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NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Annual fund reaches all-time high of $6.35 million

The Rice Annual Fund raised an all-time high of $6.35 million last year, providing more money for a variety of undergraduate programs including scholarships, fellowships and residential college life.The money raised by the annual fund is classified as unrestricted funds, meaning the entirety of the money raised in a given fiscal year is spent on programs that will directly impact students, such as scholarships, fellowships, residential college life and books and subscriptions for Fondren Library. The Annual Fund also donates to Dean of Undergraduates Robin Forman's budget, which provides funds for the Student Association and Rice Program Council, as well as study breaks. Large-scale donations for construction of new buildings or residential colleges are not part of the Annual Fund, Rice An-nual Fund Director Ginger Nash said.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Commentary: Mustaches the difference for '08 Owls

Hoping to overcome a disappointing 3-9 season, the football team is committed to victory and unity in the 2008 campaign. This year marks the final campaign for a group of some of the most decorated Owl players in history and has potential to be a memorable one for numerous reasons.Some would argue that the most memorable part of the year has already begun. 2008 is the year of Mustache Madness. 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.




NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Leebron invited to Beijing, sees Phelps win first gold

On Aug. 10, Michael Phelps began his quest to winning his record eight Olympic gold medals at one Olympiad. President David Leebron saw it happen in person."Overall, the atmosphere generally at the Olympics was kind of a very enthusiastic, positive atmosphere," Leebron said. "The significantly Chinese audiences were appreciative of strong performances regardless of the nationality of the participant. They were very supportive of Michael Phelps."


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

New hire in athletics a step forward

While the Princeton Review recently ranked Rice number two in the best race/class interaction at a university (See story, page 1), the interaction amongst diverse groups does not always extend to athletes. Athletes have always been a somewhat isolated group from the rest of the student body. Because the practice times for many athletes, especially football players, typically coincides with many O-Week activities, there have been several O-Weeks in the past in which athletes were quarantined in gyms while their classmates were learning profane cheers or meeting people around campus. Perhaps as a result of this segregation during O-Week, some athletes never truly became integrated into the Rice culture. But Rice is taking a step forward with the appointment of Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development Suzanne Boué (See story, page 8).According to Boué, the athletic department has always had people working to help athletes become integrated with the university. But it's the creation of Boué's position that really shows that the athletic department is making a focused effort to help athletes become more involved at the university.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Owls ousted by Tigers and 'Dogs

While in Omaha for the College World Series in June, Rice (47-15) struggled to find consistency on the mound and in the field. Key fielding errors and a struggling bullpen proved costly for the Owls' hopes for a second national title.After dropping the first game to eventual champion Fresno State (47-31), the Owls lost in heartbreaking fashion to Louisiana State University (49-19-1) and were eliminated from the NCAA tournament.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Boué named first Asst. Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development

In addition to the outward changes to the Rice Athletic Department after the hiring of Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, most notably improvements to Reckling Park and Autry Court, changes are also occurring from within the Athletic Department, as Suzanne Boué (Wiess '91) has been named Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development. This new position will consolidate several tasks aimed toward Rice student-athlete support previously accomplished by various athletic department members. "Pieces of what I'm doing have been done in the Athletic Department before, but all by people who have an awful lot on their plate already," Boué said.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Wilson found in Berkeley, put on suicide watch

Former Rice student Matthew Wilson was found Aug. 13 at the University of California, Berkeley campus. According to the Houston Chronicle, the prosecution dropped all charges - which included trespassing, lying to a police officer and possessing stolen property - against Wilson.Wilson, then a Hanszen College junior, had been missing since December. Police found no clue of Wilson's whereabouts until June, when members of the Berkeley Police Department located his car in a Berkeley neighborhood after it was tagged as an abandoned vehicle. After finding Wilson in a UC-Berkeley classroom Aug. 13, BPD took him into custody. Currently, Wilson is being held in a San Francisco mental hospital on suicide watch, the Houston Chronicle reported Wed.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Carless no more

Students looking to pay less for their daily commute to campus will have access to two alternatives this year: Zipcar and NuRide. Zipcar, which is targeted at students, is a car rental service. NuRide, intended primarily for faculty and staff, is a carpooling service. Both programs are available through the transportation office.Zipcar will allow students to rent a car at the rate of $7 per hour with an annual subscription fee of $35. The hourly rental fee includes insurance, gas and other expenses related to car maintenance such as car washes, Assistant Transportation Manager Elizabeth Gbordzoe said. Students can sign up for the Zipcar program at the launching event Aug. 26 in the Housing and Dining parking lot in front of Baker College. Students will also be able to see the two cars available for rental, a Toyota Prius and a Volvo S40, Director for Administrative Services Eugen Radulescu said.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Scott wins ASA award

Statistics Professor David Scott received the American Statistical Association Founders Award Aug. 5. Scott is one of the founding members of the Rice statistics department and earned the award to honor his lifetime of service to the ASA. His service to the organization includes organizing meetings and editing statistical journals.Scott said he was pleased to receive such a rare honor.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Underage drinking found at off-campus O-Week party

Orientation Week is the only week of the year in which on-campus residents are expected to follow a strict dry policy, meaning that they will not consume alcohol from midnight the Saturday prior to O-Week to the following Saturday at noon.But it appears a group of students this week did not bother to read the fine print. Assistant Dean of the Student Judicial Program Don Ostdiek confirmed that a group of students participated in a party earlier this week.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Buildings to sport plants on roofs to improve sustainability

Students and faculty are accustomed to seeing flora and fauna around campus, but green roofing on four Rice buildings will give landscaping an entirely new dimension. Rooftop gardens, designed to improve buildings' sustainability and expand roof lifespan, will be installed on Duncan College, the Collaborative Research Center, the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and the South Utility Plant.Rice Sustainability Director Richard Johnson (Will Rice '92) said green roofing provides a variety of sustainable and economic advantages.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Rice Facebook fan page launched

The perpetually popular student pastime of spending hours on the Internet toggling from e-mail to social networking sites has certainly caught the eye of the public affairs department, given last month's debut of the official Rice fan page on www.facebook.com."Right now there are at least 10,000 users affiliated with the Rice University network," Director of Web Development in Public Affairs Sean Rieger said. "There's a large market for us to connect to them and keep them in touch with Rice."


