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Opinion




OPINION 10/5/11 7:00pm

RUPD new officer training will improve student-officer relations

The Rice University Police Department took great strides to improve its relationship with the student body by instituting a new college-centric training program for newly-hired RUPD officers (see story, pg. 7). RUPD has hired quite a number of new officers over the past year, and Rice's culture makes it necessary for the new officers to be specifically trained to understand how the college system operates.


OPINION 10/5/11 7:00pm

Reducing Beer Bike racers would improve race safety

What could possibly be changed about the day most Rice University students and alumni agree is the best day of the year? With pre-sunrise musical wake-ups, delicious food, drink aplenty, and supposedly the world's largest water balloon fight, Beer Bike is as close to perfect as any college event could be. Or is it?


OPINION 9/28/11 7:00pm

National honor reflects Rice professors' commitment to education

Rice's own Richard Tapia was honored with the U.S. National Medal of Science this past week (see story, pg. 1). Tapia's work in the field of mathematics, paired with his contributions outside the class room, make him extremely deserving of the award. Tapia has been a member of the Rice community for over 40 years, and his long-term association with the university is a testament to Rice's ability to draw and retain the best faculty in the country.


OPINION 9/28/11 7:00pm

Centenni-Ale a huge hit

St. Arnold's Centenni-Ale was released at Valhalla this past Friday and the volume of sales was extremely impressive. The Thresher would like to extend a sincere thanks to Brock Wagner, Rice aulmnus and St. Arnold's founder, for celebrating his alma mater's centenial anniversary in such a distinct way. It is these sorts of small but unique happenings around Rice that make us who we are.


OPINION 9/28/11 7:00pm

Professors' research should not be prioritized over teaching

Universities should focus first and foremost on educating their students. Ensuring that students receive the highest quality education possible should be the fundamental goal of the administration. Unfortunately, as things stand right now, this is not the case. Promotions are given out based on a faculty member's research and the number of times he has been published and referenced in journals without much consideration as to how effective an instructor he or she is.


OPINION 9/28/11 7:00pm

Politicians ought to think about the next generation, not the next election

At a recent Baker Institute event, Israeli Major General Danny Rotschild said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot pursue peace with Palestine because he is "limited by political reasons." I was stunned by this statement; yes, a peace deal with Palestine will cost him his coalition, but losing an election is not a reason to shun peace with Palestine. Sadly Netanyahu is acting as a typical politician, "thinking of the next election," not a statesman, who "thinks of the next generation."



OPINION 9/28/11 7:00pm

Greater leadership and initiative needed at Rice University

Apathy is quite the buzzword at Rice; for every comment about rigorous majors and extreme coursework, a reference is made to Rice students' failure to get involved and effect change. Whether discussing voting, college cabinets, environmental consciousness or entrepreneurship, it seems that too many students simply decide to stay out of the fray and not participate. Of course, there are widespread exemptions to all of the claims, but on the whole, Rice students could certainly benefit from less apathy. It is precisely this lack of initiative and leadership that the leadership committee has been established to address (see story, pg. 1).


OPINION 9/28/11 7:00pm

Facebook wields immense power today

I remember it clearly and vividly, as if it were but a week ago. I was lackadaisically reading class work when naturally I decided to visit Facebook. As soon as my homepage opened I knew something was wrong. The layout I had come to know and appreciate for months had changed yet again. On the left side, I had lists where I could now organize my friend into separate fields and rank like a high school lunchroom in a teen comedy. Above my chat sidebar, itself a new additon this summer, I had a constant newsfeed so I could see what all my internet acquaintances were doing at this very moment. My entire social network would never be the same.




OPINION 9/21/11 7:00pm

BISF Debates: Palestinian statehood sought from United Nations

Palestine's bid to become the 194th member state of the United Nations puts the United States in a dicey situation. The Israeli cause is popular among both American Evangelical Christians and Jews alike, and is often championed in editorials by major media outlets like the Wall Street Journal. As the U.S. is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, its expected veto would be enough to single-handedly stymie the resolution.


OPINION 9/21/11 7:00pm

New voting laws may lessen voting participation at Rice

Last year, more students at Rice came out to vote in the gubernatorial election – a quadrupled increase – than in the last mid-term election. Achieving similar success may now virtually be impossible. Voters everywhere in Texas have been struck by a blunt force with the Texas Legislature's passage of S.B. 14, a new law requiring voters to have photo identification and a listed address that matches their voter registration to be eligible to vote.




OPINION 9/21/11 7:00pm

Erratum

In the Sep. 16 issue of the Thresher ("Limelight: The Rice Players' season"), the directors of the listed productions were incorrectly attributed. Joseph Lockett is directing Dead Man's Cellphone, opening this week, and T.J. Burleson is directing The Baltimore Waltz, opening next spring. The Thresher regrets this error.