Since I came to Rice University, many students have blamed everything from the waitlist system to the alcohol probation on the increased size of the student body. Increased enrollment is the favored scapegoat of the Rice community because it is a large change to Rice that has occurred in a short period of time. We, as a whole, have not emphasized the positive changes that this increased size can bring to Rice in both the present and future. The Vision for the Second Century student body goal of 3,800 students offers the Rice community more career, international and alumni opportunities.
For a moment, reading Eddie Reyes's editorial "Will Rice Stays Strong During Beer Bike" reminded me of an episode from NBC's "The Office" entitled "Conflict Resolution." In the show, office prankster Jim Halpert reads through an HR file of complaints made against him by the perpetual butt of his jokes, co-worker and pseudo-nemesis Dwight Schrute. As the list of hilarious shenanigans trails on, the audience notices a tinge of discomfort in Jim's voice as he mutters to the camera, "You know, these actually don't sound that funny one after another." I very honestly caught myself asking myself: "Is it all too much?" Are we too excessive in our mock loathing of the good men and women of Will Rice College during Willy Week?
As students sat munching on 2,012 pies during Willy's birthday celebration, I wondered about what action we, as students, are taking to commemorate the upcoming momentous occasion of Rice's 100th anniversary. Do we just enjoy the free lunch handed to us? Cheer along with the celebration songs? Pump our fists and drink more beer? Perhaps we can do something more.
While the changes in the Lifetime Physical Activity Program are a move in the right direction by the Student Association, there are still problems with the program (see story, pg. 1). New students will have priority with half of the available spots reserved in a given LPAP. While the Thresher endorses the decision to give new students a chance at registering for an LPAP, the SA needs to reconsider giving away 50 percent of the seats to new students over rising seniors.
Let's get one thing straight: You can't kill Beer Bike. Even if the administration, Rice Program Council and the entire Beer Bike Committee put their heads together and actually tried, they'd be hard-pressed to destroy what has been described as Christmas, New Year's and (insert all things good here) all rolled into one. So looking back, it seems a little ludicrous that everyone following the Beer Bike planning process, myself included, acted as though they were canceling Beer Bike altogether every time even the smallest of changes was proposed. As we saw last weekend, Beer Bike was a roaring success, even if it was slightly diminished by the altered form.
Last Saturday morning, Martel College and Duncan College were visited by the Rice University Police Department as the result of noise complaints from neighboring residents (see story, ricethresher.org). Although no students' identification was actually examined, the situation frightened students enough to send them running toward their rooms and other colleges. There was massive confusion between the students, coordinators, chief justices and RUPD: If officers and the chief justices communicate better, there will be no need for officers to interfere with college activities unless it is absolutely necessary.
On Thursday, April 12, 2012, be prepared to see more than a few unfamiliar faces wandering around campus. If you find yourself shocked by the number of excitable, eager and occasionally confused high school students roaming the quads, colleges and academic buildings of Rice, have no fear: It's simply time once again for Owl Days!
Will Rice Will Sweep! As Beer Bike approached at Will Rice College, the cheer had its usual rise in popularity. Surprisingly, it had a new popularity at other colleges too. For two weeks these colleges shared in our elevated levels of obsession for Will Rice. The sentiments were different. The obsessions, however, were the same.
Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush, recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled "'The Road We've Traveled' with Obama." The piece centered on a film President Barack Obama's re-election campaign recently released entitled "The Road We've Traveled." Rove aimed to discredit the president's accomplishments, which are detailed in the film, yet, rather than offer constructive criticism, Rove resorted to hyperbole, sensationalist statements and even flat-out lies.
I recently attended a forum hosted by Sir Ken Robinson, of TED Talk fame, in association with the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program. He spoke out against the systemic failure of K-12 education, particularly its failure to harness technology and create a personalized, organic learning environment that fosters creativity and interest in learning. I started asking my friends how their own teachers leveraged technology in high school. Most agreed that the synergy of a terrific teacher and innovative technology occurred only when the teacher truly understood the furthest limits of the technology, and when the technology was designed with simplicity and power in mind.
The Thresher believes that it is unfortunate that the Marching Owl Band and non-major music classes are being left out in the cold and forced to gather in a room that is less than suitable for their needs (see story, pg. 6). The university needs to provide a space, such as the old swimming pool room in Autry Court, for these groups that have been a part of the campus culture for years.