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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.
Recently, Noah Fons wrote an opinion saying that sometimes he doesn’t want to be a Republican. We get it — we don’t want to be Republicans either.
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.
Editor’s Note: Some students were granted anonymity to varying degrees to protect information about petitioning reasons.
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.
With the coronavirus looming over campus and the announcement that most undergraduate students must leave campus by March 25, some residential colleges have held town halls to discuss the critical questions students have concerning their premature departure and the remainder of the semester. Answers to more questions can be found here.
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.
The 2,200 satellites currently zipping through low-earth orbit at 17,500 miles per hour depend on sophisticated models to keep them from colliding, and data collected by Rice’s OwlSat satellite, set to launch some time in 2022, could make those models even better.
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.
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 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.
For the first time in its 64-year history, Beer Bike is canceled with no current plans to reschedule.
Editor’s Note: The identities of students and sources mentioned in this story have been removed to protect them from possible backlash. Any questions about our anonymity policy and sourcing should be directed to email@example.com.
All student-run businesses, including Rice Coffeehouse, Rice Bikes and The Hoot in addition to student-owned East-West Tea, will be closed from now until the end of spring break, according to the businesses’ respective Facebook pages. The closures come in the wake of the cancellation of all classes for the week of March 9.
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.
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.
In her March 3 opinion piece, Rachel Lisker misrepresents many Rice students and provides inaccurate information about the Doerr Institute.
Rice men’s basketball will begin the Conference USA tournament tonight when they take on Florida International University at 6:30 p.m. in Frisco, Texas at the Ford Center at the Star. The Owls have already seen the Panthers once this year, culminating in a 92-78 Rice victory back in January.
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.