Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Saturday, June 03, 2023 — Houston, TX


OPINION 3/26/14 6:05am

A letter to the Rice community about Beer Bike

Every year, Beer Bike has served as an opportunity to celebrate the unique strengths of Rice University.  Willy Week events at each college emphasize their time-honored traditions and strengthen our bonds with the residential college system, and thousands of alumni from around the globe return to Rice to reconnect with their college and classmates. This plethora of activities and spirit-building builds with each college’s much anticipated Beer Bike morning festivities, but we believe the fun of Willy Week and Beer Bike should not end prematurely. The RPC Beer Bike Committee, with assistance from college Beer Bike coordinator teams, has worked hard this year to implement changes which ensure the experience at campus-wide events builds off the excitement at each college.  We hope that y’all will continue through the balloon-fight with the Parade to the track to cheer on your college’s bike teams, eat a variety of great food, and enjoy time with students from all colleges. 

OPINION 3/25/14 8:04pm

ASB site-leader training program unfair, ineffective

I need to say it: The worst large-scale decision I’ve made in the last year was becoming an Alternative Spring Break site leader. I’m writing this piece to express both how much I care about the ASB site-leader program’s potential and the extent to which the Community Involvement Center has disappointed me personally.

OPINION 3/25/14 8:03pm

Rondelet proves successful

The Thresher would like to congratulate the Rice Program Council for throwing a successful Rondelet. Tickets sold out quickly, and students who attended were pleased with the good music and conversation space.

OPINION 3/25/14 8:02pm

Opera House good development for Shepherd School

The Thresher is excited for the construction of an opera house on campus (see story, pg. 1), despite the fact that we think the student body, as a whole, would benefit more from other projects. However, we recognize that this money was donated specifically for the construction of an opera house. For that reason, we urge people to understand that another project that students would like to see prioritized, like a new student center, could not have replaced this project financially. Going forward, we hope that students across campus can see the benefits of this new project. We do not currently have an opera house, but we do have one of the top music schools in the country, and this can only add to the prestige associated with the program. While many of us often forget about Shepherd students and are unaware of their many accomplishments, it is important that we recognize their program and support their experience at Rice. We also hope people will consider the potential benefits of the opera house (not only for music students — free performances anyone?) before coming to snap decisions about whether or not they support the new project. Additionally, we think the choices for the design and construction firms are promising, and it is definitely nice to see that Charles Renfro (Will Rice ‘89) is a partner at the chosen architecture firm. The decision to use a construction company that has previously managed projects at Rice is also encouraging, as the firm has presumably worked well with the campus and administration before. As this project develops, we would also like to recommend that the administration heavily consider the potential parking problems that could arise with the construction of a new opera house. Adding new buildings on campus, especially those that could draw large performance crowds, could easily cause students to have more difficulty finding parking. For this reason, we support the already-being-considered underground parking near the new opera facility, in order to avoid increased patrons without increased parking options. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece’s author.

OPINION 3/18/14 4:54pm

Life's a Mitch: Useless to Useful

Unitaskers! One of the most repulsive ideas I have encountered. Those familiar with Alton Brown’s Good Eats know unitaskers all too well. Unitaskers are kitchen tools that perform only one function. Culinary abominations. Brown endeavored to exterminate the pests from his kitchen and succeeded (his coup de gras was using the fire extinguisher to make a fruit smoothie, albeit after his show’s conclusion). So I have one question: Why stop at the kitchen?

