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VOLUME 100, ISSUE NO. 18 | STUDENT-RUN SINCE 1916 | RICETHRESHER.ORG | WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016

SA PRESIDENTIAL GRIFFIN THOMAS

JOAN LIU

DEBATES

Friday, February 12 @ 8 PM | McMurtry Commons | Food, Beer & Boba

Candidates to compete for presidency, EVP SEE CENTERFOLD ON PAGE 6 FOR ALL CANDIDATE PROFILES & PLATFORMS

RVP to potentially lose student funding Anita Alem News Editor

The Blanket Tax Committee recommended that Rice Video Productions’ blanket tax subsidiary status be removed at the Student Association Senate meeting on Feb. 3. If the SA chooses to approve the proposal, the student body would vote on RVP’s status in the general election, marking the first occasion under the new blanket tax process in which an organization has been suggested for removal of blanket tax status. The leadership of RVP said they disagree with the recommendation, and did not believe the committee communicated enough or made an informed decision through appropriate discussion. RVP receives an annual blanket tax of approximately $21,000. In Violation: Programming Shift The student body voted to designate RVP as a blanket tax organization in 2001, which was founded as Rice’s official television station. “[The purpose of RVP is] to provide the undergraduate body of Rice Univer-

sity with a variety of programming and video technologies,” the organization’s constitution states. RVP President Patrick Huang said RVP also encourages students to borrow its video equipment for personal projects and teaches production techniques. The BTC raised concerns regarding the singularity of the organization, stating that this portion of the mission overlaps with that of the Digital Media Commons, which similarly provides students with high-quality audio/ visual resources and instruction. RVP no longer uses its broadcasting channel to distribute content and has instead for several years been releasing videos on YouTube and distributing through Facebook, although the station remains and often plays old content. Within the past few months, RVP has changed its name from Rice Television and made a subsequent shift in its programming. Huang, a Baker College senior, and Treasurer Jeremy Kao previously said the organization was trying to focus more on producing original content, including experimental short films (see “RTV rebranding reveals ex-

cess in rollover funding” in the Nov. 18. 2015 issue of the Thresher). Since fall 2015, RVP has released four videos on its YouTube page. Last year, RVP released more than 30 videos. RVP previously filmed student programming events including Senate meetings and cultural shows. The BTC found that RVP’s transition, done without polling of the student body, violated a central blanket tax organization criterion by not benefiting all students and the Rice community. SA Treasurer Chilakapati said the BTC does not take issue with the method of delivery via YouTube and Facebook instead of television broadcasting, but is concerned with the content. Chilakapati, a Hanszen College junior, and Lovett College President and BTC SA representative Griffin Thomas cited view counts as evidence of the popularity of cultural and student programming content. The BTC conducted an analysis of videos posted on RVP’s YouTube channel, and of the five mostviewed, four were student events, such as Mr. Rice and Beer Bike. The second most-viewed video, a short satirical

Construction begins on first design space open to all students

courtesy rice video productions

RVP released their original short “NOD BODS” as a part of a transition in programming, which the BTC found in violation of blanket tax status. comedy entitled “NOD BODS,” had over 800 views and was produced in fall 2015. According to Chilakapati and Thomas, a junior, this indicated that the best move for RVP may not have been to move away from filming Rice events, which they said more clearly benefits the student body. However, when RVP conducted its analysis in an official response, it

BTC recommends Catalyst to SA for student funding Anita Alem News Editor

photo courtesy eli wilson

A student rendering of the concept for the McMurtry Innovation and Creativity Kitchen, scheduled to open by the end of this semester. The space will feature building areas, design-related software and a new 3-D printer.

