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We, as active participants in the Student Association Senate, feel that the SA is currently operating by a top-down model, with the chain of communication beginning with Rice administration and ending with the students. But the intent of an organization like the SA should be the opposite. It’s not meant to be a conduit through which university administrators impose their opinions and projects. We have lost a sense of student agency in the SA Senate, and this is a dangerous path for the SA to continue on. The SA is 4,000 students, not just a few elected college representatives and an executive team. The SA Senate is made up of a system of delegates for the sole reason of representing the student body, so let’s use them and listen to them.
Nestled away in the southwest side of the McNair Hall courtyard is a room full of construction, espresso and hope. This is where I met David Buehrer this past Saturday. When I arrived, Buehrer was bustling around the room, talking with his employees and prepping for Audrey’s, the coffee shop that will open in the Jones Graduate School of Business this coming spring. Buehrer’s journey into the world of coffee began in high school at Shakespeare Coffee Bar, a cafe near where he grew up in southwest Houston. Here is where his passion began to brew.
Across from Latinx folk art gallery Casa Ramirez, a large group of around 100 people gathered around on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 26 to watch Danza Azteca Taxacyolotl, a Houston Aztec-dance group. The smell of copal, an incense made of tree resin traditional to pre-Colombian Mesoamerica, was thick in the air. Families lined up holding crosses with pictures of their loved ones at the center, and the crowd followed the Aztec dancers and the beat of their drum down the street towards Casa Ramirez for the gallery’s annual Día de los Muertos community procession.
Jan. 3, 2019 was a historic moment for the United States. The tired eyes of a frantic but hopeful nation were on the newly elected congressional representatives, one of whom was the first Muslim refugee ever elected to Congress: Ilhan Omar. The night before, Omar tweeted, “23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington, D.C. Today, we return to that same airport on the eve of my swearing in as the first Somali-American in Congress.”
On Nov. 29, 2018, the Department of Education released proposed regulations that would replace Obama-era guidelines on the enforcement of Title IX and reshape how schools handle cases of sexual misconduct. As mandated by law, the proposed regulations will not take effect until the public has had 60 days to comment. This comment period will end Jan. 28. As Rice students and community members with a longstanding commitment to preventing sexual misconduct, we have a responsibility to provide our individual comments in the Federal Register regarding these proposed Title IX changes.
“Everything in Texas has to be bigger, so we couldn’t just have a stand,” said Thinh Quach, one of the partners of Matcha Café Maiko, which opened on July 17 in Chinatown. This new cafe, in short, is a perfect study location for the busy college student who wants a moment away from campus.
Intramural sports are not only one of the most popular extracurriculars on campus according to the Surveys of All Students, but they are also integral to our community. Between now and April 12, students will have the opportunity to vote on the future of this program. Since 2007, the IM program has operated on a fixed budget, despite a 20 percent increase in inflation and a significant increase in participation. For this program to sustain its growth, maintain the quality of equipment and make IM Sports more accessible to all students, we need to vote “yes” on the $5 fee increase.
Tucked in the corner of Fondren Library’s first floor is the newly created Houston Jewish History Archive, housed in the Woodson Research Center. The archive will officially launch on July 1, but some pieces, like a banner from Beth Jacob Synagogue and Houston Hillel yearbooks, are already available for viewing.
Intention and purpose are two very powerful things. Unfortunately, these two values are missing from the Student Association’s Lifetime Enrichment Activities Program proposal. LEAP is a proposal to replace the current one-credit hour Lifetime Physical Activity Program graduation requirement with a new one-credit hour LEAP requirement. To fulfill LEAP, students can choose a one-credit hour course from any of the following categories: cultural enrichment, physical activity, mental well-being, financial literacy, leadership and civic engagement. The rationale provided by the students proposing the change, which if passed by the SA will need to be approved by the Committee for Undergraduate Curriculum, is that such a change would “cultivate a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.” The resolution for the proposal also includes the statistic that “more than 70 percent of Rice students are involved in some kind of athletic activity.” Finally, they conclude by saying that Rice’s current requirements could be improved by giving students more autonomy.