Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 — Houston, TX


OPINION 11/10/23 6:07pm

Letter to the Editor: Free speech at Rice should support open dialogue, not dangerous rhetoric

In the article “‘All out for Palestine’ protest sees 2,000 at Houston City Hall” from Oct. 17, Associate Vice Provost Catherine Clack discusses the Rice Students for Justice in Palestine sign-making event at the Multicultural Center in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel. She states “... how is this something that we should oppose when it's an exercise of free speech?”  I respect the complexity of issues related to the Middle East and recognize the importance of representing a spectrum of views. But while free speech is a cornerstone of academic discourse, it is imperative that we distinguish between fostering open dialogue and supporting dangerous rhetoric.

OPINION 11/7/23 10:54pm

NOD reveals a public health crisis. Admin should treat it like one.

Last fall, I was one of the “dumb and irresponsible people” to wake up in a hospital bed after drinking an entire bottle of rum.  In the midst of a panic attack, I recalled memories of my ex-boyfriend sexually assaulting me, resenting my inability to ever get closure. For some reason, I convinced myself that chugging hard liquor would calm me down. I didn’t care about the consequences. Frankly, I was suicidal and too distressed for them to matter. I started to realize, half-conscious, the terrible mistake I’d made as soon as I saw my body on a stretcher. I begged emergency medical technicians not to take me to the hospital, all the while delusionally screaming at my ex-boyfriend thousands of miles away. 

OPINION 11/7/23 10:53pm

Moderation and safety crucial to on-campus drinking

After seven students were transported to the hospital at Night of Decadence Oct. 28 and the public was shut down nearly two hours early, Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman announced that all publics through spring break would be canceled and Pub Night would be only open to 21+ students until further notice. Many students have responded with upset and even anger at this decision, sharing thoughts on Fizz and creating petitions about the matter. While it is fair to be sad about the loss of some important college traditions, we need to consider how severe the alcohol situation on campus has gotten to necessitate this decision.

OPINION 11/1/23 1:34pm

A case for publics blacklisting

There’s been a worrying trend in Rice publics. The talk of the town is the recent issues at Night of Decadence, where a recent email from Wiess College explained that caretaking resources were so stretched thin that the public was shut down entirely. This isn’t the first time this has happened — recent Pub nights have also gotten so bad that Halloweekend Pub was restricted to 21+. Medical resources at these events have faced high numbers of calls multiple times now, and as much as I want to say that NOD was a one-off instance that won’t happen again, I would not be surprised if NOD isn’t the only canceled public this year. What about Martel Beer Bike or Murt Y2K or Inferno?

OPINION 11/1/23 12:41am

NOD shut down highlights a need for change

In the early hours of Oct. 29, the 50th Night of Decadence public at Wiess College was abruptly cut short. In an email to all students, the Wiess team in charge of organizing the public justified the shut down due to the complete overwhelming of Rice and Houston emergency services, which was promptly accelerated after an altercation between RUPD and several students. 

OPINION 11/1/23 12:38am

Speak out against antisemitism

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m.: Dozens of Rice students and community members gather in the Graduate Student Bubble for an anti-war teach-in because the Basker Institute has plans to celebrate former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and James Baker at an upcoming gala. The flyer for the event calls the former secretaries “architects of war and imperialism”; intrigued, I, too, make my way there.

OPINION 11/1/23 12:37am

Letter to the Editor: No feminism without sex positivity

Last week’s Thresher included a guest opinion objecting to the 2023 Night of Decadence theme, “NODie Dreamhouse: Cum On Barbie, Let’s Get NODy.” I applaud the article’s authors for their commitment to challenging latent and linguistically-embedded sexism in their campus community — everything around us, even something as silly and salacious as a NOD theme, can and should be examined for carried biases and perpetuated marginalizations. But “Cum on Barbie” is not one of those cases.

OPINION 10/25/23 10:21am

Houston’s future depends on this mayoral election

Early voting has started in the elections of Houston’s next mayor and city council. Through Nov. 3, you can head to the Texas Medical Center to cast your ballot — and starting Saturday, Rice will provide bus service from campus. If you can’t make it by then, Sewall Hall will be a voting precinct for Election Day on Nov. 7. Houston’s next set of elected officials will inherit the complex issues the city faces today, ranging from public safety to unemployment, potholes, transit and homelessness.

OPINION 10/25/23 10:20am

The better way to distribute publics tickets

As I sit at my desk, refreshing the Google Form for tickets to Night of Decadence, the annual Wiess College public party, I think to myself that there has got to be a better way to do this. 

OPINION 10/24/23 11:17pm

We are NOD your sex doll

As we approach Night of Decadence, one of Rice’s most highly anticipated publics, we find ourselves facing a concerning theme for this year: “NODie Dreamhouse: Cum On Barbie, Let’s Get NODy.” This playful twist on “Barbie Dreamhouse: Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party,” inspired by the recent “Barbie” blockbuster, has led us to question the theme’s level of inclusion.

OPINION 10/17/23 11:43pm

Rice should lead the Southern academic community

President Reggie DesRoches recently told Bloomberg that Rice has been struggling to hire faculty due to perceptions of Texas and its politics. The report by Bloomberg found that many professors and instructors that could otherwise have been hired were turned away by the “conservative political environment,” among other factors. 

OPINION 10/3/23 11:55pm

Students’ silence on antisemitism scares me

There has been a lot of discourse regarding Rice Pride’s decision to cut ties with Houston Hillel. Yet, throughout this controversy, I’ve noticed an unsettling sense of reluctance to denounce this underlying fact: The precipitating resolution is itself antisemitic. 

OPINION 9/27/23 10:24am

Pride was too hasty in cutting ties with Houston Hillel

In an email last week, Rice Pride announced an end to its partnership with Houston Hillel, a Jewish campus organization that has hosted events with Pride since 2016. The statement pointed to the “Standards of Partnership” of Hillel International, the parent group of Houston Hillel, which Pride called exclusionary to Palestinian and Arab queer students.

OPINION 9/12/23 10:43pm

New scooter policy reflects need to update micromobility infrastructure

Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Chief Clemente Rodriguez of the Rice University Police Department unveiled Policy 854, the university’s new regulations on micro-transportation, in a Sept. 7 email. The policy, among other things, prohibits the operation of scooters and bicycles inside and at the entrances of university buildings, in addition to requiring operators of these vehicles to yield to pedestrians at all times.