Susan Wen

Thresher Staff

The McMurtry Innovation and Creativity Kitchen has broken ground on construction, according to Eli Wilson, a McMurtry College senior. Wilson said the MICK, the first design space open to all students on campus, will provide resources for innovative ideas. “[The MICK] looks to provide every student the ability to be creative and to be innovative and have

access to tools,” Wilson said. The MICK will be divided into four areas: art, technology, building and free space. Wilson said students will have access to building tools, power tools and design-related software, such as the Adobe Creative Suite and Sibelius, a music editing software. The MICK will also upgrade current black-and-white printers to color printers and add a new 3-D printer and a laser cutter. “We want to reappropriate the

gathering space into a space that can be used for everything from formal gatherings to college sponsored events,” Wilson said. “We are looking into getting sponsors to essentially allow us to have more tablets in this space.” The MICK is being created as part of the Rice Education of the Future initiative conducted last year, which showed through survey data that students desire more creative spaces on campus. The 0see DESIGN, page 3

included videos from private users who utilized RVP equipment. In RVP’s analysis, only one of the top five mostviewed videos was traditional student programming (a Mr. Rice promo with more than 1,200 views). Former President Rachel Gray said viewer engagement, or how long people watched the video, is much higher for short and co0see RVP, page 2

The Blanket Tax Committee has recommended to the Student Association Senate that Rice Catalyst be placed on the ballot for voters to decide whether to designate it as a blanket tax organization. The Rice Standard did not receive a BTC recommendation to receive student funds. According to the organization’s website, Catalyst is a science research journal allowing undergraduates to provide their perspectives on science topics and research, especially in interdisciplinary interests. According to BTC SA representative and Lovett College President Griffin Thomas, in order to receive a recommendation, organizations must prove that the requested funds contribute to the organization’s mission, which benefits the entire student body and Rice community. Additionally, the organization must demonstrate a strong financial need that is long-term and annual and that all other reasonable means of acquiring funding have been exhausted.

SA Treasurer Sai Chilakapati, a Hanszen College junior, had a conflict of interest as a member of Catalyst’s leadership, so Thomas took on the role of leadership as Chilakapati recused himself from the decision process. Thomas, a junior, said he initially had reservations about Catalyst’s potential to benefit all students, considering it appears to cater to students in the natural sciences. “We asked extensive questions and got documentation about all different types of departments that they benefit, and they are not just a STEM publication, but they include research from social science, humanities, natural science and engineering,” Thomas said. “It really is something that can bring the entire campus together.” Thomas said he is hopeful that the organization would be more established and increase student awareness if it were to become a blanket tax organization. Rice Catalyst joins Rice Rally as the only two organizations out of the total six that applied for blanket tax status to receive a recommendation from the BTC. Rice Uni0see FUNDING, page 3


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NEWS

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

the Rice Thresher

SRB leaders chart new courses for coming year

Aparna Narendrula, Staff Writer

Coffeehouse

Rice Bikes

What’s your vision for Coffeehouse in the next year? We have two main goals: moving us towards greener and more sustainable business practices, and tapping into the diverse set of skills that students have on campus. For example, going to the Archi school to help us redesign our cafe space and reaching out to Design for America to help Coffeehouse become more reconnected with Rice students. Why did you decide to be general manager? I have a vision. I’m very driven to make change. I’m not afraid to change things at all and I’m always thinking very critically about how things can be improved, always. Efficiency: How can we improve our workflow behind bar, how can we improve the customer experience, Harrison Lin how can we reduce the line throughout the door. This mindset of conMECH, Brown ’18 stantly improving has helped Coffeehouse become a better place. You love Coffeehouse – why should everyone else at Rice? I don’t expect everyone at Rice to love Coffeehouse, but I do think that Coffeehouse is very much the heart and soul of this campus. It’s the central hub where people go when they have an hour of free time; it’s a place where you can kick back and relax or you can get down and dirty with studying. We are the cheapest coffee you can find in Houston. We know that students don’t have a lot of money to spend. We do things sustainably to the best of our ability and we are a very ethical business in the way we treat our employees. We have a very great employee culture — sometimes you see KOCs dancing behind bar.

