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Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, August 13, 2020 — Houston, TX °

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Campus evolves with COVID-19

(04/04/20 12:56am)

The university's decision making has evolved along with the pandemic it is responding to, with near-constant updates on policies covering everything from travel, academics, campus buildings and housing and dining. Given the rapidly changing situation at the university as the pandemic ramps up in the U.S. and internationally, this article hopes to centralize the information and clarify the current state of university policies in each of these areas.



From the editor’s desk: How it feels to say goodbye too early

(03/24/20 3:22am)

When the inevitable news broke that classes were moving online and students had to move off campus for the rest of the semester, I started sobbing. Immediately. Through my tears, I wrote the breaking news posts on the Thresher’s social media, and then thought of previous Editor-in-Chief Andrew Grottkau’s riveting column during Hurricane Harvey. It was time for me to write a column like that one, I thought to myself, one that is inspiring and full of hope and captures the emotions of community and strength. 



Students petition for a pass/fail semester due to COVID-19 disruption

(03/18/20 4:32pm)

Yesterday, a petition created by Kendall Vining requested that administration give students the option to pass/fail their classes this semester, in light of all the recent changes on campus due to COVID-19. Vining, Student Association internal vice president, wrote and posted the petition, and at the time of publication it had 2,473 signatures and comments in support from students and parents.




Faculty prepare for possible transition to remote instruction

(03/11/20 1:27am)

Faculty and university staff have begun to prepare for the possibility of transitioning to remote classes following spring break, according to an email sent to faculty obtained by the Thresher. As part of an ongoing response to the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus on campus, Rice University canceled all classes and graded exams and assignments for the week of March 9. 



On-campus admissions events cancelled over coronavirus concerns

(03/11/20 1:23am)

With concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus on campus, the admissions office has taken precautions to limit the interaction with people outside the Rice community on campus. On-campus tours, lunch hosting and events for prospective students including Owl Days and Admit Days have been canceled through April 30.


Faculty Senate to decide on recommended pass/fail alterations

(03/11/20 1:18am)

The Faculty Senate working group investigating the pass/fail system at Rice published their final report last week for the Faculty Senate to deliberate over. The recommendations have generated significant backlash from students, evidenced by the Student Association Senate gathering survey feedback, with over 600 responses, alongside the development of a resolution of opposition to the proposed changes. 


Rice suspends classes after positive COVID-19 case

(03/11/20 1:17am)

Rice Crisis Management canceled all classes for the week of March 9, along with all on-campus public events with more than 100 attendees through April 30, according to an alert sent on Sunday afternoon. The cancellation follows the confirmation of a Rice employee testing positive for the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, which was reported last Thursday. 





Centralize COVID-19 communication

(03/10/20 11:44pm)

As students in the midst of a global epidemic, we understand that there are things we must sacrifice for our safety and the safety of our community: no in-person classes, no Beer Bike, no school-sponsored trips. We accept these measures because we understand what’s at stake, but the problem is what we don’t understand: The information being obscured from us or only slowly leaked out, a handful of people at a time. While we appreciate the abundance of caution that the university has taken, we find transparency and communication rather scarce in a time when it’s more necessary than ever.


This is voter suppression

(03/10/20 11:42pm)

On election day, Poe Elementary, the closest polling location to Rice, had wait times upward of two hours. The Rice University Young Democrats, Rice University College Republicans and Civic Duty Rice worked with the administration to provide a Rice shuttle to transport students to the polls. Because Harris County began allowing voters to cast their ballot at any polling location within the county in 2019, we diverted the shuttle from Poe to a West University polling location that reported no wait times. It is notable that in contrast to the area surrounding Rice, West University had three polling locations within a block of one another, with little to no line at each location. This disparity made it very easy for the disproportionately White and wealthy population of West University to vote while placing a large burden on our student population who weren’t afforded a polling place on campus. But it’s also part of a larger story in Harris County, Texas, and nationally.




Men’s tennis set for two matches at home this week

(03/10/20 11:34pm)

After winning a match against Prairie View A&M University on March 2 in which the Rice men’s tennis team convincingly won the doubles point and all six singles matches, the Owls lost 1-6 to No. 3 University of Texas, Austin. Rice currently stands with four wins and seven losses on the season, but can rewrite the script during two upcoming matches against No. 8 Texas Christian University on Wednesday and defending Conference USA champions Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday.