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New colleges experiencing 'growing pains'

(08/28/09 12:00am)

Spotty cell phone reception, flooding bathrooms and issues with lighting are some of the problems the new residents of McMurtry College and Duncan College have had to contend with since the colleges opened up for Orientation Week. The Student Maintenance Representatives at the two colleges have been working with Housing and Dining and Facilities, Engineering and Planning to resolve these problems as quickly as possible, Susann Glenn, Manager of Communications for FE&P, said.

Freshman class largest in Rice's history

(08/28/09 12:00am)

Rice welcomed its largest class ever this week as approximately 900 first-year students participated in Orientation Week, 50 more than anticipated and 121 more than in 2008, Vice President for Enrollment Chris Muñoz said. In addition to the influx of extra freshmen, the number of transfer students was also slightly greater than anticipated, with 69 transfers instead of the expected 60 having matriculated this fall, Muñoz said. The larger numbers meant that only two students came off the waitlist this year.

Rayzor Hall welcomes Spanish Resource Center

(08/21/09 12:00am)

The new Spanish Resource Center, which opened this summer, will offer students an opportunity to learn about Spanish language and culture through an extensive reference database and educational activities, hosted in conjunction with the Department of Hispanic Studies, Spanish Resource Center Director Miguel Hernáiz said. Funded by the Ministry of Education of Spain and located in Rayzor Hall 321, the center is free and will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to students, faculty, staff and the Texas community, Hernáiz said.

Comp exam results remain steady despite class growth

(08/21/09 12:00am)

Even though the size of the freshman class increased substantially, the percent of students passing the composition exam remained at 71 percent, indicating both the reliability of the exam and the consistent strength of the incoming class, Program for Communications Excellence Director Deborah Barrett said.Although the percent of international freshmen increased by 67 percent this year, Barrett said this did not make any difference in the exam results, a trend consistent with last year.

Students opt for historic housing at old Will Rice

(08/21/09 12:00am)

Historic Will Rice opened up this year to ensure that all incoming first-year students have beds on campus, and it will provide temporary on-campus housing to about 75 continuing and transfer students, Dean of Undergraduates Robin Forman said. Although Will Rice College and Baker College will be under construction this year, the 1912 wing of Will Rice is not being renovated, and will stay open this year to house these students. Currently, Historic Will Rice does not have any of the traditional support systems of a residential college, such as masters or a chief justice, and all residents will remain affiliated with their residential colleges, although Forman said support systems similar to chief justices and student maintenance representatives might be added in the coming weeks.

IT set to require e-mail authentication

(05/15/09 12:00am)

Information Technology will be changing the way e-mail is sent starting Oct. 15 by requiring authentication for all e-mail being sent from computers on campus networks.IT already requires authentication for e-mail sent off campus, Information Security Officer Marc Scarborough said. Requiring authentication is being applied to mail sent on campus to prevent Rice's e-mail servers from being blacklisted. Currently, Rice's e-mail servers can get blacklisted when computers connected to networks on campus are infected with a virus that uses Rice's server to send spam, Director of Systems, Architecture, and Infrastructure for IT Barry Ribbeck said.

Student video contest shows perspectives on life at Rice

(05/15/09 12:00am)

First Rice, then Hollywood? The winners of the Rice University Student Video Contest "Lights, Camera, Action: Your Life at Rice" were announced April 22. The contest was sponsored and coordinated by the Center for Civic Engagement, the Community Involvement Center, the Digital Media Center, Fondren Library, Information Technology, the Office of Sustainability, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates and the Wellness Center.Nine submissions were made, either to the general category or one of five special categories: Environment/Sustainability Issues, Alternative Spring Break, Health and Wellness Issues, Residential College/Student Organization and Research. All films had to be five minutes or shorter, Digital Media Center Director Lisa Spiro said.

Commencement 2009

(05/15/09 12:00am)

"Don't have any pressure on you not to live your truth on a daily basis," Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International said during the 96th Commencement, held on Saturday. "Live your dream. It is not worth living life without that." Salbi founded Women for Women International, an organization that gives support to women in war-torn areas by providing basic necessities, education and microcredit loans for new businesses, at age 22. She said once she had discovered this was her passion she was often ridiculed for being so young.

New ESTHER policy in place

(04/10/09 12:00am)

To prevent ESTHER from crashing during registration this semester, three changes were made to the registration process. Three registration start times were changed to three 20-minute intervals per day and were applied Monday through Friday. Registration also started at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m., and in-progress hours were no longer included in determining a student's eligibility for registration, Registrar David Tenney said. The three time slots were created due to concerns that the load on the system during the first few minutes of registration each day could cause it to crash, Tenney said.

Prospies flood campus

(04/10/09 12:00am)

On Wednesday, approximately 450 students admitted to the class of 2013 - 20 percent of the total - participated in Owl Day, the annual event that hosts admitted students overnight on campus, Head of Overnight Hosting Alex Wyatt said. April 8 was chosen for Owl Day because the event had to occur after April 1, when admissions decisions were sent out. Wyatt, a Lovett College sophomore said they did not want to have Owl Day later during finals week, because students would be too busy.

