After more than a year-long attempt to switch from Rice Webmail to Gmail, Information Technology and Google have finally signed a contract, meaning Rice students will begin using Gmail next semester (See story, pg. 1). University administrators decided to switch to Gmail because of student interest and the perceived usefulness of the Google applications associated with Gmail, such as Google Documents.
The Lifetime Physical Participation Activity Program has proved itself to be about as inefficient as its burdensome name. Fortunately, some much-needed change is forthcoming to the program (See story, pg. 1). Four proposals have been offered to the student body to vote upon, and these ideas range from abolishing the program to maintaining the status quo.
Until recently, the system for housing on campus had no uniform policy regarding co-ed living on campus (See story, pg. 6). Students had to appeal to their masters and parents for approval. Fortunately, the Committee of Masters and Presidents has approved a campus wide initiative to institute a uniform policy of gender-neutral housing. This policy will put the power of choice with the student population, letting them choose with whom they will be more comfortable with. While the Thresher supports this new policy, we urge students to exercise this right judicially, as with any roommate. College relationships are in no way set in stone, and choosing to room with someone you are dating could lead to disastrous results.
The SA election does not simply concern elected positions; there is also an important amendment that Rice students can vote on. One of these concerns the University Court requirements for office. As the rules currently stand, a U-Court judge can also sit on a college court. This inherently creates conflict of interests if U-Court heard a case from college court on its appellate jurisdiction, especially if the student
Who knew Rice's Internet student services needed to be improved? It turns out, most of us are painfully aware of this fact every day. Faced with the necessary tasks of checking email, registering for classes or checking on our homework, most Rice students access the Internet on an hourly basis. Computers and the Internet have become a fundamental part of our daily lives and our academic experience. From the Common Application to applying for graduation, our time at Rice consists of a significant online component. While our university has made significant strides in many domains over the past few years, through new buildings, initiatives and research discoveries, it feels as though we have seriously stagnated in terms of our Information Technology. While we may be attending Rice in the year 2012, core online elements of our educational experience remain behind the times.
Last week's article entitled, "New syllabus policy sets out standards" stated that Administrative Systems was having technical difficulties with putting syllabi archives on Esther. However, according to Administrative Systems Technical Manager Robert Truscott, there are no technical difficulties with the project, but instead the beta version is developed and awaiting institutional approval to go into production. The Thresher regrets this error.
This year's Student Association presidential debate featured a great performance by all the candidates, proving the stereotype that Rice students are engineers lacking any charisma at least partially false. However, after viewing the competitive verbal sparring, in the eyes of the Thresher editorial staff, Sanjula Jain is the clear choice for our next SA president.
Whether freshman or senior, Martelian or Lovetteer, we all complain about on-campus living conditions at one point or another. We've all experienced problems with water pressure and temperature, poltergeist AC units or light fixtures that have minds of their own. In perspective, however, these malfunctions pale in comparison to our own malfunction: We aren't using these spaces properly. Our personal living habits not only drive up the cost of living for everyone at Rice, but they also eat up resources and speed up wear and tear on our facilities.
Addressing Grant Park on the night of his election, then President-elect Barack Obama vowed to rise above the politicking and partisan bickering that plagued Washington and "resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long."
Hanszen College could be seeing new construction begin on its building in the near term (See story in NEWS). One would expect Hanszen's "New Section" to be the nicest in the college, but this name is in fact a misnomer, as the building has stood since 1955 without major renovations or changes, making it the oldest part of Hanszen and one of the most decrepit structures on campus.
The new O'Yeah Cafe is diversifying food choices in the RMC (See story in NEWS). Little Willy's and the O'Yeah Cafe might have funny names, but these two restaurants tell an informative tale about how to operate a successful business on campus. Little Willy's served the same food Willy's Pub does, satisfying a nonexistent demand and subsequently floundering. Simply because a business is student-run does not make it a good one, and Little Willy's proved that Pub must make the hard, smart decisions that every business faces. It might sound harsh, but the Thresher is glad that Pub has finally cut its losses and now focuses on the primary business downstairs from their failed venture.
In his recent article on student complaints about the servery, Christoph Meyer ("On-campus food offerings under-appreciated by student body") highlighted the keenly-felt difference between eating out and eating at the servery: When we go out to eat, we have a great amount of control over the meal: what we order off the menu, how it is prepared, even a choice of restaurants based on what mood we're in.
A new rule has made syllabus distribution a requirement for professors on the first day of classes (See story in NEWS). Syllabi are the roadmap that professors and students follow in their journey of higher learning. Most professors do their due diligence and post their syllabi on Owlspace before their classes, but some do not. Rice University and the Student Association widely standardized this practice by mandating it across all departments. Rice plans on archiving these syllabi online.