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Rondelet good progress for RPC

(01/20/14 6:00pm)

Despite Rice Program Council's past mistakes in planning and organizing Rondelet, the Thresher applauds RPC's foresight in planning this year's Rondelet, (see story, p. 1). RPC has taken time to poll student opinion, and after finding that many students care about Rondelet, RPC has taken the initiative to revive the event and has made it a priority.We like to see Rondelet back on its feet after not happening for the past two years. It is a fun semiformal that mixes students from different colleges and disciplines. Moving the location off campus lets students experience a different setting and venue, and tickets are usually at an affordable price.The event's move down the calendar from January to March is a step in the right direction. By holding Rondelet later in the semester, RPC will have more time to sell tickets and build publicity. In addition, hosting Rondelet the weekend before Willy Week is a great way to jumpstart the festivities. We encourage students to recognize the effort RPC is putting into the revitalization of this event, and hope that attendance will be high and will work to support future RPC events. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece's author.


Hanszen and Lovett announce new masters

(01/20/14 6:00pm)

Paul Brace is a professor of political science who teaches American government. He is also Clarence L. Carter Chair of Legal Studies. Klaudia Brace is the chief financial officer for Greater Houston Partnership.   Rice Thresher: Why do you want to be masters?Paul Brace: The entire college community seemed very attractive to us. Our kids are both almost grown up, and we have more time to work on things like this. We were very attracted to the Hanszen family. Klaudia Brace: And I think also we enjoy being around college students. We like the residential college environment, the activities and the group feeling. What do you expect to bring to Hanszen?Paul: Klaudia  is really organized, so she has the capacity to help people execute their plans by organizing their activities and resources to realize their goals. Klaudia: We have one boy in college and one who'll be in college soon, so I think we've got a good understanding of what college life is like.Paul: I have a long tradition of trying to help students realize their goals, such as trying to get into law schools, get into graduate schools and get jobs. I'm happy to listen to their goals and maybe make some comments about the best way to realize them. And I'm somewhat involved in public affairs and the media; I think current affairs is something we can bring to the table to discuss. Let's talk about your family. How many children do you have?Paul: Two kids, one cat and one dog. Our older son is 19 and is studying at the University of Michigan. Our younger son is a sophomore at St. John's High School in Houston; he's almost 16. What do you do for fun?Paul: We ski and travel. Klaudia plays golf a lot. I hike in the summer and do some climbing. I'm a runner. I ran the Houston Marathon twice. What's your biggest expectation for the next five years?Paul: We are ready to learn. The master's role is important, but there are not a lot of formal responsibilities for the job as we understand it. We look to be very much involved, which I think is important for the masters. Klaudia: And also getting to know the students and following them through their years at Rice. Any other aspects of Rice you want to highlight? Klaudia: It is a great environment. There's lots to do. We really liked the residential college system; it's very different. We both went to very big public universities. Rice is a very different experience from that, and we love the campus.Paul: Rice placed in the top five on Princeton Review's ranking for best quality of life. I might have to attribute that to the residential college system, which is pretty unique. I think that's influencing how students feel about their time here.Klaudia: It's a good environment for making connections that'll last throughout your life.  You mentioned that you liked Hanszen traditions a lot. What tradition specifically do you like most?Paul: Hanszen has a strong family tradition. It's one of the original colleges so it has a long history. There are various events and activities that they have been doing for a long time. They are looking for new traditions too. We want to participate in that.  About creating new traditions, do you have any thoughts right now?Paul: No, we want to talk to them. We want to start a tradition of the tailgate in the driveway before the football games in the fall. Some students expressed a lot of interest, because the Hanszen master house is literally a couple hundred yards from the football stadium. What types of challenges are you expecting as masters?Paul: There are around 300 students in the college. We need to get to know every one of them. We are going to try to figure out ways to create manageable groups that are still intimate enough to actually get to know each other and create activities around that. That's the challenge, and we're still trying to figure it out. We want to learn from other masters and the students. That's a challenge but also a goal. What do you want to accomplish during your time as masters?Paul: I think students have an allegiance to their colleges, and we'd like to see the masters be a part of that allegiance. In other words, we want to reinforce the good things. Klaudia: And I think another challenge will just be learning the Hanszen culture a little more deeply than we understand it now. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.


