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Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

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Overload petition process should be more flexible

(01/18/17 2:00pm)

This week at the Student Association Senate, the Approval Threshold Committee presented their recommendations for changes to the overload petition process in light of the credit hour cap (see p. 2). Though the recommendations have not been finalized, the Thresher supports the committee’s work in providing a flexible solution to a process that currently feels cumbersome and bureaucratic.


Constitution’s transparency, not length, must be focus

(01/11/17 2:18pm)

The Student Association’s Committee of Constitutional Revisions is in the process of amending the SA constitution (see p. 4). Though the bill convening the committee last spring spoke of “procedural deficiencies” it sought to correct, over and over again, we have heard various members of student government complain that the SA constitution is “too long.” However, without detailed specific concerns regarding the content of the constitution, objections over the length of the constitution seem misguided.



Momentum from election should push out apathy

(11/16/16 2:00pm)

As the transition process for Donald Trump’s presidency continues to unfold, students have every right to express concern over important political issues, whether they relate to the environment, reproductive rights, the status of immigrants or affordable health care. The documented rise of hate crimes targeting various minority groups is also cause for serious concern.



Listen to and accommodate student-athletes

(11/02/16 1:00pm)

For some, the Thresher’s coverage of the the challenges student-athletes face (see p.1) may only confirm what they already knew. However, far too often, the conversations surrounding life as a student-athlete simply end when we acknowledge the problems athletes confront within the Rice community. Instead, these findings should mark the beginning of a broader discussion on how to better improve the experiences of an important segment of our student body.


Applicants for student funds misinformed

(10/26/16 1:00pm)

There are two glaring problems with how the Blanket Tax Committee allocated initiative funds this year. Student Association Treasurer Maurice Frediere said initiatives would not be considered for funding unless they were “new” (see pg. 1). First, the requirement that initiatives be “new” is nowhere outlined in the SA constitution, nor was it publicized through the application process. It is misleading to encourage organizations to apply for funding without informing them of such a disqualifying condition.


New deputy treasurer holds conflict of interest

(10/19/16 1:00pm)

At this week’s Student Association meeting, current Rice Program Council Treasurer Ameesh Shah was nearly unanimously appointed as the SA’s first deputy treasurer (see "RPC treasurer appointed deputy treasurer of Student Association"). While we do not doubt Shah’s competence in performing the duties of the deputy treasurer, Shah’s current position as the treasurer of RPC, a blanket tax subsidiary organization, raises concerns about a conflict of interest.


​Consider more ethical endowment investments

(10/05/16 1:00pm)

A breakdown of Rice’s endowment indicates that 12 percent is invested in natural resources (see p. 1). Though we do not have an exact breakdown of how much of that 12 percent is allocated to oil and gas investments, Rice’s geographic location and its alumni network in the industry suggest that oil and gas is not an insignificant component of the endowment. 




Deputy treasurer position creates leadership pipeline

(09/14/16 11:00am)

While the Student Association’s decision to create the appointed position of deputy treasurer and deputy parliamentarian (see p. 1) may seem inconsequential, it raises questions about the nature of elected versus appointed positions. The treasurer is elected because students place trust in an individual who is responsible for distributing their funds. Introducing an appointed deputy position with vague responsibilities of “assisting” the treasurer dilutes the power students have in choosing who handles these important decisions.


Saturday dinner option small step to inclusivity

(09/08/16 1:48am)

In the coming weeks, Rice University Housing and Dining will be introducing a Saturday night dinner option for students who wish to dine on campus (see p. 1). Going off campus for Saturday night dinners is a long-standing tradition for many, with students generally being encouraged to go “beyond the hedges” and explore the city of Houston. However, we may sometimes forget that this is just one of many aspects of social life at Rice that requires a certain degree of economic privilege.


​Active shooter training necessary for safety

(08/31/16 4:37am)

In the wake of mass shootings throughout the country as well as certain college campuses, Brown and Martel Colleges’ recent initiative to provide active shooter training their for cabinet and college members should serve as a model for the rest of the Rice community. Events like the shooting at the University of California, Los Angeles, show that although the chance of experiencing a mass shooting may be low, preparedness is necessary not only to save lives but also to prevent a breakdown into chaos.


​Lackluster response to CTIS discouraging

(08/24/16 4:49am)

When the Survey of Unwanted Sexual Ex-periences proved that, much like other college campuses, sexual misconduct and assault are prevalent at Rice, many in the student body rallied around the cause and proposed change in the form of a mandatory Critical Thinking in Sexuality Class for new students. However, the administration’s response and support for this course has been lagging — and this delay could have dire consequences for the incoming class. Though the class was controversial, the fact that so many students felt compelled to respond is in itself impressive. It also indicates that a large portion of the student body is aware that sexual misconduct is a pressing issue and are actively working to create a safer Rice community.


Administration takes Thresher editorial out of context

(04/28/16 11:38pm)

In an email sent to the student body to clarify concerns surrounding the credit hour cap proposal recently passed by the Faculty Senate, Provost Marie Lynn Miranda and President David Leebron referenced the Thresher when describing past student input. They wrote, "The Thresher endorsed the proposal in a March 22 editorial, even before additional student input was incorporated." 


​Administration should listen to student voices

(04/20/16 1:58am)

Amid a flurry of RSVPs, the Student Association claimed on their Facebook event for the CUC protest that the Faculty Senate will “likely approve” the widely contested credit hour limit proposal. While how the Faculty Senate intends to vote has not been confirmed, the fierce student opposition to the CUC’s proposal makes it perfectly clear that if the administration cares at all about our voices, they will vote “no.”


MECH issues must spur investment in academics

(04/13/16 8:44pm)

As prospective students visit for Owl Days to decide whether to begin their career at Rice, those who might consider pursuing mechanical engineering may question their decision if they hear of the department’s recent town hall. MECH’s problems are representative of a larger trend at Rice of departments plagued by lack of faculty and class sections, sparsely offered courses, old equipment and dated curricula. The administration must address these problems to ensure Rice maintains the quality of education promised to its prospective students.


Blanket tax process remains work in progress

(04/06/16 5:04am)

A recent decision by the Blanket Tax Committee to recommend an organization for subsidiary status is at risk of being overturned (see p. 1). The current blanket tax process, established last year, has done away with many of issues that plagued the old system, but is still a work in progress. Pressing concerns must be addressed for the system to remain fair and sustainable.


​Campus-wide discussions necessary for effective self-governance

(03/23/16 8:55pm)

Sid Richardson College recently established a self-imposed ban on private parties in response to the Lads in Plaid incident and corresponding violations of the alcohol policy (see p.1). The Thresher believes the restriction fair, given the necessity of preventing similar violations in the near future as the college works to foster a culture of self-governance and responsibility. However, clear issues with how Rice and residential colleges handle private parties have emerged and present a strong opportunity for students to actively shape the campus’s social experience.