Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Friday, July 01, 2022 — Houston, TX

Support athletics without elitism

By Thresher Editorial Board     9/17/19 10:14pm

At Saturday’s football game against the University of Texas, Austin, students resorted to the same, tired means of “supporting” Rice athletics — making fun of the opposing team’s academics. 

For such an “unconventional” institution, this lazy and elitist rhetoric is about as conventional as it gets. Signs on Saturday read “ACT Scores” and “Safety School.” The Marching Owl Band went as far as getting into a “2.89” formation to mock UT’s historically high football team GPA. For the record, a 3.0 is a B by letter grade — nowhere near failing. 

Ironically, at the same time that Rice students insult the intelligence of other schools’ football players, they have no problem making disparaging assumptions about their own athletic peers in the classroom. You can’t pick and choose when to conflate athletic and academic performance. Not to mention, what happens when Rice plays Stanford? Should our fans be silent because we can no longer brag about standardized tests scores from when we were 16? 



Elitist rhetoric also contributes to imposter syndrome here at Rice. Mocking a GPA, regardless of whose it is, sends exactly the wrong message to our own community about what we value. Neither are we impressed by those who described UT as a “safety school” — UT is not the consolation prize for being rejected from Rice. It is another selective, high-achieving university with students who should be just as proud as those at Rice. 

The last time the MOB went viral for its formations, they were calling attention to a sexual assault cover up — punching up as opposed to down.  We’re not suggesting that we all hold hands at the next football game, but if we’re going to heckle our opponents, let’s at least be creative and constructive. 

Rice’s culture of care means we need to demonstrate good sportsmanship, even as fans. We represent our university poorly when we mock achievement and growth, even if we are satirizing student-athletes who do not play for our school. Instead of painting an uncreative “ACT Scores” sign, we could direct our efforts toward coming up with more creative cheers than “R, R-I, R-I-C-E” — a skill that we have no problem showing off at Beer Bike. We challenge the campus to put their brains to work and think of the Rice-wide equivalent of the extensive Lovett College chant and its three iterations. In the meantime, let’s stop punching down and start showing up to support our student-athletes. 



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 4/19/22 11:01pm
Don’t let college culture die

Last year, the Board of Trustees announced that Rice would be increasing the undergraduate class size 20 percent — nearly 800 more students — by 2025. The quick rollout of this decision has left current students with a fracturing academic and social experience. Going forward, the administration needs to better plan for maintaining the small school benefits and residential college culture.

OPINION 4/12/22 11:03pm
COVID outbreak could have been mitigated with proactive testing

On Dec. 26 of last year, President David Leebron and future president Reginald DesRoches sent an email to the Rice community regarding plans for this spring semester. The email proclaimed that Rice had “entered a new and different phase of the pandemic.” Specifically, the email stated that the university would “begin to shift our policies to a posture that recognizes COVID-19 as endemic and facilitates our ability to deliver the best education and opportunity to our students, while still taking reasonable precautions.” 

OPINION 4/5/22 11:11pm
Beer Bike Coordinators – Thank you for Beer Bike

After three years and much anticipation, we finally had a normal Beer Bike. None of the past week’s events could have been possible without the hard work of every Beer Bike coordinator, bike captain, chug captain and every student, staff and alumni who played a role in making Beer Bike 2022 the spectacular event it was.


Comments

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