Where will you take Rice Bikes in the next year? We’re really hoping to expand our location. We’re kind of outgrowing our space, which is really exciting. I also see our rental program growing to accommodate the large number of people renting bikes on campus. We’re also partnering with an organization in Houston called Free Wheels to provide bikes to Houston refugees. We’re really looking to become a larger part of the Houston bike community. What will make you succeed as general manager of Rice Bikes? Something that I brought to the shop is an attitude of collaboration with other organizations on campus and within the shop. The manageMadeleine Pelzel ment team is really on top of it this year, so the other managers are really taking care of a lot of the nitty gritty stuff and I’m getting to focus ARCH, Lovett ’18 on these bigger projects which is really exciting. What are some challenges that you will face? As a shop, our growth and expansion is probably our biggest challenge: We had to cut back on our hours this semester because we can’t take in the number of bikes. This need has really driven us to use our space more effectively: We’ve been experimenting with different ways to hang and store bikes and we’ve really gotten every square inch out of that space. I think for me as GM the biggest challenge is to make sure that [with] all of our different programs we don’t lose sight of our core mission to provide low-cost, high-quality service to students.

Willy’s Pub

What is your vision for where Willy’s Pub will be in the next year? In the next year I’m hoping Willy’s will be right where it is right now: happily chugging along in the basement of the RMC. I just want Pub to be the place students want to go on any given week night. I’m also hoping we can throw some great events and generate creative ideas to draw in people who may never have come to pub before. Funny story from working at Pub? One of the tamer ones, but during my first shift at Pub I charged someone $1 for a free glass of water and they paid for it. Why did you decide to step up to this role at Willy’s Pub? I just really like the unique history of Pub, as well as everyone that John Williams works there now. I want to help keep Pub the Rice institution it has MECH, Martel ’17 been for nearly 41 years. It’s also rare to have the opportunity to be the general manager of a business as a junior in college and it was something I couldn’t pass up. What is Pub’s role at Rice, and how is it changing? Pub’s a place people can come together to meet up outside of their respective colleges and have a good time. Since I’ve been here people have become more and more excited about us stocking new and interesting beers. We’ve been trying to bring in a more diverse draft and bottle lineup and that will definitely continue in the next year. Wednesday night Trivia has become increasingly popular as well.

The Hoot

What are your plans for the Hoot for the next year? One of our plans is to increase the number of specialty nights. Now they’re on a biweekly basis. [Also,] diversifying and adding products. What made you decide to become GM of the hoot? If you had asked me freshman year if I was going to be a manager of an SRB, I would have laughed because there’s no way I thought I was going to be comfortable presenting in front of 25 people — but it’s such a friendly environment and I want to keep that going and keep people coming. I really appreciated meeting new friends from the Hoot. What about you is going to make you succeed as a GM? Taking a hands-on approach and really listening to employees. Alura Vincent What I’ve been working on is trying to get employee and other manMECH, Martel ’17 ager feedback and make sure I’m aware of every project that’s going on. How would you describe the employee culture at the Hoot? All of the [SRBs’] employees are super friendly, super collaborative, so the Hoot definitely fits in with that. We’re all night owls because we all work late for sure. I really like the creativity of our employees. We’re trying to find ways to make the space feel more like a home. Because we just moved to the new location, people have really good ideas for like funny posts they can make every night when they open [like] post[ing] pictures of our food and pictures of our meetings. Transcripts edited for clarity. Read full interviews online at ricethresher.org.

0RVP FROM PAGE 1 medic videos — as referenced by how 80 percent of their top 25 most-viewed videos are shorter than 10 minutes. Thomas said he agreed view numbers are not an ideal metric of judgement, but the BTC has no other metric available due to the lack of formal polling. “We’re not saying that what they’re currently doing is not in the student body’s best interest, but just [saying] that we don’t know,” Thomas said. “The student body [should] decide.” The BTC stated that RVP is no longer providing services to the student body for free and is transitioning to a model of charging organizations for filming programming. RVP denies this allegation. Martel College junior Josh Masimore, known as DJ Masimore, paid RVP member Max Hassell, a Lovett College junior, to film his musical performance at Esperanza. Hassell produced and edited the video, which can be seen on RVP’s YouTube channel, using RVP equipment. Hassell declined to comment. Thomas said he took issue with the organization determining its programming based on monetary compensation. “RVP is supposed to [serve] the student body, and when they start to change the types of videos

