Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 — Houston, TX

Special Projects


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Column: Awareness able to combat sexual assault

Two minutes. In the United States, someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, sexual assault includes "rape, attempted rape and other violent felonies that fall short of rape." Want a figure that includes only rape? Eight minutes. In the United States, someone is raped every eight minutes. RAINN defines rape as "forced vaginal, oral or anal penetration." These statistics include women as well as men - one in six American women and one in 33 American men are survivors of attempted or completed rape.How are these figures so huge? It is predicted that 6 out of 10 rapes are never reported to the police. According to RAINN, even if a rape is reported, there is only a 50.8 percent chance of an arrest. If an arrest is made, there is only an 80 percent chance the rapist will be prosecuted. If he or she is prosecuted, there is only a 58 percent chance of conviction. Finally, if that conviction happens to be a felony conviction, there is a 69 percent chance the rapist will serve jail time. What does all this mean? Only six percent of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. The rest walk free.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Phils So Good puts "aahh" in a cappella

Growth fosters change, and the world of collegiate a cappella is no exception to this rule. With over 1,200 student-run groups in the United States alone, the movement the Yale Whiffenpoofs began in 1909 has become a genre with its own trends. In the 1980s and '90s, student a cappella groups shifted focus from classical and jazz arrangements to more beat-driven pop tunes. In the 2000s, the growing popularity of amateur mixing and mastering tools established the voice-filtering standard for studio albums. Now the proliferation of a cappella rating web sites and professional companies specializing in vocal mixing have raised the standard for these albums. Not to be left behind, the Rice Philharmonics have taken exciting leaps with their latest recorded effort, Phils So Good, mixed at North Carolina's Liquid5th studio and scheduled for release on April 26.In essence, Phils So Good presents two art forms in one: the rearrangement of original songs using only human voices, which defines a cappella, and also the use of professional editing and mixing equipment to create the ambient listening experience unique to a studio album. Although the Phils fan who seeks the feel of a live recording may find the filtered style disconcerting, the alteration creates smooth, yet complex waterfalls of sound that showcase the arranging skills of the group's members and add greatly to the listening experience.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Women's Club Lacross downs Hilltoppers

Martel senior Gilliam Alex looks up the field on Saturday against St. Edwards. Rice came back from a 4-6 halftime deficit to win the match 11-10 with a goal by Lovett sophomore Tara Barry in the final seconds. The Owls' final match is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. against LSU at O'Connor Field.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Class extension wrong

Recently, the seniors in Mechanical Engineering 408: Capstone Design Project II discovered that the Office of the Registrar had granted their professor special permission to extend the class' meeting period to May 5, five days after the end of the senior exam period (see story, page 4). While their classmates will be using the 10-day break between finals and graduation to travel, see friends and family or otherwise relax, the seniors in this class will be working as usual, even though sentiment for extending the class dates was far from unanimous.However many students wanted the extension, it is hardly fair to those who did not to mandate a lengthening of the academic semester, especially since the academic calendars have already been set for a number of years. Just as students bound to work within the confines of the academic calendar, our professors should be, too, especially if the schedule change has the potential to cause problems for grade submission, diploma checks and previously set travel plans. And just as it would be absurd for a professor to require a class to meet a week before the first day of classes, it is no less ridiculous for a professor to require a class to stay a week after the last day.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Common reading controversy continues

As Orientation Week advisers prepare to leave campus next month for summer break, they will tuck away a copy of next year's common reading book. A selection committee of students, a faculty member and Advisor to the Dean of Undergraduates Matthew Taylor met earlier this month to narrow down their list to two contenders: Allen Raymond's memoir, How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative and Greg Mortenson's novel, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . One School at a Time.Both non-fiction works have been selected for their relevance to current events, Taylor said.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Tensions rise high at heated Ashby forum

The Baker Institute Student Forum hosted a heated debate on the construction of the project known as the Ashby High Rise on Monday before a crowd of students and community members. BISF invited Jim Reeder, an attorney representing the Boulevard Oaks and Southampton civic groups, Houston journalist Mike Snyder, community anti-zoning activist Brian Phillips and University of Houston law professor John Mixon to the debate held at Sammy's Café, which turned out to be a combative repartee between conflicting philosophical and legal positions.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Golf struggles at River Landing

