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Now on display in Fondren Library, Houston Asian American Archive’s “Faces in the Pandemic” exhibit explores Asian American experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through dynamic visual art, fostering reflection and discussion on relevant topics of racism, isolation, history and intersectionality. The exhibit explores a history of Asian American discrimination from the early 1800s to today and prompts the viewer to think about what this moment will look like in our collective history.
At a time when many gyms and recreation centers across the country are shuttering their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rice’s Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, which reopened from a temporary closure on Aug. 3, is taking a number of measures in order to remain open.
AUDRE LORDE DOCUMENTARY
Release Date: 2011
Aug. 24 was the 10th anniversary of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” her generation-defining pop album. She then delivered her first child on Aug. 26 after an engagement with Orlando Bloom last year, and two days later, dropped her sixth studio album, “Smile.” Her latest album was disappointing, nothing like the Katy Perry you know, and only the third most significant part of her week.
In a summer that was full of uncertainty, the return college sports has been one of the biggest unknowns. As the school year begins and decision making windows shrink, it appears that Conference USA will move forward with the plan to play football this fall. Head coach Mike Bloomgren praised his team’s commitment throughout an extraordinarily strange summer.
All campus operations including in-person and remote classes were cancelled from 5 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday in anticipation for Hurricane Laura, according to an email sent to the Rice community Tuesday night, from Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee Kevin Kirby. Students living on campus are also required to shelter in place from Wednesday 10 p.m. until sunrise Thursday, according to an additional email sent Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Traditionally, the end of August signifies an end to a summer of trips, getaways and parties. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hard stop to the romanticization of summer break this year, with most (responsible) human beings in the United States restraining their urges to throw a pool party and opting for a solitary swim instead. So it’s probably no surprise that college students who have returned on campus, jaded and sun-deprived, would feel an even stronger desire than before to escape their endless Zoom sessions on the weekends and have a little fun. What’s standing between them and that desire, besides the strict social distancing policies most universities have announced, is the understanding that one needs to sacrifice their own pleasures for the wellbeing of, well, everyone.
When you visit return.rice.edu, the university’s online hub for information about reopening plans, you’re redirected to coronavirus.rice.edu. It’s a seemingly harmless swap — “return” becomes “coronavirus” — but one that is indicative of the two incompatible narratives the administration has been feeding its students, staff and faculty. The first is a shiny campaign about how much we’ve all missed campus, how ecstatic we are to return to something familiar and how we will all persevere, together, through these tough times. The second is the story of a global pandemic that has fatally attacked Houston, the country and the world, one that requires taking extreme precautions and punishing those who don’t.
Mask-designing in tents by Rice Program Council, online dance workshops by Rice African Students Association, outdoor movie nights at Jones College and a Bachelor or Bachelorette-style online dating event at McMurtry College are just a handful of the events students are planning for this fall, which will be unlike any other Rice has seen before. With restrictions on social gatherings on campus, student organizers have been brainstorming ways to not just replicate traditional events online, but also introduce entirely new events.
The Rice Honor Council saw an increase in the number of cases last semester, receiving 78 complaints of academic misconduct compared to the 28 cases heard in the previous semester.
Orientation Week is a decades-old event at Rice, with traditions that have largely remained untouched. This year, coordinators have had to modify or cut out many traditional O-Week events to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and university guidelines in light of the pandemic, resulting in a unique experience for the incoming class of new students.
Rice’s office of admission saw a greater enrollment of both freshman students and transfer students than last year, with just under 1,000 new students enrolling in total, according to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva.
Editor’s note: Since spring 2019, the Black at Rice features series has highlighted and celebrated Black voices on campus. As we at the Thresher explore ways to better amplify and honor Rice’s Black community, the Arts & Entertainment section is introducing an extension of Black at Rice that aims to shed light on the inspirations, influences, wisdom and work of Black artists. Any and all art forms from Rice community members are eligible to be featured! Have someone in mind whose art should be in the spotlight? Nominate them here.
With constant changes in schedules and rapidly changing situations, Orientation Week this year was a unique experience for everyone involved. The week was affected by COVID-19 concerns and regulations that changed every aspect of planned events, including one residential college — Will Rice College — making the decision to move all activities online mid-week.
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 authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Thresher or its editorial board. All guest opinions are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness by Thresher editors.