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NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Merger may add new minor

Rice University's acquisition of Baylor College of Medicine could not only bring Rice a medical school, but also a new minor. Sid Richardson College freshman Nazima Zakhidova and Wiess College junior Tommy Sprague have spearheaded a team to discuss adding a neuroscience minor to the short list of minors offered at Rice.




NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

2009 Golf Preview

There's a reason teams play more than one match during a season: individual competitions alone do not determine a team's fate. Luckily for the men's golf team, disappointing finishes in three of the five fall tournaments did not eliminate them from postseason eligibility. Thus, the golf team hopes to build upon the fall's strong finish to create a repertoire that qualifies them for the NCAA championships. The golf team struggled with inconsistency and injuries throughout the 2007-'08 season. A lack of depth plagued the Owls, as an injury to then-junior Erik Petersen and the departure of another team member prevented them from fielding a consistent five-member group. While the team was not having a successful year to begin with, their performance in the Conference USA tournament, where they finished in 11th place, finally marked the season as a disappointment.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Safety measures need revamping

Around 11 p.m. Tuesday, a staff member working in the Humanities Building was assaulted as she made her nightly cleaning rounds (see story, page 1). Her assailant fled on foot, evading the Rice University Police Department and running through campus.Students were oblivious to most of this action, save for the few who saw the police cars crowding the inner loop near the Humanities Building, but it did not have to be this way. We're all aware that following the Virginia Tech massacre two years ago, Rice invested in a new measure of safety, compiling students' cell phone numbers and e-mails in case an emergency were ever to occur on campus. In the past few years, we've received texts informing us of on-campus flooding (Aug. 16, 2007) and strong-arm Sallyport robberies (Nov. 17, 2007), both good uses of the system.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Commentary: Walking beside the Braun Bandwagon

My legs are sore. All this climbing on, hopping off, struggling back up, it's wearing on me - making me stiff and disjointed, tired and upset. Yes, deciding my place on the bandwagon of Rice men's basketball is getting to be a chore.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Brown looks for new RA

Brown College Resident Associate Laura Villafranca (Sid '95) will be leaving at the end of this year. The Brown RA Search Committee hosted approximately 20 RA candidates at the Brown Master's house Friday. They will reach a decision before the beginning of March. RA Search Committee Chair Larissa Charnsangavej, a Brown senior, said they were looking for someone who is approachable.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Housing problem indicative of neglected graduate experience

One of Rice's Vision for the Second Century goals is to improve graduate student programs by providing "attractive campus amenities that will contribute to a stronger sense of community among our graduate students." My recent ordeal with the new graduate apartments, in which contracts between students and the university were ignored, suggests that the university may need to put more energy into meeting this goal. For months, graduate students have been signing pre-leasing contracts for rooms in the Rice Graduate Apartments, which opened last weekend. These pre-leasing contracts state: "This agreement is between you, ____, the Resident, and Rice University . You agree to rent apartment number ____ that is assigned to you . If [you] cancel [my] reservation after June 1, 2008, [you] will forfeit [my] deposit of $350.00"


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Men drop difficult games against conference foes

After picking up their first win in Conference USA play in over a season last week against Southern Methodist University, the Owls took a step backward Saturday, losing 77-52 to The University of Central Florida. The loss drops the Owls to 6-11 overall, and 1-2 in conference play.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Clubs to begin switch to BANNER at end of month

The changes to Rice's club financial structures, which have been a point of contention for many students, will finally be executed.Rice student organizations and colleges are about to face change as they usher in the new BANNER system to perform all of their future financial transactions. The first clubs and all colleges will make the official switch on Jan. 31.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Seniors honored versus SMU in season's only home meet

The faux wooden wall was painted with an artistic array of owls, the windows were decorated with balloons and the fans were on their feet, cheering and waving signs. Maybe it was because it was the lone home swim meet of the season or maybe it was because it was the last swim meet at Rice pool. But without a doubt, the support and loud atmosphere was due in part to honor the team's graduating seniors who have contributed endless amounts of enthusiasm and talent over the past four years. After this season, Natalie Kirchhoff, Diane Gu, Skylar Craig, Jennifer Hill, Carlyann Miller and Caitlin Warner will trade their Speedos for business suits. With the help of head coach Seth Huston and assistant Jada Hallmark (Sid '01), the underclassmen successfully pulled off a fabulous ceremony for their seniors.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

