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Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, July 07, 2020 — Houston, TX °

Spotlight


FEATURES 7/6/20 12:52am

What has the Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice been up to?

Last month, a group of Black students published a list of demands for the administration to “address the systemic oppression and inequity that is embedded within Rice’s history by acknowledging and amplifying voices, experiences and communities that have historically been unheard.” One of the six demands is to remove Founder’s Memorial, the statue of William Marsh Rice found in the Academic Quad, on the basis of Rice’s enslavement of 15 people and involvement in the cotton trade. This demand received particular attention with “Down With Willy,” a student-led social media campaign to demand the administration remove the statue.



FEATURES 5/31/20 12:29pm

Rice for Black Life encourages Rice community to financially support Black activism

In the 2019 documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” Morrison encouraged those looking to make change to ask themselves, “What can I do where I am?” That sentiment sparked Summar McGee (Hanszen College ’20) to found Rice For Black Life, she said. Rice For Black Life is a Black-led coalition of 45 Rice students, Rice affiliates and community members seeking to “support Black liberation, the affirmation of Black life and the abolition of white power structures,” according to a recent email from the group.


FEATURES 4/21/20 10:33pm

Black at Rice: Through video games and community, Jaylen Carr finds his voice

Jaylen Carr grew up playing Nintendo video games — “If it had the Nintendo seal, I probably played it at some point,” he said — and loving everything about the multinational Japanese electronics and video game company. So when he received an internship offer from the Nintendo human resources department in the spring of his sophomore year, Carr said it felt like his stars had aligned. 


FEATURES 4/21/20 7:50pm

Professor, RA, new parent: Lesa Tran’s journey in the midst of the pandemic

On a cool Saturday in March, Lesa Tran held her daughter Ophelia for the very first time. Throughout Ophelia’s life, her March 21 birthday will coincide with the vernal equinox — the beginning of spring — and signal the start of the season of renewal, hope and promise. This year, though, things were different: Spring came on March 20, and Ophelia was delivered amid a global pandemic. 


FEATURES 4/21/20 6:59pm

Gabe Baker listens to his heart on new Bachelor spinoff

Being on the screen isn’t new to Gabe Baker, a Rice alumnus (Brown College ’14) and cast member of The Bachelor franchise’s new music dating show: “The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart” on ABC, where contestants sing to and with each other. Baker has been on athletic competition reality shows before –– “American Ninja Warrior” and Netflix’s “Ultimate Beastmaster.” While the constant eye of the cameras did put him under pressure to perform on those shows, Baker said that being on “The Bachelor” brought a new kind of pressure.


FEATURES 4/21/20 6:54pm

RiceApps hatches Schedule Planner replacement with “hatch.”

When Rice announced that Schedule Planner, an online scheduling platform for students, would be shut down and replaced with Banner, a platform that combines schedule planning with registration, students were devastated. One went so far as to write a eulogy for the site, criticizing the university’s choice to spend millions of dollars on what was, in his opinion, a worse platform. 


FEATURES 4/21/20 5:25pm

Guggenheim Fellow Lacy Johnson talks climate violence and why she writes

Intricate plankton, jellyfish and corals fill the drawings of Ernst Haeckel, a 19th-century German biologist, philosopher and naturalist. The prints caught the eye of Rice’s latest Guggenheim Fellow Lacy Johnson, who took a deeper look into Haeckel’s life. In her research, she unearthed the biologist’s prominent work in scientific racism, work which has led some historians to conclude that Haeckel informed the eventual rise of Nazi ideology in Germany and fascism in Italy.


FEATURES 4/21/20 5:20pm

ImPROMptu: New students plan for prom at Rice amid widespread cancellations

As more and more social distancing guidelines were put in place over the past months, high school seniors across the country watched as prom slowly slipped out of their grasp. Instead of donning prom dresses and tuxes, they realized they would be donning face masks. Rather than spending the night dancing with their classmates, they would be staying home, only stepping out for groceries and medication. 



FEATURES 4/21/20 2:52pm

Moments alone: Another round of 50-word stories from isolation

As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us. 


FEATURES 4/14/20 10:39pm

Pipe cleaner chemistry kits and 13-hour time differences: Students adjust to remote classes

For some students, moving back home two months earlier than expected to finish out the semester has meant the mixed blessing and curse of home-cooked meals and navigating impossible time differences for Zoom class; for others, it has meant trying to focus long enough to pass courses amid unstable internet access and the burdens of financial stress. For all students, the pandemic has posed unique obstacles to obtaining the education they had hoped to get out of the semester. 


FEATURES 4/14/20 9:16pm

Virtual prayers: Rice students celebrate religious holidays under lockdown

Religious festivals are times of celebration, shared in a community, when families hold both simple and extravagantly planned gatherings to catch up with each other and have a good time. Oftentimes, these festivals give religious communities the opportunity to gather as a large group to worship and celebrate together. Many of these festivals have deep spiritual or religious significance for students. The Thresher caught up with students celebrating Easter, Passover, Ugadi and Ramadan this year to discuss how they’ve managed to maintain the spirit of the festival even after the pandemic struck. 


FEATURES 4/14/20 9:07pm

Heroes on the front lines: Rice alumni fight against COVID-19 in hospitals

Rice students aspiring to become doctors do plenty of preparation in their undergraduate years  — prerequisite courses, Medical College Admission Tests and clinical experiences. But most students are likely not preparing to be on the front lines of the battle against a global pandemic. However, that’s exactly where a number of Rice alumni have found themselves in the face of COVID-19.



FEATURES 4/14/20 7:06pm

Moments alone: More 50 word stories from isolation

As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us. This is our second installment of this series.



FEATURES 4/14/20 5:15pm

Hotspots: Students return home to highly infected regions

When Rice announced that classes would be going remote and required students to leave campus unless their petition to stay on campus was approved, some undergraduates had to do what it seemed like nobody in America wanted to do: travel to areas of the country with high rates of COVID-19. The Thresher caught up with students from California, New York and Washington who made the difficult decision to return home and be with their families. 


FEATURES 4/14/20 3:40pm

A look back into history: Rice in times of crisis

For the first time since our university’s founding in 1912, all instruction is taking place remotely and virtually. For the second time since our founding in 1916, the Thresher has stopped printing physical papers (the first break was during World War I, according to our records) and for the first time has transitioned to emailing a weekly online newsletter (which you can and should subscribe to here). And for the first time in its 64-year history, Beer Bike did not happen.


FEATURES 4/10/20 8:13pm

Time cut short for alumni on fellowships

Over 10,000 miles from Houston, off the coast of the Maldives, reef manta rays are in their peak season: Every March and April, the massive sea animals aggregate in large numbers in the water surrounding the small South Asian island nation.  Anna Knochel had been anticipating this moment for a while. A 2019 recipient of the Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship, which funds international research projects, Knochel (Baker College ’19) began pursuing a master’s degree in marine science at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology last fall. Much of her time was spent preparing for her fieldwork in the Maldives and Mozambique, which would focus on the skin microbiomes of manta rays.