Letter to the Editor: Thresher fails student body by deciding not to endorse Nyquist
For the first time in recent history, the Thresher decided not to endorse a candidate in the SA presidential election. Instead, they published a weak excuse for analytical journalism where they declared a “winner” on six different issues discussed during the campaign. Of course, they decided they could not hurt any feelings and had each candidate “win” two issues and then declared a “tie” on two issues. However, when examining the Thresher’s writing, they tacitly admit that Nyquist is the better candidate. Though there are many such examples of their journalistic failure, I will focus on two specifically.
In the section on low-income accessibility, the Thresher declares Onwenu the winner. However, much of their writing regarding his plan discusses the failure to realize the idea of making Tetra work off-campus. They claim that during his negotiations with Housing and Dining over this issue, he developed relationships that will help during further discussions on low-income accessibility. This is nonsensical, given that Nyquist has also met with H&D head Mark Ditman. Also, it is curious to me they consider failure on this issue a positive, given that regional peer institutions like SMU and Tulane can already use their student ID off-campus in the form of Pony Cash and NOLABuck$, respectively. Past failure should be a sign of future failure, not success.
At the end of article, the Thresher addresses each candidate’s signature issue that the other candidate does not address in his platform. For Nyquist, this issue is the sorry state of Rice’s living facilities. For Onwenu, it is the Blanket Tax. In the conclusion of their paragraph on Nyquist’s stance on facilities, the Thresher says, “With this in mind, it is reassuring to hear that Nyquist has already met with H&D leadership about reforming the work order system.” In the first sentence of their paragraph on Onwenu’s plans, they say “Onwenu’s promise to leverage the blanket tax system to support student interests is flawed and his understanding that RVP assets are comparable to the SA40k initiative from two years ago is illogical.” Typically, I would chalk up a position being characterized as “reassuring” instead of “flawed and illogical” as a victory, but the Thresher makes no such distinction.
As a student body, we must demand fair and honest reporting by the Thresher, our primary source of news on campus. The current election coverage by the Thresher does not live up to that standard.
Kyle Sheehan, Lovett ‘18
Editor's note: The Thresher’s policy analysis was an opinion piece published by the Editorial Board, meaning that its views reflected the sole opinions of the Board’s members. Our decisions to designate certain issues as a “win” or “tie” was based on our own analysis, and we provided our reasoning so readers could make up their own minds. Our analysis was not intended as a news piece. For Thresher’s news coverage of the election, please visit ricethresher.org.
More from The Rice Thresher
Before you attend a counseling session at the Rice counseling center, you will be told that “the RCC maintains strict standards regarding privacy.” You will find statements from the university that your mental health record will not be shared with anyone outside of extreme situations of imminent harm, and only then that your information will be shared with only the necessary officials. This sounds great, except that these assurances bear no teeth whatsoever — no enforcement agency ensures that Rice follows its public confidentiality promises, and there are no penalties for Rice if they break them. The Wellbeing and Counseling Centers should more directly communicate the limits of their confidentiality policies when compared to unaffiliated counseling centers, and students in sensitive situations should take the necessary precautions to protect their information.
This week marks the last issue of the Thresher for the year, and for the seniors like myself, our last issue ever. I have been a part of the Thresher since freshman year. And it would not be an exaggeration to say it has defined my Rice experience. As someone pursuing a career in journalism after graduation, there has been no better place to learn than at this paper.
In January, the Rice Board of Trustees announced plans to move the Founder’s memorial to another area of the academic quad as part of a whole redesign, adding additional context of his “entanglement” with slavery. This comes despite continual calls from the student body to not have the enslaver displayed in the quad regardless of the context provided. It would be just for these calls to action and the majority of the Task Force Committee who voted to not keep it there that the Board of Trustees decide to not keep the memorial prominently displayed in the quad at all.