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Wednesday, December 06, 2023 — Houston, TX

Quiet country life: best ways to take a rustication vacation

Hai-Van Hoang / Thresher

By Amelia Davis     10/24/23 11:25pm

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to “rusticate” is “to stay or live in the countryside; to live a quiet country life.” Rustication at Rice is a prohibition from living on campus and taking part in college life and activities — a softer cousin to expulsion. However, living “a quiet country life” is a serious blow to the social calendar and probably not most students’ idea of a perfect time at Rice. With that in mind, here are some ways to get rusticated for you to avoid … or not. 

Channel the stress of ongoing midterms into writing absolutely filthy and heated slash starring your professors. Publish to Fizz, tagged appropriately. 

Work your way up through the student projection crew ranks; with your senior status and trusted position, lock the Rice Cinema doors and force a trapped audience to watch that treasured film, “Shrek but everytime he steps it gets 5% faster,” a minimum of three times.

Reroute Baker 13 to streak through Fondren, or kidnap the designated ID holders so that those brave souls are stuck outside, slowly shedding shaving cream. 

Purposefully mistake an inner loop jogger for President Reggie DesRoches and form a flash mob of hecklers to race him.

Stage an athlete-led boycott protest against deathly-dry chicken breast so disruptive that West Servery has to close down right before the noon lunch rush.

Start a pyramid scheme from your suite buying out and reselling all the shaving cream within a five-mile radius the night before Baker 13. Alternatively, start a business where you buy out and then DON’T resell the shaving cream; people pay you to hoard it in order to undermine Bakerites, or pay extra for the service of replacing it with Nair and selling it to that special someone (their archnemesis). 

Do you still bear lingering resentment about not getting to the sundeck at a public? If so, expressing your frustration by chucking something off the Duncan or McMurtry College decks could help you experience some catharsis. We absolutely do not suggest considering the following projectiles: pumpkins (to get into the Halloween spirit), your general chemistry textbook (post-midterm) or your roommate’s phone after they keep you up until the wee hours of the morning with a loud conversation.  

In the ’90s, the coolest way to get threatened with rustication was to explore the 2.5 miles of steam tunnels underneath campus. Bring this classic back, but raise the stakes by watching “The Descent” immediately before and trying to fit yourself into any available open pipes. 

You could also revisit a classic, the beloved legend disseminated among incoming Orientation Week groups: running through the Baker Hall fountain, popularly known as the rustication fountain. This one may also rusticate you from all Rice life, but would write your name in the campus history books for all of posterity. 

These easily avoidable, though tempting, game plans should help you keep the goal of not getting rusticated clear in your mind. However, ponder this: If you avoid getting rusticated with too much caution, you may find yourself living the rusticated lifestyle despite never breaking a rule. Perhaps steer clear of these more extreme schemes, but don’t shy away from every opportunity for a good jack. 

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