Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Saturday, June 15, 2024 — Houston, TX


FEATURES 3/1/22 1:31pm

COVID-19 on campus: students talk isolation this semester

As the Omicron variant led to record-high COVID-19 cases on campus in January, Rice adjusted its own policies, from the format of course delivery to the testing requirement after travel, in response. In anticipation of high case numbers among students due to the high transmissibility of the new coronavirus variant, Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman announced late December that Rice may be unable to offer isolation housing to students living on campus. Should Rice run out of isolation space, students who tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic would need to isolate in place.

FEATURES 2/22/22 11:37pm

‘To BeReal or not to BeReal’: Students discuss the trendy social media app

A new app has been trending on campus, promising authenticity and a new way to connect with friends and family. While Instagram revolves around photos that people can meticulously curate, BeReal is an image-based social media platform that picks a random time every day when users have to post – a condition that is supposed to encourage more natural photos. A daily upload is necessary for a user to see other people’s posts and to interact on the app; users are forced to actively participate rather than passively scroll.

FEATURES 2/22/22 11:22pm

Jasmine Manansala talks Jeopardy! experience

​​When Brown College junior Jasmine Manansala was participating in the Jeopardy! National College Championship last November, one of the implications she was pondering was the potential for her future career. She said she has made many great connections and received a lot of attention for her stint on the gameshow, which started running Feb. 8.

FEATURES 2/15/22 11:26pm

Professor Pulickel Ajayan discusses his impact on NanoEngineering

The Guinness World Record for the smallest brush belongs to a Rice professor, Pulickel Ajayan from the department of materials science and nanoengineering. Ajayan said both this and the other world record he has held — for creating the darkest material — incorporated his research on nanotubes. He applied for these records to make the research more visible.

FEATURES 2/1/22 10:53pm

Outgoing presidents look back on their terms

Rice’s 11 college presidents began their terms last spring, in the midst of a pandemic and an unsure school year. Since then, they have had to lead their residential colleges through many changes, from Constitutional rewrites to relaxed or heightened public health regulations. As their terms near their end, the Thresher invited the presidents to reflect both on themselves and their important role.

FEATURES 2/1/22 10:51pm

Driving-distance trips to make over break

The city of Houston and the state it calls home are bustling with places to explore and things to do, offering many ways to spend the upcoming spring recess, spring break and the rare weekend without reading to catch up on or problem sets to complete. Consider stepping away from Rice campus and the museum district to go on one of these trips, all accessible by car, to fill your spare time.

FEATURES 1/25/22 11:24pm

Senior Spotlight: Cynthia Chen talks making the most of an unexpected college experience

Martel College senior Cynthia Chen grew up envisioning the quintessential college life portrayed in movies and books. Having taken a semester off during her sophomore year and having spent so much time learning from home due to the pandemic, Chen said she almost felt robbed of this experience. But she has learned to accept that her college experience is turning out differently from what she originally expected.

FEATURES 1/25/22 11:22pm

5 clubs to check out at the Student Activities Fair

Extracurricular activities make up a major part of student life at Rice: there’s a large variety of clubs to choose from, a good number of which students may not have even heard about. Did you know that you can sign up to volunteer to teach English as a Second Language to adults or get involved in a fashion show? Many of these campus organizations will be at the virtual Student Activities Fair this Wednesday, Jan. 26. 

FEATURES 1/18/22 11:18pm

Nearby parks and nature

As school gets back into rhythm and back-to-back Zoom meetings tire out our eyes, places to unwind and be immersed in nature are needed now more than ever. Rice students are lucky that Houston has a variety of parks and gardens right outside the hedges of campus, as easy as a walk or Metro ride away. With plenty of walking trails, beautiful flora and fauna and special events, these parks offer a chance to relax and unwind – and enjoy the weather before it gets humid again!

FEATURES 1/18/22 11:13pm

GSA and SA work toward greater schoolwide student interaction

For the past few months, the Graduate Student Association and the Student Association have been discussing how to facilitate a more cohesive Rice student body. A proposed graduate student meal plan at the campus serveries would open undergraduate spaces to graduate students to address potential food insecurity. Another initiative is geared explicitly toward interaction between the two student populations: mentorship-focused meals would bring together undergraduate students who are interested in graduate (or possibly even professional school) with Rice graduate students who are willing to provide mentorship over several meals a semester.

FEATURES 1/18/22 11:10pm

First two weeks online: Students talk pandemic changes, online classes

The fall 2021 semester began with online classes amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the Houston area, attributed to the Delta variant. As the semester progressed, though, restrictions were gradually lifted, allowing for a nearly normal semester. Now, given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, classes are online for the first two weeks of the semester once again. This change, along with the administration’s request for students to delay their return to campus, has prompted some students to change their plans for the beginning of the semester.