Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, June 20, 2024 — Houston, TX

Amanda Melchor


NEWS 2/12/09 6:00pm

Senior gift greatly benefits underclassmen

As I struggle with the many obligations of senior year - completing classes, getting ready for graduation, finding a job and somehow managing to enjoy the last semester of college - I find myself engaging in one senior duty that I have never thought I would participate in: senior gift.A senior gift at Rice is essentially money raised by seniors that is given to the Rice Annual Fund to be used for things that directly impact student life: new Recreation Center equipment, scholarships and other student needs. Though a senior gift is nice in theory, as an underclassman and even well into my senior year, I always wondered why graduating seniors were expected to give money as a "gift." Why, after four years of paying money for tuition, housing, books and other university fees, should seniors be required to pay more money when most do not have jobs yet and, in some cases, will not for a few years?


NEWS 2/5/09 6:00pm

RPC should bring back Assassin, but zombie-style

As a senior reflecting on my time at Rice, I often reminisce about the usual fun memories: Orientation Week, Dis-Orientation, Screw Yer Roommate, Beer Bike. But one of the memories that stood out most was the fun tradition of Assassin, an annual campus-wide game organized by the Rice Program Council that ended in 2007. The game is overdue for a permanent return to campus but for various reasons - including fun - it should be conducted in a different, zombie oriented format.The game, sponsored by RPC usually in late March or early April, was pretty simple: First, a player received the name of another randomly-selected player in her campus mailbox. Then, she had to "eliminate" that person with a water gun. The rules were fairly open - a target was eligible for "assassination" anywhere but his or her room. The player who acquired the most names at the end of the week of play won a prize - along with glory and bragging rights - awarded by RPC.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Podcasting possesses power to aid present, future students

One of the great things about college, especially at a university like Rice, is the plethora of technology available to guide students in learning. The Digital Media Center offers both video and photographic cameras for student use as well as programs and classes to help them create DVDs and Web pages. But as I browsed through my iTunes account the other day, I was taken by a particular feature that Rice could use: more podcasts.Essentially, a podcast is a media file that can either be audio (like an mp3 file and most music) or video file. The iTunes store has free podcasts with topics ranging from sports to science to politics and virtually everything in between. Podcasts are simple tools - and cheap if done through the Digital Media Center - that the university could use more to not only help its current students but also aid future matriculants.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

New year an excellent time for last push improvements

With the spring semester beginning comes the return of fickle weather the reluctant return to studying and drudgery, and an ardent pursuit of cheap textbooks. But underneath this simple and routine facade lies a somewhat mundane and repetitive but very relevant detail. The most significant distinction the spring semester has over its autumnal counterpart is the fresh start for all involved and the potential benefits this new beginning can contribute to our university. The spring semester is a great way to truly bring about change to campus since it signifies a more communal student experience. The vast majority of those entering the spring semester are officially tried-and-true students; this statement is obviously true for upperclassmen but for freshman, it's an important distinction. Most true freshmen -not to be confused with transfer students - are no longer green and inexperienced in the maze of university life and can now, along with their transfer brethren, be considered fully initiated members of the Rice community. And although some students may have been abroad or on leave during the fall semester, most of the student body present in the spring have experienced the events and controversies that marked the fall term, such as Hurricane Ike and changes made concerning student finances and organizations like the Student Admission Council. These experiences and our reactions to them unite us as a student body, and it is only as a large body of students that we can bring change to campus.


NEWS 10/30/08 7:00pm

Looming election demands educated vote

In a few days, a special event that only appears once every few years will come to pass. No, I'm not talking about Hello Hamlet! or a surprising but expected announcement of yet another building to be erected on our lovely campus. I'm talking about the Nov. 4 election that will change the destiny of the country and shape our future. With only a handful of days until the 2008 presidential election, it is more important than ever to get politically educated and motivated to vote.Now, while I am encouraging everyone to exercise his or her often taken-for-granted-or-ignored right to vote - something people in Zimbabwe and other politically unstable nations across the world wish they could exercise as easily we can - I am not saying that you should show up on Election Day at the polls and select whichever candidate you think has the better window-dressing and overall image. An uneducated vote is as worthless as an unused vote because it is backed by no substance, conviction or understanding of the issues and concerns this country faces.


