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Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, July 09, 2020 — Houston, TX °

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A call to revive, revamp and maintain Rice culture(s)

(04/01/20 3:10am)

When we ran for our Student Association executive team positions and defined our platforms, we did not anticipate the arrival of COVID-19. Due to these unusual circumstances, we as members of the executive team have been rapidly thrust into our roles. We have relayed student concerns to administrators and have made an effort to amplify student voices as much as possible. We have been strategizing how we can best communicate with all of the Rice community during the coming weeks as we resume our virtual classwork. But throughout it all, one question has remained on our minds: How can we establish and maintain an intimate, engaging Rice culture and connection while members of the Rice community are so physically distant from each other?  


Extracurriculars, inside: How students are passing the time in social isolation

(04/01/20 2:36am)

With little to no human contact, many people have struggled to adapt to self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students have taken up hobbies — new or old — to relieve stress about the coronavirus or to occupy an abundance of free time that some students now find themselves with. Here are some of the creative ways Rice students are now spending their time.


To professors and students alike: please lower your standards

(04/01/20 1:35am)

Last week, we urged the administration to grant students academic accommodations in light of the unprecedented era we are existing in. That happened the next day, when the Faculty Senate voted unanimously in favor of a series of motions intended to alleviate the weight of academics on undergraduates this semester, including one that allows students to designate all courses this semester pass/fail. We applaud the administration for taking such an important step in doing right by students as we try to navigate the rest of our semester remotely. 




Football adds defensive talent through recruitment

(04/01/20 12:02am)

As Rice football turns its sights on the 2020 season, the first step to take is to bring in a strong recruiting class and improve from the past years’. Recruitment has been a challenge for the Owls in the past, with their 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes being ranked nationally at 112 and 111 respectively, according to 247 Sports. 



The podcasts to get you into podcasts

(03/31/20 10:48pm)

Now that you’re bored of teaching yourself TikTok dances, you finished watching “Tiger King” and your sourdough starter flopped, you can finally move onto a new project: becoming one of those people who are “really into podcasts.” This little starter kit of some of my favorite podcast episodes will hopefully be helpful in introducing you to some of the most famous (for good reasons) series as well as some that are woefully underrated. I’ve tried to keep a mix of narrative versus chatty and informative versus mindless entertainment, all of which are amazingly produced and a great way to spend any downtime. After all, a podcast addiction is always helpful for those long and aimless walks around the house or for entertainment during lengthy commutes (for when this is all over, I mean).


Weekly Screen: Week of April 1

(03/31/20 10:41pm)

For our lovely readers, you may know that “The Weekly Scene” is a regular fixture of the Thresher’s print A&E section that promotes local arts events both on campus and throughout Houston every week. However, due to campus and city-wide restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 outbreak and our subsequent inability to print issues for the remainder of the semester, the Weekly Scene is sadly obsolete at the moment. Thus, to fill the gap in my heart left by my beloved little column, I’d like to present the Weekly Screen: a short list of TV, movies and videos to check out from the socially-distanced comfort of your home. 



‘Tuition increases every year’: VP for Finance Kathy Collins explains Rice’s costs

(04/02/20 12:56am)

Last week, Rice announced that undergraduate tuition for the 2020-21 school year will rise by 4.1 percent to $50,310, an increase of $1,980 over the current year’s tuition, following annual trends of the past 10 years. The Thresher reached out to Vice President for Finance Kathy Collins to learn more about the undergraduate costs of attendance. 


On-campus commencement postponed, online ceremony to occur

(03/30/20 7:40pm)

In light of ongoing COVID-19 concerns, an on-campus commencement is postponed until further notice, according to an email sent by President David Leebron, Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Interim Provost Seiichi Matsuda. They also announced that an online ceremony will be held on May 16, where graduates’ names will be read out loud. 


Rice accepts 10 percent of applicants for the Class of 2024

(03/27/20 10:02pm)

Rice University accepted 10 percent of applicants to the undergraduate class of 2024, a slight increase in acceptance rate from last year’s record-low 8.7 percent acceptance rate. Due to Rice’s cancellation of all on-campus admission events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, accepted students will be invited to virtual events in lieu of visiting campus during the traditional Owl Days and Admit Days, according to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva.






Facebook groups offer community support during coronavirus outbreak

(03/25/20 3:29am)

When Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman announced that undergraduate classes would be moving online two weeks ago, campus was thrown into chaos. Since classes for the week were already canceled, many students had already left campus for an early spring break, while others were given little time to pack up their belongings and say goodbye to friends before departing for the rest of the semester.


How to survive a semester in isolation

(03/25/20 2:51am)

 As an extremely extroverted humanities major enrolled in exclusively  discussion-based courses, I’m ... ah ... slightly freaking out. How will  the exciting, fascinating classroom conversations I had throughout the  semester continue to engage me from my laptop? How will the apartment I  grew up in become an office for three remote workers, and remain a place  for us to hang out at the end of the day? How will I retain my sanity  without the countless interactions I have throughout my days at Rice —  walking in and out of classes, eating in serveries, working at  Coffeehouse and randomly bumping into people? And how do I keep anxiety  and depression at bay? 


Wiatt wins external vice president race, with low voter turnout amid preoccupation with COVID-19

(03/25/20 2:17am)

Isabel Wiatt won 64.5 percent of the vote over Kevin Guo in the race for Student Association external vice president, the only race in the second round elections, which take place in order to fill SA offices that had not garnered candidates in the first round of elections. The results drew the SA elections to a close with a low 16.5 percent voter turnout rate as students scrambled to adjust to college life in the midst of a pandemic.