Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, July 07, 2022 — Houston, TX

Editorial: Sexual assault and alcohol consumption are not issues exclusive to NOD

11/1/17 3:49am

Another year, another Night of Decadence — only this year, an alternative event on campus had higher attendance. The decline in NOD participation over the past several years points to its reduced significance as a component of Rice culture, but campus institutions — and the messaging around the party — still tend to treat the event as if it’s as prevalent as it used to be.

It’s true that NOD is in some ways unique as a Rice event, and the “NOD talks” that are held across campus are a useful experience in that they provide an environment to educate students on sexual consent. It’s important that an event like NOD does not encourage people to believe that wearing fewer clothes leads to a lower bar for consent, and the NOD talks are necessary in that they have the ability to dispel the tendency to associate sex with factors that are actually unrelated.

However, the amount of attention that NOD receives may send a message that it — or by extension, the other large, well-known parties at Rice — is the primary situation where sexual assault takes place. Consent and sexual assault prevention matter in every situation, not just at an underwear party. While ensuring that students are safe at NOD, efforts to prepare for it must avoid sensationalizing the event, and anti-sexual assault efforts are no less urgent now that the party is over.

In addition, messages about safe alcohol consumption should not end with NOD. Along with the new alcohol policy, such efforts appear to have been effective given the improvement from the many hospitalizations of past NOD, such as the 10 transports in 2012. However, once again, we believe the emails from CJs regarding consumption should not be exclusively linked to NOD. Last year’s Bacchanalia, for example, had several transports, compared to none at this year’s NOD.

Ultimately, while NOD remains an ingrained part of Rice’s culture, we believe its impact (as evidenced by declining ticket sales) should not be overemphasized. Instead sexual assault and alcohol consumption must be viewed as issues that can occur anywhere, not just at a party where most attendants are only wearing their underwear.

More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 5/12/22 4:05pm
The Wellbeing Center should be transparent about its true confidentiality policies

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.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:11pm
We’re in student media to learn

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.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:02pm
Philanthropy doesn’t excuse slavery

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.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.