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NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

The 'stache is back

Per the request of senior quarterback Chase Clement, many of the Owls have grown mustaches with varying thicknesses and styles as a sign of team unity and to keep things light and humorous.Last week we brought you the


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Carson appointed Dean of Natural Sciences

Beginning next year, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences will get a facelift. Dan Carson, professor and chair of the department of biological sciences at the University of Delaware, will take over from Kathleen Matthews when she steps down in January. Carson was offered the position in June. Provost Eugene Levy had organized a committee to search for the new dean last semester.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Career Services Center changes name, Web site

Along with new faces and new buildings around campus come revamped services for students looking beyond their Rice years. The Career Services Center, which counsels students on how to position themselves in the graduate and professional world, changed its name this year to the Rice Center for Student Professional Development. The first version of its new Web site, which will launch in Sept., will show this year's changes in the mission and structure of career services. Future versions of the site will include innovative software for job and internship exploration. CSPD Director Erik Larsen said the changes in career services will chiefly involve an online networking system that promotes meaningful exchange with potential employers. The Web site is planned to go beyond brief job listings and instead serve as an interactive career research forum. New software, which is being developed exclusively for Rice students by an external firm, will offer a chance for personal dialogue between students and employers.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Two laughs and a scream

Just a few years ago, the comedic stage belonged to the super-duo of director Adam Mackay (Anchorman) and chubby funnyman Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights). Since then, they have had to make way for the hilarious antics of Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), another fat white guy, and director-producer extraordinaire Judd Apatow (Step Brothers), yet another out-of-shape white guy. Hmm, I wonder why the target audience for this genre is so huge.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Obama selects VP willing to fight back

"I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice." Those words originally came from the actor Patrick Swayze as James Dalton, the soft-spoken bouncer with a degree in philosophy, instructing new subordinates in the 1989 B-movie Road House. However, they could also easily be applied to this year's presidential election. With his selection of Senator Joe Biden of Delaware as his running mate, Barack Obama has shown that he recognizes - as the contest has taken a predictable negative turn - the Democratic ticket's need for the ability not to be nice.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Beyond traditional borders

Summer in the United States means winter in Lesotho, and into this winter, Rice University students brought the warmth of aid and ideas. Beyond Traditional Borders, an organization founded at Rice in 2007, awarded internships to 17 students and sent them abroad this summer to develop and carry out missions for sustainable growth in developing countries. Of these, 13 students went to Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho, a small country surrounded entirely by South Africa. To participate in this eight-week program, students carried out projects they developed over the spring semester and found their own initiatives within their community to pursue. Project subject matter varied from bioengineering advances and health education to economic analysis and entrepreneurial training.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Social experiment

Martel College junior Kendall Hollis checks out the hubbub at Martel's Committees Fair Wednesday night.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Common reading upgrades bring success

With yet another Orientation Week come and gone, it is time to sit back and take a look at one of the annual points of debate: the common reading program (See story, page 1). From our point of view, the common reading for this year was a success. Without the results from the formal survey to back it up, we cannot absolutely confirm our conclusion, but the general consensus indicates that most new students and advisors found the common reading to be an engaging experience.We believe several program changes are responsible for the positive response. First of all, the book itself was more engaging than the previous years' choices. Three Cups of Tea is a story written in a style that has more in common with a leisurely read than an academic seminar. While it is by no means a simplistic or childish work, it is of a level well-suited to students working it into their summer vacations. For the common reading program, this meant that more students finished the work than would have otherwise, especially if it had been an academically dense scholarly article, instead.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Daughter of former Brown masters passes away

Emma Hutchinson, daughter of former Brown College masters John and Paula Hutchinson, died Saturday after a long battle with polycystic kidney disease. She was 20 years old.The Rice Memorial Center provided 600 chairs in the Grand Hall for Hutchinson's memorial service Tuesday afternoon. Every seat was taken.



NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Remembering Emma

On Tuesday, Aug. 26, hundreds of students, faculty, associates and others paid tribute to Emma Hutchinson, daughter of former Brown and Wiess College masters John and Paula Hutchinson (see story, page 12).Emma spent 12 years - more than half her life - as a member of the Rice community, and she touched the lives of many, as she spent much of those years in the Wiess and Brown masters houses. A ubiquitous presence at many collegiate events, Emma will be missed by her family - both immediate and collegiate.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Not a sports page, not a magazine, but a book

