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Tuesday, March 31, 2020 — Houston, TX °

op-eds




OPINION 11/14/18 12:19am

Response to Rehman and Quirante: Calls to disengage from electoral politics epitomize privilege

Many Americans work hard within our electoral system to shape our country in a positive way. Dismissing their efforts minimizes them and in doing so demonstrates troublesome entitlement. Activism requires a certain amount of time, effort and privilege to work. Not everyone has the resources to engage in activism, but voting is a right, not a privilege, that we must promote.




OPINION 11/7/18 4:51pm

First (and a half) impressions

I like meeting people as much as the next guy. I like it more than the next guy, actually. There's a world of unknown experiences within a new person, and sometimes, learning the story of someone's life can feel like watching art made in real time. It’s amazing that a first impression can feel like that. Spontaneous and beautiful and original — that's how first times should feel. At one point in my life, meeting people almost always felt like that. But socializing at Rice is different.



OPINION 11/7/18 12:29am

Response to Wilson: Some got off Twitter, some didn’t. It shouldn’t matter.

In an op-ed in the Oct. 17 issue of the Thresher, Chloe Wilson discussed the cognitive dissonance she sees in progressive Rice students who post political comments on social media but are noticeably absent from phone banking and canvassing events. Unfortunately, her call to action critically omitted an important variable in the conversation about increased civic engagement: the systemic suppression and exclusion of disenfranchised Americans. As a result, I find her framing of the Rice student as busy, privileged and lazy to be too simplistic, deficit-oriented, and homogenizing.


OPINION 11/7/18 12:26am

Activism at Rice must extend beyond Election Day

Beto O’Rourke’s campaign to unseat Ted Cruz as U.S. Senator has arguably generated as much buzz on campus as the 2016 presidential election. While it’s clear that Rice students are most politically engaged during election season, students should consider whether electoral politics is the most effective means of pursuing their political goals. We argue that it is not, and that our activism must not be limited to working within a political system that does not always reflect the needs of the people.  


OPINION 11/5/18 2:04pm

Eat empathy, not Earthlings

As humans, we constantly search for purpose, for happiness and for love. Embracing a plant-based diet liberates us and allows us to remove the ominous, translucent veneer placed upon our eyes by those who want nothing more than our money. 


OPINION 10/31/18 12:38am

‘Fun’ classes aren’t always fun — and that’s great

The modern college student is almost expected to take some wacky classes during their college career. From Exploration of the Solar System to Beginning Sculpture to Scuba, there is something for practically every student who wants to pick up some skills that they might never use in their career but will have a great time learning. After all, that’s what fun classes are for.



OPINION 10/31/18 12:29am

LTTE: NOD helped make me into who I am

Thanks to the glory of social media, I have watched the controversy of NOD vs. EOE with interest for the past couple of years. I loved NOD. It was crucial in my growth as a sex-positive queer individual, and I thought my voice might be useful in this conversation.


OPINION 10/24/18 10:17am

Get an STI test, and protect your health

Testing for sexually transmitted infections is increasingly important for college students at Rice and across the nation. More STIs were diagnosed among teenagers and young adults in 2018 than in any prior year, according to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention. With transmission rates higher than ever before, getting tested is the most effective course of action you can take to maintain both your and your partners’ sexual and holistic health.


OPINION 10/24/18 1:00am

A letter to my fellow men: Let’s do more, and let’s do better

I have spent a great deal of my time at Rice contemplating what it means to be a man. Over two weeks ago, when Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, I learned a little more about the answer to that question. In light of the Kavanaugh hearings, it seems to me that to be a man is to be given license to lie under oath, to respond to legitimate questions with churlish non-answers, to break norms of decency, civility, and indifference to partisanship central to the survival of our democracy and to override the credible testimony of women with nothing to gain. In sum, it is to live by a lower standard — to be expected to do no more than the bare minimum — and then have that standard lowered again if it ever becomes inconvenient.


OPINION 10/24/18 12:58am

Competition over ideological purity distracts from substantive activism

In last week’s Thresher issue, Chloe Wilson did an excellent job exhorting Rice students to demonstrate their progressive values not just through Tweets, but through participation in activities that are more likely to bring about real social change. I do not wish to repeat her critique of Rice students’ relative political inaction. Rather, I would like to situate the problems that she describes within some disconcerting trends in the culture of social justice activism. For too many of us, our advocacy as allies of social justice has strayed from the goal of supporting marginalized groups and has become focused on distancing ourselves personally from the oppression that afflicts them. 


OPINION 10/17/18 12:49am

Hey Dems: Get off Twitter and get out the vote

It’s been a busy few weeks in the political world. According to my Facebook feed, our community is fired up about the upcoming election. Since early voting starts next week, now is the perfect time to get involved in local progressive organizing. But that’s not how things work at Rice.


OPINION 10/12/18 3:24pm

Response to Scannell: ‘Job interview’ or criminal trial? The two sides are talking past each other.

In the Oct. 3 issue of the Thresher, Maddy Scannell, like many Democrats, called Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing “a job interview.” Others, however, have quibbled with this description. Right-wing commentators dispute this characterization because they believe the confirmation hearing ought to be treated as a judicial proceeding. My intention in writing this piece is not to align myself with either of these contexts; rather, I am interested in the language itself. What does it mean to view Kavanaugh’s hearing as a job interview? What does it mean to view Kavanaugh’s hearing as a judicial prosecution?


OPINION 10/3/18 1:33pm

Lying is for losers: Very serious reasons to tell only the truth

If I told you that I wanted to create a lie-less utopia, would you want to join? I hope you would, because I think it’d be a great place. Friends, I really want to convince you all to tell the truth to everyone about everything, no matter the situation. I guarantee you’ll enjoy life more if you do. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t think for a second that a lie-less utopia is possible. One of you guys will slip up, I’m sure. Not everyone can be as honest and perfect as I am. Regardless, I feel like I have to try and persuade you. There’s no harm in trying, you know? Now, a word of caution: I don’t have a single empirical or even fact-based argument to support this dream of mine. I just have a series of selfish, somewhat thought-out reasons. I can’t promise you’ll agree with me, but you’ll definitely be entertained.


OPINION 10/2/18 11:54pm

Editor’s Explainer: Roberts would be new swing vote

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will take the seat left by retiring justice Anthony Kennedy. Though nominally a Republican, Kennedy was the swing vote on a variety of 5-4 decisions. Kavanaugh, conversely, would be the second most conservative justice on the court, according to political scientist Lee Epstein. This change in the court’s ideological makeup would likely make Chief Justice John Roberts the new swing vote.