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Rice Ph.D graduate known as ‘CRISPR Baby’ scientist sentenced to three years in prison

(01/15/20 5:43am)

A Chinese court sentenced He Jiankui (Ph.D. ‘10), who revealed that he had genetically-edited twin girls last year, to three years in prison on Dec. 30, 2019. The questions surrounding his PhD advisor, Rice University bioengineering professor Michael Deem’s involvement in the He’s experiments, remain unanswered. In November 2018, Rice began a full investigation into Deem’s role in the research.



First classes held in Kraft Hall as construction continues

(01/15/20 5:38am)

The new four-story home for the School of Social Sciences, Patricia Lipoma Kraft ’87 and Jonathan A. Kraft Hall for Social Sciences, completed a substantial portion of its construction over the break, according to Larry Vossler, senior project manager for Facilities Engineering and Planning. While classes have begun in the building, extractors and remaining debris can be seen on the grounds next to the building. 




Amongst “happiest students,” dissatisfaction persists

(01/15/20 5:33am)

Last semester alone, students wrote over 35 op-eds and letters to the editor, addressing particularly controversial events at Rice and other salient issues facing the student body: from students donning ICE agent costumes to the use of the n-word at Rice to the university’s decision to let a student who was found guilty of assault graduate.



Senior Spotlight: Freddy Cavallaro talks growth at Rice

(01/15/20 5:28am)

Freddy Cavallaro reads a Bible verse daily. He has a 138-day streak on his Bible app, which he said would have been longer if not for a camping trip. He doesn’t take the Bible lightly, and yet his favorite Bible verse is from Romans 14:2, which goes, “For one believeth that he may eat all things. Another, who is weak, eateth herbs.” 


New year, new(s)paper

(01/15/20 5:26am)

In the spirit of the new year, we as the Thresher’s editorial board have set a few resolutions and invite y’all as the readers to hold us accountable. Going forward, we want to be more transparent about our operations as well as maintaining the standards and policies we’ve created this year in the spirit of transparency. 


Building a more financially inclusive Rice undergraduate experience

(01/15/20 5:25am)

At universities across the U.S., including Rice, conversations about inclusion and the affordability of college are ongoing. The last few years have seen growing attention to financial accessibility and the inclusiveness of the Rice experience, and we are impressed by the positive spirit and heartfelt care that so many members of our community have shown toward others. What is notable is how this attention and care cuts across all levels of the university, ranging from the launch of The Rice Investment (designed to expand access to a Rice education for low- and middle-income undergraduates) to student leaders working to facilitate equivalent access to experiential opportunities by establishing accessibility funds within each of the residential colleges.



Invisible opportunities: Reframing accessibility at Rice

(01/15/20 5:21am)

When I read last December’s Thresher news article, “Invisible Burdens,” and the accompanying staff editorial, highlighting the apparent lack of accessibility on campus, I was disappointed, a bit angered and saddened. Reading that Thresher editorial that day was the first and only time I have felt alone and completely misunderstood at Rice. I did not want to identify with the kind of “disability” the editorial portrayed. I felt alienated. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. As a wheelchair user and someone living with a disability, that was not the experience I had received on campus, nor was it the voice of real advocacy.


The Trump administration directs an assassination and calls it peace

(01/15/20 5:18am)

President Donald Trump’s disdain for foreign policy was once merely a joke. No one believed him when he attempted to buy Greenland, and the U.N. openly laughed at his supposed accomplishments. These included a shakedown with NATO allies on budgetary matters, a nonsensical travel ban and a dramatic decrease in refugee acceptions. The shame he regularly heaps upon the U.S. ensured that the joke was never funny, but recent actions threaten to cost us more than just respectability. The president’s decision to launch a drone strike killing Iranian Major General Qassim Soleimani as he was leaving Baghdad’s international airport created a highly volatile crisis in the Middle East and threatens to ignite yet another war. The Trump administration’s response? A statement straight from Mar-a-Lago in Florida saying, “We took action last night to stop a war, we did not take action to start a war.” 






Review: ‘1917’ triumphs in uncharted territory

(01/15/20 4:17am)

Coming fresh off of two Golden Globe wins for best director and best drama motion picture, Sam Mendes’ “1917” earned immense critical acclaim and seemed destined for box office success before the film even hit most American theaters Jan. 10. This praise is well deserved; “1917” proves to be a breathtaking piece of filmmaking, using a “one-take” technique where the entire film is made to appear as one continuous shot (previously used in 2014’s best picture-winning “Birdman”) to craft a harrowing, exhausting depiction of a war that has been largely unexplored by modern cinema. 



Freedom reigns in new MFAH ‘Norman Rockwell’ exhibit

(01/15/20 4:14am)

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston tells the story of how Norman Rockwell’s iconic depictions of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear and freedom from want — changed American society forever with “Norman Rockwell: American Freedom.” The exhibit opened at the MFAH last month as the fifth stop on the acclaimed exhibition’s nationwide tour, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum.