Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, December 08, 2022 — Houston, TX

Editorials


OPINION 11/29/22 10:54pm

International issues deserve our attention, too

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. 


OPINION 11/15/22 10:16pm

Off-campus students should sublet their rooms to those who need winter break housing

For the first time since 2019, Rice is not allowing undergraduate students to remain in their on-campus housing during winter break. While this is a disappointing development, we understand why this decision needed to be made. Like students, staff need a break after a long semester. Further, keeping students on campus by providing housing over break was originally implemented to address pandemic travel restrictions, which are mostly gone. However, the need for winter housing is not gone. This decision still leaves some international students — or any other on-campus student looking to remain in Houston — scrambling for housing.


OPINION 11/8/22 11:37pm

Campus deserves an actual policy debate

If you had stumbled into the Baker Institute on Nov. 7 expecting a showdown between the Rice Democrats and Rice Republicans, you would’ve been sorely disappointed. The debate, a tradition which has not occurred since 2018, was canceled. We are not missing much, though: the debate would have just regurgitated generic and predetermined political party talking points. If we want campus discussions on politics to have an impact beyond elections, we should invite all voices to the table and talk policy on a comprehensive level.


OPINION 11/2/22 12:00am

Faculty must do more to accommodate mental health

Rice faculty must include a mental health statement in their syllabi going forward after the faculty senate adopted part of a Student Association recommendation Sept. 28. Specifically, professors must include a list of mental health resources on campus compiled by the Wellbeing and Counseling Center and encourage students to use them as necessary. We applaud the faculty senate’s actions as a step in the right direction, but it is truly the bare minimum that they could have done to address students’ mental health. 


OPINION 10/25/22 9:45pm

Support Rice football at homecoming, they’ve earned it

The last time Rice football made a bowl game, the world was singing “Let it Go,” Ebola cases were in the headlines and it had been a mere 52 years since a certain president spoke at Rice Stadium about going to the moon. Yes, 2014 was the last time Rice played postseason football. In the seven full seasons since, the Owls won a grand total of 20 games. But seven games and four wins into this season, they find themselves on the precipice of their first bowl game appearance under head coach Mike Bloomgren. Let’s make sure to show them the support they deserve this weekend.


OPINION 10/18/22 9:50pm

If you are struggling, please reach out for help

This week, Izzie Karohl, a Rice alumna, wrote an opinion piece highlighting the need to talk about mental health and suicidality in our community. We at the Thresher want to add to her piece and encourage students who are struggling with their mental health or suicidal ideation to reach out for help, whether from on- or off-campus resources.



OPINION 9/27/22 10:47pm

Backpage is satire, not journalism

Every week, the Thresher’s Backpage staff spend their Monday nights in a corner of our office coming up with a satirical take on the week’s news. Their goal is simple: to bring some levity to what might otherwise be a dreary week of problem sets, essays and exams. Their works of comedy also serve as a delightful ending to much of our more serious journalistic content; and for this reason, the Backpage is a consistent favorite for many of our readers.


OPINION 9/20/22 11:42pm

Support diversity in the arts in Houston

The Oscars may be so white, but Houston art isn’t — as long as you’re looking in the right places. It is all too true that arts organizations still fall short of creating accessible spaces with equitable representation of artists. For instance, white men still make up the majority of artists represented in prominent museums across the United States. Even with increased attention to elevating the work of women artists and an uptick in women-only art shows and exhibitions focused on the work of underrepresented artists, only 11% of permanent acquisitions by major American art museums from 2008 to 2019 were by women; of that 11%, only 3.3.% were by Black women artists. 


OPINION 9/13/22 11:04pm

Re-evaluate priorities of college committees

Residential college life is often considered the cornerstone of the “Rice experience.” Just look at any Rice admission materials or listen to the chants at Beer Bike. College governments, then, play an integral role in representing and serving the students within their residential colleges. From Brown to Wiess, residential colleges host a plethora of committees, including the standard committees across campus and ones that stand out in their singularity like with Hanszen’s cheese committee.