McMurtry speaks on future of books in internet age

Try as he might, Pulitzer Prize winning author Larry McMurtry ('60), just can't quit the written word.The author, who also co-wrote the Brokeback Mountain screenplay, offered words on the business of books and the future of reading in 2009's Friends of Fondren Library Distinguished Guest Lecture series on Wednesday.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Online-only special: Presidential inauguration brings students together

Lines for apple pie and coffee stood still in the Rice Memorial Center's Grand Hall on Tuesday morning as the 150 to 200 students attending the Inaugural Viewing Party paused to watch Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America during a live television broadcast of the presidential inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. Time stood still for many who felt as if they were not just viewing a routine process of democracy but a historic moment in American history.The inauguration ceremony took place before a record-breaking audience of more than a million people who crowded the streets of Washington and on the same Mall where civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech during the 1963 March on Washington.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

McMurtry, Duncan O-Week plans drafted

The residential college system is something so inseparable from the modern operation of Rice University, so ingrained into our personal habits and social traditions, that any change on the level of the addition of a new college becomes a matter of titanic significance that affects thousands of students. When two new colleges root themselves into this little patch of Houston - in the same year, even - the importance of their proper introduction into Rice life escalates exponentially. For this reason, groups of students, masters, administrators and faculty have worked eagerly for months to ensure that the opening of Duncan and McMurtry colleges next fall is as appropriate and effective a process as possible. Last year, a population committee headed by Dean of Undergraduates Robin Forman and comprised of college masters, resident associates, administrators and students drafted a series of proposals regarding possible ways to populate the two colleges. The committee sent these recommendations to President David Leebron, who ultimately chose a plan in which Baker and Will Rice colleges will move into Duncan and McMurtry, respectively, while their own facilities are renovated. Lovett College will remain in Lovett while its renovations occur. Forman appeared in front of the Student Association last semester to discuss the plan and promised to keep the student body abreast of its development.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Erratum

The story "10,818: Applications for 2013 class surpass 10,000, break records" in the Jan. 16 issue of the Thresher was credited to Michelle Jin but should have been credited to Melissa Tsang. The Thresher regrets the error.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Austin's Achachay making cold hot since 2008

Who knew even Rice graduates could become rock stars?Anyone acquainted with Rice alumnus Jordan Myska Allen (Sid '08) has been hearing that message for a while. Throughout his college career, the ebullient, long-haired religious studies major persistently proclaimed his desire to be a rock star, even listing "roquerismo" as a second major on Facebook. While most Rice students searched for internships and slaved in research labs, Allen formed the funk rock band Moxie with Evan Davies (Brown '08), Andy Whitten (Brown '07) and Aaron Taffett (Sid '08), acting as a lead vocalist and guitarist. The band went on to win KTRU's Battle of the Bands two years in a row and even tour throughout the United States in the summer of 2007, chugging slowly across the continent in "Funkwagen von Tatkraft," their less-than-dependable tour van.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Witnesses to history

Wiess College students gathered in droves at the Wiess Masters' house to watch Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.Click here for inauguration coverage.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Former Wiess RA 'Dr. Bill' dies of cancer at 65

William "Dr. Bill" Wilson, electrical engineering professor and Wiess College resident associate for over thirty years, died Tuesday due to pancreatic cancer at the age of 65. Wilson is remembered as a mentor to generations of students, faculty and staff.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Big challenges, big enthusiasm

Hidden away in Lovett Hall, Entrance A, in a little alcove left of the drinking fountain and across from the floor-to-ceiling wooden doors of the office of the Dean of Undergraduates, new Director of First Year Programs, Shelah Crear, prepares to make history. With a record number of applicants for the class of 2013 ("10,818", Jan. 16) and the quickly-approaching opening of Duncan and McMurtry colleges, Orientation Week 2009 stands to be a larger and more complicated operation than any O-Week in recent memory.Her office is comfortable and well-lit, if a little bare, but Crear, a Dallas native and adopted Austinite and Longhorn by education, has an enthusiasm for her responsibilities that fills every corner of the room.


NEWS 1/22/09 6:00pm

Online-only special: Clementi awarded for protein research

Associate chemistry professor Cecilia Clementi's research in protein folding could be the key to cures for medical conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In recognition of this potential as well as her breakthrough research in protein folding, she has been awarded the prestigious Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research.The annual award recognizes a young researcher who has made profound contributions to the field of chemical research in Texas. Nominees are rigorously screened and then selected by a panel of Nobel Laureates and other experts in the field.