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NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Campus Reaction

"The SA and Housing and Dining are looking into offering a new 10-meal-a-week plan for seniors and off-campus students. What do you think of the proposed changes?"


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Final decision on add/drop deadline reached

After much debate and discussion, the Faculty Senate voted Jan. 14 to make the final amendments to the add/drop deadlines for the 2009-'10 academic calendar. Faculty Senate Speaker Deborah Harter said the final vote sets the add deadline at two weeks and the drop deadline at seven weeks. Students may add or drop courses during this time period via ESTHER without any fees. Previously, students had four weeks to add a course, two weeks to add it without a fee, four weeks to drop a course without a fee and 10 weeks to drop a course with a fee of $25 per class.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Rice needs to fix rec center, not ignore it

As someone who makes use of the Autry Recreation Center often, I can't help but notice the deteriorating state of the facility. Conditions at the Rec Center have always been lackluster, but after a section was closed off due to the construction of the Tudor Fieldhouse and Youngkin Center, we lost practically half of Autry, including the old weight room, and consequently a lot of our exercise opportunities were cut short. Sadly, I am reminded of this every time I follow the ominous signs leading to the temporary entrance, and upon entering, I am greeted with Autry's currently dismal conditions.On more than one occasion, I have journeyed across campus only to find that all of the cardio machines are already in use. As a result I am forced to wait in the corner, staring down the users of each machine in hopes that someone will finish in a reasonable amount of time - yet several times, I have waited upwards of 20 minutes for a cardio machine to free up. That's not really a long enough time to incite me into an angry protest, but it is a considerable block of time that I could be using to do more productive things. Let's face it: Nobody wants to wait in line for exercise, an activity that arguably many people view as a tedious responsibility. If I'm willing to make the ridiculously long, perilous trek from Martel all the way to Autry, I expect to be able to get a decent workout without delay.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Golf falters in Arizona Tournament

The Rice golf team stumbled out of the blocks this spring, finishing 15th out of a field of 17 at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tuscon, Ariz. Despite high expectations and strong finish in the fall, Rice shot an opening round 313 (+29) from which they could not recover. The Owls improved their scores in the final two rounds but were unable to climb onto the leaderboard.Rice will now turn its attention to its home event, the Rice Intercollegiate, on Feb. 16-17. The Owls will hold the ninth annual edition of its tournament at the Westwood Golf Club and will host a field that includes North Carolina State University, the University of the Pacific and Houston Baptist University. NC State will be one of the strongest squads in the tournament, as it is ranked nationally in the top 25 and also boasts one of the nation's top individual golfers in fifth-ranked sophomore Matt Hill. Rice will be looking to overcome the Wolfpack and bounce back from its disappointing result at the Arizona tournament.



NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

The Wrestler flies high

Remember the good old days of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage? Throughout the early '90s, the World Wrestling Federation reigned supreme on late night television, with soap opera plot lines and absolutely absurd characters like Rakishi, who smothered his victims to death with his stinky buttocks. I am not ashamed to admit I was one of the multitudes of middle school boys who watched wrestling. When we weren't salivating over Trish Stratus, we were cheering for The Rock to deliver "the People's Elbow" or for Triple H to employ "the Pedigree." But then high school knocked, and we realized that the other primary audience of wrestling was fat rednecks over the age of 30.Whether or not you think wrestling is lame, the background of these wrestlers is one that has rarely been explored in cinema. The Wrestler is a quiet depiction of the trials and hardships experienced by one man who sacrifices his body just to make people cheer.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Wednesday's Sports Update: Three-point barrage helps men to win

The men's basketball team made history Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse in their 88-72 win over the University of Southern Mississippi. With five minutes left to play in the contest, junior guard Cory Pflieger made the 15th three-pointer of the game, breaking the previous Owl record of 14 set against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 1999 and matched against Paul Quinn College in 2006. Rice finished with 16 three-pointers in the game off only 24 attempts.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Fall Leftovers and Springing Forward