Congratulations to our football teams

(01/13/14 6:00pm)

The Thresher would like to congratulate the football team on its successful season, in which it finished as the Conference USA champions and earned the opportunity to play in the Liberty Bowl. Although the team did not win the bowl game against Mississippi State, the players put in a great effort, and it was an accomplishment just to be invited to the game. We hope to see continued success next year.


Ask the Staff

(01/13/14 6:00pm)

Who are you most excited for at the 2014 Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show?"Zac Brown Band - they are closing out the rodeo, so it should be amazing." - Brooke Bullock, Senior Editor "I'm excited about Hunter Hayes. I love singing along to his song 'I Want Crazy.'" - Molly Chiu, Managing Editor "Luke Bryan - I want to crash his party." - Christine Jeong, Copy Editor "I'm excited for Usher." - Carrie Jiang, Designer "Maroon 5 - is that the one with Adam Levine? He will father my children." - Claire Elestwani, Creative Director "Jason Aldean - he's my favorite country artist." - Alex Weinheimer, Backpage Editor


News in Brief

(01/13/14 6:00pm)

President David Leebron and Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson have appointed Jose and Mayra Onuchic as the next Lovett College masters, according to an email sent out Jan. 13 to Lovett students by the Lovett Masters Search Committee. The Onuchics will succeed current masters Matteo Pasquali and Marie-Nathalie Contou-Carrere in July as the 13th Lovett masters.According to the email, Jose Onuchic founded Rice's Center of Theoretical Biological Physics and currently teaches PHYS 125 to undergraduate students. Mayra Onuchic works at the Brasil@Rice office that organizes programs with Brazilian exchange students. Prior to their appointment as Lovett masters, the Onuchics served as Lovett associates and first-year mentors. Hanszen College's Masters Search Committee has also announced the selection of new masters, whose names will be revealed this Thursday, according to an email sent out Jan. 13 to Hanszen students.


Commencement changes preserve old traditions, create new ones

(01/13/14 6:00pm)

The Thresher supports the changes to the commencement ceremonies for this upcoming year. As the student body has grown, the ceremony has lasted longer, extending into the hotter hours of the morning. The Houston sun can be brutal in May, so for students required to sit in a polyester gown for three hours and for students' elderly relatives and friends who have a more difficult time withstanding the heat, a shortened Saturday morning ceremony is ideal. In previous years, commencement planners have taken considerable precautions for those who may get overheated by offering indoor viewing areas where family and friends of graduates can watch a live stream of the ceremony, which the Thresher appreciates. However, these new changes provide the best option because families will be able to be in the Academic Quad to celebrate their graduate in person.The Thresher recognizes that the changes in ceremonies may cause problems for some families who must travel to Houston from out of town and are unable to take off work in time to make the Friday ceremonies. We sympathize with any families who the changes may negatively affect and hope the new ceremony has been announced far enough in advance that those families will be able to make the necessary arrangements.The Thresher also supports the addition of a student speaker to the commencement lineup. In a ceremony celebrating the achievement of undergraduates, it only makes sense to have an undergraduate leader address his or her peers. While commencement speakers offer valuable insight, having a person who has just completed college alongside the graduates speak will give voice to a much-needed perspective.These changes to commencement provide a positive compromise. The revised ceremonies will preserve the traditions of the academic procession and walking out through the Sallyport on Saturday morning, while also ushering in an opportunity for a new tradition of an undergraduate ceremony on Friday evening. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece's author.



