Mathematician Roger Penrose recently became one of three recipients for the Nobel Prize in Physics, for his work on the subject of black holes. Though Penrose is currently a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Oxford, he was also a professor of mathematics at Rice from 1983 to 1987.
The sit-ins to remove William Marsh Rice’s statue from the Founder’s Memorial expanded to include projections of messages onto Lovett Hall on Oct. 5, which prompted Rice University Police Department to respond and shut down the display. The sit-ins have continued for over 40 days, with 14 people attending Monday’s sit-in and two additional students on Zoom.
With classes being taught online or in a dual-delivery mode, professors have expressed concerns about increased cheating. General Chemistry Professor Kristi Kincaid said there have already been some issues with students cheating in General Chemistry, an introductory course with 343 students currently enrolled.
Early voting starts on Oct. 13 in Harris County and will continue through Oct. 30. Those who are registered to vote in Harris County, including students who have registered to vote with their on-campus address, can vote at any election day polling location starting today. Rice Stadium will be Rice’s on-campus polling location for both early voting and on Election Day. Voting booths will be set up inside Gate One, on the Greenbriar Lot side of the stadium near University Boulevard.
Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman cancelled all in-person events at McMurtry College starting Oct. 2 after three off-campus students and one on-campus student from McMurtry tested positive for COVID-19. Gorman made her decision in conjunction with the McMurtry magisters and the Rice Crisis Management Team.
The Baker 13 tradition is continuing this semester amidst a pandemic, however the run looks a little different this year to ensure it follows COVID-19 health guidelines, according to Baker 13 co-captain Michael Price. Safety measures include mandatory masks, distancing between runners and collecting the names of runners for contact tracing, Price said.
Librex, an anonymous discussion app for college students, expanded to Rice University in August after becoming popular at Ivy League schools. Approximately 700 Rice students are currently signed up, according to Ryan Schiller, founder of Librex. While the app provides a platform for a large variety of conversations, it has been facing criticism by some Rice students for the users who are expressing slurs and offensive language without accountability or consequences.
As Rice students prepared to begin an unprecedented fall semester, a team of six undergraduates launched Rice Mutual Aid, a mutual aid network that compiles resources from among the Rice community for other students and offers financial support.
The FAQ section of the Culture of Care agreement was updated in September to include further clarifications on student life, including enforcement and student travel policies. The first version of this document was released to all returning students on July 1 to inform them about the Culture of Care and how it will function in residential colleges, dining and social events.
After weeks of campus being fully dry, Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman sent out an email on Sept. 17 outlining plans to allow for “public events with alcohol” on Rice’s campus. The email, which was sent to various residential college student leaders, presents the guidelines and considerations for colleges to host events with alcohol, including the necessity for a dry, alcohol-free college event before hosting events serving alcohol. According to college chief justices, this decision may be the first step toward an eventual wet campus.
A new series of noon discussions hosted by President David Leebron for small groups of undergraduates began on Zoom last week. Dubbed “Lunch with Leebs” by presidential intern and program supervisor Michelle Fokam (Baker College ’20), the discussions are opportunities for students to learn about Leebron and discuss a predetermined topic of interest with him, according to Fokam.
The Center for Career Development held its first virtual career fair two weeks ago and the student-run “Night of Networking”, for STEM students, will be held on Oct. 8. With recruiting season coming soon, both the CCD and Rice students have committed to bringing opportunities for networking and recruiting to students virtually.
The voting period for the special election for the Student Association external vice president position began on Sept. 29 and will end on Oct. 2. The two candidates are Kevin Guo and Tessa Schreiber, whose platforms can be found on the SA website.
“Screw Yer Roommate,” the mass blind date event hosted each year by the Rice Program Council was held again this year, despite COVID-19-specific challenges. This year the event had a hybrid format, with both an in-person and virtual option to allow remote students to participate.
Former Sid Richardson magister and planetary sciences professor Dale Sawyer, who passed away on Sept. 15, was honored this past week with a tribute at the Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza. The building, also known to Rice students as the rainbow building, displayed Sid’s colors of red, black and gold starting on Sept. 22 until the end of last week.
The 2021 spring semester will potentially start one to two weeks late due to an extended winter break, according to Speaker of the Faculty Senate Christopher Johns-Krull. Johns-Krull said at the Student Association Senate meeting on Sep. 21 that there will also likely not be a weeklong spring break during the semester, but a potential for intermittent holidays spread out either during the weekdays or through three-day weekends.
Rice’s Crisis Management Team plans to add a fourth and more rapid COVID-19 testing option on the Rice campus. Currently there are three sites that provide daily testing for asymptomatic students, staff and faculty who spend time on campus.