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The end of the Student Association election season on Tuesday marked a new term for the SA. We asked the last three presidents to speak, in their own words, on the most prominent SA accomplishments from the past three years. In the administrations of former SA presidents Justin Onwenu, Ariana Engles and Grace Wickerson, the SA’s achievements span the creation of the Rice Harvey Action Team to the formation of the Financial Accessibility Working Group.
After several weeks of deliberation and significant changes to the language of the resolution, the Student Association Senate passed Senate Resolution 8 on Monday, Feb. 17, to recommend a community benefits agreement process for the Innovation District project.
Ex-Rice football player Stuart Mouchantaf (Hanszen College ‘16) pleaded guilty to two federal charges: conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, causing death, and possession with the intent to distribute, causing death, at a hearing last Thursday, Feb. 20. Mouchantaf is accused of causing the March 2018 death of his teammate Blain Padgett from an overdose of the synthetic opioid carfentanil.
If you ever a) were an angsty teen or b) hung out around other angsty teens, there’s a good chance at some point you’ve head-bobbed contemplatively as you pretended to understand one of King Krule’s cryptic lyrics. Since his ascension to his throne with his 2013 album “6 Feet Beneath The Moon,” 25-year-old Archy Marshall (aka King Krule) has reigned with a silver tongue and an enigmatic fist — as a counter-cultural figure he’s been largely reclusive, but as a lyricist, he’s one of the generation’s best.
In a city as sprawling and teeming with life as Houston, crowds have an energy, a vitality and a gravity of their own. Photography professor Geoff Winningham (Baker College ’65) knows this. He’s known this since 1971, when the young photographer found himself caught in the gravitational pull of the Houston Coliseum. There really couldn’t have been a more fitting title for the arena where men performed Roman-esque choreographies of combat, bathed in light and enveloped by the shouts of supporters and slanderers alike. Now nearly 50 years later, wrestling fans and photography enthusiasts alike are able to get another look into the ring with the opening of Winningham’s exhibit, “Friday Night at the Coliseum,” the first comprehensive gallery exhibition of his internationally renowned body of work.
Four bright yellow billboards materialized in the center of campus last week. Located in the west lawn next to Brochstein Pavilion, the first of them spells out a startling message in delicate black script: “a committee made an announcement: a better future awaits us.”
The Menil Collection’s “Photography and the Surreal Imagination” is a work of profound audacity, and is better for it. The exhibition, held in a single, large room bisected by a central wall, sets out to form a retrospective of surreal photography over a time period spanning from 1920 to today. The result is cramped and creative, displayed in a manner that seeks to draw big-picture linkages between eras and holds only lightly to chronology. A series of collages from the 1930s is broken up by a time traveler from 2015; a line of modern photographs on the back wall is interrupted by “The Demonic Tree,” a disconcerting 1950 work by Clarence John Laughlin.
“Miss Anthropocene” is the fifth studio album by electropop artist Grimes, intended to comment on climate change through a propaganda-filled, alternatingly dominant and submissive lyrical narrative of human extinction and an artificial intelligence takeover. Self-described as her final earth album, the 15-song, 67-minute journey is characterized by slow electric bass, rhythmic synths, echoey nonchalant vocals and the dichotomous sounds of wildlife and machine thrums, with the track “Delete Forever” as the perfect standout.
Two weeks ago, for a Thresher news story, I read a resignation letter from a former custodian at Rice who was employed for just six months. What I read made me contemplate the working conditions of the Rice staff I see on a daily basis, but it would never end up getting published due to the Rice administration.
When you’re the only media organization in a given space, you have a lot of power. We appreciate the platform the Thresher has given stories like “Black at Rice” and “In Their Own Words” this year — and recognize their meaningful contribution to the campus dialogue. However, speaking from our individual experiences in the Student Association Senate, we think it is important to note that the Thresher presents information in an environment in which there are few external checks on the narratives that it creates. This can present problems for students with perspectives that counter the Thresher’s but lack the same institutional capacity to present conflicting accounts. We find ourselves in that position today due to some of the ways in which the SA has been covered this year.
Early voting ends this Friday, Feb. 28 and Election Day is next Tuesday, March 3. If you have the privilege of being registered to vote, get out the vote on behalf of yourself, your communities and everyone who is institutionally excluded from our election processes. Political apathy is rampant in this country and on our campus with only 42 percent voter turnout last year. But we urge you to care. Our future will be shaped by the people we elect to office and the decisions they make regarding the issues we talk about, protest for and care about.
Three years ago, former vice president Al Gore visited Rice and sat down with the Thresher to discuss a future marked by the climate crisis. Gore came back to Houston this week to speak at a rally organized by the Climate Reality Action Fund at Texas Southern University on Feb. 19. The Thresher and other local news organizations sat down with Gore before the rally to talk about our rapidly changing world.
I would like to preface that I believe Will Ledig’s critiques of Rice Program Council’s practices and funding mechanisms are valid. The scrutiny that Will brings to the table could make him a powerful voice for change on the Blanket Tax Committee, which reviews the excesses that he wants to correct. Rice’s student life is enriched when people question the system in the name of constructive criticism.
Ending a weeklong controversy, the University Court ruled 6-3 that Will Ledig, a candidate for Rice Program Council President, was eligible to remain on that Student Association election ballot that was released today. According to the case abstract obtained by the Thresher, the UCourt majority agreed that the definition of membership is not made clear enough in the RPC constitution to justify excluding Ledig from the ballot.
At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, I conducted a phone call with Priscilla Li, the current external vice president of Rice Program Council, to discuss a variety of complaints from both myself as well as other members of Hanszen College, as prompted by the college government’s rejection of RPC’s request to use of one of our classrooms for their spring retreat. I remember this because, around 280 days later, I have still kept my notes from that meeting, but it appears that RPC has not done the same.
On Sunday, Ashley Fitzpatrick, the Martel College Student Association senator, announced a write-in campaign for the internal vice president position in the SA elections, challenging Kendall Vining, former Martel New Student Representative, in a previously uncontested IVP race.