Moody must listen to VADA
From its inception, the Moody Center has touted itself as an exciting arts addition to the Rice community and a means through which to enhance students’ education. In light of this valuable mission, the Moody Center’s shortcomings in supporting student art, despite a general lack of adequate spaces on campus for students to display or perform art, is disappointing.
“Proof’s” move from its intended space in the Moody to Hamman Hall due to the Center’s lack of preparation (see p. 1) is concerning. The Center’s inability to provide the resources necessary to put on a production they committed to months in advance is alarming.
Further, considering the executive director of the Moody’s nebulous non-answer to the inclusion of student artwork in the future, along with the fact that student organizations will have to pay a fee for utilizing the Center’s theater space, the promises of Moody as an “additive space” for artwork on campus ring rather hollow.
Over and over again, the Rice administration, including President Leebron, has lauded the Moody Center as an exciting addition to our school’s arts community, but what use is this space if it remains largely inaccessible to displaying student art and cooperating with student artists? How can we boast about the Moody Center’s many resources when our university, to this day, still does not have a black box theater, a basic staple in the dramatic arts?
Numerous visual and dramatic arts students and faculty have voiced concern over the Moody Center not serving students needs. In response, the Moody director condescendingly wonders whether the VADA department
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Demands, not suggestions: When it comes to anti-racism on campus, the administration must listen to Black students
We believe the contents of Leebron’s email, and the fact that it has been the only statement made by the administration on the subject, show that the administration is not taking these demands seriously enough. We implore the administration to take decisive action and commit to implementing the demands of Rice's Black community.
Last month, a group of Black students published a list of demands for the administration to “address the systemic oppression and inequity that is embedded within Rice’s history by acknowledging and amplifying voices, experiences and communities that have historically been unheard.” One of the six demands is to remove Founder’s Memorial, the statue of William Marsh Rice found in the Academic Quad, on the basis of Rice’s enslavement of 15 people and involvement in the cotton trade. This demand received particular attention with “Down With Willy,” a student-led social media campaign to demand the administration remove the statue.
“Statues are not meant to teach events. They are constructed to honor the memory of those depicted. Like all slave owners, William Marsh Rice is not worth reverence,” write Taylor Crain (Lovett ‘21), Lauren Palladino (Duncan ‘21), Emily Weaver (Jones ‘22) and Divine Webber (Duncan ‘22).