Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, November 28, 2022 — Houston, TX

Opinion


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. 


OPINION 2/24/22 9:15pm

This primary season, get out and vote

During this primary election season, we are undoubtedly aware of the high profile candidates running for office. However, there are countless more local and statewide races that are going to appear on our ballots — all of them crucial elected positions that will form the ballot we will vote on in November. Each time we vote, we shape the policies, ideas and experiences that are brought to the table for our city, county and state. These candidates are the people who will directly determine what life looks like for Rice University and the Houstonians surrounding us — in terms of criminal justice, voter suppression and civil rights. Early voting in the primaries has already begun, and will last till Feb. 25 (this Friday), and the closest polling location is located in the first floor of the John P. McGovern building in the Med Center. March 1, this upcoming Tuesday, will be the general election day and polling will be held in the Grand Hall of the RMC — making voting as easy as stopping by the RMC with your driver’s license, personal state-issued ID or passport in hand.


OPINION 2/22/22 11:35pm

Gabrielle Franklin for Student Association president

This year, two candidates with distinctly different approaches and areas of expertise are vying for the Student Association presidency. We, the Thresher Editorial Board, endorse Gabrielle Franklin for Student Association President because of her stances on accountability and fostering an inclusive environment for underrepresented students as well as actionable plans to do so. 



OPINION 2/22/22 11:33pm

Retracting Seth Huston’s statement is a start to challenging transphobia on campus

On January 21, 2022, the swimming news organization SwimSwam published an article including remarks by the Rice University women’s swimming coach, Seth Huston. Huston stated that trans swimmer Lia Thomas and other trans athletes should “compete as what [they] were biologically born until we get to a point where we’ve expanded opportunities.” He defined expanding opportunities as potentially “creating a third division, a transgender division, or whatever.” He further stated he thought it was “wrong” of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America to “suggest Lia compete at NCAAs” in reference to their support of Lia Thomas competing at the Women’s NCAA Championships in March. We urge that Huston retract his statement, we urge Rice to take this opportunity to change internal processes that harm trans students, and we urge readers to bring the facts about trans women athletes to the conversation when others espouse similar sentiments.


OPINION 2/22/22 11:27pm

A tribute to Kelley Lash from Student Media alumni

Many people see student media and think the students are running the show – the reality is, none of it would have been possible without Kelley. Kelley remembered things that other people didn’t. She was never afraid to tell it exactly how it is, to both students and administrators alike. Kelley would deliver a blisteringly honest critique with a smile and some freshly baked cupcakes, because she cared so, so, so much. And she never stopped caring, even as students graduated and budgets got squeezed and years passed. It’s incredible to see the number of people she impacted. I will miss her dearly. 


OPINION 2/22/22 11:23pm

Transpeople’s humanity is not up to ‘respectful discussion’

While I wasn’t able to attend the Senate meeting on Feb. 7, I read the minutes of the meeting and am severely disappointed in the Student Association’s response to the comments of Rice Swim coach Seth Huston on the “controversy” surrounding transgender athletes. I’m attempting to share my perspective on the situation as a trans student and former athlete/coach. The University must actively denounce transphobia and other forms of bigotry in the future if it wishes to uphold a value of equity on its campus.


OPINION 2/15/22 11:21pm

The Rice track should be open to all Rice students

The other day I (Rutherford) broke Rice’s rules — at least that’s what the security guard in the golf cart told me. Growing up as an avid runner near another small, private university in Texas, I, like much of my community, ran frequently on the university track. Hoping to maintain my fitness in college, I jogged to the on-campus Rice track early one morning through the open gates, and after barely finishing two laps was stopped by security. “You can’t run here,” he said. “The track is for Rice athletes only, and the gate should’ve been locked.” Why it’s a problem for a Rice student to run a few minutes on the empty Rice track, I don’t know. But rules are rules, and I politely exited the track to make way for the non-existent athletic practice.


OPINION 2/15/22 11:19pm

Vote. It’s not that hard.

After last year’s Student Association election saw less than a fourth of the student body turnout to vote, we penned an editorial calling on students to engage further with the SA and its elections. As we approach another election — voting opens next Wednesday — we feel it necessary to reiterate our call. For anyone who has tried to raise student awareness of an issue, aired a grievance against the administration or tried to spur change on campus, now is the time to cast your ballot for who you want to represent the student body and fight for the issues that matter to you.


OPINION 2/15/22 11:18pm

We stand with The Battalion

Last week, the Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks gave The Battalion — A&M’s student newspaper — a 24-hour notice that they would have to stop printing despite being self-funded by advertisements, ahead of the paper being rolled into the university’s new journalism department. The administration made these calls without any consultation or even warning to the students or their faculty advisor, informing them that if they chose to remain a student organization, they would potentially lose their office and faculty advisor. 


OPINION 2/1/22 10:47pm

Theatre at Rice must commit to inclusivity

“You need to make your hair bigger” were the director’s words I overheard upon logging into one of my Zoom rehearsals for the department of visual and dramatic arts’ “New Voices” – a collection of scenes from a variety of shows, performed on Zoom in the middle of the pandemic. The sentence wasn’t spoken to me, but I felt discomfort upon hearing them during this dress rehearsal and at some later rehearsals. One of my peers was playing a Jewish character in a different scene; the student was not ethnically Jewish (and many Jewish people aren’t), but the character is explicitly written as Jewish going back for “generations and generations.” As a result, the director asked this student to alter her appearance to fit the Jewish part.