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.
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.
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.”
In the spirit of the new year, we as the Thresher’s editorial board have set a few resolutions and invite y’all as the readers to hold us accountable. Going forward, we want to be more transparent about our operations as well as maintaining the standards and policies we’ve created this year in the spirit of transparency.
At universities across the U.S., including Rice, conversations about inclusion and the affordability of college are ongoing. The last few years have seen growing attention to financial accessibility and the inclusiveness of the Rice experience, and we are impressed by the positive spirit and heartfelt care that so many members of our community have shown toward others.
During the first week of December, as undergraduates were making their final course selections for the upcoming semester, graduate student instructors arrived on campus to find that the posters for their upcoming classes had been defaced or taken down altogether.
When I read last December’s Thresher news article, “Invisible Burdens,” and the accompanying staff editorial, highlighting the apparent lack of accessibility on campus, I was disappointed, a bit angered and saddened.
President Donald Trump’s disdain for foreign policy was once merely a joke. No one believed him when he attempted to buy Greenland, and the U.N. openly laughed at his supposed accomplishments. These included a shakedown with NATO allies on budgetary matters, a nonsensical travel ban and a dramatic decrease in refugee acceptions.
Climate change inundates our news feed with new headlines every day: raging forest fires, record droughts, catastrophic hurricanes and worse. While the media has begun to put significant efforts into funneling awareness toward the issue of climate change, we aren’t in need of more awareness.
“If Black lives matter to Rice then we would not have to ask that question to begin with.” As members of professor Anthony Pinn’s Religion and Black Lives Matter course, we were challenged with the task of applying what we learned in a unique way that engages the Rice community. One of our responses to this challenge was to survey Black voices on campus: “What can Rice University do to show you that they believe your life matters?”
Environmentalism is not a trend. It is not a movement that we can opt out of. If we understand the real meaning of sustainability — the active effort to sustain life on Earth — we must embrace sustainability as an inherent value and practice in our professional careers.
Every year, 33 students sacrifice 10 months to plan Orientation Week, a pivotal institution of Rice. Assuming an O-Week coordinator puts in 20 hours of work a week and qualifies for the maximum stipend allowed ($2,500), they would be making a meager $3.13 an hour to help pull off one of the university’s most advertised, unique programs.
The military of a South American nation forces a left-leaning president to resign and political violence shakes a nation. Prominent American lawmakers release unfounded statements to discredit the outgoing government and hail the undemocratic transition of power as “allowing the voices of the people to be heard”.
The Thresher's Nov. 6 report and staff editorial highlight inadequate maternity leave policies at Rice. We, the undersigned*, agree that institutions like Rice should strive toward "equal maternity leave for all,” including the extraordinary and valuable members of our community whose classification happens to be “staff” or “non-tenure-track faculty.”
This past Tuesday, Nov. 5, voters across Harris County went to the polls to cast ballots in local elections. Here at Rice, 851 individuals voted at the Rice Memorial Center. Many important municipal positions were on the ballot, including the Houston mayoral and city council races, along with Texas constitutional propositions. However, a number of Rice students who tried to vote at the RMC did not have an equal opportunity due to gross violations of one of our most essential rights.
Last week, the Thresher published a piece highlighting the differences in Rice’s maternity leave policy for faculty and staff. What it left out was that not all faculty are treated equally under the current policy: Tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty receive different caregiver leave benefits.