Housing and Dining has recently made the decision to extend its hours of operation for the South Cafe. This means that the cafe will open for 30 minutes (from 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) after South Servery closes. The new changes are excellent for those who eat late, especially athletes, who have always had problems with getting to the servery before it closes at 7:30 p.m.
This year, Rice has seen some fantastic public parties thrown by incredible socials at different colleges. Sid Richardson College took students back in time for a retro '80s party, while Duncan turned up the volume with its neon white-out. Numerous students flock to public parties to either steal the pizza at 10 p.m. or dance the night away with their partner of choice. Either way, public parties are an essential part of Rice student life, and it's all a result of the efforts of the college socials.
The implementation of the new writing center in the fall of 2012 should help improve more than just writing on campus. First of all, it will hopefully help eliminate the age-old stigma on campus that taking a COMM class means you cannot write. With the requirement that everyone on campus has to take a writing seminar in his or her freshman year, we believe that the university will have leveled the playing field.
There is an old New Mexican folk story about three chupacabras who encounter three goats. The first chupacabra bites off a goat's head, rips its legs off and sucks out its blood. The second chupacabra rips off another goat's head and then sucks out its blood. The third chupacabra tells the final goat, "You should say thank you; I am only going to suck out your blood."
Congratulations to baseball coach Wayne Graham for getting inducted into the Collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame. He has been at Rice for the past 20 years, has amassed 900 wins in his career and got the Owls their only national championship in 2003. He has affected the lives of numerous athletes and has been a pleasure to have as part of the Rice community. Congrats to him as he keeps on trekking, trying to lead the Owls to their 18th straight postseason berth and their second ever national championship.
The New Orleans Saints have been busted for bountying: a system that gives monetary incentives for big hits and seriously injuring opposing players during games. Gregg Williams, the defensive coordinator for the Saints, has been accused of orchestrating the affair, dubbed "Bountygate," while Head Coach Sean Payton was aware but did nothing to stop it. The Bountygate scandal was when Williams pooled money together to pay roughly $500-$1,000 for big hits and extra money if the opposing player was injured and/or taken off the field in a stretcher. Most people are disgusted by this bounty system, yet I believe it should be completely encouraged and even implemented throughout the league as soon as possible.
At Rice, many of us are career-driven. We strive to become society's next engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and musicians. Having this ambition is the reason we want to excel in our classes, sacrifice the occasional party to study for the GRE or MCAT, and apply for summer internships. Imagine, though, if all your dreams and aspirations were shattered because you were diagnosed with a fatal illness. Could you maintain the positive attitude to persevere after realizing that rounds of chemotherapy might not even kill half of the cancer cells in your body? Could you bear living out your remaining days in pain knowing that there is only a slight chance a perfect donor will be found? Many of us avoid such thoughts and think that, while unfortunate, such a tragedy will not happen to us. We continue on with our daily lives, worrying about our next exam or that problem set due tomorrow. I urge all members of the Rice community to briefly consider how fortunate we are that we can even consider having a future career and the opportunity to impact the lives of others. Putting that consideration into action, we can all easily sacrifice a few minutes to help out those who are struggling just to survive the next few months, and a quick swab of the mouth is all it takes.
We would like to congratulate Sasha Cooke on winning a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for her performance as a cast member in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Dr. Atomic.
If you had the choice, would you want to wake up an hour earlier? I'm guessing that for most of us, the answer to that question is "no" and wouldn't be any different on Beer Bike. Regardless, Beer Bike coordinators are proposing a 9 a.m. start time to the water balloon fight in an effort to allow sufficient time for the two stops of the water balloon fight before the start of the alumni race. As an added incentive for increased race attendance, they are suggesting the colleges bring kegs to the track to increase participation and involvement. While increased focus on the "bike" aspect of our legendary event is a positive ambition, moving the schedule up is not the solution. This proposal fundamentally changes Beer Bike for participants and detracts from the greatness of this grand tradition.
The 2012 Student Association General Election had its lowest turnout since 2002. The bleak 28 percent student participation portrays the undergraduate student body in the unflattering light of apathy, but the problem of low voter turnout lies with the SA as well.
The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy provides excellent opportunities to Rice students, including paid internships during the school year and the chance to discuss policy with prominent guest speakers. In the summer, the institute funds internships for a select group of students in Washington, D.C., or Paris, France. This semester, one of the institute's newest initiatives, the student-led Public Diplomacy & Global Policymaking in the 21st Century Program, is offering an even more incredible experience for 12 undergraduates: a weeklong trip to Qatar, where students will attend a conference with their counterparts in Education City.
Lovett College was filled with the smell of gasoline last week, forcing students to evacuate out of both fear and, in some cases, watering eyes (see story, pg. 1). The open grate in front of the college that connects directly to the buildings' ventilation system shed light on what is clearly a safety hazard.
The Thresher commends the implementation of a standardized process for establishing food representatives in each college. Currently, the colleges have varying numbers of food reps who often have different jobs. Now, each college will have one food rep who is an elected cabinet member (see story, pg. 1).