The golf team competed in the River Landing Intercollegiate tournament this weekend, hosted by North Carolina State University in Wallace, N.C. The team finished 11th out of a 15-team field.Sophomore Chris Brown finished the first round tied for ninth with a 71, but shot a 75 and 76 in the next two rounds to drop down in the rankings. Junior Kyle Kelley, also had an impressive round of 71 on the final day, but neither he nor the rest of the team could record three quality rounds of golf.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Construction projects updated

As the academic year draws to a close, some familiar construction fences are coming down, with new ones soon to appear in other parts of campus. The Brochstein Pavilion will be completed on Thursday, April 24, south plant construction will end July 31 and construction on a new Recreation Center will begin in earnest next week. Meanwhile, the Collaborative Research Center celebrated the completion of its tenth story last month.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Students should solve own schedule problems

As students register for classes in the fall, they may notice a change in ESTHER. Beginning next semester, ESTHER will block students from registering for two or more courses that are scheduled for the same time (see story, page 1).The primary reason for this change is to get professors to realize that they need to schedule courses so that they do not overlap. However, we feel that this change will punish students instead of the professors. If Rice wants to notify professors to stop scheduling overlapping classes, it should do so by simply telling them instead of inconveniencing students. Monthly Faculty Senate meetings would be the perfect venue for the administration to bring up this issue.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Women's tennis prepares for conference tournament

When the regular season ends, all records and streaks can be put aside for the glory of the postseason. After picking up another easy victory in their first-ever 7-0 sweep of Southern Methodist University, the No. 63 women's tennis team instantly became the favorite to win the Conference USA title.The University of Houston will host the conference tournament at the Hoff Courts from April 17-20. Currently, there are two other C-USA teams in the national rankings: No. 50 University of Tulsa and No. 62 Marshall University. Three other teams, East Carolina University, University of Alabama at Birmingham and SMU, dropped out in the past month.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Literary sex magazine debuts

Harvard may have the H Bomb and Cornell may boast the SMUT, but next Friday, Rice will join their ranks with Open, its first sex magazine. Editor in chief Rachel Solnick plans to distribute the 68-page black-and-white magazine's 1,500 copies to Rice and the surrounding Houston community.The magazine is composed of seven sections: Perspectives, which features individuals speaking as part of a group; editorials; articles, which cover news and historical events; short stories; poetry; the post-secret section, from campus-distributed postcards which garnered student input; and the results of an online sex survey from earlier this semester, which received over 800 responses.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Demands strain on-campus housing

An increased demand for on-campus housing led to panic for many students at room draw this year. At some colleges, room draw coordinators were forced to change their plans to deal with the increased demand for an ever-smaller number of spaces.At Jones College, students are normally bumped off-campus according to their seniority, with juniors and seniors at the highest risk of being bumped. Students get an exemption if they move off campus early.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Rice's national surveys should be expanded

Rice's department of public affairs recently conducted a small survey of Rice's reputation both locally and nationally, focusing specifically on the east and west coasts (see story, page 6). Although the small sample size of 800 means the survey's results are extremely rough at best, we feel the study's implementation was time well spent for Rice. First of all, it was a good preliminary investigation into Rice's national presence. With the university looking to expand enrollment and gain national recognition for campus research, those in charge of marketing have to know where and how to target their efforts. This introductory indicator provided some general information that could help with that mission.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Offense edges defense 44-43 to round out spring season

Whether it is new positions or innovative techniques, spring football is a time for learning.Because of its didactic nature, it was no surprise that the offense's 44-43 win over the defense in the spring game was sloppy. The contest was the capstone to an entire semester of practice, which saw much improvement and change for many of Rice's players.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Baseball takes season series from Texas

