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With an in-person graduation ceremony indefinitely postponed, the class of 2020 was presented in a virtual commencement ceremony, livestreamed yesterday on the university’s YouTube and Facebook page. The undergraduate ceremony included footage of students and campus, messages from various community members and a reading of all the graduating seniors’ names.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, announced a stay-at-home order for the county on March 24 which, originally scheduled to end on April 3, has been extended to April 30. Working alongside Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Hidalgo has been responsible for instituting these and other precautions for the city of Houston during the current pandemic. The Thresher recently sat down with Hidalgo to discuss next steps for the city.
Following Rice’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the transition to all online classes, the Student Association has moved to an online platform for the remainder of this semester. Without the option of in-person Senate meetings, the SA is now using a Canvas page to hold discussions and send announcements.
Rice announced that it is implementing a staff hiring freeze effective immediately, according to an email sent to division leads and administrators on Wednesday night. The email, which was obtained by the Thresher, also said that there will be no pay raises for staff for fiscal year 2021.
Yesterday, a petition created by Kendall Vining requested that administration give students the option to pass/fail their classes this semester, in light of all the recent changes on campus due to COVID-19. Vining, Student Association internal vice president, wrote and posted the petition, and at the time of publication it had 2,473 signatures and comments in support from students and parents.
With concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus on campus, the admissions office has taken precautions to limit the interaction with people outside the Rice community on campus. On-campus tours, lunch hosting and events for prospective students including Owl Days and Admit Days have been canceled through April 30.
Editor’s Note: The identities of students and sources mentioned in this story have been removed to protect them from possible backlash. Any questions about our anonymity policy and sourcing should be directed to email@example.com.
The Faculty Senate voted to remove the requirement that undergraduate students complete 60 credit hours outside of their major coursework, at their Feb. 19 meeting.
Ex-Rice football player Stuart Mouchantaf (Hanszen College ‘16) pleaded guilty to two federal charges: conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, causing death, and possession with the intent to distribute, causing death, at a hearing last Thursday, Feb. 20. Mouchantaf is accused of causing the March 2018 death of his teammate Blain Padgett from an overdose of the synthetic opioid carfentanil.
Ending a weeklong controversy, the University Court ruled 6-3 that Will Ledig, a candidate for Rice Program Council President, was eligible to remain on that Student Association election ballot that was released today. According to the case abstract obtained by the Thresher, the UCourt majority agreed that the definition of membership is not made clear enough in the RPC constitution to justify excluding Ledig from the ballot.
The Student Association Senate voted on Tuesday evening to allow Will Ledig, a Hanszen College junior, to remain on the ballot as a candidate for Rice Program Council president, despite issues of ineligibility and constitutional violations.
Anna Margaret Clyburn, current president of Martel College, will be the only candidate on the ballot this year for the role of Student Association President following Jones College senator Drew Carter’s withdrawal from the race. Current SA President Grace Wickerson and former SA President Ariana Engles have expressed concern over the implications of an emerging pattern of a lack of presidential candidates.
Two days after the elections ballot was approved by the Student Association, multiple concerns have arisen, including a possible Rice Program Council constitutional violation and Kevin Guo potentially dropping out from the only contested Student Association race — the race between John Cook and Guo for the treasurer’s role.
The Thresher reached out to candidates running for election in all blanket tax organizations: Student Association, Rice Rally Club, Rice Program Council, the Rice Thresher, Rice Campanile, Honor Council, Rice Student Volunteering Program and KTRU Radio. Candidates marked with an * did not respond to requests for comment, and their statement is copied from the SA’s website. Currently, the only contested roles are: SA Treasurer, Honor Council Sophomore Representative and Rice Program Council President.
Captain Clemente Rodriguez will assume the role of Rice University chief of police starting this Thursday, following the departure of current chief James Tate to George Washington University.
The Student Association Senate voted to approve the creation of a Student Legal Services Working Group Monday, Nov. 18 to understand legal concerns by undergraduate and graduate students, from housing contracts and visas to marriage and divorce laws.
In response to a Thresher story about the discrepancies between staff and faculty, multiple female professors pointed out that despite being faculty, non-tenure-track faculty are not eligible for the same leave benefits that tenure or tenure-track faculty are.
In response to the release of the results from the Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct last week, the Student Association held a town hall in Farnsworth Pavilion on Monday to discuss the findings of the survey as well as steps the university should take going forward in response.
Following the recent anonymous Thresher opinion and the ensuing campus conversations on sexual assault at Rice, students crowdsourced a petition and spoke openly with one another and the administration at the town hall held by the Student Association Senate.