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When postdoctoral fellow Alex Jong-Seok Lee conceptualized his course in Asian Studies last fall, he went back and thought about previous conversations with students about the kinds of courses they would be interested in. Although there are several courses in Asian American Studies at Rice that focus on ethnicity, health, class and gender, students had brought up one issue that wasn't covered in-depth: race in Asia.
During the school year, throughout the summer, and whenever there’s a big event on campus –– athletic events, and during a normal year, public parties –– student EMTs with Rice University Emergency Medical Services are around at the scene, looking out for the community. This past year, the stakes have been higher: EMTs have been serving their community during a pandemic.
Evan Choate has always been interested in contextualizing literature and narratives — and the past year gave him quite the backdrop to do so. For Choate, a postdoctoral fellow in public humanities with the Humanities Research Center at Rice, a central element to the narrative of being out or being proud is about “living your truth” and “embodying this identity” — a large part of which is done by accessing community. Although Choate lives with his husband and dog, being at home and isolated because of the pandemic has made this identity feel “muted,” he said.
From garden-fresh fruits and vegetables to classic films and a spring break field trip to Cuba, Rice University is home to an assortment of interesting classes. With input from the Rice community, the Thresher has compiled a list of eight classes students should consider adding to their schedules while they’re at Rice — no matter what their major or interests.
Editor's Note: The Thresher has granted anonymity to certain students who are not yet out to their community or family members. Anonymous students who have been given pseudonyms will be indicated with an asterisk* in their first mention.
Spontaneous Combustion, Rice’s improvisational comedy group, has had one goal since 1995: make people laugh. This year, due to the pandemic, SpoCo will be bringing their humor to people’s headphones for the first time ever with their new podcast, “The Lighter Side with Spontaneous Combustion.”
This semester is unlike any other, and that may be most true for remote students, who can’t pick up Coffeehouse drinks, study at Fondren or chat with friends on the outer loop. The Thresher caught up with four remote students in different parts of the country to hear about what their experiences have been like so far –– from eating home-cooked meals to attending classes with their pets right next to them.
While teaching about projectile motion in PHYS 125 this semester over Zoom, physics Professor Jason Hafner gave students a hypothetical scenario: A hunter is trying to shoot a monkey sitting in a tree. At the sound of the shot, the monkey falls from the tree — will the bullet hit the monkey? When teaching the scenario this semester, Hafner gave it a twist: Instead of teaching completely theoretically, he decided to make it real.
Calista Ukeh was in the middle of throwing at a track meet during her senior year of high school when she received her admissions decision from Rice. As far as the throwing went, she was not having a great day — but that changed after she read the acceptance letter.
Mask-designing in tents by Rice Program Council, online dance workshops by Rice African Students Association, outdoor movie nights at Jones College and a Bachelor or Bachelorette-style online dating event at McMurtry College are just a handful of the events students are planning for this fall, which will be unlike any other Rice has seen before. With restrictions on social gatherings on campus, student organizers have been brainstorming ways to not just replicate traditional events online, but also introduce entirely new events.
Rice is offering Chinese international students the opportunity to live on campus at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, Guangdong, for the fall 2020 semester, while enrolling in and taking Rice classes online.
Early last month, three Rice students launched Rice for Biden, a group supporting Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign for president.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement updated regulations for students on nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 visas on July 5. According to President David Leebron, Rice plans to participate in legal action to overturn these new regulations by supporting the action filed by Harvard and MIT through an amicus brief.
Being on the screen isn’t new to Gabe Baker, a Rice alumnus (Brown College ’14) and cast member of The Bachelor franchise’s new music dating show: “The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart” on ABC, where contestants sing to and with each other. Baker has been on athletic competition reality shows before –– “American Ninja Warrior” and Netflix’s “Ultimate Beastmaster.” While the constant eye of the cameras did put him under pressure to perform on those shows, Baker said that being on “The Bachelor” brought a new kind of pressure.
Religious festivals are times of celebration, shared in a community, when families hold both simple and extravagantly planned gatherings to catch up with each other and have a good time. Oftentimes, these festivals give religious communities the opportunity to gather as a large group to worship and celebrate together. Many of these festivals have deep spiritual or religious significance for students. The Thresher caught up with students celebrating Easter, Passover, Ugadi and Ramadan this year to discuss how they’ve managed to maintain the spirit of the festival even after the pandemic struck.
With its glittering waters and nine-mile running trail, White Rock Lake is one of Rebecca Francis's favorite places in Dallas. The Baker College senior takes every opportunity to run there with her family when she's home, usually followed by breakfast at a nearby coffee shop.
Alyson Riley and Leah Kanihan met a little over a year ago and started dating right after they got back from summer break in fall 2019. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 this spring, they have had to suddenly transition into a long distance relationship, like many other couples at Rice.
Launching a rocket after spending an entire night at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen seems like the perfect send-off for the end of a semester with Eclipse, Rice University’s undergraduate student rocketry team.
When Shaan Patel graduated from Rice in 2014, he only had plans to be an architect. Now, he is one of the stars of “Family Karma,” a new reality show on Bravo TV.
Spring elections at the residential colleges came with a myriad of problems this year, following the implementation of OwlNest voting at some colleges. Tabulation errors of ranked-choice voting by OwlNest have pushed Will Rice College’s secretary race to its college’s court. Although Jones College continued with Qualtrics, similar problems have led to a re-election for the positions of internal vice president and treasurer.