for school as well as seen the film, so coming into this theater I had a basic idea of how the plot would unfold. I remember how heartwrenching it was to read that novel, being unable to fully comprehend the injustice and cruelties that were at play, just like Scout, Jem and Dill. Although framed as a coming-ofage kind of story, the undertones of hate and lack of compassion were heavily prevalent in the novel. I’d expected the play to carry on these undertones, which it surely did, but the play also brought other emotions out of me that I didn’t expect, like humor.

I am in no way insinuating that the play was completely comedic, for describing “To Kill a Mockingbird” as solely a comedy would be completely bizarre. What I meant by humor is that this play, through its dialogue and character interactions, managed to spark a little joy within the audience despite the heavy topics it was exploring. You had Scout, Jem and Dill played respectively by Melanie Moore, Justin Mark and Steven Lee Johnson, embodying the traits of children very naturally (despite them being adults themselves). Through their actions, they managed to incite suspension of disbelief and allowed audience members to relax and be amused by the children’s antics.

Not only did the children provide a sense of comedic relief, but the delivery of lines by the adult characters was also amusing. The humor, in my opinion, came from the ridiculous nature of the lines inciting disbelief in the seriousness of the characters’ remarks. An example that comes to mind includes a scene where the prosecutor Horace Gilmer asked the judge if Tom Robinson’s sworn oath on the Bible could be reliable if he has no feeling in his left hand (since Robinson’s left arm was impaired due to an accident in his youth). Even though the context of this line is beyond insulting and ridiculous, it’s the bizarreness of characters like Gilmer who truly believe in such thought-processes that can’t help but incite laughter.

Even with these humorous moments,

the play still maintains a powerful, tough message about people’s capacity for cruelty and the struggles of showing compassion in a world filled with hate. Whether this is shown through the children’s struggle to comprehend the prejudice of their neighbors or through the futility of a trial where the verdict has already been determined. The whole cast did a magnificent job portraying this story on the stage.


“To Kill a Mockingbird” is such a powerful narrative. It’s a tale that is sadly still prevalent in today’s society, especially in regard to the bigotry and hatred that engulf so many people’s hearts. Nevertheless, this story manages to highlight powerful messages of hope, integrity and compassion as it inspires people to be their better selves. Thanks to Sorkin transforming this renowned literary work into a play script and Sher bringing it to life, that narrative has continued to thrive and touch so many hearts.

I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to see this play in person and I invite others to see this play if ever given the opportunity. It is a play that will completely surprise you and make you ponder the question, why is it a sin to kill a mockingbird?

— Tereza is a senior studying English. She enjoys reading, writing and watching the latest movies and shows

*Editor’s note: A portion of this review was cut for brevity. To read the piece in full, go to DailyWildcat.com and search the title or author.

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NATHANIAL STENCHEVER | THE DAILY WILDCAT BROADWAY IN TUCSON HOSTED the play “To Kill a Mockingbird” at Centennial Hall from Jan. 17-22.
“Shoot all the blue jays if you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” — Atticus Finch


I remember the day I first pitched a comic to the Daily Wildcat . I walked into the newsroom and spoke for an hour about my grand vision: a weekly newspaper strip about a lazy orange cat who ate pasta and hated specific weekdays.

“That’s ‘Garfield,’” they said. “That already exists.”

I tried to explain that my cat was different because he had a problem with Tuesdays, but the editors wouldn’t budge. So, I created “Birdseed” instead.

Since then, “Birdseed” has been joined by a host of other comics by talented student cartoonists, which I present to you here in the Wildcat Comics Corner.

February 2023 • New Year in Tucson DailyWildcat.com • A23
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