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.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor John Anderson has become a local media focus since his censorship spat with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (see story pg. 1). The commission removed many facts that pointed toward human-caused global warming. However, Anderson refused to have his data presented in this manner. By revoking his publication from the state agency, Anderson exemplified the highest standard of integrity in his decision to withdraw his publication. In the cut throat world of academia, a professor's stature is determined in large part on his or her publications. Anderson, in his decision to choose no publication over a censored publication, represents exactly the kind of integrity Rice stands for. The decision was one which placed principles over prestige and the truth over fanfare, and this choice should be respected.
Congratulations to Rice alumnus Lance Berkman for his contributions to the World Series winning St. Louis Cardinals. Berkman followed his excellent season with an extraordinary playoff performance which included a game and series-saving single with his team down to its final strike. He was a key contributor to the World Series victory and is an accomplished veteran truly deserving of this victory.
In the midst of the past four years of political turmoil and partisan politics, we all have witnessed the rise of two particular movements that, while initially offering populist messages, have grotesquely transformed into influential and divisive partisan movements, corrupted by our two-party system just as every other political movement of recent times. What I'm referring to, of course, are the Tea Party and Occupy movements.
A new schedule planning aid has been created in an effort to make the registration process a bit easier for students (see story pg. 1). The tool creates a calendar of potential courses in a Google Calendar format. The most significant addition is the feature which allows courses to be sorted by both professors and time slots. It also allows students to select multiple classes of interest, even those in the same time slot, and then narrow them down. Students will definitely benefit from being able to see a schedule overview laid out on a calendar.
I am the 40.9 percent. All throughout America, protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement heckle and carry signs proclaiming the disenfranchisement of the 99 percent those not in the so-called economic elite, but they focus on the wrong number. Those currently picketing in Zucotti Park, N.Y., claim that the system only works for the top one percent of the population and that most Americans are not represented in Washington. However, I find this claim hard to take seriously when most Americans didn't even make the short trip to the ballot box in the last midterm elections. I am the 40.9 percent, the portion of voting eligible citizens who went to the polls in 2010.
On the morning of Oct. 6, two adventurous Martel seniors, Batoul Abuharb and Shamsa Mangalji, took to the streets of Houston to interact with hundreds of enthusiastic participants participating in the Occupy Houston movement.
Baker Blues definitely exceeded the expectations set by poor precedents from past parties. Baker Blues, which traditionally falls on Families' Weekend, is often deemed as lackluster and not worth attending. The cocktail tables full of parents and the subdued nature of the party place it in stark contrast with the other more traditional parties.
A few months ago, I was on a motorcycle trip from my hometown in Germany to Cape Town in South Africa.