As we look to the next century, we at the Thresher believe that Rice should continue to grow and achieve in all aspects of the university. In particular, we encourage the Rice community to strive toward the following goals in the next hundred years:
During the past 99 years, Rice University has grown significantly while staying true to its core message of establishing an institution for the advancement of literature, science, art, philosophy and letters.
The WIkiRice page has been live for several months now and is slowly expanding (see story, pg. 5). The concept is a brilliant one; essentially, anyone can update the Rice-related pages. As the website expands, there will be pages to represent Rice's most famous (and infamous) moments. Ultimately, WikiRice may serve as the archive for campus happenings. Unfortunately, this ultimate vision is hampered by the constant possibility of illegitimite posts. Without proper monitoring, the site could quickly degenerate into a medley of inside jokes and college rivalry.
As someone who aspires to promote peaceful interactions between the U.S. and the Middle East, I would be outraged over the killing of Yemeni-American radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on Sept. 30, 2011 via drone strike. However, I feel quite the opposite; I am proud of our intelligence community for taking decisive action to neutralize a significant international threat.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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."
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).
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.