Our reasoning on debate invitations
Like most of Rice’s traditions, the debate has undergone changes through the years. In the last two years, we’ve tried to make the event a more substantial and better attended part of the election cycle with in-depth questions and a more formal setting (previously, the debate was a dry, sparsely attended hour on Fondy 4th). Our goal is to make the debate a maximally informative discussion that helps undergraduates make an educated choice in voting for their student body president.
Based on this goal, we have decided to not include candidate Morgan Gillis in the debate. Whether or not we might agree with a candidate on specific proposals, we would welcome them to the debate provided they intend, in a reasonable person’s view, to present a serious platform. Gillis’s platform, however, consists of providing Chegg to all Rice students, changing the mascot to a minion and building a 15-foot electric fence around campus. Joke candidates are another time-honored Rice tradition that we appreciate, but we feel that the nature of Gillis’s clearly unrealistic proposals and the lack of other ideas in his platform will detract from the substantive discussion we hope to hold. Though they may be funny, Gillis’s responses would disrupt the ability of the other, more serious candidates — as Gillis himself described them — to sincerely discuss and expand on their ideas.
We’re looking forward to following the campaigns of every candidate on the ballot. We’ll certainly be following Gillis’s in the Thresher — and to be clear, our news coverage is fully independent from any decisions regarding debate participation.
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.