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Monday, July 04, 2022 — Houston, TX

Opinion


OPINION 5/12/22 4:05pm

The Wellbeing Center should be transparent about its true confidentiality policies

Before you attend a counseling session at the Rice counseling center, you will be told that “the RCC maintains strict standards regarding privacy.” You will find statements from the university that your mental health record will not be shared with anyone outside of extreme situations of imminent harm, and only then that your information will be shared with only the necessary officials. This sounds great, except that these assurances bear no teeth whatsoever — no enforcement agency ensures that Rice follows its public confidentiality promises, and there are no penalties for Rice if they break them. The Wellbeing and Counseling Centers should more directly communicate the limits of their confidentiality policies when compared to unaffiliated counseling centers, and students in sensitive situations should take the necessary precautions to protect their information.


OPINION 4/19/22 11:11pm

We’re in student media to learn

This week marks the last issue of the Thresher for the year, and for the seniors like myself, our last issue ever. I have been a part of the Thresher since freshman year. And it would not be an exaggeration to say it has defined my Rice experience. As someone pursuing a career in journalism after graduation, there has been no better place to learn than at this paper.


OPINION 4/19/22 11:02pm

Philanthropy doesn’t excuse slavery

In January, the Rice Board of Trustees announced plans to move the Founder’s memorial to another area of the academic quad as part of a whole redesign, adding additional context of his “entanglement” with slavery. This comes despite continual calls from the student body to not have the enslaver displayed in the quad regardless of the context provided. It would be just for these calls to action and the majority of the Task Force Committee who voted to not keep it there that the Board of Trustees decide to not keep the memorial prominently displayed in the quad at all.


OPINION 4/19/22 11:01pm

Don’t let college culture die

Last year, the Board of Trustees announced that Rice would be increasing the undergraduate class size 20 percent — nearly 800 more students — by 2025. The quick rollout of this decision has left current students with a fracturing academic and social experience. Going forward, the administration needs to better plan for maintaining the small school benefits and residential college culture.


OPINION 4/12/22 11:04pm

Rice must reconsider its partnership with Aramco

On March 21 in a recent press release, Rice University enthusiastically announced it had approved a five-year, $10 million bid for Saudi Arabian Oil Company’s (Aramco) involvement in Carbon Hub, a university-led research initiative committed to accelerating the energy transition toward sustainable hydrocarbons. In this same announcement, Rice’s Matteo Pasquali, a chemical engineer who directs Carbon Hub, construed the development in a positive manner, expressing his unequivocal excitement to “welcome the Aramco group” as “great partners” for facilitating a more sustainable future. 


OPINION 4/12/22 11:03pm

COVID outbreak could have been mitigated with proactive testing

On Dec. 26 of last year, President David Leebron and future president Reginald DesRoches sent an email to the Rice community regarding plans for this spring semester. The email proclaimed that Rice had “entered a new and different phase of the pandemic.” Specifically, the email stated that the university would “begin to shift our policies to a posture that recognizes COVID-19 as endemic and facilitates our ability to deliver the best education and opportunity to our students, while still taking reasonable precautions.” 



OPINION 4/5/22 11:11pm

Beer Bike Coordinators – Thank you for Beer Bike

After three years and much anticipation, we finally had a normal Beer Bike. None of the past week’s events could have been possible without the hard work of every Beer Bike coordinator, bike captain, chug captain and every student, staff and alumni who played a role in making Beer Bike 2022 the spectacular event it was.


OPINION 3/29/22 10:53pm

War in Ukraine: Blame America’s oligarchs as well as Russian counterparts

While life at Rice seems to return to normal, we must all comprehend that Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed hell on Ukraine. Countries including the United States are sanctioning Russia's oligarchs, whose concentration of immense wealth suffices to fund Putin’s war. But those rich Russian terrorists have not acted alone. Decades of wrongdoing by America’s oligarchs, due to our failure to control their greed and power, have also enabled Putin’s present holocaust in Ukraine. 


OPINION 3/29/22 10:52pm

Unclear election rules hurt everyone

As it stands under the Student Association election rules, candidates are not allowed to send mass campaign emails, and included in this rule is anyone campaigning on behalf of the candidate. During this year’s SA presidential race, Rice PRIDE endorsed candidate Gabby Franklin, a choice they then shared with their members via an opt-in Listserv. This is now the subject of the recent complaint by former Will Rice College senator William Tsai who claims that the endorsement email was a violation of SA election rules. The case will be brought to University Court this upcoming Thursday, March 31.


OPINION 3/22/22 11:07pm

Letter to the Editor: On fairness and trans-inclusivity in athletics

On Feb. 2, 2022, the Thresher published an opinion advocating for Seth Huston to undergo allyship training in response to his comments on trans-women’s participation in women’s sports. While I whole-heartedly endorse several of the authors’ key claims — such as their opposition to House Bill 25 — their interpretation of evidence regarding the effects of hormone therapy on trans-athletes lacks appropriate context, serving as a reminder to critically evaluate evidence in politically fraught discourse.   



OPINION 3/22/22 11:01pm

Breaks aren’t breaks if there’s a test the next day

Here at the Thresher, we, like most students on campus, like to complain about academic accommodations. Still, we feel the need to bring it back up because some issues persist. Issues that, if we’re being honest, seem easily addressable, especially in this time of constantly-shifting campus norms. We’re talking about professors scheduling exams the week after, and sometimes in the days immediately following, spring break.



OPINION 3/8/22 11:35pm

Ensure student representation at Rice: Enforce the vote

I believe that at the heart of a thoughtful opinion piece lies an acknowledgment of its author’s blindness and that no opinion piece, especially those penned by cis white men, will ever wholistically convey a sociological issue’s full scope and importance. In that spirit, I would like to begin this writing with an admission: though I would like to spark discussion about compulsory voting within the hedges, I will not be able to address all of the nuances of a question as complicated as “How should we, as a community, vote?” in 1000 words.


OPINION 3/8/22 11:33pm

Publics are back — enjoy responsibly

After two years, public parties are finally coming back. Two out of four classes of undergraduates have never had the opportunity to attend a public, while juniors had their one year with public culture cut short. Many members of the Rice community are unfamiliar with public parties and all they entail, while others’ experiences are two years removed and they are eager to return to the parties of their underclassmen days. 




OPINION 3/1/22 10:55pm

Students shouldn’t be exempted from minimum wage policy

A successful organization is far more than just a sum of its parts. As a leading institution, Rice likes to prides itself on its diverse and integrated community. Keeping with Rice’s future-paving spirit, faculty, staff and students all ought to be compensated sensibly. Rice University’s recent minimum wage hike is a step in the right direction for some employees, but falls short in securing reasonable pay for student workers. 


OPINION 3/1/22 10:52pm

Thank you, Kelley. We love you.

Last Monday, we received word that our beloved advisor, Kelley Lash, had passed away. In what was a busy week filled with Student Association election coverage, grappling with indescribable grief then didn’t feel possible. We decided to carry on with our coverage and endorsements as planned — we believed Kelley would have been disappointed if we hadn’t — but we feel ready now to express just how much she meant, and still means, to all of us.