News in Brief

(01/13/14 6:00pm)

Rice University has stopped offering professional Spanish classes, which previously included Commercial Spanish, Spanish for Engineers and Medical Spanish, according to a petition on the Student Association website.Duncan College junior Nimish Mittal, who started a petition to bring back the classes, said the removal of the courses is a loss to students."These classes are some of the most practical classes offered in almost any discipline at Rice," Mittal, a bioengineering major, said. "They help prepare us on how to properly use Spanish in the context of the profession we plan on entering, and having that kind of background and experience gives Rice students an edge when competing for jobs in the real world."According to the Student Senate, over 300 students have signed the petition so far. Mittal said the amount of support received since he created the petition shortly before winter break indicates students are passionate about the effort to restore the courses to the curriculum.Director of the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication Rafael Salaberry declined to comment at this time.






News in Brief

(11/12/13 6:00pm)

A committee may soon be formed at Martel College to gauge whether residents would like to change the college crest, according to College President Izzy Spanswick."The crest is talked about every year," Spanswick, a Martel senior, said. "There has been discussion concerning the crest and potentially changing it."Spanswick said no design is in the works because college residents and alumni have not decided whether they want to change the crest."The main argument in favor of changing the crest is that people feel it doesn't represent the culture and values of the college as well as it could," Spanswick said. "If we find that the majority of Martelians are interested in altering the crest, then we will move on to the design process."Martel freshman Abbi Gutierrez said that since the crest was made before Martel culture was created, some people want a crest that better visualizes that culture, but others believe the crest should be kept the same because of tradition."Since we are fairly new but have a few years under our belt, we just want to explore our creative freedom to design something that may potentially represent us better," Gutierrez said. "We pride ourselves on being a family, so that really is our culture."Spanswick said the college will vote on Wednesday, Nov. 13 on a bill that will decide whether or not a Martel crest committee should be created. She said this committee would be responsible for collecting data from current students, alumni and other interested parties to gauge interest on whether or not they want to update the crest."This is a very important issue to the college," Spanswick said. "Nothing will happen in regards to the crest without consent from both current students and alumni."


News in Brief

(11/12/13 6:00pm)

The Center for the Study of Languages is now the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication, according to the center's website.The center's mission statement states the CLIC will guide the development of communicative and interactional abilities in a second language; analytical and critical-thinking competence developed through the study of linguistic, social and cultural factors; and intercultural awareness and abilities that will help students become productive members of a multilinguistic and multicultural society.According to the website, the overall vision of the CLIC is to make a better world through the creation, implementation and promotion of an academically substantive second-language program.



Homecoming Week November 10-16

(11/05/13 6:00pm)

