Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Sunday, January 26, 2020 — Houston, TX 56°

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Owl House Properties draws controversy over new building

(01/22/20 5:55am)

Owl House Properties, a local property management company, plans to combine, or replat, lots 1933 and 1937 Dryden Road, in May 2020 into a one-lot, a four-story apartment complex, according to company president Ben Bahorich (Will Rice ’10), drawing backlash from some Southgate residents. The property management company, which owns several properties that are primarily occupied by Rice students, has twice been criticized by students in Thresher coverage in the past year for poor living conditions, unfair leases and delayed renovations. 



Reginald DesRoches races towards provostship

(01/22/20 5:49am)

Closing in at a swift one hour, 50 minutes and 34 seconds, Reginald DesRoches set a personal record at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Sunday, beating last year’s time by six minutes. Next summer, DesRoches will break another record. On July 1, the current dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering will become the ninth provost to take office — and the first Black provost in Rice’s history. 


Associate Vice Provost motivates students across the state

(01/22/20 5:48am)

What exactly does an associate vice provost do? They drive over 4,500 miles across Texas to speak to high school students about building confidence, mental health and applying to college. At least that’s what Cortlan Wickliff (Wiess College  ’10), associate vice provost for academic affairs  and strategic initiatives, did last November. 


Ringing in the Lunar New Year on campus

(01/22/20 5:11am)

In the United States, people often celebrate the new year with kisses at midnight, a champagne toast and resolutions. When countdown concludes and the ball drops in Times Square, the new year has officially begun — for some. However, many East and Southeast Asians celebrate Lunar New Year, which doesn’t take place this year until Jan. 25. Here’s a look at how Rice students celebrate the new year.



DesRoches’ appointment promising for the future

(01/22/20 4:07am)

As undergraduates, we are far more likely to be familiar with the everyday work and initiatives that come from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates than those from the Offices of the Provost or even the President. Often, the Thresher’s coverage reflects this uneven familiarity. However, when Rice announced that current Dean of Engineering Reginald DesRoches was named the incoming provost, we were excited for the new era of university leadership to come. 


Deadly shooting at Bellaire High School highlights need for tighter gun control

(01/22/20 4:06am)

Fourteen days. That’s how long the U.S. went before its first fatal school shooting of 2020. Two weeks into the new decade, 19-year-old César Cortés was shot and killed at Bellaire High School, about five miles southwest of Rice. He was a Junior Reserve Officers Training Corpsmember who was enlisted in the Army and had aspirations of serving his country. His death is heart-wrenching. It was also preventable.


Not in our name will the Ion perpetuate injustice

(01/22/20 4:02am)

The spring of 2019 I heard whispers and read snippets about the Innovation District, which I understood, initially, to be an innovative tech and consulting hub for venture capitalists, startups and big corporations. Immediately, I wanted to be involved out of fear the development would exclude the interests of creative students at Rice and of communities vulnerable to displacement and cultural erasure.


Stop saying the r-word: Sincerely, someone on the spectrum

(01/22/20 4:00am)

One evening last semester, I sat down at a table with the most familiar faces in my college commons for dinner. We had a lot of scattered conversations about classes, the food and, for some, the past weekend’s late-night escapades. It was during the discussion of this final topic that I heard that word: “Retarded.” It was used in the context of describing the unwise action of a person, maybe or maybe not involving alcohol. Something relatively casual. I didn’t remember the action as much as the word. No one else on the table really noticed. I myself didn’t speak up due to being afraid of possible ridicule and just being in shock. I had hoped that this encounter, along with other encounters that I’ve had the chance to overhear or straight up hear, would not occur on this campus. However, as these occurrences are appearing more frequently, it might as well be me to address it.


Audrey’s opens in Jones Business School

(01/22/20 3:53am)

Highly anticipated campus coffee shop Audrey’s officially opened on the first day of spring semester classes last week after permitting issues delayed its initial September launch date. Despite the buzz surrounding Houston coffee guru David Buehrer’s newest venture, one look at the shop’s crowd suggests that few undergraduates are aware that Audrey’s is already open or even where it is. It’s pricier than other on-campus alternatives but still worth visiting — they have a few stellar options that can’t be found at Rice Coffeehouse, FLO Paris or East-West Tea.



Predicting the 2020 Grammys: Winners, losers and snubs

(01/22/20 3:49am)

It’s that time of the year! Houston continues to deny us a winter and the Grammy Awards continue to deny any representation to rap music! Even as I gripe to my friends about snubs of my favorite artists, I will still inevitably tune into the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards this Sunday, Jan. 26 to watch bizarrely matched performances; the odds of an Ariana Grande/Aerosmith collaboration are terrifyingly high. In light of my obsession and criticism of the Grammys, I name the least expected nominations, biggest snubs, who I think should win and who I predict will actually win in the “Big Four” categories: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist.



Women’s Basketball should still be considered C-USA favorites

(01/22/20 3:46am)

There’s no denying it: Rice women’s basketball had a rocky start to the 2019-20 season. Coming off a historic season last year in which the team won 21 straight games and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005, this year’s team registered a middling 5-6 record against non-Conference USA opponents to start the season.