Houston drought requires Rice's cooperation
The city of Houston is in a level two drought, and the situation is much more dire than what most at Rice believe (see story, pg. 1). The harsh shortages are affecting the Houston community, while the Rice community remains largely shielded from the issue within the hedges. However, as per our university's mission statement and essence, we play an integral role in our local community, and that dictates that we become a part of the water shortage solution rather than continue contributing to the problem.
Rice, on the administrative level, has made several motions to limit campus water usage. Rice is retrofitting shower heads and establishing a system to recycle water from air conditioning. However, one can't help but wonder why it takes a major environmental calamity to spur major and decisive change. As a progressive university, we ought to take the initiative to enact these sorts of conservationist measures before the disaster strikes.
This ideal transfers over to college and personal levels where current conservation levels leave much to be desired. Air conditioning is the number one source of water use on campus; thus it is imperative that unbridled air conditioning use no long go unchecked. College commons, lecture halls (see Herztein), and individual dorm rooms are too frequently over-using air conditioning. A little initiative from each student and each college could go a long way in helping Rice and helping Houston grapple with its current water shortage.
More from The Rice Thresher
Everyday, many graduate students are struggling with meals, because Rice offers very limited on-campus servery dining opportunities for them. Many students have expressed concern over this policy including Yajie Liu, a bioengineering Ph.D. student. Her day is filled with coursework, research and mentoring undergraduates in the lab. Though Yajie is on campus from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, she enjoys her busy life. This semester, she applied for the graduate meal plan but failed to get selected. She is very disappointed and has to spend extra time and effort preparing affordable meals herself. The on-campus graduate meal plan is very important to student life, Ph.D. students in particular. Rice should expand the on-campus meal plans to cater to the demand of increasing graduate students.
At the very first Editorial Board meeting of this school year, the seniors on our board got on our high horses to inform the Rice community of the way things used to be done vis-a-vis selling tickets to public parties. We’ve held our tongues since then, as we can appreciate that circumstances change and growth is good. But the time has come for us to speak again, this time in support of resurrecting the greatest of all pre-COVID traditions: Sunday brunch.
We reported at the end of last week that popular late-night food spots YoYo’s Hot Dog and Oh My Gogi are being forced out of Rice Village by the end of the month. Justifiably, Rice students and the local community were outraged — a petition to the Rice Management Company titled “Save Yoyos and Oh My Gogi” has over 4,500 signatures as of publication.