Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, December 08, 2022 — Houston, TX


NEWS 2/11/22 4:44pm

Gas leak forces several building evacuations

A gas leak forced multiple buildings to evacuate Thursday afternoon around 4 p.m., after a subcontractor on the New Engineering and Science Building project hit an exposed Centerpoint gas line, according to Associate Vice President for Facilities Engineering and Planning Kathy Jones.

NEWS 2/1/22 10:41pm

Woman sues Rice, former Shepherd instructor for childhood sexual assault

A Houston woman has launched a civil lawsuit against Rice University and Dariusz Pawlas, a former Shepherd School of Music instructor, alleging assault and neglect.  The woman, who is identified as I.R. in court documents, was ten years old when she said Pawlas first began to assault her during her piano lessons at Shepherd. Attorney Anna Greenberg said in the lawsuit that despite a formal complaint of sexual misconduct from another student years later, Rice allowed Pawlas to continue teaching on and off campus for months.

NEWS 2/1/22 10:33pm

Fourth Datathon held last weekend

Rice University, along with the D2K club, hosted its 4th Annual Datathon this past weekend. The directors, Caleb Huang, Gazi Fuad and Michael Kelley, said that this year’s event was the biggest yet. The Datathon is Rice’s annual data science competition, where participants have 24 hours, in teams, to design and also implement data science-related projects. 

NEWS 2/1/22 10:30pm

New study spots opened up on campus

Rice expanded its study space options since Jan. 18, opening up selective rooms in Rayzor Hall, Duncan Hall and Kraft Hall on a reservation basis. Rayzor Hall rooms 106, 113 and 123, Duncan Hall room 1046 and Kraft Hall rooms 103 and 104 will be accessible for students. The Rayzor Hall lobbies will continue to be open until 1:45 a.m. via swipe access.

NEWS 1/25/22 11:18pm

Faculty given option to block anonymous course evaluations

Due to concerns that pandemic-induced circumstances resulted in differences in course and instructor evaluation scores, the Office of the Provost allowed faculty to opt-out of showing their evaluations to students, according to an email sent out by the office in early August last year. In this email, the Office also wrote that the average evaluation scores were slightly better in fall 2020 and spring 2021, in comparison to previous semesters.

NEWS 1/25/22 11:16pm

Domingues da Silva awarded NEH grant for Atlantic Slave Trade Archive

Associate professor of history Daniel Domingues da Silva was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities for his project, the Digital Archive of the Atlantic Slave Trades, on Jan. 12. The Archive was created to provide an online space for documents telling the history of the transportation of slaves  in the Atlantic and North America.

NEWS 1/25/22 11:14pm

RUPD developing safety app for community members

The Rice University Police Department is developing a safety app for Rice students and faculty, estimated to be officially released by the end of this semester. Clemente Rodriguez, the chief of police, said this safety app has three major functions: Emergency Call, SOS function and Safe Corridor. He said he hopes that this app would enable users to think of their phone as another source for security.

NEWS 1/18/22 10:59pm

Rice aiming to fill admin vacancies by July 1

The search to fill three prominent vacancies in Rice administration is currently ongoing. General Counsel Richard Zansitis retired at the start of this semester after 21 years in his role. Vice Provost for Research Yousif Shamoo will also be stepping down this month, and Provost Reginald DesRoches will leave his position later this summer to begin his tenure as Rice’s eight president. 

NEWS 1/18/22 10:57pm

Rice alumnus named a TIME 2021 Hero of the Year

Rice alumnus Barney Graham ’75, a renowned virologist whose research led to the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, has been named a 2021 Hero of the Year by TIME Magazine. TIME Magazine extended its “Person of the Year” category in 2021 to include “Hero of the Year,” awarding the title to Graham and three other prominent vaccine scientists who developed the COVID-19 vaccine — Kizzmekia Corbett, Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman.

NEWS 1/11/22 11:10pm

Rice adjusts to record-high COVID cases as students begin return

More than 326 Rice community members tested positive for COVID-19 from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10 as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the country. Through the entirety of the 2020-2021 academic year, Rice reported 367 cases. In response to the rise in cases, President David Leebron and Provost Reginald DesRoches announced over email that the first two weeks of most classes will be online. They also asked students to delay their return to campus, prohibited indoor dining, required vaccine boosters and reimplemented a full indoor mask mandate.