Last week, as Rice undergraduates finished their final exams, you could see the looks of hope on students' faces, expressing the combination of exhaustion and relief as students left the grim trenches of academia to the Elysian fields of summer. We have been going through this ritual every year since kindergarten, and our revelry in the almost sacrosanct phrase "school is out for summer" is no less joyous than it was so many years ago.
The Thresher welcomes President Barack Obama's statement in support of same-sex marriage equality (see story, page 8). Though the political side of the situation is hard to ignore, the advancement of equality for all groups, whether out of a belief that it is right and necessary or for political reasons, is a positive thing. That being said, the Thresher also holds that it is important to not confuse politicians with the ideas they claim to espouse.
When I was deciding on colleges during my senior year of high school, my brother, a Hanszen College junior, told me, "Rice knows how to do college." That is so true; there's a reason we're ranked the happiest college campus in the nation. In such a competitive and intense academic environment, it would be so easy for everyone to lock themselves in their rooms and study all day, every day, but Rice is great about making sure students have places to get involved or at least to get out for free food during study breaks.
There were five hours to go until the end of the College Battle giving campaign when I read the email. Upon reading it, I found that my beloved Brown College was in the embarrassing position of last place. I hadn't planned to give this year, despite having given the first few years after graduating, but last place? For a moment, it became a matter of pride. I clicked the link to donate. And then I was reminded why I hadn't planned to give this year and why I hadn't given last year.
At the end of every year, we like to take the time to congratulate and thank our colleagues who have graduated and will now have to find real jobs. Editor in Chief Josh Rutenberg was generally clean-shaven as an underclassman and news editor, but he grew an impressive senior beard. His wonderfully bad jokes never failed to inspire a few groans, but his civility and helpfulness, especially at odd hours of the morning, were exceptional. Design Czar Zach Castle also managed to stay charismatic on late nights, though female staffers of all ages soon learned that he is a shameless flirt.
Summarizing a Rice experience in one article can hardly do four years at our university justice. Where to begin? As a senior, it's a nostalgic and difficult exercise to capture just what this undergraduate experience has meant. Whether we are graduating, have already or will be in the near future, we share a common experience that most of us can undeniably agree has changed us and will mark our futures as we leave the hedges.
Rice University holds a special place in my life and memory. During the two years I spent pursuing my master's in mechanical engineering here at Rice, I developed a love and respect for the intellectual freedom and joyful creativity of this institution. So much respect that I still visit Willy's Pub on occasion to enjoy Rice's current atmosphere and maybe make some new friends in the process. There's nothing like sharing a cold Bud Light with a younger scholar still on the path to becoming an Owl.
Last week's coverage of the Dean's Cup by the Thresher did not properly represent the sentiment of those who have worked hard to spread its purpose. Many of the points that were addressed in the staff editorial were flaws that we, too, recognize in the proposal.