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Harlow appointed director of Chao Center for Asian Studies

Tani Barlow, a professor of history and women's studies from the University of Washington, was appointed in May to be the director of the Chao Center for Asian Studies and the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Studies. Due to a previous commitment, Barlow will spend the fall semester at the National University of Singapore and begin her official duties as director Jan. 1. Barlow's scholarly journal, Positions, which addresses East Asian culture, was transferred to Rice in early June.In addition to providing intellectual leadership, Barlow will report directly to the office of Provost Eugene Levy and oversee 26 full-time faculty members and the department's administrative structure. Richard Smith, the interim director of the Chao Center, said Barlow was chosen for her interest and background in transnational circulations and cross-cultural comparative studies.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

HedgeHopper Week One: Swirll Frozen Yogurt

In response to the Student Association's revamped HedgeHopper program, providing discounts for Rice students at 16 restaurants around Houston, the Thresher embarks upon a journey to review participating establishments. This week: Swirll Frozen Yogurt in the Rice Village. which now provides a 15 percent discount for Rice students.Swirll, located at the corner of University Blvd. and Kirby Dr., right next door to Half Price Books, is a dainty little hole-in-the-wall frozen yogurt shop that captures the eyes of people passing by. Despite its unimposing appearance, it boasts wireless Internet and two huge plasma-screen TVs. One screen displays all of the items Swirll offers, while the other is locked on premier products. For an outing, the atmosphere is a four out of five, because while the ambiance is good, it feels a bit cavernous. Go in a group or go alone, as Swirll will accommodate any group size with room to stretch out. If the weather is beautiful, the patio provides another place to kick up feet. Customers can pick something up to go or bring their own board games to kill time, and people who have work to do should not hesitate to bring it. Walking or taking a bike from campus is appropriate transportation to a health-conscious place like Swirll, which claims that all of its frozen yogurts are 25 calories per ounce with zero grams of fat, without sacrificing taste - quite the temptation for those who are watching their figures. Cone and cup sizes are five, 14 and 28 ounces, and Swirll offers free samples of all of its flavors. With a Rice discount of 15 percent on top of the already student-affordable prices, Swirll is almost giving away all of that delicious frozen yogurt. Tried all of the flavors before? Why not add some mixings? Play it conservative by adding cereal, granola or fruit to an order, or take a note from the reviewer's book and go with chocolate chips, coconut, gummy bears, M&Ms or Oreos. Experi-menting is definitely worth it. Swirll is a welcome alternative for on-campus kids tired of Smoothie King, and if Jamba Juice is not satisfying anymore, a trip to Swirll provides that smoothie fix. While it has a much smaller variety of smoothie flavors - with only blueberry, blackberry, cafe latte and cappuccino - Swirll makes up for it in quality taste.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Recent alumnus imparts provoking pearls of wisdom

Graduation is a lot like death. Students run around the material world of college, preparing for the inescapable end that awaits among the relentless march of time, spew-ing forth souls into an afterlife based on one's actions in the first. Do well in college, and you may find yourself in an Elysian Field of high-paying jobs. Do poorly, and suffer in the Tartarus Pit of the public sec-tor. Of course, there are those who refuse to leave - ghosts, if you will - who continue to haunt the land of the living. Beware, Valhalla is the most haunted place on campus.I find myself in the purgatory that is a New York City law school, attempting to atone for my previ-ous sins of putting way too much time into the Thresher. So expect my surprise when the current edi-tors held a s_ance, or just sent an e-mail, to hear some ghostly advice from beyond the grave. Just remem-ber, don't cross the streams.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Simmonses donate $3 million for collaborative medical research

The Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation donated $3 million in May to enable researchers from Rice, Texas Children's Hospital and Methodist Hospital to work together to conduct biomedical research.Simmons said there were two factors behind the birth of the grant: One has to do with cross-disciplinary research involving genetics, mental sciences, imaging, physics, biochemistry and mathematics; another has to do with the increasing difficulty of securing funding from the National Institute of Health, which he said is a key source of medical-oriented financing.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Thresher taking a summer break

The Thresher staff is taking a break for summer, which means there will be no printed issue until Fri., Aug. 23. However, feel free to check the site for updates on the baseball team's attempt at a second national championship, as well as general breaking news updates. Thanks for reading!


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Rice's BoredAt site created

Rice gained a new bathroom wall this April, joining the boredat network with the creation of the boredatrice.net Web site. Boredatrice is one of dozens of anonymous collegiate posting sites, which include juicycampus.com, allowing students to post whatever they want under the protection of anonymity, with themes often trending towards the vulgar. Since the first post on April 10 - a clip of the "Charlie Bit Me" YouTube video - the Rice site has gained over 60 more posts and over 500 responses.Lovett College junior Leah Withers and Baker College senior Tiffany Lee pushed for the creation of a boredat site for Rice in November 2007 by posting on the boredat Facebook request board and received a response on April 2 announcing that the university's site had been created.