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Sunday, October 24, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Guest Opinion


OPINION 2/2/21 10:22pm

Enough Deliberation: Down With Willy

At sit-ins during the fall semester, fellow protestors and I would occasionally be confronted by passersby defending William Marsh Rice’s legacy and his statue’s placement on our campus. Some may attribute the stubornness of Willy’s defenders to the gaps in the record of William Marsh Rice’s ties to slavery. However, as more information about William Marsh Rice's life comes to light, this ignorance becomes a choice. Decision-makers and opponents of the sit-in alike must come to terms with the overwhelming evidence of the Rice family’s anti-Blackness and take down the statue.


OPINION 1/26/21 10:25pm

If the GSA Sells Out, Third Ward Suffers

On Jan. 19, the Rice Graduate Student Association met to discuss a new “endowment proposal.” GSA normally operates with a rollover fund from the previous year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the  cancellation of activities typically financed by the GSA, they’ve found themselves with too much money on hand. With over $50,000 in funds from the previous fiscal year when the pandemic began, as well as an anticipated $70,000 in the year that started in July, this endowment is projected to top six figures. Their proposal? Hand $100,000 of this money over to the Rice Management Company for investment. Not only would this be a disservice to graduate students who paid into the so-called “surplus,” it will make us complicit in politically and ethically troubling investments. The GSA should reverse the decision.  


OPINION 1/19/21 5:54pm

Let’s heal how we talk about food

How should we discuss food, then? I don’t want to be misunderstood as advising against all food-related conversations. I feel quite the opposite: eating is one of humanity’s oldest social rituals. It’s meant to bring us together. We’re at our best when we engage in conversations that center the enjoyment of food rather than its nutritional content. 


OPINION 12/9/20 11:05pm

Re-return to campus — but to what end?

The first wave of COVID-19 erupted in the U.S. in early 2020. Rice responded quickly: During March 9-15, classes for the week preceding Spring Break were canceled, students were instructed not to return to campus after Spring Break, and instruction after Spring Break was made fully remote. This quick reaction to the pandemic was typical of many organizations and localities all around the country, as it became clear that social distancing was then the only effective way to slow down the spread of the disease. This seems to have worked and, by early May, the first wave was somewhat subsiding. The Rice administration then tasked the Academic Restart Committee with the mission of “Return to Rice.” 


OPINION 12/4/20 12:13pm

Let’s reevaluate music as a social resource

To be sure, a poetic analogy between music and our differences will not resolve any issues directly. It can, however, remind us of our shared humanity. It can get us back in touch with our nature as social animals. It is a nature that is often oppressed by the individualism in our capitalistic society that encourages competition, putting too much focus on the dissonances for our own good. 


OPINION 11/17/20 11:48pm

You should still be keeping up with the 2020 election.

Polls are closed, but the presidential election results and the transition period remain in contention. The projected winner of the 2020 presidential election is Joe Biden, but there’s a long road to reach his inauguration, and President Donald Trump seems to be laying down more and more asphalt each day. In an era where misinformation is as abundant as ever, it’s that much more important for citizens — especially students, in whose hands the future of America lies — to be capable of parsing between the truth and the lies. 


OPINION 11/10/20 11:29pm

Urge Rice Left to rethink its support for terrorists

This past Friday, Rice Left offered unabashed support for a so-called “Palestinian feminist icon” named Leila Khaled. Make no mistake: Khaled, whom they refer to as a “liberation activist,” is, in every sense of the word, a terrorist. In 1969, Khaled and a group of fellow terrorists hijacked a civilian flight from Rome to Tel Aviv and planted bombs in the nose of the plane, which were detonated moments after the passengers, children and elderly among them, had hastily exited the plane. The plane having been diverted to Damascus, two Israeli civilians aboard the flight were held hostage by the Syrian government for three months after being delivered by the hijackers.



OPINION 10/13/20 11:44pm

This election, down-ballot races determine the future of our climate

As the election approaches, we are undoubtedly aware of the presidential ticket. However, there are 45 more races that are going to appear on our ballots — all of them crucial elected positions that form the basis of Harris County. Each time we vote, we shape not just our country but also our local municipalities. These candidates are the people who directly determine what life looks like for Rice University and the Houstonians surrounding us — in terms of criminal justice, our tax dollars and our environment.  


