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On a sweltering day in August, groups of students across campus braced themselves for the daunting task ahead of them: spending hours helping new students move into their dorms. Move-in day kicks off Orientation Week every year, and nearly all Rice students are familiar with the ritual of sweaty, beaming advisors running back and forth with labeled cardboard boxes as incoming students start exploring their new home.
Every time Anna Margaret Clyburn gets a Slack notification, her computer plays the monotone sound of a British woman saying “hummus.” It’s fitting — Clyburn, a senior at Martel College, is a vegan, and gets very excited about hummus, as well as sweet potatoes and peanut butter. She enjoys eating the latter two together after coating the sweet potatoes in ginger, cayenne pepper, curry powder, cinnamon and salt, then baking them for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees F.
The Founder’s Memorial, more often referred to as Willy’s Statue, is having a moment right now — and not a good one. Almost 3,000 people, including many current students and recent alumni, have signed a petition to remove the statue, on the basis of Rice having upheld the institution of slavery in various ways throughout his lifetime, including by enslaving at least 15 people.
Last month, a group of Black students published a list of demands for the administration to “address the systemic oppression and inequity that is embedded within Rice’s history by acknowledging and amplifying voices, experiences and communities that have historically been unheard.” One of the six demands is to remove Founder’s Memorial, the statue of William Marsh Rice found in the Academic Quad, on the basis of Rice’s enslavement of 15 people and involvement in the cotton trade. This demand received particular attention with “Down With Willy,” a student-led social media campaign to demand the administration remove the statue.
Content warning: This article references anti-Black violence and police brutality.
Jaylen Carr grew up playing Nintendo video games — “If it had the Nintendo seal, I probably played it at some point,” he said — and loving everything about the multinational Japanese electronics and video game company. So when he received an internship offer from the Nintendo human resources department in the spring of his sophomore year, Carr said it felt like his stars had aligned.
For the first time since our university’s founding in 1912, all instruction is taking place remotely and virtually. For the second time since our founding in 1916, the Thresher has stopped printing physical papers (the first break was during World War I, according to our records) and for the first time has transitioned to emailing a weekly online newsletter (which you can and should subscribe to here). And for the first time in its 64-year history, Beer Bike did not happen.
Over 10,000 miles from Houston, off the coast of the Maldives, reef manta rays are in their peak season: Every March and April, the massive sea animals aggregate in large numbers in the water surrounding the small South Asian island nation.
As an extremely extroverted humanities major enrolled in exclusively discussion-based courses, I’m ... ah ... slightly freaking out. How will the exciting, fascinating classroom conversations I had throughout the semester continue to engage me from my laptop? How will the apartment I grew up in become an office for three remote workers, and remain a place for us to hang out at the end of the day? How will I retain my sanity without the countless interactions I have throughout my days at Rice — walking in and out of classes, eating in serveries, working at Coffeehouse and randomly bumping into people? And how do I keep anxiety and depression at bay?
First, it was an office. Then it transformed into Matchbox Gallery, a 1,600-square-foot gallery nestled into the Sewall Hall courtyard. The space was the only student-run art gallery at Rice, overseen by the visual and dramatic arts department. In 2018, after a decade that saw numerous exhibitions, renovations and leadership changes, Matchbox rebranded as Inferno. During the 2018 - 2019 school year, Inferno hosted six exhibitions and evening gallery openings that featured music, wine and a delectable array of snacks from Trader Joe’s.
Imagine this. After hearing rumors of a treasure hidden somewhere on campus by William Marsh Rice, you and your friends decide to venture down into the storied steam tunnels to search for it. While you’re down there, you realize that the place is booby trapped. You and your friends have one hour to unlock a series of puzzles to find the treasure without setting off any traps.
I have a theory that you could live an entire academic year on campus without having to leave once. Think about it. Every single meal is provided, and the options for food outside of the serveries are numerous: 4.Tac0, The Hoot, bites from Coffeehouse and Willy’s Pub, snacks at the campus store. Even boba cravings can be satisfied on campus. We have a gym, laundry services, kitchens, clothing swaps, concerts, sporting events, art galleries, a movie theater and student-run haircutting business. Why leave?
Next Tuesday, voters across Texas will head to the polls to select party candidates for the presidency and several statewide and local races. They’ll be joined by voters from 13 other states, making March 3 this election year’s Super Tuesday. However, not a single one of those voters will be headed to the Rice Memorial Center, much to the dismay of leaders of political organizations on campus.
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.
This February marks a year of Black at Rice, a features series created with the intention of highlighting and celebrating Black voices on and off campus. For the anniversary and for Black History Month, the Features staff decided to do something a little different with the series. Rather than feature one student, we asked past participants and nominees of Black at Rice to tell us, in their own words, what Black History Month means to them. Here’s what they told us.
The day before I landed in Rabat, Morocco last September for a semester abroad studying journalism, young Moroccan political reporter Hajar Raissouni was arrested for an alleged abortion and sex outside of marriage. Although Raissouni was ultimately pardoned by King Mohammed VI, the arrest was widely perceived as just one in a long line of instances of the Moroccan government employing civil laws (that are otherwise largely unenforced) to punish someone they don’t like.
Closing in at a swift one hour, 50 minutes and 34 seconds, Reginald DesRoches set a personal record at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Sunday, beating last year’s time by six minutes. Next summer, DesRoches will break another record. On July 1, the current dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering will become the ninth provost to take office — and the first Black provost in Rice’s history.
When Joe Goetz’s 10-year-old daughter started learning to play piano a few years ago, he knew exactly what he needed to do: skim the Fondren Library stacks for a book written by a pianist.
Primarily students of color across campus found themselves added to a “Friends of Diversity” Listserv Tuesday morning without signing up beforehand. According to Associate Director of the Multicultural Center Ijeoma Nwaogu, the Listserv was made months ago, and Tuesday’s addition was an effort to expand the Listserv’s reach.
After Gabrielle Falcon, who goes by Gabby, announced on Facebook that she was chosen as a 2019 student director of Orientation Week, she got a call from her grandmother.