Building off the model set by Willy Week and last year's Centennial Celebration, this year's Homecoming will encompass an entire week of events. According to Student Association President Yoonjin Min, the SA hopes to establish a new tradition celebrating Rice spirit. Min said that while Willy Week focuses on the colleges, she hopes Homecoming Week will focus on Rice."During Beer Bike, all the colleges come together, but in a lot of ways they're pitted against each other," Min said. "It's about college spirit that week. Everyone has their own theme, and everyone is essentially competing to be the best college. For Homecoming Week, it's about Rice. It's about everyone coming together and celebrating the great school that we're at and all the great things that are happening at it." Homecoming Cup PointsSPORTING EVENTSFor each Rice Athletics event: 3 photos maximum, 2 points per photo, 6 or more people per photo (total of 6 points and 18 different people per event)Pep rally: 3 photos maximum, 5 points per photo, must have 6 people per photo (total of 15 points and 18 different people)PHOTOSFor each item: 5 points per photo, only 1 photo per item50 students spelling out an "R"At least 10 students wearing this year's college O-Week shirt10 students making an owl sign in front of the RMC owl statueAt least one half of the college executive team in college-specific shirts in front of the "Mirror" statue by Herring Hall10 people in Rice shirts at College Row Tailgate with a sign that indicates what college you are from10 students with college alumni for alumni eventFilm a video of Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson saying an appropriate cheer for your college15 students with the college crest15 students from your college wearing National Philanthropy Week shirts Homecoming eventsMr. Rice Pageant1st place - 25 pts, 2nd place - 20 pts, 3rd place - 15 ptsA Midsummer Night's Dream (Founder's Court, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.)Sign-in sheet, 15 people sign - 10 pointsSpoCo event (Oct. 25, 7 p.m.)Eight people in one photo - 10 points (only one photo total)National Philanthropy Week trivia teamsFive points per team (that participate in the event). Max three teams.National Philanthropy Week trivia winner 1st place - 15, 2nd place - 10 , 3rd place - 5Attendance at Beats and Beer (Willy's Pub, Nov. 7, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.)1st place - 10 , 2nd place - 5, 3rd place - 3  SCHEDULESUNDAY 11/10 College KickoffsEach college will host its own festivities to celebrate the start of Homecoming Week. Times and locations depend on colleges. Serveries will be closed.Monday 11/11Mr. Rice PageantOne representative from each college will compete in Rice's annual male beauty pageant. The winner gets eternal glory. Grand Hall, RMC, 9 p.m.Tuesday 11/12RPC Presents: The Hunger GamesRPC hosts a special showing of The Hunger Games (2012) on the lawn at Founder's Court. Attendees will be treated to a surprise giveaway. Founder's Court, 9 p.m.Wednesday 11/13Pep Rally and Sammy's PicnicStudents will gather in Founder's Court to get pumped for Homecoming Week. Food will be provided. Serveries will be closed. Founder's Court, 5 p.m.Sports Trivia NightSports enthusiasts will have a chance to test their knowledge in a trivia competition at Willy's Pub. Willy's Pub, 10 p.m.Thursday 11/14National Philanthropy Week "Willy Rice to Mr. Rice: 101 years of Rice Trivia"Test your knowledge of all things Rice in this competition, hosted by the newly crowned Mr. Rice. There will be free food. Grand Hall, RMC, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.Young Alumni Pub NightAll the recent grads are invited to a special pub night held in their honor. Willy's Pub, 10 p.m. (21+ only).Senior Ring CeremonyMembers of the Class of 2014 will receive their class rings.Friday 11/15College Block PartiesNorth Colleges will gather in the Jones College quad and grassy area outside West Servery. South Colleges will gather in the Baker College quad. Serveries will be closed. 4 - 7 p.m.Saturday 11/16Tailgate Owley and Rice Owls footballCollege Row is back - homecoming style. Each college will host a tailgate to rally before the big homecoming football game. West Lot, 4 p.m.Rice vs. Louisiana Tech University. This will be the second-to-last home game of the season. Rice Stadium, 6 p.m. RPC Presents: EsperanzaRice's annual homecoming dance will take place in the Homecoming Tent outside Baker Hall. The theme this year is "A Night of Fire and Ice." Tickets for the event are sold out. Homecoming Tent, 10 p.m.


Men's Starting Lineup and Games to Watch

(11/05/13 6:00pm)

The Owls' nonconference schedule is highlighted by two former Southwest Conference foes with trips to College Station and Austin. For its first true road test, Rice will play Texas A&M University Nov. 15. The last time the Owls played against the Aggies, they walked away with a 65-58 win. The Owls will head to Austin for the fourth year in a row to play the University of Texas, Austin Dec. 30. Rice will play two Ivy League teams when it hosts Princeton University Nov. 23 and Harvard University Jan. 4. The Owls lost 92-62 to Harvard last year in Cambridge, Mass. Rice will play some new foes this year since Conference USA is welcoming eight new teams. One of the marquee matchups will be when the Owls play Old Dominion University, a team that has played in the NCAA tournament in recent seasons. Louisiana Tech is back in the same conference as the Owls after their days in the Western Athletic Conference in the late '90s and early 2000s. Louisiana Tech is the only team the Owls will play twice in conference play. Key Homegames:Nov. 9 University of St. Thomas 2 p.m.Nov. 23 Princeton University 2 p.m.Jan. 4 Harvard University 7 p.m.Jan. 9 Florida International Univ. 7 p.m.Feb. 8 University of Tulsa 3 p.m.Mar. 6 Louisiana Tech University 7 p.m.


