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For some students, moving back home two months earlier than expected to finish out the semester has meant the mixed blessing and curse of home-cooked meals and navigating impossible time differences for Zoom class; for others, it has meant trying to focus long enough to pass courses amid unstable internet access and the burdens of financial stress. For all students, the pandemic has posed unique obstacles to obtaining the education they had hoped to get out of the semester.
After recently rejecting a proposal for the Double A grading policy, the Faculty Senate will deliberate over potential additional accommodations at their April 22 meeting. However, the Student Association released data from a survey of 34.6 percent of the student body on Monday which showed the majority of student support was in favor of the Double A policy.
For our lovely readers, you may know that “The Weekly Scene” is a regular fixture of the Thresher’s print arts and entertainment section that promotes local arts events both on campus and throughout Houston. However, due to campus and citywide restrictions on public gatherings amid the COVID-19 outbreak and our inability to print issues for the remainder of the semester, the Weekly Scene is sadly discontinued 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 programs, movies and videos to check out from the socially-distanced comfort of your home.
As I found myself staring out the window last Tuesday listening to The Microphones album “The Glow, Pt. 2” (my go-to album for Feeling Very Small) for the millionth time over the past three weeks, I decided it was probably time to wash my sheets and make myself listen to some new music. I’m naturally a bit self-indulgent when it comes to surrendering to emotion — when feeling nostalgic, for example, I only listen to music that will leave me feeling decidedly more wistful than before. And while I’ve always stood by that self-indulgence on the grounds that it’s simply my nature to try and feel things as deeply as possible, listening to one album on repeat gets old after a certain point.
Many of us are inspired to keep on the daily grind through small interactions with the people that matter to us around campus — having to spend the past month indoors and away from friends has likely made more than a few Rice students stir-crazy. Plenty of those same people have turned to stirring ingredients in a pot or pan, whether trying out online recipes and cooking for the first time, or improvising a traditional family dish. Enjoy these nine recipes submitted by students to the Thresher’s Quarantine Cookbook.
Religious festivals are times of celebration, shared in a community, when families hold both simple and extravagantly planned gatherings to catch up with each other and have a good time. Oftentimes, these festivals give religious communities the opportunity to gather as a large group to worship and celebrate together. Many of these festivals have deep spiritual or religious significance for students. The Thresher caught up with students celebrating Easter, Passover, Ugadi and Ramadan this year to discuss how they’ve managed to maintain the spirit of the festival even after the pandemic struck.
Rice is planning for a full, face-to-face Orientation Week in August, but O-Week coordinators are preparing for an online O-Week followed by a possible Welcome Week when campus reopens if an in-person O-Week is not possible by August, according to Araceli Lopez, associate director of First Year Programs.
Rice students aspiring to become doctors do plenty of preparation in their undergraduate years — prerequisite courses, Medical College Admission Tests and clinical experiences. But most students are likely not preparing to be on the front lines of the battle against a global pandemic. However, that’s exactly where a number of Rice alumni have found themselves in the face of COVID-19.
One built-in membership, one three-quarters-of-a-mile walk, two door-pushes and a Rice ID is all it takes for a Brown College student to have access to the Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center. But separated now by space, time and a global pandemic, Kevin Ngo has had to get creative to stay fit while stuck indoors.
With spring student-athletes’ seasons being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA’s announcement on March 30 that all spring student-athletes would be granted an additional year of eligibility was met with surprise and joy from the collegiate athletics community. However, winter athletes were less lucky.
After moving all classes and programs online over three weeks ago, Rice faculty and staff are still experiencing difficulties teaching, including a common trend known as “Zoom bombing.” On top of other technical difficulties associated with the transition to remote learning, some classes and online programs have reported being interrupted by individuals that randomly join Zoom calls in order to cause disruptions.
While the transition to digital classrooms has brought much change to campus, the process behind the U.S. decennial census, a count of every person in the country that helps determine how federal funds are dispersed, at Rice has remained relatively unchanged.
As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us. This is our second installment of this series — you can find the first one here.
With its glittering waters and nine-mile running trail, White Rock Lake is one of Rebecca Francis's favorite places in Dallas. The Baker College senior takes every opportunity to run there with her family when she's home, usually followed by breakfast at a nearby coffee shop.
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.
This Thursday, the Faculty Senate will meet to finalize their April 22 agenda. As an editorial board, we endorse the measures they plan to vote on. As students, we are suggesting they take a step further to consider more accommodations such as making finals optional for all students. We also ask that professors take proactive steps now to adjust their classes, regardless of what the Faculty Senate eventually decides.
When Rice announced that classes would be going remote and required students to leave campus unless their petition to stay on campus was approved, some undergraduates had to do what it seemed like nobody in America wanted to do: travel to areas of the country with high rates of COVID-19. The Thresher caught up with students from California, New York and Washington who made the difficult decision to return home and be with their families.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest opinion that has been submitted by a member of the Rice community. The views expressed in this opinion are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Thresher or its editorial board. All opinions are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness.
Since the debut of Marie Kondo’s show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” many of us have been asking ourselves, “Does this spark joy?” either in jest or while actually sorting through clutter that we should have thrown out three years before. However, while it is easier to function in a tidy workspace, many items that are crucial to someone’s career cannot be thrown away regardless of their emotional value. This is where “Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life,” coauthored by Marie Kondo and Rice business professor Scott Sonenshein, comes in to bridge the gap by helping readers declutter their workspaces and take pleasure in their jobs.