Hello, readers! My name is Mitch Mackowiak, I am a freshman at Lovett College, and I am the new Thresher opinions editor. You might find me slinging discs at frisbee practice, (joyfully) slaving away in Anderson Hall, or relaxing in that courtyard with the extremely photogenic tree outside the Humanities Building.


It is my job to ensure your voices are heard regarding any issue around campus - I am essentially a suggestion box for Rice.

I have taken it upon myself to be this suggestion box because, in my opinion, opinions are important.

Without opinions, some French gentleman would not have said, "You know, we actually like having 12 hours in the day rather than 10."

Without opinions, Leonardo Da Vinci would not have said, "You know, you look a lot better without eyebrows."

Without opinions, a Rice student in 1988 would not have said, "You know, I think Willy's Statue would look better facing Fondren."

The fact is, opinions are powerful. They can enact changes no one could have expected. And that is why the opinion section is so vital to a newspaper. Before I continue, have you ever submitted an opinion article to the Thresher?

If you have not, it is fairly straightforward. You could probably guess how it is done.

Step one: Write what you want to say to everyone on campus - the Thresher is your megaphone. 

Step two: Email your writing to the Thresher at thresher-ops@rice.edu. 

Step three: Your piece will likely receive some red marks from the copy editors (all black belts in grammar) and suggestions from me and other editors.

Step four: Contemplate the suggestions, and retool your piece.

Then the piece goes in the Thresher, and voila! Simple, not to mention easy and free. Anyone can do it - and should if they want to change Rice but do not know how or do not think they can.

A newspaper works in tandem with its readership, much like two people on a tandem bike. Say one bicyclist is called Newspaper, and the other is called Readership. If all Newspaper did were to inform Readership, then Newspaper would need to work extremely hard to balance and pedal the bike to Successville and might not make it. But if Readership were to respond to Newspaper by submitting suggestions and opinions, then Newspaper and Readership have a lot more potential to tandem-bike happily through the countryside to Successville.

Newspapers love engaging their readers as much as readers want newspapers to engage them. Opinion pieces generate communitywide discussion and debate that usually increases the open-mindedness of all involved. They can start movements or just one friendship. A lively opinion section indicates a strong community unafraid of communication (there is a reason community shares quite a few letters with communication).

And if you claim you lack opinions? You submit opinions to your friends and colleagues every day, whether by email or through Twitter or Facebook or another one of those whatchamacallit social media sites, do you not? Why not submit those opinions to everyone? It is important to note, though, that in this day and age of quick-fire reactions and snap judgments through social media, newspapers provide a platform for informed and thoroughly explained stances.

So if you have something to say about Rice or anything you think is important, say it. Consider writing in to the Thresher. There is a reason we like to hear from our readers.