Student assaulted near academic quadrangle

(04/10/09 12:00am)

A male student was physically assaulted while walking past the academic quadrangle on College Way with a female student at 2 a.m. Tuesday, Rice University Police Department Captain Phil Hassell said. The assailant was described as a 20-25-year-old black male, about 5'7" and 150 pounds with "big eyes," short hair and a medium complexion. Hassell said the assailant stepped out of his vehicle, yelled at the student and then struck the student. At that point, another member of the assailant's vehicle dragged him back to a dark four-wheeled car before departing.

Week-long support of protection for women well-received

(03/27/09 12:00am)

After five days of promoting female safety, the Stop Violence Against Women Week ends today with a lecture by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú at the Rothko Chapel. Rice Amnesty International Vice President Julia Lukomnik coordinated the week, which combined events hosted by Rice Amnesty International and the Rice Women's Resource Center to promote awareness and prevention of violence against women. According to the UN, one in three women is abused sometime in her lifetime.

Energy and Water Sustainability minor added

(03/20/09 12:00am)

An interdisciplinary minor in Energy and Water Sustainability was approved by a unanimous vote at the Faculty Senate meeting on March 11. Civil Engineering Chair Pedro Alvarez spearheaded efforts to propose and coordinate the minor, which will examine sustainability from an economic, social and environmental perspective. Professor in the Practice of Environmental Law Jim Blackburn will be director and primary implementer of the minor. Students will be able to declare the minor starting next fall.

Willy week approaches

(03/13/09 12:00am)

Start planning jacks, filling water balloons and pumping air in your tires: Willy Week begins Monday and will culminate with Beer Bike on Saturday, March 21. The theme of this year's Willy Week, which is organized by the Rice Program Council, is WhataWilly Week, a spin off of the Whataburger fast-food chain. T-shirts will be on sale for $5 throughout the week.

SA election garners record turnout

(02/27/09 12:00am)

A total of 1,610 students, over half of the undergraduate population, voted in the Student Association General Elections last week. The mass of students who voted gave this election the highest turnout in well over a decade, SA Director of Elections Timothy Faust said. The candidates were elected through a preferential voting system. The candidate receiving the fewest number of votes had his or her votes redistributed to other candidates depending on the preferential order of each individual ballot. Before any vote redistribution, Brown College junior Patrick McAnaney lead the race for Student Association President race with 555 votes. Jones College junior Matthew Weingast started in second with 411 votes; Martel College sophomore Nicholas Muscara, third place with 295 votes and Martel senior Alexander Crompton, fourth place with 151. Write-in candidates took 28 first-place ballots. After all votes had been redistributed, McAnaney won with 793 votes to second-place Weingast's 526. McAnaney will take the position officially at SA Changeover on March 23.

SA presidential candidates debate future of Rice

(02/20/09 12:00am)

The Student Association Presidential Debate on Monday addressed concerns about the economy, Duncan and McMurtry Colleges, and the future of the SA. The contenders are Brown College junior Patrick McAnaney, Martel College sophomore Nicholas Muscara, Martel College senior Alexander Crompton and Jones College junior Matthew Weingast. The debates were hosted by RTV5 and the Rice Thresher and moderated by Backpage co-editor Timothy Faust, who is also the SA Director of Elections.

Blanket taxes find ballot spot

(02/13/09 12:00am)

Peppered among the names of student-government hopefuls on the 2009 Student Association spring election ballot will be a number of blanket tax proposals. Rice Program Council is requesting to increase its per-student blanket tax by $23 in two separate measures, adding $8 to its general fund and adding a new concerts fund tax of $15. Additionally, KTRU is requesting a $3 increase in its blanket tax, Open magazine and The Rice Review are asking to add a $1 blanket tax each and SA Internal Vice President Akshay Dayal proposed to eliminate The University Blue's $1 blanket tax. In order to pass, the proposals - all of which have already been approved by the SA senate except Open's request, which will be proposed at the next SA meeting Monday - must be separately approved by two-thirds of the students voting in the general election Feb. 20-25, with at least 20 percent of the student body voting.

New building will foster collaboration, not vibration

(02/06/09 12:00am)

More construction fences will crop up on campus in the coming week as preparations begin for a new physics building north of George R. Brown Hall: the Brockman Hall for Physics. The building is scheduled to be completed in December 2010 and was made possible by a gift to Rice's Centennial Campaign of an undisclosed amount from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust.Brockman Hall will be composed of two wings - a south wing on the ground with state-of-the-art laboratories located underground and a north wing that will be above the ground and allow for landscaping underneath the building, Facilities, Engineering and Planning Project Manager Joe Buchanan said. Plans for the landscaping and exterior design have not yet been finalized, but outdoor collaborative spaces and a water feature such as a fountain are under consideration.

Brown looks for new RA

(01/30/09 12:00am)

Brown College Resident Associate Laura Villafranca (Sid '95) will be leaving at the end of this year. The Brown RA Search Committee hosted approximately 20 RA candidates at the Brown Master's house Friday. They will reach a decision before the beginning of March. RA Search Committee Chair Larissa Charnsangavej, a Brown senior, said they were looking for someone who is approachable.