Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Saturday, February 04, 2023 — Houston, TX

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Do the bare minimum and return your plates

(02/01/23 4:51am)

Housing and Dining recently spoke out about an unacceptable number of missing ceramic plates from serveries across campus, prompting several college presidents and coordinators to remind students not to throw these plates away or leave them in shared spaces. The issue has gotten so bad that H&D has stated that they will begin charging colleges each time they find one in the trash. 


Bring Sunday brunch back to campus

(01/25/23 4:13am)

At the very first Editorial Board meeting of this school year, the seniors on our board got on our high horses to inform the Rice community of the way things used to be done vis-a-vis selling tickets to public parties. We’ve held our tongues since then, as we can appreciate that circumstances change and growth is good. But the time has come for us to speak again, this time in support of resurrecting the greatest of all pre-COVID traditions: Sunday brunch.


The RMC needs to reread their mission statement

(01/18/23 5:49am)

We reported at the end of last week that popular late-night food spots YoYo’s Hot Dog and Oh My Gogi are being forced out of Rice Village by the end of the month. Justifiably, Rice students and the local community were outraged — a petition to the Rice Management Company titled “Save Yoyos and Oh My Gogi” has over 4,500 signatures as of publication.


If the SA wants to be taken seriously, campaigning can’t be a joke

(01/11/23 3:48am)

Student Association elections at Rice routinely garner little attention, often struggling to break 25% turnout, which the Thresher and years of SA representatives have called problematic for the health of our student government. With the recently proposed election timeline cutting campaigning to just one week, we’re worried this year we might manage to reach a new low.


International issues deserve our attention, too

(11/30/22 4:54am)

Anyone who walked through the academic quad on Monday encountered the statue of William Marsh Rice visibly covered by sheets of A4 paper that read “习近平下台,” which roughly translates to “Resign Xi Jinping.” Other signs read “No emperor in a republic” and “Not my president.” These signs are part of larger protests happening in mainland China — that are being echoed by Chinese people across the world — in response to nearly three years of aggressive COVID lockdowns across the country. 


Off-campus students should sublet their rooms to those who need winter break housing

(11/16/22 4:16am)

For the first time since 2019, Rice is not allowing undergraduate students to remain in their on-campus housing during winter break. While this is a disappointing development, we understand why this decision needed to be made. Like students, staff need a break after a long semester. Further, keeping students on campus by providing housing over break was originally implemented to address pandemic travel restrictions, which are mostly gone. However, the need for winter housing is not gone. This decision still leaves some international students — or any other on-campus student looking to remain in Houston — scrambling for housing.


Campus deserves an actual policy debate

(11/09/22 5:37am)

If you had stumbled into the Baker Institute on Nov. 7 expecting a showdown between the Rice Democrats and Rice Republicans, you would’ve been sorely disappointed. The debate, a tradition which has not occurred since 2018, was canceled. We are not missing much, though: the debate would have just regurgitated generic and predetermined political party talking points. If we want campus discussions on politics to have an impact beyond elections, we should invite all voices to the table and talk policy on a comprehensive level.


Faculty must do more to accommodate mental health

(11/02/22 5:00am)

Rice faculty must include a mental health statement in their syllabi going forward after the faculty senate adopted part of a Student Association recommendation Sept. 28. Specifically, professors must include a list of mental health resources on campus compiled by the Wellbeing and Counseling Center and encourage students to use them as necessary. We applaud the faculty senate’s actions as a step in the right direction, but it is truly the bare minimum that they could have done to address students’ mental health. 


Support Rice football at homecoming, they’ve earned it

(10/26/22 2:45am)

The last time Rice football made a bowl game, the world was singing “Let it Go,” Ebola cases were in the headlines and it had been a mere 52 years since a certain president spoke at Rice Stadium about going to the moon. Yes, 2014 was the last time Rice played postseason football. In the seven full seasons since, the Owls won a grand total of 20 games. But seven games and four wins into this season, they find themselves on the precipice of their first bowl game appearance under head coach Mike Bloomgren. Let’s make sure to show them the support they deserve this weekend.




Backpage is satire, not journalism

(09/28/22 3:47am)

Every week, the Thresher’s Backpage staff spend their Monday nights in a corner of our office coming up with a satirical take on the week’s news. Their goal is simple: to bring some levity to what might otherwise be a dreary week of problem sets, essays and exams. Their works of comedy also serve as a delightful ending to much of our more serious journalistic content; and for this reason, the Backpage is a consistent favorite for many of our readers.



Re-evaluate priorities of college committees

(09/14/22 4:04am)

Residential college life is often considered the cornerstone of the “Rice experience.” Just look at any Rice admission materials or listen to the chants at Beer Bike. College governments, then, play an integral role in representing and serving the students within their residential colleges. From Brown to Wiess, residential colleges host a plethora of committees, including the standard committees across campus and ones that stand out in their singularity like with Hanszen’s cheese committee.


The new meal swipe plan needs to be clarified

(09/07/22 4:11am)

Over the summer, Rice Housing & Dining announced significant changes to the dining schedule and meal plan that went into effect at the start of the semester. The most notable change was the addition of a new meal time, affectionately known as “munch.” The other adjustment implemented the following change: “Re-entry to ANY servery requires a student to swipe to receive up to two entree plates again.”


Don’t let paid wristbands become the norm at publics

(08/31/22 3:35am)

Three years ago, in the pre-COVID world, there were only three public parties that charged for admittance. NOD and Y2K needed the money to hire extra security, and Architectronica charged because it wasn’t funded by a college and depended on the money from ticket sales to cover event fees. Now, we fear more colleges will charge for entrance to publics, a poor practice we urge socials to avoid.


New semester offers new beginnings for students, admin

(08/24/22 2:19am)

Every August, as Orientation Week wraps up and the fall semester begins, it feels as if the campus is rejuvenated with new life. That feeling is especially prevalent for students this time around, as this is the first semester to start with fully in-person classes since January of 2020. But what many students might not realize is that this year is also a fresh start administratively. In addition to welcoming a new president, Rice announced the hiring of five new vice presidents and a new provost. 


Don’t let college culture die

(04/20/22 4:01am)

Last year, the Board of Trustees announced that Rice would be increasing the undergraduate class size 20 percent — nearly 800 more students — by 2025. The quick rollout of this decision has left current students with a fracturing academic and social experience. Going forward, the administration needs to better plan for maintaining the small school benefits and residential college culture.


COVID outbreak could have been mitigated with proactive testing

(04/13/22 4:03am)

On Dec. 26 of last year, President David Leebron and future president Reginald DesRoches sent an email to the Rice community regarding plans for this spring semester. The email proclaimed that Rice had “entered a new and different phase of the pandemic.” Specifically, the email stated that the university would “begin to shift our policies to a posture that recognizes COVID-19 as endemic and facilitates our ability to deliver the best education and opportunity to our students, while still taking reasonable precautions.”