Rice’s Reckling Park will be the on-campus polling location for both early voting and election day this year, according to Lila Greiner, the media relations director of Rice Young Democrats. Harris County officials moved Rice’s polling location off-campus in February due to accessibility concerns for non-Rice voters.
Isabel Wiatt resigned from the role of external vice president of the Student Association, setting the stage for a special election for SA EVP to happen sometime near the end of September, according to SA President Anna Margaret Clyburn.
The Welch Foundation announced that it will donate $100 million to establish the Welch Institute for Advanced Materials at Rice University, the largest single gift that Rice University has ever received and the largest in the Welch Foundation’s 65-year history.
The Faculty Senate met yesterday to discuss Rice University’s plans for the remainder of the fall semester and potential responses to COVID-19 case increases. The meeting follows the passing of a recent resolution expressing faculty disappointment with the Rice administration, due to implicit pressure on faculty to return in-person to campus.
A resolution from the Aug. 19 Faculty Senate plenary meeting expressing faculty dissension with Rice’s campus reopening plan was recently approved, according to an email sent to faculty on Sept. 1 by Speaker of the Faculty Senate Christopher Johns-Krull.
The Rice University Student Center held its annual Fall Student Activities Fair on August 29 through an online event platform called Hopin. According to event details on OwlNest, over 150 student organizations participated in the virtual club fair. Many of these organizations have adapted club structures to better cater to COVID-19 guidelines and remote students.
With the semester starting amidst a pandemic, one way that Rice plans to regulate student behavior and ensure adherence to this year’s new Culture of Care agreement is through the new COVID Community Court. The Court handles all low level infractions on campus such as mask wearing and social distancing.
A student-written petition expressing concerns about the administration's handling of fall semester has reached 442 signatures at the time of print. Students shared dissatisfactions with the administration ranging from those listed in the petition — servery food and a new "medical hold" health status — to concerns about contact tracing.
The three official student-run businesses on campus, Rice Coffeehouse, The Hoot and Rice Bikes, all expect to reopen in September after submitting return to campus plans to Rice’s Crisis Management Team, according to the businesses’ respective Facebook pages. The student-owned business East-West Tea will not open in the fall, and Willy’s Pub, which is student staffed, cannot open until statewide restrictions on bars reopening are lifted.
All campus operations including in-person and remote classes were cancelled from 5 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday in anticipation for Hurricane Laura, according to an email sent to the Rice community Tuesday night, from Chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee Kevin Kirby. Students living on campus are also required to shelter in place from Wednesday 10 p.m. until sunrise Thursday, according to an additional email sent Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Rice Honor Council saw an increase in the number of cases last semester, receiving 78 complaints of academic misconduct compared to the 28 cases heard in the previous semester.
Orientation Week is a decades-old event at Rice, with traditions that have largely remained untouched. This year, coordinators have had to modify or cut out many traditional O-Week events to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and university guidelines in light of the pandemic, resulting in a unique experience for the incoming class of new students.
Rice’s office of admission saw a greater enrollment of both freshman students and transfer students than last year, with just under 1,000 new students enrolling in total, according to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva.
Students from Sid Richardson College who originally planned to live on campus this year, including many new students, have been reassigned to Martel, McMurtry, Duncan and Wiess Colleges based on their preference after Sid Richardson College was converted to isolation housing for on-campus students who test positive for COVID-19.
A special plenary meeting of the Faculty Senate will be held on Aug. 19 at 4 p.m. to discuss the risks and benefits of coming back to campus, following the creation of an online petition by computer science professor Moshe Vardi that received 94 faculty signatures.
On Tuesday, Will Rice College announced that the remainder of Orientation Week will be conducted fully online. The announcement came after a second Will Rice O-Week advisor tested positive for COVID-19 this morning.
Rice is offering Chinese international students the opportunity to live on campus at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, Guangdong, for the fall 2020 semester, while enrolling in and taking Rice classes online.
The Fiesta Mart in Midtown at 4200 San Jacinto St., which was leased from Rice University and is across the street from the currently under construction Ion building, closed on July 10. The store serviced both Midtown and Third Ward residents and the closure has drawn attention to the issue of food access in the Third Ward, which is classified as a food desert.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) updated regulations for students on nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 visas on July 5. According to President David Leebron, Rice plans to participate in legal action to overturn these new regulations by participating in the action filed by Harvard and MIT through an amicus brief.