NEWS 10/9/08 7:00pm

Rice football, stadium undergo four-year metamorphosis

I have never been a big football fan. Ask my friends, my parents, anyone who knows me. Despite living in Texas - a state that virtually worships football for half a year - I have never caught the fervor that accompanies the pigskin spectacle. Rather, I had never until two weeks ago at the Families' Weekend football game. Let me tell you: Rice's Athletic Department has done an excellent job in transforming Rice football games into events worth attending.The last time I attended a Rice football game as a student - and I mean really attended a football game, wearing Rice colors, cheering on the players - the stadium had worn, wooden, splintery stands that were literally a pain to sit in. Vendors didn't really exist, much less tempt spectators. And the student section was nonexistent. I've been to college football games at Texas A&M University and the Alamobowl in San Antonio and noticed that despite the different venues and teams, there was always a show of spirit: large buttons and fans with the school's logo and catchphrase and the endless stream of tables with college trappings and emblems. Despite my apathy towards the game, I have wondered whether I was missing out on something by attending a school that didn't celebrate its football games in a similar way.


NEWS 9/18/08 7:00pm

Job fairs should provide better options for humanities majors

Last week as I browsed through my Thresher, I was surprised and a bit disappointed to discover a Career Expo insert. Those few sheets of paper meant that it was that depressing time of year again: not midterms or finals, not Valentine's Day, but Job Hunting Season. Not everyone approaches the expo the same way I do. While I see this fair as another way of being reminded of the limits of my humanities major (outside of graduate or professional school), my scientifically-geared friends see it as a glowing chance of opportunity. The career fairs at Rice are designed to cater to and pique the interests of only a select group of students - the future scientists and engineers - while leaving the rest of us with few options.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Fear stupefies student thought and views

The start of the school year means different things for different people. For new students and freshmen, this week marks the beginning of their "adult" lives and a slew of experiences, both good and bad, that life brings. For seniors, a new school year translates to the beginning of the end, one last hurrah in the final year of college and a brazen effort to maximize the potential for fun while attempting to secure a semblance of a stable future post-Rice.But for me, the beginning of the year means something else as well: another year of garnering and showcasing student opinion and thought. One of the great things about Rice is the diversity of its students and the experiences they bring to the academic and social table. With so many intelligent people who possess an endless variety of backgrounds and views, student opinion should be flowering - and flooding my inbox. Sadly, this is not the case.


NEWS 3/27/08 7:00pm

Serendipitous Musings:Pavilion success rides on student support

As construction enters its final phases, the near-completion of the Brochstein Pavilion presses students to consider the building's purpose and to take action to help ensure that the newest architectural addition to campus serves that purpose by serving students. The main goal of the pavilion lies in enhancing Rice's sense of student vibrancy, which can only be accomplished if students voluntarily and continually use it.Student vibrancy, as described in the Vision for the Second Century, is defined as a sense of a university community that students acquire by using space


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Serendipitous musings: Beer-Bike tradition as quirky, unique as Rice

As the Ides of March approaches, students steel themselves for an especially important and momentous event. Summer job and internship searches? Child's play. Midterm exams and papers? Who worries about those? I am talking about what could arguably be the most memorable and vital annual event at Rice, comparable in magic and joy only to Christmas, and, quite possibly, a law or med school admissions letter: I am talking about Beer-Bike.Not only is it a tradition unique and specific to Rice, but Beer-Bike also provides students with a way to rally and connect together as residential colleges and a university as a whole, regardless of major and age - even the Graduate Student Association participates. The event's evolution marks the growth of the university as a whole, and the excitement is like nothing ever seen before. The energy and anticipation in the air replaces the usual enthusiasm and excitement you find at other universities that have exceptional varsity sports programs and makes the experience available to sports fans and bookish types alike.