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op-eds


OPINION 4/21/20 3:32pm

From the managing editor’s makeshift desk: Saying farewell from afar

A couple weeks ago, I wrote nearly 900 words of eulogy for my loss of the final quarter of my final year at Rice. Like nearly everything I do, it was self-indulgent and entirely too in touch with my emotions. I submitted it to the Thresher (really I just sent our lovely opinion editor Elizabeth a Slack message) but very soon afterward, someone I love got sick and I decided not to go through with the editing process. 


OPINION 4/14/20 3:57pm

Believing survivors is not a political convenience

I said I wouldn’t write another opinion for the Thresher after the Facebook comments I received for a submission about Brett Kavanaugh. Kind of feels like shouting into the void, anyway — am I really going to change someone’s mind who doesn’t want to listen to folks who say they’ve been sexually assaulted? But I’m back! Facebook comments be damned!Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee following Bernie Sanders’ endorsement, has been accused of sexual assault. Tara Reade, a former Senate aide who worked in Joe Biden’s Senate office, claimed that he sexually assaulted her in 1993. The details are disturbing. Reade allegedly told multiple friends and her brother about the incident. 


OPINION 3/31/20 10:10pm

A call to revive, revamp and maintain Rice culture(s)

When we ran for our Student Association executive team positions and defined our platforms, we did not anticipate the arrival of COVID-19. Due to these unusual circumstances, we as members of the executive team have been rapidly thrust into our roles. We have relayed student concerns to administrators and have made an effort to amplify student voices as much as possible. We have been strategizing how we can best communicate with all of the Rice community during the coming weeks as we resume our virtual classwork. But throughout it all, one question has remained on our minds: How can we establish and maintain an intimate, engaging Rice culture and connection while members of the Rice community are so physically distant from each other?   



OPINION 3/10/20 6:42pm

This is voter suppression

On election day, Poe Elementary, the closest polling location to Rice, had wait times upward of two hours. The Rice University Young Democrats, Rice University College Republicans and Civic Duty Rice worked with the administration to provide a Rice shuttle to transport students to the polls.


OPINION 3/3/20 10:04pm

It’s time for Rice Management Company to get serious about a Community Benefits Agreement

On Monday, Feb. 17, the Student Association passed Resolution #8, calling on the Rice Management Company to make the Houston Coalition for Equitable Development without Displacement an equal decision-maker in the negotiation of a Community Benefits Agreement for the South Main Innovation District. The resolution also urges Rice Management Company to publicly release updates and information on their progress with developing and signing the CBA. 


OPINION 3/3/20 10:01pm

Do-err or Don’t-err?

Does anyone really know what the Doerr Institute is? Its website describes it as “a large-scale leader development enterprise at Rice University” that is “committed to the early development of leader abilities in young people,” but what does this actually mean? 


OPINION 3/3/20 9:59pm

Russia tampers with American democracy: The sequel

Since the 2016 presidential election, one thing has become remarkably clear: Russia knows how to make a movie. Featuring then-candidate Donald Trump, Russia churned out massive amounts of disinformation available free of charge on social media that idolized Trump and denigrated his foes. 


OPINION 3/3/20 9:22pm

Why I don’t want to be a Republican

Sometimes, I don’t want to be a Republican. This has nothing to do with my personal beliefs: I am someone who is conservative, I am the secretary for the Rice University College Republicans and I volunteer on the Dan Crenshaw campaign. I’m even voting in the Republican primary this spring. Before I go any further, let me clear a few things up. Despite the stereotypes I often hear, I am not racist, I don’t hate poor people and I don’t believe Russia should pick our next president. 


OPINION 2/25/20 9:44pm

Increasing transparency paves the way for change

Two weeks ago, for a Thresher news story, I read a resignation letter from a former custodian at Rice who was employed for just six months. What I read made me contemplate the working conditions of the Rice staff I see on a daily basis, but it would never end up getting published due to the Rice administration. 


OPINION 2/25/20 9:39pm

The dangers of a single Student Association story

When you’re the only media organization in a given space, you have a lot of power. We appreciate the platform the Thresher has given stories like “Black at Rice” and “In Their Own Words” this year — and recognize their meaningful contribution to the campus dialogue. However, speaking from our individual experiences in the Student Association Senate, we think it is important to note that the Thresher presents information in an environment in which there are few external checks on the narratives that it creates. 


OPINION 2/19/20 8:04pm

LTTE: In response to ‘Clarifying misconceptions about Rice Program Council’

In fact, instead of being open to “constructive criticism” (as they claim in their opinion), in response to the changes presented by my campaign and the prospect of me winning the election, members of the RPC executive council threatened to impeach me upon my election at Monday’s meeting of the Student Association Senate. For the record, the RPC constitution has no method for impeaching the president. 



OPINION 2/18/20 11:04pm

Giving back as easy as giving someone a break

Who can deny the first thought that comes to mind most often when one hears the term “giving back to one’s alma mater” is the opening of your checkbook. One might also think of donating one’s time, be it through volunteering to serve on the Association of Rice Alumni board of directors, interviewing prospective students via Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission or spearheading a committee in a regional alumni group.


OPINION 2/18/20 10:17pm

The Senate’s “independent” jurors aren’t even pretending anymore

Donald Trump is an innocent man, at least according to the United States Senate. Congress has decided that Trump didn’t abuse his power to solicit derogatory information about his political opponents, bribe Volodymyr Zelensky with the withholding of nearly $400 million in crucial foreign aid necessary for Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression or obstruct Congress by defying mandatory subpoenas and covering up the aftermath of his misguided dealings. 



OPINION 2/4/20 9:22pm

A call to remember what the SA is for

We, as active participants in the Student Association Senate, feel that the SA is currently operating by a top-down model, with the chain of communication beginning with Rice administration and ending with the students. But the intent of an organization like the SA should be the opposite.


OPINION 1/21/20 10:06pm

Deadly shooting at Bellaire High School highlights need for tighter gun control

Fourteen days. That’s how long the U.S. went before its first fatal school shooting of 2020. Two weeks into the new decade, 19-year-old César Cortés was shot and killed at Bellaire High School, about five miles southwest of Rice. He was a Junior Reserve Officers Training Corpsmember who was enlisted in the Army and had aspirations of serving his country. His death is heart-wrenching. It was also preventable.


OPINION 1/21/20 10:02pm

Not in our name will the Ion perpetuate injustice

The spring of 2019 I heard whispers and read snippets about the Innovation District, which I understood, initially, to be an innovative tech and consulting hub for venture capitalists, startups and big corporations. Immediately, I wanted to be involved out of fear the development would exclude the interests of creative students at Rice and of communities vulnerable to displacement and cultural erasure.


OPINION 1/21/20 10:00pm

Stop saying the r-word: Sincerely, someone on the spectrum

One evening last semester, I sat down at a table with the most familiar faces in my college commons for dinner. We had a lot of scattered conversations about classes, the food and, for some, the past weekend’s late-night escapades. It was during the discussion of this final topic that I heard that word: “Retarded.”