At the most recent Student Association meeting, the SA senate discussed legislation guaranteeing on-campus housing for Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps members (see p.1). Supporters argued that the midshipmen’s early-starting, rigorous schedule and service to the nation justified the guarantee. Those in opposition felt on-campus housing was not required for NROTC students to fulfill their training, as it might have been for Emergency Medical Services in-charges to perform their duties. Ultimately, neither side understood the others’ argument, and the two sides could not reach a middle ground, underscoring the fact that cases like these cannot be legislated by the entire student body.
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Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson has made an executive decision to not allot time to Cheer Battle during Orientation Week 2015 (see p.1). However, O-Week coordinators will retain the option of organizing an unofficial Cheer Battle during O-Week. According to Hutchinson, Cheer Battle “doesn’t represent who we are at Rice anymore” and violates Rice’s harassment policy requiring a non-hostile environment.
The Honor Council Blanket Tax Contingency Committee found Honor Council “in violation,” giving Honor Council one of the three necessary strikes for the committee to begin considering reducing or removing their blanket tax. The Contingency Committee did not hand Honor Council an “aggravated violation,” which would have counted as to strikes (see p.1).
During his speech to the Student Association on Oct. 1, President David Leebron presented a graph that showed an increase in average course quality and instructor effectiveness from Fall 2007 to Fall 2013 in all five academic schools that offer undergraduate degrees. However, the graph also showed that the school of engineering consistently had the lowest score in both course and instructor evaluations over time.
Rice University students have reached a new level of laziness. This semester, Baker College Kitchen and West Servery have already replaced all 3,200 of their cups. Additionally, last year the serveries collectively purchased, lost and replaced 8,000 cups. To combat the problem, Housing and Dining has suggested adding 16-ounce disposable cups to the servery. and Tierra Moore, SA Environmental Committee co-chair, has proposed H&D not replace the cups to discourage students from stealing them (see p.1).
The Student Association is soliciting suggestions for how to spend $40,000 of leftover sums from the Rice Endowment for Sustainable Energy Technology’s blanket tax, which was approved in 2010 and dissolved in 2013 (see p.1).
The Student Association Blanket Tax Contingency Committee held their first meeting with Honor Council on Monday, Oct. 27 to discuss the documents it submitted for review. During the meeting, Honor Council defended its choice to allocate $50 per head to its yearly changeover dinner and other expenses that include the purchase of 15 tablets at $350 each and a new computer every three years (see p.1).
Following the 2012 Night of Decadence, during which 11 students were hospitalized, as well as other similar instances of unsafe behavior, Rice instituted a new alcohol policy. According to the Student Handbook, the policy “encourages with both regulations and sanctions a shift away from distilled spirits toward beer and wine, which pose a less serious danger of abuse.”
Following their inaction in addressing Honor Council’s blanket tax status, the Student Association Blanket Tax Contingency Committee sent a request for documents and a written statement about the organization’s blanket tax on Oct. 5. The Contingency Committee has also made public their planned meeting dates and times (see p.1).
The Student Association announced at the student senate meeting on Sept. 17 the formation of four pods to examine different topics: LPAPs, election timelines, campus-wide announcements and calendars and the blanket tax process (see p.1).
At the most recent Student Association meeting, SA President Ravi Sheth and other SA members expressed concerns over what they considered to be the aggressive wording of the legislation opposing the CUC drop limit proposal (see p. 1). Another point of contention raised in the meeting was whether such a formal mode of expressing disapproval was constructive or appropriate. The Thresher believes that, by critiquing the language of the proposal, SA members distract from the function of the legislation, which is to act as a permanent record of student response to administrative actions.
The Center for Undergraduate Curriculum proposed in April that students be limited to four dropped classes between weeks two and seven during their four years at Rice, with any extra drops being indicated by a ‘W’ on their transcript.
Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson, the General Council and President David Leebron recently convened a working group to address newly-formed campus sexual assault initiatives as proposed by the White House task force report, Not Alone.