OPINION 3/18/14 4:53pm

Ravi Writes In

In this first edition of the SA leadership’s regular Thresher column, I would like to briefly share with you four major changes and announcements in our organization. The Thresher is an important component of campus conversation and opinion, and I encourage other students and organizations to utilize this resource alongside the SA. Complete details of these changes have been included in an email that was sent to all undergraduates via email earlier this week and is posted on the SA website at sa.rice.edu. Streamlined SA Meetings SA meetings will be held once every two weeks on Wednesdays from 8 to 9 p.m., starting Wednesday, March 26 in the Kyle Morrow Room in Fondren Library. The following two meetings will be April 9 and April 23. Executive Leadership AppointmentTrent Navran has agreed to serve as an appointed “Executive Vice President”; through this role, Trent will spearhead special initiatives, starting with entrepreneurship and social innovation. Call for Creative iPad ProposalsThe SA is soliciting creative proposals for returning the SA iPad (which was purchased two years ago) to the student body. Proposals will be accepted to sapres@rice.edu until Friday, March 28 at 11:59 p.m.; further details can be found on the SA website.  Alcohol Event Registration Task ForceFinally, the SA will be convening a special task force to investigate and recommend changes regarding the event registration process related to the Alcohol Policy. The group will meet over the remainder of this year and will recommend changes to be implemented over the summer; we welcome short statements of interest to join this group to sapres@rice.edu by Friday, March 21 at 11:59 p.m. These are only the first of many changes that we will be rolling out this term. We are excited to make the SA work for students and to preserve and enhance Rice’s unconventional culture – but we need your help in this mission. Tell your college presidents and senators what matters to you, and shoot me an email at sapres@rice.edu. Come out to our meetings. Get involved and make your voice heard. Let’s fix this. Ravi ShethSA President

OPINION 3/18/14 4:52pm

Economics Initiative holds great potential

The Rice Thresher would like to commend the administration’s decision to make changes in the Economics department. Our staff feels like the department as it currently stands is understaffed and does not offer enough courses, both at the introductory level and at more advanced levels.

OPINION 3/11/14 5:38pm

Administration should value Art Barn

The Thresher would have liked to see the Rice administration put more effort into the preservation of the Art Barn on our campus (see story, pg. 1). The building is considered by many to be a historically and artistically significant structure, and we would like Rice to recognize the potential value it could continue to bring to our campus. 

OPINION 2/26/14 9:47am

State of the Yoonjin

I did not get involved with the Student Association to play the role of a politician. I have no interest in becoming a politician outside of Rice. To be perfectly frank, I have very little interest in politics altogether.

OPINION 2/26/14 9:45am

If you want a president, don’t vote for me

Although I vehemently protest the easily belittling label of “joke candidate,” I openly accept its connotations. I pride myself in my ability to make fun of most things, including myself. However, I expect the student body to be intelligent enough to actually understand what I’m doing and saying.