they produce because external entities are paying them, then they’re not serving the student body,” Thomas said. “They are operating as a profit-making entity as opposed to a service entity.” However, Huang, Gray, a Lovett College senior, and Kao, a Hanszen College junior, said RVP has never given special preference to paying entities. “The payment idea came from a desire to provide a supplementary incentive to our members to be able to film more videos with quicker turnaround,” the RVP leadership said. “If the BTC is against our payment idea, then we won’t do it.” Concerns Raised The BTC raised several concerns regarding leadership and budgeting, but did not officially find RVP to be in violation, which requires annual infractions. According to the BTC, the change in leadership from Gray to Huang in fall 2015 was improperly conducted without prior notice. However, email records from RVP show that Gray contacted members of the SA executive board as early as Aug. 27 with no response. SA Secretary Brianna Singh addressed further inquiries from Huang, although conversations about changing the name and leadership stretched from August to October and were not formally approved until January 2016. A change in SA parliamentarian in mid-fall 2015 also delayed communication. The Thresher released an investigation into the organization’s rebranding, as well as issues of ex-

cess rollover funding, in November 2015. According to Chilakapati, the BTC found that the budgets that RVP provided to the Thresher were false, with a mischaracterization of what constituted rollover, such that there was little to no actual rollover. RVP also restructured its budget without notification in August 2015, following the BTC’s review in April. “These violations have resulted in the decision that RVP has not been a good steward of student money,” the BTC stated in its recommendation. RVP said it did not intend to violate the new blanket tax rules and acknowledged its lack of communication regarding budgeting. Chilakapati and Thomas said they felt miscommunication with their adviser, Will Robedee, created issues with the budget. Gray, Huang and Kao said their adviser is not a good match, but did not feel RVP should be punished for failing to change advisers. “There has not been a clear path of how to change advisors,” RVP leadership said. On Tuesday, Feb 9, Student Media Director Kelley Lash officially became their new adviser and Robedee was removed from his position as the adviser for RVP, but he continues to be the adviser for KTRU. Robedee declined to comment. “All student groups at Rice deserve advising that suits their needs,” Lash said. “I’m happy to try to do that for RVP as long as it suits their needs.” Beyond the Investigation Gray said she felt the BTC had begun its in-

vestigation due to pressure from the Thresher. According to Chilakapati, the BTC was not fully aware of the organization’s functional change until the Thresher article was released. “In no way was this whole process a reaction to a Thresher article in that we wanted to make ourselves look good or correct [a mistake],” Chilakapati said. “For us, it was really an objective look at the organization based on the information that was brought to our light.” Thomas said he believes RVP could still succeed as an organization producing video content even without blanket tax funding. “With the new [Digital Media Commons] and with funding sources available to regular clubs, they have all the resources that they would need to thrive as a club without being a blanket tax organization,” Thomas said. Gray, Kao and Huang said they agreed that if RVP were to lose its blanket tax status, it could continue to exist without student funding. “Members [could] spend more time and energy focusing on producing content rather than dealing with bureaucratic procedures,” RVP leadership said. “We have found the committee’s lack of consistency and clarity in communication to be very frustrating, so not having to work with the BTC would be nice.” Student Media Director Kelley Lash is also the adviser for the Thresher and a member of the Blanket Tax Committee.

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Sponsored by Rice Global E&C Forum Dean of Engineering and Fluor Corp


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

the Rice Thresher

0DESIGN

NEWS IN BRIEF

FROM PAGE 1

Kinder Institute receives $7 million grant to fund research, outreach Andrew Ligeralde, Assistant News Editor Large scale data analytics, public health and education and urban housing development are among the main focus areas of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s upcoming research and outreach initiatives, supported in part by a $7 million philanthropic grant from the Houston Endowment. The three-year grant is the largest contribution the Kinder institute has received since its inception in 2010 as a think tank that ad-

dresses issues facing Houston and other urban areas. Director of the Kinder Institute Bill Fulton said the grant will support both the long term goals of the Institute and the success of the city of Houston. “This support will help Houston become a better city and will enable the Kinder Institute to become a nationally and internationally prominent urban think tank by 2018,” Fulton said.