One of the reasons keeping up with fashion trends is so difficult is that the fashion fiscal year runs opposite to that of the real world's seasons. When autumn begins to fall, runways are showing spring things; when spring barely arrives, fall is already stepping out. Fortunately, designers are as clever as they are creative, and they often carry over some of the more notable fall trends into their spring collections. This not only helps ease their customers into the next season, but it also filters out the trendy from the tried and true. Here's the skinny on some concepts that have potential style staying power.Trends from 2008 to still "Fall" for:


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

RPC should bring back Assassin, but zombie-style

As a senior reflecting on my time at Rice, I often reminisce about the usual fun memories: Orientation Week, Dis-Orientation, Screw Yer Roommate, Beer Bike. But one of the memories that stood out most was the fun tradition of Assassin, an annual campus-wide game organized by the Rice Program Council that ended in 2007. The game is overdue for a permanent return to campus but for various reasons - including fun - it should be conducted in a different, zombie oriented format.The game, sponsored by RPC usually in late March or early April, was pretty simple: First, a player received the name of another randomly-selected player in her campus mailbox. Then, she had to "eliminate" that person with a water gun. The rules were fairly open - a target was eligible for "assassination" anywhere but his or her room. The player who acquired the most names at the end of the week of play won a prize - along with glory and bragging rights - awarded by RPC.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Struggle continues for women's basketball

There simply does not seem to be an answer when it comes to the question of what makes the women's basketball team tick. Though it remains a mystery as to who on the team will finish the game with two or 20 points, the storylines of most of their recent losses have been surprisingly similar. "We seem to come out really strong against every team we play," junior guard Tara Watts said. "We hold them down in points all in the first half. Sometimes, it is like we don't play to our potential in the second half, and that is where we have been losing it."


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Thanks for listening, Faculty Senate

Last year, the Faculty Senate proposed an academic calendar that would have given students just one week to add classes without a fee, and only five weeks to drop classes. But after meetings with the SA, the Senate has decided to extend both of those deadlines, and we have to thank its members for their willingness to listen to student concerns (see story, page 1).While the new schedule of two weeks to add a class and seven weeks to drop is more condensed than the current schedule, we feel that it is a fair compromise for both professors and students. Registration data shows that the vast majority of students already operate within this time frame, so the change is merely reflecting a trend already in place. And, should a student face some sort of extenuating circumstance, he or she can still appeal to the Examinations and Standing Committee for help escaping an academic hole.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Assault calls for refined communication

Last week there was a sexual assault on campus in the Humanities Building, which is in itself truly frightening. What is almost equally frightening is the fact that very few people knew about it, which put them in danger of similar attacks. As a coordinator for the Women's Resource Center, I would like to take this opportunity to offer the WRC's condolences to the victim of the attack and suggestions to the Rice University Police Department on how they can better keep us safe after such an attack. In general, the attack calls for a wider and more timely dissemination of information without disparities.Let's start with immediately after the assault, which occurred on a weekday night in the center of campus when it was almost certain that many people were out and about. As the perpetrator was not detained by RUPD, it is conceivable that students and faculty in the area were in danger of encountering him. To keep members of the Rice community safe, RUPD should have initiated a system for instantaneous notification, allowing people in the area to retreat to safe locations or do whatever they thought necessary to protect themselves.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

New building will foster collaboration, not vibration

More construction fences will crop up on campus in the coming week as preparations begin for a new physics building north of George R. Brown Hall: the Brockman Hall for Physics. The building is scheduled to be completed in December 2010 and was made possible by a gift to Rice's Centennial Campaign of an undisclosed amount from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust.Brockman Hall will be composed of two wings - a south wing on the ground with state-of-the-art laboratories located underground and a north wing that will be above the ground and allow for landscaping underneath the building, Facilities, Engineering and Planning Project Manager Joe Buchanan said. Plans for the landscaping and exterior design have not yet been finalized, but outdoor collaborative spaces and a water feature such as a fountain are under consideration.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Women's track flies to first place in five events

