Nine percent unemployment. $14.32 trillion in debt. $1.7 trillion in deficit. 43.6 million in poverty. These statistics suggest a country on the decline. A country where the dream of prosperity is no longer attainable. It seems fair to wonder whether this country — that has been at the top for so long — is falling? I believe the answer is a resounding , "No."
As the university bids adieu to Rice's 98th graduating class, most of us have one, two or three more years to look forward to at Rice. While the MCATs, internships, research, and bumming of the upcoming summer buffer us from the 2011-2012 school year, here are 10 things I'm hoping to see when we get back.
At the Annual Recreation Sports Awards Picnic on April 26, it was announced that Hanszen College had won the President's Cup. Two days later we, the Hanszen sports representatives, were informed that, "it was realized that the GSA had actually accrued the most points." The Graduate Student Association, not Hanszen, was the rightful winner of the Cup.
As with the end of every school year, we once again congratulate our graduating colleagues who will be moving on to the real world. Our design director, Dave Rosales, was always easy to spot in his fashionable lime-green necktie and yellow glasses. Many late nights consisted of Dave introducing us to the newest in techno and mashups, while simultaneously working on one of the most important part of any newspaper: the graphics. Of course, Dave's musical tastes would occasionally conflict with those of former Backpage editor and Features editor Connor Hayes, who likewise introduced us to the other end of the music spectrum: namely, Justin Bieber, Ke$ha and Rebecca Black. Connor's musings ranged from the latest in viral videos to critical applications of Bieber to the art world, and every moment with Connor was entertaining to say the least. Yet despite his musings, Connor continued to be a voice of reason for the paper. Our Whursdays won't be the same without you.
The Drinking Culture Task Force released its campus-wide survey results, revealing some troubling trends among the Rice community (see story, pg. 1). The survey received a resounding 672 responses from a diverse cross-section of the 11 colleges, surveying both drinkers and non-drinkers (about 25 percent of respondents said they did not drink). This commendable response rate is a result of good distribution, social networking and the utilization of college-wide distributions in addition to university-wide initiatives. The vast number of responses also proves how important the alcohol discussion has become, not just for a small population at Rice, but for the entire community
Last weekend's annual Outdoor Show was a complete success, and members of the Rice community have only KTRU to thank for a full day of engaging festivities and excellent music that went off without a hitch. Having been in attendance for previous on-campus concert flops, KTRU was able to provide a completely new and different experience by organizing an event that centered on enjoying great music and discovering new local bands – two of the station's principle missions.
While the entrepreneurial spirit of Rice University may not be amongst the country's greateast — certainly not in comparison to Stanford's, whose students have contributed to little start-ups you may have heard of such as Google, Yahoo and Cisco — we are definitely making strides as a University towards fostering student entrepreneurship (See story, pg. 1).
Student-Student-taught courses have become quite popular at Rice, and we're not alone in our affinity for them (See story, pg. 1). An interest in student-taught courses is sweeping across the country with Rice at the very forefront of the movement.