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These days, it seems that everything is undergoing an unstoppable metamorphosis, shedding its old skin and emerging anew and unexpected. Donald Glover seems to be the personification of this transitory moment, since his recent album “3.15.20” has been rumored to be the final project under his psuedonomic stage name, Childish Gambino. With “3.15.20,” Glover is leading the charge into the future with no less anxiety than the rest of us, but with the impeccable finesse desperately needed to remind us of our humanity in the face of apocalypse.
For our lovely readers, you may know that “The Weekly Scene” is a regular fixture of the Thresher’s print A&E section that promotes local arts events both on campus and throughout Houston every week. However, due to campus and city-wide restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 outbreak and our subsequent inability to print issues for the remainder of the semester, the Weekly Scene is sadly obsolete at the moment. Thus, to fill the gap in my heart left by my beloved little column, I’d like to present the Weekly Screen: a short list of TV, movies and videos recommended by our staff for you to check out from the socially-distanced comfort of your home. Check our email newsletter every week to find out what we’re loving each week. Happy watching!
First, it was South by Southwest. On March 6, the Austin-based festival was canceled for the first time in its 33-year run, marking the first major festival cancellation of the COVID-19 outbreak. Then came Coachella, postponing their mega-festival to October to the dismay of thousands. After LiveNation, AEG and other industry giants followed suit, delaying or cancelling all live events in the United States and a handful of other countries, not much remains in the way of live music. In the face of COVID-19, the entire live music industry has been brought to a grinding halt.
I talk about Spotify playlists on my resume, on my Tinder bio and in almost every human interaction I have. I’m pretty sure I ran into my Thresher section editor at a party and talked about Spotify playlists. So now I, ever the humanitarian, have emerged from my socially isolated attic room to bless the masses with my quarantine playlist. And you get it without having to swipe right on a black and white video of me playing The 1975 on guitar!
Favorite song: “Hardest to Love”
Other universities gave students very little time to move out, mandated that all students leave campus no matter their home situation or gave their students very little information. In light of this, we want to commend the administration, faculty and staff for doing the best they can in constantly changing circumstances. Communication about the crisis began early and stayed up to date. For the most part, professors have been working hard to transfer the rest of the semester to an online format and have been empathetic to student concerns with the restructuring of classes. President David Leebron and Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman were also quick to offer partial refunds for room and board and other fees, a step that many universities have yet to take.
The university's decision making has evolved along with the pandemic it is responding to, with near-constant updates on policies covering everything from travel, academics, campus buildings and housing and dining. Given the rapidly changing situation at the university as the pandemic ramps up in the U.S. and internationally, this article hopes to centralize the information and clarify the current state of university policies in each of these areas.
Recently, Noah Fons wrote an opinion saying that sometimes he doesn’t want to be a Republican. We get it — we don’t want to be Republicans either.
When the inevitable news broke that classes were moving online and students had to move off campus for the rest of the semester, I started sobbing. Immediately. Through my tears, I wrote the breaking news posts on the Thresher’s social media, and then thought of previous Editor-in-Chief Andrew Grottkau’s riveting column during Hurricane Harvey. It was time for me to write a column like that one, I thought to myself, one that is inspiring and full of hope and captures the emotions of community and strength.
Editor’s Note: Some students were granted anonymity to varying degrees to protect information about petitioning reasons.
Yesterday, a petition created by Kendall Vining requested that administration give students the option to pass/fail their classes this semester, in light of all the recent changes on campus due to COVID-19. Vining, Student Association internal vice president, wrote and posted the petition, and at the time of publication it had 2,473 signatures and comments in support from students and parents.
With the coronavirus looming over campus and the announcement that most undergraduate students must leave campus by March 25, some residential colleges have held town halls to discuss the critical questions students have concerning their premature departure and the remainder of the semester. Answers to more questions can be found here.
Faculty and university staff have begun to prepare for the possibility of transitioning to remote classes following spring break, according to an email sent to faculty obtained by the Thresher. As part of an ongoing response to the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus on campus, Rice University canceled all classes and graded exams and assignments for the week of March 9.
The 2,200 satellites currently zipping through low-earth orbit at 17,500 miles per hour depend on sophisticated models to keep them from colliding, and data collected by Rice’s OwlSat satellite, set to launch some time in 2022, could make those models even better.
With concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus on campus, the admissions office has taken precautions to limit the interaction with people outside the Rice community on campus. On-campus tours, lunch hosting and events for prospective students including Owl Days and Admit Days have been canceled through April 30.
The Faculty Senate working group investigating the pass/fail system at Rice published their final report last week for the Faculty Senate to deliberate over. The recommendations have generated significant backlash from students, evidenced by the Student Association Senate gathering survey feedback, with over 600 responses, alongside the development of a resolution of opposition to the proposed changes.
Rice Crisis Management canceled all classes for the week of March 9, along with all on-campus public events with more than 100 attendees through April 30, according to an alert sent on Sunday afternoon. The cancellation follows the confirmation of a Rice employee testing positive for the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, which was reported last Thursday.
For the first time in its 64-year history, Beer Bike is canceled with no current plans to reschedule.