Summer is a time of endless possibilities. Everyone I know found a different way to stay busy after school ended, and a way to stay entertained away from work. Some of my friends watched television or held movie marathons; everybody went to see The Dark Knight. We argued about Heath Ledger and worshipped Michael Phelps. A couple of people I know even read books.Not many, of course. Reading is a lost art, a means of entertainment going extinct in the electronic age. The average American reads something like four books a year, all of them written by Stephenie Meyer. A quick search of the Thresher online archives reveals a grand total of one book review. In other words, the number of book reviews ever published by the Thresher is probably lower than the number of freshmen who didn't even open this year's summer reading.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Free-software activist speaks on moral duty to share

While most people take for granted FBI piracy warnings and encrypted DVDs barring users from making illegal copies and distributing them, computer expert Richard Stallman offered a starkly different perspective. As a guest of the computer science department, Stallman spoke Tuesday in Duncan Hall's McMurtry Auditorium about the validity of the free-software movement. Stallman, who lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is widely known for developing a free operating system called the GNU Project, which is similar to Unix. He has been outspoken since the 1980s about free software and campaigns against federal restrictions on copyright laws.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Don't labor on Labor Day

This Monday is Labor Day, the first holiday of the year. Make the most of it by doing as little as possible by sleeping or loitering somewhere. So before you go out and decide to be productive, think twice. Once you come back, it'll be all work all the time.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Three Cups deemed palatable

The third time's a charm for the Rice common reading program. Students gave the nod to this year's discussion of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, agreeing that this year's format and its once-debated selection contributed to its success over the attempts of the last two years. "This year, the committee put a lot of effort into a book that would appeal to lots of different kinds of people, without being Harry Potter," Student Director of Orientation Megan Hermance said.


NEWS 8/28/08 7:00pm

Volleyball warms up with live scrimmage

With the first match of the season looming large on its schedule, the volleyball team hosted their first annual Meet and Greet session Wednesday afternoon. The purely social event was held at Fox Gym, and several supporters of the team, including staff, sponsors, Rice faculty, students and team parents, attended. Head coach Genny Volpe started things off with team introductions and explained the team's newest fundraising effort "Block for Bucks." This season, team supporters can pledge a certain amount of money per block, with the final end-of-season donation amount based on the pledge and the number of team blocks. Last season the Owls had a Conference-USA leading 279 blocks.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Virtual tour added to attract prospective students

While students were gone for the summer, visitors flocked to Rice through the latest addition to the Rice Web site: a virtual tour of the university designed to present the brighter sides of campus to alumni and prospective students.The tour, which was put online July 11, features 360-degree views of 16 sites at Rice and in the surrounding area, from the Sallyport entrance at Lovett Hall to the middle of a baseball game at Reckling Park. The tour also features a shot of Rice Village to give new students a glimpse of life beyond the hedges. Visitors can drag the image around to get a complete picture of the sites.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Rice Volleyball 2008 Preview

After losing close match after close match last season, the volleyball team ended the season feeling they fell short of their potential. After a whole summer stewing on their numerous missed chances, this season's squad has plenty of motivational fire to finish the season at the top of the conference. A big part of the team's transfor-mation will come from the incoming freshman class. The three freshmen - Ashleigh McCord, Megan White and Yuan Lin - each contribute to the team in a different way. McCord, with her extremely competitive nature, adds power to Rice's already strong set of middle blockers. She also has the ability to play multiple positions, giving head coach Genny Volpe more versatility with her lineups. Additionally, McCord comes in with a raw athleticism as impressive as any player on the team.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Personal growth rivals academic honors

This, matriculants, is your new beginning. Doubtless before today you have been told of the formidable ride ahead. Independence, midnight food runs, walks of shame, all-nighters, lectures, dorm rooms, freedom, flip-flops, keg stands, new friends, books, class. As if swallowed into the depths of another dimension for four years - give or take - to slosh in the presence of anarchy before being spat out into some vanilla society, this is your college experience. The Real World awaits with its system, its responsibilities, for the day you stumble defenselessly from behind the protection of the Sallyport. And when you do, let there be no mistake: Playtime is over; you are an adult.Don't buy it.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Rice's Energy Crisis: The Quest for Light...

Though Houston may be a good city for concerts, multi-ethnic cuisine and shopping, it is not for cheap energy. At the end of fiscal year 2007-'08, which ended in June, Rice's total energy costs rose $4 million, from $12 million to $16 million. Director of Sustainability Richard Johnson (Will Rice '92) said this jump is attributed to the rising costs of energy and not to increased consumption. For students, this jump in energy prices may show up in future on-campus housing costs, Johnson said.Energy includes electricity; chilled water, for air conditioning; and steam, for heat, which service most of the buildings on campus. Johnson said Rice is not using any more energy per square foot than it has in the past, though due to the rising energy costs the school is under more pressure to reduce its energy consumption.