Administration takes Thresher editorial out of context
In an email sent to the student body to clarify concerns surrounding the credit hour cap proposal recently passed by the Faculty Senate, Provost Marie Lynn Miranda and President David Leebron referenced the Thresher when describing past student input. They wrote, "The Thresher endorsed the proposal in a March 22 editorial, even before additional student input was incorporated."
The Thresher would like to clarify its stance on the proposal. The original editorial was titled “Careful Consideration Required Before Credit Limit.” While it is true that the editorial did support the ideas behind the proposal, we emphasized that student opinion must be taken into consideration before passing a proposal that would directly impact undergraduates. Provost Miranda and President Leebron’s email took our editorial out of context by foregoing any of the caution we called for when we wrote that “These proposed changes have admirable intentions, but those alone are not reason enough to institute them.”
Furthermore, this original editorial was actually published in our February 24 issue, well before any student input had been gathered. (The March 22 time stamp on the online version is a mistake on our part, and we do not fault Provost Miranda or President Leebron on this point). Once it became evident that the vast majority of the SA survey respondents opposed this proposal and that many students intended to protest at the Faculty Senate meeting, the Thresher wrote its latest editorial regarding the CUC proposal on April 19 in which we stated, in no uncertain terms, that “a vote by the Faculty Senate to approve this proposal is a slap in the face to the many students who have voiced their legitimate concerns.”
Provost Miranda and President Leebron conveniently decided to gloss over our latest editorial, which made abundantly clear the Thresher’s opposition to passing this proposal, whatever its possible merits, in light of students’ concerns. If the administration truly cares about students’ voices, then they shouldn’t cherry-pick the ones they deem convenient and misrepresent them to fit their own agenda.
More from The Rice Thresher
How should we discuss food, then? I don’t want to be misunderstood as advising against all food-related conversations. I feel quite the opposite: eating is one of humanity’s oldest social rituals. It’s meant to bring us together. We’re at our best when we engage in conversations that center the enjoyment of food rather than its nutritional content.
The first wave of COVID-19 erupted in the U.S. in early 2020. Rice responded quickly: During March 9-15, classes for the week preceding Spring Break were canceled, students were instructed not to return to campus after Spring Break, and instruction after Spring Break was made fully remote. This quick reaction to the pandemic was typical of many organizations and localities all around the country, as it became clear that social distancing was then the only effective way to slow down the spread of the disease. This seems to have worked and, by early May, the first wave was somewhat subsiding. The Rice administration then tasked the Academic Restart Committee with the mission of “Return to Rice.”
To be sure, a poetic analogy between music and our differences will not resolve any issues directly. It can, however, remind us of our shared humanity. It can get us back in touch with our nature as social animals. It is a nature that is often oppressed by the individualism in our capitalistic society that encourages competition, putting too much focus on the dissonances for our own good.