Over the summer, face masks became the hottest accessory — and a required safety measure, depending on where you live. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer was filled with protests that swept across the country against anti-Black racism and police brutality. While she was at home this summer, Sid Richardson College senior Tina Liu found a way to aid both causes.
The moment Emma* decided that she wanted to attend Rice was during an event hosted by Christian club Chi Alpha at Owl Days in 2019. The event was an ice cream social and “large group” gathering — Rice Chi Alpha’s weekly event where members sing worship songs and their pastor, Josh Bell, goes over a message from the Bible.
Filled with exotic plants, mouth-watering vegetables and natural ecosystems, the Houston Botanic Garden, which opened to the public last month after years of construction, is dedicated to cultivating, preserving and displaying a diverse collection of plants from around the world and from the local environment. Less than 15 minutes from Rice University by car, the botanical garden is the city’s first. And at the helm of the project is Claudia Gee Vassar, president and general counsel of the Houston Botanic Garden — and a Rice University class of 1999 alumna.
Half-black, half-clear plastic clamshells, often with bits of food and utensils stuffed inside, pile up every day in trash cans across campus — clamshell and clamshell and clamshell, one per student per meal, seven days a week, 14 weeks a semester.
Spontaneous Combustion, Rice’s improvisational comedy group, has had one goal since 1995: make people laugh. This year, due to the pandemic, SpoCo will be bringing their humor to people’s headphones for the first time ever with their new podcast, “The Lighter Side with Spontaneous Combustion.”
To kick off her Zoom meeting on a Tuesday afternoon earlier this month, Elizabeth Slator turned her camera off. It’s not how most hosts get their Zoom meetings started at Rice, but then again, this was not the usual virtual lecture, office hours or club meeting.
As life in China has started to look like it did before the pandemic and Chinese cities have relaxed social distancing rules and mask mandates, the Thresher caught up with a group of Rice’s Chinese international students who are taking online classes at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. From navigating time differences to making new friends, students shared what it is like to study and live on a campus other than Rice.
Ghostbusters are on campus. They’re not a fictional group of men fighting supernatural beings, but a team of Housing and Dining staff led by Noel Romero, tasked with sanitizing hand-touched surface areas and performing other duties that help to stop the spread of COVID-19 around campus. The Ghostbusters team, along with many other H&D staff members, are trained to use an electrostatic sprayer, which uses a positively charged disinfectant that coats surfaces and cleans them.
In the first week of Nicole Tan’s freshman year, Hurricane Harvey arrived in Houston and devastated the city. Tan, who is from Philadelphia, said she had never experienced a natural disaster like Harvey before. “I had experience with hurricanes before, but not to this level,” Tan, a Sid Richardson College senior, said. “It was very much a bonding experience for my class.”
Most people outside of the Houston area would be surprised to see a hot dog topped with cream cheese, grilled onions, crunchy fried onions, honey mayo and curry ketchup. However, at YoYo’s Hot Dog in Rice Village, that is the norm.
When Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman first emailed the undergraduate student body back in March to announce that classes would be shifting to a remote learning format due to the unfolding pandemic, she took extra care to address the class of 2020.