Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 — Houston, TX

From the editors’ desk: Farewell

andrew-grottkau-emily-abdow-col
Photo Illustration by Charlene Pan

By Andrew Grottkau and Emily Abdow     4/16/19 11:47pm

For the last four years, we have spent every Monday night upstairs in the Rice Memorial Center, neglecting schoolwork, social events, friends (as our suitemates can attest) and even our own birthdays to produce the weekly newspaper that shows up in your college’s commons every Wednesday. 

Don’t let us make it sound like some kind of big sacrifice for the good of the university or any other holier-than-thou bullshit. We did this for one extremely selfish reason: because we loved it. 

But, just like how we imagine parents feel about their children, loving it didn’t mean we always liked it. Being part of the Rice Thresher has placed us in difficult situations, sometimes where there’s no clear right answer. It’s required us to investigate issues people did not want brought to light, which inevitably led to friction between us and those we covered. It sucks sometimes when people at your college or in your classes think you’re out to get them, and it’s not easy to wake up to a storm of angry Facebook comments on a Wednesday morning. 



Nevertheless, we continued to ask the difficult questions and delve into issues people preferred to hide. Because in the immortal words of former Thresher Editor-in-Chief Yasna Haghdoost, journalism isn’t about being nice. It’s not a popularity contest, nor should it be. We strive for the trust of our readers and the respect of those we cover, but we can’t afford to compromise our coverage by caring if you like us or not. 

The world is full of gray areas, and the Thresher has taught us to how to analyze, question and come to decisions in the midst of complexity and in the face of pressure from authority figures. It’s a lesson that’s hard to learn inside the classroom, where the biggest consequence is usually a less than ideal grade that only affects our own GPA. 

We joined the Thresher because we liked writing and, in Andrew’s case, sports. We stayed because no other experience has pushed us to the level of growth we’ve experienced over the last four years. Leaving is bittersweet, and we joke about failing a class to stick around another year, if only tuition didn’t keep increasing. We take with us a greater ability to question the world around us and our own role in it and we urge anyone reading this who has ever considered joining the Thresher to do it. It’s been the experience of a lifetime, and we promise you won’t regret it. 



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.


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