In an email last week, Rice Pride announced an end to its partnership with Houston Hillel, a Jewish campus organization that has hosted events with Pride since 2016. The statement pointed to the “Standards of Partnership” of Hillel International, the parent group of Houston Hillel, which Pride called exclusionary to Palestinian and Arab queer students.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal released their list of the 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. This ranking features a brand-new methodology that prioritizes student outcomes, graduation rate and median annual salary. Rice came 64th.
Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Chief Clemente Rodriguez of the Rice University Police Department unveiled Policy 854, the university’s new regulations on micro-transportation, in a Sept. 7 email. The policy, among other things, prohibits the operation of scooters and bicycles inside and at the entrances of university buildings, in addition to requiring operators of these vehicles to yield to pedestrians at all times.
Rice football kicked off its season with yet another rout at the hands of the University of Texas Longhorns, losing 37-10. At least it wasn’t 58-0.
For our final editorial of the year, we decided to do a brief recap of some of the editorials we never had a chance to write. Some are very serious, some are only mildly serious — and we leave it up to y’all to figure out which are which.
The first annual Moody X-Fest is in the books, and by most standards it should be considered a success. But if this is to be an annual event — and we hope that it will be — a few adjustments need to be made. First, the name ‘X-Fest’ has got to go. It’s bad. But more importantly, students should be meaningfully involved in the planning process to ensure that future festivals continue to attract student engagement.
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and Rice students claiming the most recent Beer Bike could have been better. We understand that, with this year being the first race with heats, we were essentially guinea pigs for future Beer Bikes, and we’re okay with that. But there were still some astoundingly obvious and preventable problems that need to be addressed prior to next year’s race.
Rice is raising tuition again. We’re not here to complain about it: We understand that inflation has impacted the university’s expenses. In fact, that’s actually why we’re writing this editorial — just as the university’s increased costs necessitate increasing tuition, we believe the impact inflation has on campus organizations also necessitates a slight increase in the Blanket Tax.
Student Association president Solomon Ni presented a motion during the March 20 senate to pay voting members of the SA essentially $8 every senate in session, which they are required to attend. Our new cohort of SA representatives near-unanimously shot the motion down.
The Rice Women’s Resource Center is now officially a blanket tax organization, joining the ranks of the Thresher, Rice Program Council and University Court, among others. RWRC will now receive funds from the $85 “blanket tax” that each student pays with their tuition. With their new designation, RWRC needs to expand the resources they offer to meaningfully reach every student they’re meant to serve.
During the Student Association senate meeting on Monday, Feb. 27, student leaders shot down a proposed resolution calling for the Faculty Senate to prohibit midterm exams or major assignments being scheduled during both the week of and after Beer Bike. Though we agree with the SA that this proposal is far too unrealistic to ever get through Faculty Senate, there is some merit in the intentions behind it. As part of the Rice community, faculty should understand the cultural significance of Beer Bike as the ultimate Rice tradition — for all of campus — and consider avoiding scheduling exams or major deadlines immediately after it.
The Thresher endorses a Student Association presidential candidate every year. This year, to no one’s surprise, the Editorial Board endorses Solomon Ni — not only because he is the only option, but also because he has expansive plans to make changes. However, in a time of exceptionally low engagement both externally and within the SA, many of his plans are overly ambitious without laying a solid foundation.
When petitions finished filing in and the candidates for Student Association executive positions were announced, the Thresher Editorial Board was disappointed to learn that out of five executive positions up for election, none were contested. In fact, no one is running for the secretary position, necessitating a special election process.
Housing and Dining recently spoke out about an unacceptable number of missing ceramic plates from serveries across campus, prompting several college presidents and coordinators to remind students not to throw these plates away or leave them in shared spaces. The issue has gotten so bad that H&D has stated that they will begin charging colleges each time they find one in the trash.
At the very first Editorial Board meeting of this school year, the seniors on our board got on our high horses to inform the Rice community of the way things used to be done vis-a-vis selling tickets to public parties. We’ve held our tongues since then, as we can appreciate that circumstances change and growth is good. But the time has come for us to speak again, this time in support of resurrecting the greatest of all pre-COVID traditions: Sunday brunch.
We reported at the end of last week that popular late-night food spots YoYo’s Hot Dog and Oh My Gogi are being forced out of Rice Village by the end of the month. Justifiably, Rice students and the local community were outraged — a petition to the Rice Management Company titled “Save Yoyos and Oh My Gogi” has over 4,500 signatures as of publication.
Student Association elections at Rice routinely garner little attention, often struggling to break 25% turnout, which the Thresher and years of SA representatives have called problematic for the health of our student government. With the recently proposed election timeline cutting campaigning to just one week, we’re worried this year we might manage to reach a new low.
Anyone who walked through the academic quad on Monday encountered the statue of William Marsh Rice visibly covered by sheets of A4 paper that read “习近平下台,” which roughly translates to “Resign Xi Jinping.” Other signs read “No emperor in a republic” and “Not my president.” These signs are part of larger protests happening in mainland China — that are being echoed by Chinese people across the world — in response to nearly three years of aggressive COVID lockdowns across the country.