OPINION 10/13/20 7:03pm

This election, vote to protect the Affordable Care Act for the millions who need it

As its name aptly suggests, the Affordable Care Act is a crucial piece of legislation that has made healthcare much more affordable for low-income communities, including expanding Medicaid. Most notably, though, it ensured that those with preexisting conditions could not be denied insurance coverage because of their health status. Not only that, but the ACA allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26. This legislation has saved lives. Now, President Donald Trump wants to take it away. 


OPINION 10/6/20 9:38pm

Now is a crucial time for Latin American Studies: Let’s protect it, not neglect it

This July, I received an unexpected email stating that the Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American studies department no longer exists. It was dissolved, as a result of a merger between six different majors and programs. As a student majoring in Latin American studies, I was surprised to learn that I belonged to a new entity named the department of modern and classical literatures and cultures, which includes the former SPLAS department and the department of classical and European Studies. The African and African American studies department and Asian studies department, however, remained separate and apart from the merger. Among the reasons cited for the merger was a desire on the faculty’s part to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration as well as to boost the weight and visibility of the humanities departments at Rice.  


OPINION 10/6/20 9:26pm

Now what? Reconsider Rice’s COVID-19 policies

At the beginning of September, a customer at my job refused to wear a mask and coughed into my face. To that point, I had been doing everything correctly: I took classes remotely, washed my hands every hour, double-masked, sanitized every object I or a customer could touch and showered thoroughly whenever I came home. I was confident that I would be fine. A week later, the symptoms started. 



OPINION 9/29/20 8:23pm

We lost RBG, what do we do now?

As a woman with a credit score and bodily autonomy, not to mention a recent call to jury duty, I know many of my human rights were secured by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legal advocacy before I was even born. Ginsburg was undoubtedly a civil rights legislation giant, and has been  honored as the first woman in U.S. history to lie in state. She was a large influence in my decision to pursue social justice work, and has inspired and enabled generations of women to stand up for themselves and others. Unfortunately, many of us haven’t been able to mourn her legacy in peace. 


OPINION 9/29/20 8:16pm

Vote for Joe Biden, a candidate tailor-made for this moment

Like many Rice students and faculty, I was incredibly invested in this year’s Democratic primary, watching it with anticipation as a candidate I loved was counted out by seemingly all of the so-called experts. Unlike many Rice students, I was pulling for Joe Biden. I know that many don’t share my enthusiasm for Joe and that’s totally understandable. He’s definitely more centrist than some may like and, similar to anyone who has been in politics, he’s certainly made some mistakes. However, give him a chance — he’s exactly the president America needs right now.  


OPINION 9/23/20 12:07pm

Houston youth: Overcome barriers and take over the polls

Despite the structural barriers facing many young people and people of color, often in tandem, we are ready to show up to the polls and make an impact on our communities this November... If you are a young Houstonian, join the movement to change the narrative that we are civically apathetic: get informed, register to vote, go to the polls and volunteer with local nonprofits or campaigns. 


OPINION 9/22/20 9:19pm

Hands off Belarus: What can we do across the ocean

September 11, 2020. We are standing on a sidewalk by a skyscraper near West Loop 610. Around 40 people came to this protest, all dressed in red and white colors. We are waving red and white flags. Songs in Belarusian, Russian and English are playing from the speakers. Many cars passing by are honking and their drivers are waving to us. Along the freeway, there are boards and placards with signs: “Putin Keep Out of Belarus,” “Stop Violence In Belarus” and “Long Live Belarus.”


OPINION 9/15/20 10:40pm

How to safely vote in the presidential election

The upcoming presidential election may be the most important of our lifetime. It also comes in the middle of a life-changing pandemic that has seriously altered election administration. Although election procedures continue to be finalized, we now have a solid idea of what our options are for voting in November and as the election judge for Rice’s polling location this year, I’m here to break it all down for you.


OPINION 9/15/20 9:15pm

Rice students must care about climate change and act accordingly

Recently, I was eating dinner outdoors when I saw a classmate throw a plastic Gatorade bottle in the trash can. I mentioned it, and she told me that she wasn’t recycling because there was still Gatorade in the bottle. When I suggested that she empty and rinse out the bottle to recycle it, she just waved her hand and laughed. I returned to my room, crushed — that same morning, my family in California’s Bay Area had awoken to another day of hazardous smoke and “snowing” ash from three nearby wildfires, and some of the sites of my childhood memories had burned to the ground. 


OPINION 9/8/20 10:09pm

Voting is essential this year

Political engagement is now both more important and more difficult than ever. The stakes always seem higher in a presidential election year but now — with the pandemic, the protests and everything in between — the stakes feel like they were tied to a rocketship and are currently somewhere orbiting Jupiter.