In two meets, senior Lennie Waite has set two conference records in two different events, first in the mile two weeks ago and then the 3000-meter run last weekend. But she is not the only member of the women's track and field team to find success during that span - five other Owls won events last weekend at the Houston Invitational, and several others earned personal bests.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Swimming downs Houston

When you face your biggest rival three times during the dual-meet season, the series can turn out four different ways. It can be entirely disheartening because your team repeatedly falls short; ego-boosting because you smash your opponent mercilessly at each meeting; disastrous if your team starts strong and ends in a slump; or amazingly rewarding because your team perseveres until the tables are turned in your favor. It turns out that the final option works best for the swim team. Last weekend, the Owls met the University of Houston for the third time this season. The Cougars took both of the previous contests fairly handily, but this time the Owls had the upper hand, recording 178 points to UH's 169. Along the way, Rice also beat the University of New Orleans 263.5-65.5 and lost to Lousiana State University 246-95.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Recruits helping men's squad

When the men's basketball team plays the University of Houston Saturday night at Hofheinz Pavilion, freshman guard Connor Frizzelle will most likely make the 11th start of his young career. Not bad considering he was planning on attending prep school until mid-July.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

February Q&A with President Leebron

Beginning this week, the Thresher will conduct a monthly interview with President David Leebron to ask him about current events, university issues and anything else of interest to the Rice student body. To submit a question a future interview, email threshernews@gmail.com.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

KTRU pick of the week: Larkin Gifford's Harmonica

Today's musicians have a staggering array of advanced technologies at their fingertips, ranging from every flavor of synthesizer to Auto-Tune, the pitch correction software now used almost universally in recording studios to make vocals sound closer to perfect pitch. Although the creative opportunities unleashed by computer music are boundless - Girl Talk, anyone? - there is also a growing back-to-basics movement dedicated to making music from even the most banal sounds: everyday speech and all manner of ambient noise, such as whirring machinery and birdsong.Background noise is foregrounded, usually in a blend with more conventional instrumentation, and the result is neither organic nor artificial - but definitely musical. This technique has been applied in genres as diverse as acoustic folk-rock (The Books, who create catchy songs out of obscure spoken samples) and rap (Decomposure, who finds melodies even in the sound of matches striking together). Larkin Gifford's Harmonica, an environmental soundscape from composer Phillip Bimstein, adds classical music to that list.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

Colwick dominates pole vault once again

The University of Houston's Yeoman Fieldhouse has suddenly become one giant good luck charm for the men's track team. After finishing in first place two weeks ago at the Leonard Hilton Invitational, also held at UH, the Owls turned in some incredible individual performances on Saturday. Junior Jason Colwick started the weekend with a new school record for the pole vault in indoor competition. His vault of 5.40 meters broke Paul Bratloff's mark of 5.26 meters set in 1983. Both Colwick, who was just named Conference USA Male Athlete of the Week on Tuesday, and sophomore Shea Kearney tied Bratloff's mark last year. Colwick now owns both the school indoor and outdoor records for the pole vault, as he vaulted 5.55 meters to win the Texas Relays last April. Saturday's vault was the third-best in the nation this year and was a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Indoor Championships.


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

An Owl's jazz education

Unaccustomed to proper locker room etiquette, I stood somewhere near the middle of the room and watched as the Utah Jazz dressed for their game against the Houston Rockets. Grinning like a fool and feeling more and more uncomfortable, I fidgeted with my belt and unbuttoned the top two buttons on my shirt. As I waited, Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan paced back and forth between his office and the tunnel, his head down. A couple players asked for drinks, with iced tea and water the most popular requests. I overheard an attendant with the Jazz asking his coworker if the tea he made was better than in Dallas, and they both agreed it was.