In the relentless world of top-20 academic institutions, Rice succesfully poached the best of the best for its next dean of engineering. Edwin Thomas was the chair of MIT's material sciences department, the best in the country. The addition of faculty of Thomas's caliber is definitely an accomplishment, and his mere presence gives further validation to our already strong engineering department.
Rice University recently announced a plan to rejuvenate its webmail system by transferring over to a Google interface and google servers. This decision will definitely yield improvement over the current webmail, and it is certainly exciting to see administration and IT making a proactive decision to shift our outdated system to one of the best and most proven email clients on the market.
With all the coverage of exciting environmental initiatives on campus recently, Rice looks from the outside like a leader in sustainable living. We have classes dedicated solely to green campus initiatives, top-notch LEED certified buildings, green roofs, single-stream recycling, bike sharing programs and even part of our tuition now goes toward improving our carbon footprint. There's no doubt that Rice students are smart enough to know about the importance of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle, but are we smart enough to care?
Productivity. We all strive for it. Students inhale Red Bulls and lock themselves into their rooms to be productive. Athletes, doctors, lawyers, farmers, workers in every profession, you name it, want to be productive. And why not? In our society, productivity is rewarded handsomely. You can't get an A+ or a stack of Benjamins if you're not a productive worker.
The outpouring of support at Rice for Japan has been simply extraordinary. Conscious groups of students have gathered and implemented massive efforts to raise funds for the recovery process.
This Monday, President Barack Obama spoke at the National Defense University explicitly describing the motivations and justifications for our action in Libya. And yet so much of what people feel he left out was crucial to "making his case" to the American people.
The ALFA committee has concluded its survey process and made its recommendations to administration (see story, pg. 6). Unfortunately their recommendations were influenced by a meager 24 proposals. Out of the over 3,500 students at Rice University, a remarkably small proportion of us as a student body contributed to the process.
Since the beginning of the war on terror, many Americans have expressed a concern about "homegrown" radicalized terrorist cells and the best way to prevent them.
Kudos is due to Matt Sawyer, the university-wide Beer Bike coordinator, and the Beer Bike coordinators from each college (see story, pg. 1). Beer Bike came and went smoothly, safely and too swiftly. The Beer Bike leadership was met with a multitude of challenges never seen in the past, and each problem was addressed with great success.
More than halfway through my final semester as a student at Rice, I have begun to realize that I rarely take time to reflect on my experience as an Owl. Many seniors panic at this point in their academic careers, terrified of missing something on their Rice "bucket list," now faced with the realization that they will soon be unable to ever go back and relive their glory days.
Since Those who abhor the burden of taking a clear stance on issues of importance are often fond of the "agnostic's fallacy." The fallacy goes like this: Two options are both technically possible; therefore, they are equally probable and no distinction can be made between them. So we get the agnostic, who thinks the existence and nonexistence of the supernatural are equally probable despite the absence of evidence for the former.
Hazing gets a bad rap. And with the associated deaths, alcohol poisonings and homoeroticism, it is quite understandable that hazing at Rice has been reduced to a shadow of its former self. But there used to be a time when hazing was a grand and glorious tradition on campus.
In America , we have been told who the drains on our society are. They arc people on welfare, undocumented workers, hippies, hobos and basically anyone who hasn't made a million dollars — and thus hasn't demonstrated his or her ability to put in a hard day's work. Apparently, in America, a hard day's work entitles you to a million dollars. Yeah, right. Let's wake up and look for the real drains on society.
When I opened up my letter this summer from Dean of Undergraduates Robin Forman, I was delighted to find that Field Notes from a Catastrophe had been chosen as the common reading. Over the course of my first year at Rice, I had often found that the issue of global warming was little more than an afterthought for most students.
During college, most undergraduates undergo a process of self actualization, of becoming who they want to be. This week another class of talented, resourceful students began this journey through Orientation Week. Some of the nation's best and brightest become part of the Rice family every August, and before long they will become beloved members of the Rice community.