OPINION 9/6/22 11:11pm

The new meal swipe plan needs to be clarified

Over the summer, Rice Housing & Dining announced significant changes to the dining schedule and meal plan that went into effect at the start of the semester. The most notable change was the addition of a new meal time, affectionately known as “munch.” The other adjustment implemented the following change: “Re-entry to ANY servery requires a student to swipe to receive up to two entree plates again.”


OPINION 8/30/22 10:35pm

Don’t let paid wristbands become the norm at publics

Three years ago, in the pre-COVID world, there were only three public parties that charged for admittance. NOD and Y2K needed the money to hire extra security, and Architectronica charged because it wasn’t funded by a college and depended on the money from ticket sales to cover event fees. Now, we fear more colleges will charge for entrance to publics, a poor practice we urge socials to avoid.


OPINION 8/23/22 9:19pm

New semester offers new beginnings for students, admin

Every August, as Orientation Week wraps up and the fall semester begins, it feels as if the campus is rejuvenated with new life. That feeling is especially prevalent for students this time around, as this is the first semester to start with fully in-person classes since January of 2020. But what many students might not realize is that this year is also a fresh start administratively. In addition to welcoming a new president, Rice announced the hiring of five new vice presidents and a new provost. 


OPINION 4/19/22 11:01pm

Don’t let college culture die

Last year, the Board of Trustees announced that Rice would be increasing the undergraduate class size 20 percent — nearly 800 more students — by 2025. The quick rollout of this decision has left current students with a fracturing academic and social experience. Going forward, the administration needs to better plan for maintaining the small school benefits and residential college culture.


OPINION 4/12/22 11:03pm

COVID outbreak could have been mitigated with proactive testing

On Dec. 26 of last year, President David Leebron and future president Reginald DesRoches sent an email to the Rice community regarding plans for this spring semester. The email proclaimed that Rice had “entered a new and different phase of the pandemic.” Specifically, the email stated that the university would “begin to shift our policies to a posture that recognizes COVID-19 as endemic and facilitates our ability to deliver the best education and opportunity to our students, while still taking reasonable precautions.” 


OPINION 4/5/22 11:11pm

Beer Bike Coordinators – Thank you for Beer Bike

After three years and much anticipation, we finally had a normal Beer Bike. None of the past week’s events could have been possible without the hard work of every Beer Bike coordinator, bike captain, chug captain and every student, staff and alumni who played a role in making Beer Bike 2022 the spectacular event it was.


OPINION 3/29/22 10:52pm

Unclear election rules hurt everyone

As it stands under the Student Association election rules, candidates are not allowed to send mass campaign emails, and included in this rule is anyone campaigning on behalf of the candidate. During this year’s SA presidential race, Rice PRIDE endorsed candidate Gabby Franklin, a choice they then shared with their members via an opt-in Listserv. This is now the subject of the recent complaint by former Will Rice College senator William Tsai who claims that the endorsement email was a violation of SA election rules. The case will be brought to University Court this upcoming Thursday, March 31.


OPINION 3/22/22 11:01pm

Breaks aren’t breaks if there’s a test the next day

Here at the Thresher, we, like most students on campus, like to complain about academic accommodations. Still, we feel the need to bring it back up because some issues persist. Issues that, if we’re being honest, seem easily addressable, especially in this time of constantly-shifting campus norms. We’re talking about professors scheduling exams the week after, and sometimes in the days immediately following, spring break.


OPINION 3/8/22 11:33pm

Publics are back — enjoy responsibly

After two years, public parties are finally coming back. Two out of four classes of undergraduates have never had the opportunity to attend a public, while juniors had their one year with public culture cut short. Many members of the Rice community are unfamiliar with public parties and all they entail, while others’ experiences are two years removed and they are eager to return to the parties of their underclassmen days. 


OPINION 3/1/22 10:52pm

Thank you, Kelley. We love you.

Last Monday, we received word that our beloved advisor, Kelley Lash, had passed away. In what was a busy week filled with Student Association election coverage, grappling with indescribable grief then didn’t feel possible. We decided to carry on with our coverage and endorsements as planned — we believed Kelley would have been disappointed if we hadn’t — but we feel ready now to express just how much she meant, and still means, to all of us.