Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, February 29, 2024 — Houston, TX

Opinion


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. 




OPINION 8/29/23 11:40pm

Recent dining changes do more harm than good

With the beginning of a new academic year, the dining options available to students and staff on campus have gotten a small makeover. The Whoo Deli has relocated to the Ley Student Center, while the servery lines have now been separated to make them easier for students to distinguish (Rincon Caliente, Owl Masala, Mediterranean, etc.). 




OPINION 4/26/23 2:07pm

Beware of dissenters, reinvestigate the real Israel

Israel is a special place and arguably the most misunderstood in the world. We will be celebrating Israel’s 75th birthday at Rice, commemorating the occasion with a conference hosted by the Baker Institute on April 27, 2023. It is important to understand that the Jewish connection to the land of Israel goes back thousands of years. Jews were always in this land before Israel was created. As I prepare to graduate, having founded a Students Supporting Israel chapter at Rice, I want students to be informed about Israel and Palestine. There are many people who spew misinformation and will not want to listen to facts because of the false narrative they love to believe.


OPINION 4/18/23 10:09pm

Thank you for letting me tell your stories

If there is anything I will miss about college, it is the Thresher.  No matter how many long nights or years of my life I have given to this paper, I have never grown tired of the Thresher. Maybe because of a superb staff that impresses me every day with their talent and dedication to good journalism or the unwavering support and friendship (and fist bumps) from my co-editor Ben Baker-Katz, but, I think most of all, it is the work I was able to do here. 


OPINION 4/18/23 10:09pm

Thresher holds the memories of a campus

For the last two years, whenever someone has tried to make plans with me on a Tuesday, I’ve responded with some version of “I can’t, I’ve got Thresher.” The natural next question, after I explain that putting together a weekly paper takes up the vast majority of every Tuesday, is “Why do you spend so much time on it?” And silly as it may seem, I’ve never really come up with a good answer to that question.


OPINION 4/18/23 10:08pm

Upholding free speech is a balancing act

When I came into this job, the Thresher was learning how to do journalism in a pandemic. We couldn’t anticipate how the paper would look like if and when we returned to “normal.” The once-jam-packed opinion spread had been reduced to a single page that wasn’t always filled. As engagement with and trust of the opinion section has ebbed and flowed in the three years since then, one thing has remained constant: to uplift diverse voices and start important discussions on campus, we have to wield the platform carefully.



OPINION 4/18/23 10:05pm

Rice must expand resources for student performance groups

When prospective students apply to Rice, they undoubtedly value the academic rigor and research opportunities the university provides. However, many students ultimately choose Rice based on the assurance of a vibrant community and campus culture, where they can also pursue hobbies and interests outside of their university curriculum. As someone with a lifelong passion for dance, Rice Dance Theatre has filled this niche for me, allowing me to continue my dance education and nurture my artistic creativity as a member, leader, and now as outgoing president. This is true not only for me: RDT receives emails and direct messages from prospective students saying their college decision rests on available options to continue performing and learning dance. Unfortunately, growing constraints in space and resources have led RDT and other student performance groups to grapple among themselves for what Rice has available. Rice must increase the accessibility of practice and performance space and funding opportunities for all student performance groups that draw enthusiastic student interest on campus.


OPINION 4/18/23 10:04pm

Rice needs to improve awareness of preventive gynecological care

Almost one year ago, the news that Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court shocked all of us. The ruling ended a 50-year precedent that federally guaranteed the right to abortion care, allowing the state of Texas to criminalize abortion. Fortunately, Rice administration and student leaders quickly responded to the Texas abortion ban by raising awareness about safe sex, increasing access to contraceptives and more. These efforts are undoubtedly critical to the wellbeing of our campus, but there is another key area of reproductive health for those with a uterus that has gone unaddressed. 


OPINION 4/18/23 9:57pm

‘Israel at 75’ presents a unique opportunity

The initiative to reject Rice University’s Israel at 75 conference is rooted in hatred and performative anger. The Israeli occupation of Palestine is an issue that has plagued many for decades — people have lost their homes, friends, families and lives. This issue is nuanced and convoluted beyond most Rice students’ comprehension, including our own. The Baker Institute is not attempting to diminish these issues or glorify Israel’s actions over the past 75 years. By hosting this conference, it is simply acknowledging that this conflict continues to be one of the defining dilemmas of our time, and one that deserves attention, especially at a center of education such as Rice University. 


OPINION 4/18/23 9:38pm

Baker Institute must cancel ‘Israel at 75’ conference

This year marks the 75th year since the horrific events of the Nakba began. Al-Nakba, an Arabic phrase meaning ‘The Catastrophe,’ refers to Israel’s ethnic cleansing and violent dispossession of the Palestinian people and the establishment of the Zionist settler-colony. Between 1947 and 1949, 15,000 Palestinians were killed and over 750,000 were forcefully displaced by Zionist military forces to create the state of Israel. These events, cumulatively with the current violence perpetrated by the Zionist entity, have been characterized as genocide by Palestinian organizers, journalists, and activists working towards the liberation of their people from colonial rule.   


OPINION 4/18/23 9:15pm

Rectify Beer Bike results, or do away with them

In Beer Bike 2021, when there were four heats of three teams each, the Jones College men’s bike team finished with the fastest time of all the residential colleges, a net time that was at least three seconds faster than the Hanszen College men’s team–which was affirmed by the original results produced by the Rice Program Council, the entity that organizes Beer Bike – earning Jones men the uncontested first place finish they deserved. 


OPINION 4/11/23 11:59pm

Future X-Fest planning needs student involvement

The first annual Moody X-Fest is in the books, and by most standards it should be considered a success. But if this is to be an annual event — and we hope that it will be — a few adjustments need to be made. First, the name ‘X-Fest’ has got to go. It’s bad. But more importantly, students should be meaningfully involved in the planning process to ensure that future festivals continue to attract student engagement. 


OPINION 4/11/23 11:58pm

Event security needs to be bolstered

As a large and diverse community, Rice University offers numerous opportunities for students to socialize and have fun outside the classroom. Some of the more notable events are the student-run public parties. However, in recent years, there has been a trend and movement to push for increased safety at such social events. While I acknowledge that maintaining tradition is important, it is time for Rice University to take more proactive approaches to ensure the safety of its students at social events such as publics.


OPINION 4/4/23 9:28pm

Beer Bike heats in the heat need more planning

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and Rice students claiming the most recent Beer Bike could have been better. We understand that, with this year being the first race with heats, we were essentially guinea pigs for future Beer Bikes, and we’re okay with that. But there were still some astoundingly obvious and preventable problems that need to be addressed prior to next year’s race.