UT system, A&M look to Houston for expansion possibilities Drew Keller, News Editor Both Texas A&M University and the University of Texas are considering plans to create new facilities in Houston, according to public statements by A&M President Michael Young and UT Chancellor William McRaven. In November, McRaven presented a plan to the UT Board of Regents which included a Houston expansion, though not a full new undergraduate school, as one of its eight main initiatives. “This will not be a University of Texas, Houston,” a document outlining the plan said. “Rather, it will be an ‘intellectual hub’ for UT, an opportunity for all our campuses to take advantage of the Houston professionals in [many] fields.” In accordance with the plan, UT has bought over 300 acres of land near Rice,

south of the Texas Medical Center. The University of Houston has opposed the development, with its Board of Trustees making an official protest of the move. “This effort will be decades in the making but will help drive our [UT] System to the very top tier in the nation, while at the same time allowing us to build partnerships with industry and the other great academic institutions in the area,” McRaven said. Meanwhile, Young said A&M was also looking at expansion ideas, according to the Houston Chronicle. “We’re in the midst of thinking through this strategic plan of how do we best serve the state,” Young said to the Chronicle’s editorial board, according to a Chronicle article.

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Baker Institute 4th in world, according to new ranking Andrew Ligeralde, Assistant News Editor The Baker Institute for Public Policy was ranked among the top five university affiliated think tanks in the world, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. The Baker Institute rose to fourth, up from ninth in 2014. According to the report’s abstract, the rankings are based on feedback from a panel of over 1,900 peer institutions and experts across the media, academia, public and private donor institutions and governments around the world. In order, the report lists the top

four university affiliated think tanks as Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard’s Center for International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science’s IDEAS/Public Policy Group and the Baker Institute. The report also ranked the Baker Institute as 18th among think tanks in the U.S., same as its 2014 ranking, and the Institute’s Center for Energy Studies as second among the world’s energy and resource policy think tanks, up from fourth in 2014.

creation of the space was first proposed in November 2014. The McMurtry government approved the design of the MICK in March 2015. In the past nine months, the committee has completed initial design, design development and construction documents. The committee is working with an outside architect and has obtained a permit, Wilson said. According to Wilson, the space is expected to be available by the end of spring break. The Innovative Space is located at McMurtry room 107, the previous McMurtry TV room, which is currently under construction to meet the specifications of the new design. The MICK will try to preserve the gathering aspect of the TV room, Wilson said. Students can also use the space for informal performances and formal classes. According to Wilson, the MICK will be

0FUNDING FROM PAGE 1 versity Splash, Rice Environmental Society and the Queer Resource Center were previously denied a recommendation. The Rice Standard, which did not receive a recommendation, is an independent magazine that, according to its mission statement submitted in the application to the BTC, was “created to serve as a public forum.” The Standard publishes in print every semester and online approximately monthly. “By publishing original content through print and online media, the Rice Standard provides a medium for students to reflect on and express their most personal ideas without judgment or censorship,” the application stated. One of the main arguments against the Rice Standard’s recommendation, according to Thomas, was that its mission was not entirely distinct from that of the Rice Thresher.

NEWS

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open to all students, which differs from current design spaces on campus. However, only McMurtry students can reserve the space. “The majority of the spaces on campus only open to a selective group of students,” Wilson said. As examples, Wilson pointed to the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, which is open only to engineers and engineering organizations, and the visual and dramatic arts studio, which he said is only open to certain classes. McMurtry is also looking into training students to ensure the safety of the space, McMurtry junior Sawyer Knight said. There will be safety quizzes required for using the power tools and laser printer. Multiple firstaid kits will be available to students in the MICK as well. “We are working now on who will have access to this space, and who will be able to check out equipment,” Wilson said. “We are taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of the space.”

