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In the coming years, Rice’s visual and dramatic arts department is anticipating a drastic restructuring of its current curriculum, according to Dean of Humanities Kathleen Canning and VADA Chair Bruce Hainley. Theatre students voiced concerns about these changes, as well as safety and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues in the current theatre building, Hamman Hall.
This year, Rice hit a record-low acceptance rate of 8.56 percent for its admissions cycle. The Office of Admissions received a record high of 31,424 applications, marking a six percent increase since last year and a 74 percent increase over the past five years, according to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva. Out of those 31,424 students, just 2,691 were offered admission.
As March ushers in the first official day of spring, it also marks the first normal spring break for Rice students since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic sent students home in the spring break of March 2020 and last spring, student holidays throughout the semester replaced spring break. On these “sprinkle days,” classes were not held and assignments could not be due.
Isha Khapre, originally from Kenya and currently a student at Hanszen College, stepped foot on campus for the first time in the fall of 2021. She isn’t a freshman, though, but a sophomore.
Across from Valhalla, the graduate student pub, sits a small red birdhouse. It boasts a handful of books: Al Franken’s “The Truth,” Lisa Lutz’s “The Spellman Files,” texts on managerial economics and “The Maze Runner” series. This little birdhouse is in fact one of Rice’s three Little Free Libraries.
On a Friday evening, the Old Sid Richardson College Commons is mostly empty. It’s decorated with weathered grey furniture, dated Campanile yearbooks, mounted TVs playing funny cat compilations and a smattering of students across the couches. Welcome mats, potted plants and shoe racks dot the floors outside each bedroom. Right away, Old Sid is reminiscent of some homely cross between a retro high school and a corporate building.