Although they have witnessed stretches of poor pitching and lethargic offense, fans seem to be only a little worried about the baseball team's ups and downs this year. True, in the last two weeks Rice (24-10, 7-2 Conference USA) has dropped two games against the University of Southern Mississippi and one to Dallas Baptist University (20-9). But the Owls also swept Memphis University, thumped Lamar University (20-11) and walked away with more wins in the season series than the 13th-ranked University of Texas for the first time since 2003. But through all the streakiness, the Owls have still landed on soft ground, with the most wins in Conference USA and a No. 6 national ranking to their name.The Owls continue their current homestand this weekend against the University of Alabama-Birmingham, which is currently dead last in C-USA. But records do not always tell the whole story - the underdog Blazers (13-17, 1-5 C-USA) have beaten Tulane University and the University of Alabama this season, and are led offensively by Ryan Keedy's .429 batting average and 29 RBIs. UAB will also be counting on pitchers Mitch Kloskowski, who has 35 strikeouts in 42.1 innings, and Kyle Roberson, who has 25 strikeouts in 26.1 innings, to silence the prominent Rice bats. The three-game series begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Reckling Park.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Walking with dinosaurs spares much expense

Walking With Dinosaurs? More like Walking With Dino-SNORES! Walking With Dinosaurs: The Live Experience should have been amazing. With a $92.5 million budget, it should have been balls-to-the-wall dinosaur action. It should have provided lots of dinosaur carnage for the bloodthirsty first-grader inside of me. It should have shown dinosaurs that caused the Toyota Center to tremble with each step. It should have boggled the minds of young children everywhere and then blown them away with a mighty roar. But it didn't. What it did have was a couple of incredibly lifelike robot dinosaurs that didn't really do anything.The dinosaurs are very detailed. Their skin hangs off of them like a fat lady's cellulite, their tails sway back and forth with every step they take and one can even count the number of teeth inside their giant dinosaur mouths. Much time and effort has obviously been spent on making them look as realistic as possible, or like what one might imagine dinosaurs looked like back then.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Men's tennis regroups, trashes Aggies

Just when it seemed that the wheels had fallen off of the men's tennis team's season, the repairman showed up in the guise of Texas A&M University. On a tense senior night at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium last Wednesday, No. 24 Rice defeated the 21st-ranked Aggies 4-3 to patch their wounds from back-to-back losses against Conference USA foes.While the losses to No. 9 University of Tulsa and No. 60 Southern Methodist University may have squashed Rice's hopes at hosting an NCAA Regional, the Owls, currently 13-7 on the year, will get a chance to redeem themselves in the upcoming C-USA Tournament. Rice will enter the tournament, scheduled for April 18-20 in Dallas, as the No. 2 seed for the second consecutive year.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Sans serif soliloquies:Untapped power of college system: shenanigans

In the rigmarole that is a Rice education, it's easy to lose focus. We spend so much time occupying the floors of Fondren Library and pounding cappuccino at Coffeehouse that schoolwork overshadows the rest of our lives. And, with what little remains, we fail to appreciate the one thing that should save us from the mundane routine into which each semester eventually falls: The college system.While many universities have their own local rivalries, Rice finds itself in a rather unique position. With our proclaimed academic rivals residing thousands of miles to the northeast and our academic equals spread across the south, we find ourselves without any unifying force to pull us together as a student body.


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

Grits and gesundheit: Government partly at fault for tuition hikes

Americans tend to link a college education to financial success. Sometimes I wonder whether a college education is worth the price we pay, or, to put it in the language of economics majors, if what we pay in time and money is an economically efficient use of resources. While politicians, interest groups and certain segments of society accuse and condemn oil companies and pharmaceutical enterprises of price gouging, it always strikes me as odd that colleges and universities are able to escape such criticism.The net price of college tuition in the United States has consistently been rising at a rate far faster than inflation. In the last five years, the cost of four-year colleges rose 31 percent above the general inflation rate. A press release published by the House Democrats in 2006 pointed out that since the year 2001, tuition at public universities has increased by $2,000 (or 57 percent) and at private universities by $5,000 (32 percent).


NEWS 4/10/08 7:00pm

With Oympic Trials approaching, Greff's vault lands her top spot in nation

While recent worldwide newspapers indicate that many people could boycott the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, there is at least one member of the women's track team who may be in China to see them firsthand. Senior Rachel Greff's vault of 13 feet, 9.25 inches, at the Texas Relays in Austin last weekend was high enough to qualify for the Olympic Trials with a B-level ranking. With the same jump, Greff also moved to the top of the NCAA standings with a little over a month to go until the Conference USA meet.Along with Rice's other throwers, jumpers and sprinters, Greff will now travel to El Paso for the University of Texas-El Paso Invitational this weekend. Head coach Jim Bevan said the fast track, warm weather and high altitude could provide for personal-best performances.