Letter to the editor: mindful protesting
Last week, I was dismayed to hear that over the course of protests happening at the university, chalk was used to deface multiple buildings across campus. A desire to strongly express feelings is understandable; however, it seems the vandals paid little attention to the burden their actions placed on those responsible for removing the writing. These actions were undertaken from a position of privilege, one where someone else will eventually come clean up after you. The men and women in Rice Facilities Engineering and Planning take pride in their work and had no part in the administrative policies being protested.
Having worked in facilities maintenance and janitorial roles prior to graduate school, I can say that incidents like this amount to a large burden for those tasked with the cleaning, over and above their existing daily responsibilities and work orders. The students who didn’t deface campus and who publicly stood behind their convictions were the ones who most consciously and powerfully conveyed their disapproval.
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.