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Editor’s Note: This is a guest opinion that has been submitted by a member of the Rice community. The views expressed in this opinion are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Thresher or its editorial board. All guest opinions are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness by Thresher editors.
A few years ago, a group of fellow students and I learned about an exciting new initiative occurring on college campuses across the country. In an effort to combat rising energy costs and contribute to the fight against climate change, students at schools such as the University of North Carolina and the University of Illinois voted to establish sustainable energy funds to implement energy conservation and renewable energy projects on their campuses. The idea has since taken off, with more than 30 schools nationwide establishing similar programs amid high levels of student support.We were curious about this idea and set about conducting research to see if we could institute a similar program here at Rice. We discovered that over the last eight years, energy costs for Rice have quadrupled. Furthermore, over the last three years, on-campus housing fees have risen 20 percent, with a portion of these fees being those same energy costs passed on to students. We also learned about the efforts the university is taking to defray energy costs, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation for new buildings, construction of the South power plant and installation of a new central energy dashboard system that monitors energy usage across campus.
College football should be better than the NFL. I know most of you probably think that is ridiculous to suggest, especially as we're reaching the culmination of the NFL playoff season. Prof e s s iona l football is the highest-grossing sport in the country, and it attracts bigger television audiences than any college coach could imagine.
Over the eight years of his presidency, the only two significant elements of President Bush's Latin America strategy have been continuing the War on Drugs and signing individual free trade agreements. The Andean Trade Preferences Act, abbreviated as APTDEA was a perfect example of this strategy. In exchange for cooperation in cocaine reduction efforts, the U.S. signed trade deals with Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to allow them to export textiles and other goods to the U.S. market. The APTDEA was a win-win situation: a boon for Latin American producers and a plus for U.S. consumers. Yet just three months ago the White House decided to undermine its own free trade agenda by suspending this agreement with Bolivia.