News in Brief

(11/05/13 6:00pm)

Students will have until Nov. 17 to submit their desired course selections for this spring semester to Esther, according to University Registrar David Tenney (Sid Richardson '87)."An important thing to highlight ... is the fact that some departments might be adding courses," Tenney said. "I don't see that as a bad thing. We are pleased to see new courses get added, [but] students will want to be aware that there might be some courses added late next week .... For that reason, we encourage students to regularly check the online schedule and to update their Esther Course Registration Planner ... up to its closing day."According to Tenney, the add/drop period will begin Nov. 11 at 7 a.m. and will be available for 15 minutes to each year's matriculants, starting with 2010 and proceeding by year until 2014. He said that, until 8 a.m., at which point all students can add, drop and wait-list courses, students will need to enter a registration PIN, which is the last six digits of their student ID number, to access the system."There was a time discrepancy last spring," Tenney said. "Behind the scenes, on the technical side, when loading PINs, there was an error made which allowed some students ... to register in the earlier 15-minute time slot. That was identified, and steps have been taken to ensure that this doesn't happen again."Tenney said the 2014 spring semester course catalog is currently available on Esther or Schedule Planner, an unofficial application created by Rice professor in the practice of computer science Scott Cutler that can be accessed at scheduleplanner.rice.edu."Schedule Planner is not an officially supported Rice University application," Tenney said. "[Cutler] has built a very nice graphical tool, and I know that its intuitive interface is deeply appreciated by the students. The structure and technology behind the tool is different from what is supported by Rice University and the Administrative Systems department, and for that reason there are no plans to integrate it into Esther."


Spur on your school spirit during homecoming

(11/05/13 6:00pm)

Homecoming is just around the corner. Starting next Monday, the week will be flooded with opportunities to show Rice spirit, mingle with alumni and dance until you drop in the Homecoming Tent. After the Centennial Celebration, Rice Program Council appears to be trying to keep up the same level of excitement and participation this year. The Thresher would like to encourage students to help support the homecoming events throughout the week.At most schools, homecoming is a celebration centralized around football. For the second year in a row, our football team is bowl-eligible and is in the perfect position to be a central part of our celebration. This year, students should make an effort to head out to the stadium and spur the team on to victory. We understand that the timing of the game is unfortunate - running so close to Esperanza will be a problem for those planning to primp before the event. No matter how long you can stay, come down to cheer on the team. Students often complain about the Rice community's apathy toward sports, but the issue lies within the student body itself. This problem could easily be fixed if students simply showed up and showed enthusiastic support for their team. With the Owls on their way to a conference championship, there should be no reason to skip out on the homecoming game.Yet another part of a quintessential homecoming celebration is the dance. After last year's Centennial-themed Esperanza, RPC has planned this party to ride the coattails of last year's success, but this will only happen if people approach the event with the same anticipation as last year. Tickets have already sold out, but we urge people to embrace the night for whatever it is this year and enjoy what is going to be the beginning of another great century at Rice. Esperanza will be on campus again in the Homecoming Tent, which means transportation should not be an issue for the majority of the student body. Facebook has been flooded with adorable proposals, so put on your party shoes and dance the night away. In addition to the fun, homecoming week is also a great time for networking. Young alumni will be in town, and there is no better way to get information about graduate school and different industries as well as a feel for which companies are looking for interns or new employees. There are few better resources than the network of Rice alumni for helping you plan a future - whether in academia or industry. Make sure to rub some elbows and ask around while they are in town.For some students, this homecoming will be the beginning of the end. The seniors will receive their Rice rings during Homecoming as part of a new event this year. The Rice Ring Celebration will be one of the first events seniors will have with the young alumni and will kick off the transition from student to alum. The Student Association has been working to improve Rice's ring tradition over the past few years, and this new event will help commemorate students' time at Rice.We ask students to step it up this homecoming and be active participants in the event-filled week that has been planned. Moreover, this week should not be the end of Rice spirit; our enthusiasm for Rice should continue throughout the school year. Students should keep going to sporting events, getting involved in student activities and taking pride in Rice, even after the Homecoming Cup has been awarded. We will get out of our school what we put into it, so wear your blue and gray with pride.Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece's author.