OPINION 2/18/14 5:40pm

Study abroad offers life-changing experience

This past week marks two months of being back in the U.S. since I spent this past fall semester in Senegal. Coming back home to Rice has been far more difficult than I ever imagined, in terms of re-assimilating to the American and Rice culture. But I’ve also never been a happier person. That’s because studying abroad was, for me, a life-altering period of time in which I challenged myself more than I could have ever imagined, and I have come back with a completely new way of examining the world around me. Now that I’m back at Rice, I want to make it my mission to encourage others to go abroad and understand new cultures and new ways of thinking. Studying abroad should not be the exception, but the rule.Studying abroad, for me, was never a question of “if” but rather of “where.” I had taken some French in high school and at Rice, so it felt natural to improve my proficiency in a second language. I realized, however, that I did not want to go to France and have a regular Western-European semester abroad experience. As a sociology major and Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities minor, I’m constantly studying underprivileged communities and developing nations. Senegal fell naturally into place: It’s a former French colony, a developing country, predominantly Muslim, home to around twenty ethnic groups and characterized by a turbulent history of colonization, the Atlantic slave trade and finally independence. All of these aspects were things I had never lived through and experienced in my life. I was giving up everything and everyone I knew for a semester to live in a place that was completely foreign to me in every way possible.Studying abroad in Senegal was single-handedly the best decision I’ve made as an undergraduate student at Rice. I learned about the nuances of a new culture, what it means to be part of a warm, loud Senegalese family, explored the rich arts of another society and learned not just French, but some of the local languages as well. Being in Senegal was also extremely tough, and without my family and close friends around me, the challenges were that much more difficult to endure and overcome. As a white woman, I was constantly harassed: Though I got used to it and developed coping mechanisms, I was never completely comfortable. I dealt with intense heat and a new dress code, without any relief from air conditioning. I often couldn’t communicate my true feelings to others because of language limitations. I got food poisoning frequently and also faced a limited diet, with a lot of starch and meat. When I was most overwhelmed and anxious, I didn’t have a quiet space to myself at my host family’s home where I could have complete solitude. Many of these examples are little things we take for granted at Rice and in our home communities.I did not even realize how fortunate I was to have my experience until I was back home for just a few days and realized all of a sudden that I had a deep pit in my stomach: I burned to go back to Senegal, take another walk around my host family’s neighborhood, take another trip to the gorgeous beach, just a 15-minute walk from the house, and see all of those people – friends, family, neighbors and the regular passersby – who made my experience so meaningful. Not everyone at Rice has the opportunity to go abroad, particularly to a place like Senegal, where they can fully immerse themselves into a completely foreign living experience. But if someone does have the opportunity, I urge he or she to take it. I promise that person will regret it if he or she lets the opportunity slide by. Though I love Rice, a constant critique I have is the lack of adventure students have and their comfort and complacency with the Rice bubble. I love Rice as much as the next person, but my peers will not get to understand other cultures and places that make the world so beautiful and diverse unless they challenge themselves to go beyond the bubble. And when other students go abroad and come back, it’s important be an ear, listening to the challenges and triumphs they share. I promise they will have so many funny, unbelievable stories to tell, with so much to offer to the Rice community.Go abroad, and make it a defining life experience. I encourage students to push their peers to go abroad and expand their horizons as well: It will re-define the way they continue with their life.Heidi Kahle is a Will Rice College junior

OPINION 2/18/14 5:39pm

Baker lunch policy ignoring a larger problem

The Thresher staff hopes students will be respectful of Baker’s new lunch policy, which prevents non-Bakerites from entering the Baker College Kitchen at lunchtime until 12:15 p.m. (see story, p. 1). The heavy non-Bakerite traffic to Baker’s servery and commons intrudes upon the college’s social environment and culture. Compared to the commons of other colleges, Baker’s small commons exacerbates that problem, and the limited table space often prohibits multiple groups of Bakerites from eating together. Lunch is the most problematic mealtime, as many students might just want to grab a quick meal between classes. Allowing Bakerites ample time to occupy their own commons during lunch will nicely remedy this issue.However, selectively restricting the Baker servery to Bakerites does not address the fact that many students think Baker food is better than food in their own college’s serveries. Many students prefer the food of the Baker Kitchen over their own servery enough to commute to Baker, including those at north colleges. Serveries should adopt Baker Kitchen’s serving model in terms of ingredient quality and food preparation to diffuse the Baker bottleneck. The administration should determine why students so frequently prefer Baker Kitchen’s food and use that information to adjust other serveries to student preferences. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece’s author.

OPINION 2/18/14 5:38pm

Students should invest more in the SA

The Thresher staff is disappointed in both the voter turnout and the lack of seriousness displayed by some voters during the SA elections. Though other commitments to clubs, sports and residential colleges might prevent many students from being involved in the SA, students should at least be informed of the SA’s actions, especially during the SA elections. Students should be aware of changes on campus that likely affect their life at Rice. We were worried by the number of students who put joke write-ins for their first choice in some positions like SA president. Elections for student government should be taken seriously, and the amount of humorous or offensive write-ins is reflective of the general student opinion of the SA. We hope this attitude will change, as the student government is an important and influential organization. In the future, we hope students will put as much effort into researching SA candidates as they did formulating witty write-ins for the ballot this year. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece’s author. 

OPINION 1/20/14 6:00pm

Life's a Mitch

Look into my column and relax. Take a deep breath. Do not look away. Do not speak. Keep your mind on my words. Think of nothing else.