Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, February 29, 2024 — Houston, TX

Editorials


OPINION 9/12/23 10:43pm

New scooter policy reflects need to update micromobility infrastructure

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. 





OPINION 4/11/23 11:59pm

Future X-Fest planning needs student involvement

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. 


OPINION 4/4/23 9:28pm

Beer Bike heats in the heat need more planning

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. 


OPINION 3/28/23 9:40pm

Raise the Blanket Tax to account for inflation

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.



OPINION 3/7/23 9:45pm

RWRC presents possibilities for campus

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.


OPINION 2/28/23 10:45pm

Beer Bike accommodations are common sense

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.


OPINION 2/21/23 10:18pm

Solomon Ni for Student Association president

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.


OPINION 2/14/23 11:39pm

Election demonstrates need for SA to self-examine

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.


OPINION 1/31/23 10:51pm

Do the bare minimum and return your plates

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. 


OPINION 1/24/23 10:13pm

Bring Sunday brunch back to campus

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.


OPINION 1/17/23 11:49pm

The RMC needs to reread their mission statement

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.


OPINION 1/10/23 9:48pm

If the SA wants to be taken seriously, campaigning can’t be a joke

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.


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.