This past Friday, Rice commemorated Veteran's Day and recognized the university's veteran community. The event was made doubly special as this year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Rice Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program. The program and university have together produced many officers who have had distinguished careers in the armed services.
In the Homecoming photo spread in last week's issue, caption number one should have referred to the Rice Program Council. Caption number six should have acknowledged Peter Boie. Caption number seven should have included the RPC's collaboration with SpoCo for the Upright Citizens Brigade. The Thresher regrets these errors.
As my high school teachers know, I have a soft spot for being disruptive. I firmly believe that causing the occasional ruckus serves a purpose of not only creative expression but the simple joy of expression. However, I found the behavior of protesters who last week disrupted Eric Cantor, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, in the midst of his speech utterly reprehensible.
On Oct. 31, 2008 I ran Baker 13 for the first time. That night I trotted around in all my glory, proud to be participating in such a storied tradition. After all, Baker 13 on Halloween is one of the few chances in your life where you can run naked with over 250 of your closest friends. Otherwise, you have to wait until your 60s when you join that nudist colony outside of Boca Raton that your awkward uncle always fantasizes about. In any event, I was proud to participate in the former instead of anticipating the latter.
Among many of its recent upgrades, the Office of the Registrar has added a waitlist feature to ESTHER's course registration (see story, pg. 1). While the waitlist restored some order to the special-registration frenzy that inevitably follows normal ESTHER registration, it was not without problems. Most notably, seniors needing a class to graduate were initially unable to special-register for a class with priority because pofessors were prohibited from signing any forms whatsoever.
Eric Cantor's appearance at Rice last Thursday marked the second on-campus talk given by a prominent politician in as many weeks (see story, pg. 1). However, the storyline quickly shifted from the Majority Whip to the "99% protestors" who mic-checked him within the first few seconds of his speech.
Watching the events at Pennsylvania State University unfold over the last two weeks, I find myself surprised by how strong my reaction has been. I've always liked Penn State. My grandparents met there and I have friends who grew up Nittany Lion fans, but I've never been super attached to the school or the football program.
The Rice Thresher would like to bid the Rice Men's and Women's Basketball team the best of luck as it begins its season this Friday and Saturday (see stories, pgs. 20-21). The Men's team opens at home against the University of New Orleans, and the Thresher encourgaes students to attend the game.
Rice University had the opportunity to host Condoleezza Rice for the second time in four years this past Tuesday (see story, pg. 1). The former Secretary of State detailed her rise to prominence while peppering the audience with amusing anecdotes about her experiences in the White House and abroad. Rice not only kept the crowd entertained but offered pointed analyses about the state of the country in today's world. Most impressively, Rice geared her talk towards undergraduate students by posing advice about following passions and pursuing a career in public service. References to the book she was selling were at an absolute minimum.
Call me old fashioned, but of all 27 amendments to our Constitution, I still reserve the most love for the first. I love my guns, ability to vote at 18 years of age and right to a fair trial, but I don't believe that anything encapsulates the spirit of our founders more than the freedom of speech. Every day at Rice we see the rights of public discourse in action from an offhand remark of a professor or when reading editorials such as these. At a private university this need not be the case. Many institutions censor their students and I think we as Rice students should take pride that this doesn't happen within the hedges.
A competition held for Rice architecture students to design a community garden has fallen through. Although, the original plan was to have the winning architecture proposal become reality for a garden near Rice Village, H&D has since backtracked and decided that the winning proposal will contribute to the ultimate design to be implemented at some point in the future. Since the university has a distinct reason not to use valuable land in Rice Village for a community garden, it should have thought twice about committing to the terms of this competition in the first place.
In the America, no veteran ought to be homeless. Yet, each night 100,000 are. In America, no veteran ought to commit suicide, yet, every 80 minutes one does. In America, no veteran ought to be in poverty, yet 1.1 million are.