“[The Rice Standard] could conceivably be doing the same things if the Thresher were to change a little bit about how they did their opinions pieces,” Thomas said. Thomas said the Standard’s lack of a distinct motivation was a determining factor. “They serve an excellent value to the student body, but ultimately when we were judging based on mission and purpose it wasn’t unique enough for us to recommend them,” he said. Chilakapati said the BTC also did not find that the Rice Standard exhausted all forms of funding, as it is currently in the process of applying to outside sources of funding such as grants. The Standard formally responded to the BTC’s evaluation and stated that it respects the findings of the BTC and understands the reasoning behind the decision. “We hope to learn from this experience and further advance the mission of the Rice Standard,” the organization said in an official statement.


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Stereotyping cheaters unacceptable

RVP decision ultimately about service to students As the Student Association Senate votes on Rice Video Productions’ blanket tax status today (see p.1), the Thresher urges its members to send the measure to the general election ballot. Students have the right to know and decide how their tuition is being allocated to support student run organizations. Since its shift from shooting campus events under its old name, Rice Television, to filming creative shorts under its current moniker, RVP has failed to provide a platform that can justify why it should continue to receive funding, and on a larger scale, how they will continue to serve the student body’s best interests. The Blanket Tax Committee has done a commendable job of handling a difficult transition to a new blanket tax system. However, considering its responsibility and annual oversight, the BTC should have been more proactive about reviewing RVP. Even though several members of the BTC are also members of the SA, they failed to notice until several months later that RVP had stopped filming meetings. RVP was not truly under the BTC’s lens until the Thresher released its investigation, indicating RVP could have easily escaped scrutiny. With regards to the review, the BTC’s and RVP’s usage of statistics on viewership and viewer engagement are misleading and unfair. The BTC cited low viewership and engagement as reasons to revoke RVP’s blanket tax status. However, metrics like these are not used against any other blanket tax organization. The Campanile is not forced to defend its use of student funding by reporting how many students actually take yearbooks of the volume it produces, and similarly, the Thresher is not forced to prove how many hits we receive on an article as evidence of its right to student funds. Views are a metric of reach to the student body, not a metric of service provided to students. Rhetoric surrounding the number of views fails to address how the content serves the student body. We cannot and should not expect SA meetings to receive even a hundred YouTube views. RVP’s purpose as a blanket tax organization isn’t to produce popular videos; it is to provide a service. Producing comedic content overlaps with clubs such as Kinda Sketchy and is of questionable value to the student body. Perhaps these films could provide an outlet for students, helping them build technical and creative skills, while providing a form of entertainment. But as it stands, RVP should reassess its goals and determine how to achieve them before they reapply for blanket tax funding with a renewed sense of purpose. The current investigation and recommendation are indications that the new blanket tax system is serving its purpose, even if it took longer than it should have for the BTC to review RVP. The criteria for an organization to receive blanket tax funding are strict for a reason; when a group is given money by the student body, they have an ethical obligation to contribute materially to student life – an obligation RVP is currently not meeting. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece’s author.

Until last Tuesday, I couldn’t say I was genuinely disappointed in a sizable number of Rice students. Sure, there were some basketball and football games I would’ve liked to see with a fuller student section, but I had never been angry at the Rice community or embarrassed to say I was a part of it. Last Tuesday, multiple students reported an Honor Code violation after a Microeconomics (ECON 200) midterm exam. Once it was rumored that the alleged cheaters were international students, I watched Yik Yak descend into a flurry of xenophobia. The posts ranged from decrying Chinese culture for promoting the pursuance of good grades by whatever means necessary to statements regarding all international students as predisposed to academic dishonesty. While Yik Yak is not a reliable source to make generalizations about the student body, it is valuable as an insight into what people wish they could say. The anonymity provided by the app allows people to post these outlandish statements of bigotry without fear of the associated social backlash. I often find myself turning conversations to how much I love Rice and am proud to be a student here. Our academics are elite, our professors are passionate and our peers are multitalented. But chief of all is the diversity that gives our campus its vibrant life. This diversity encompasses race, socioeconomic background, religion, political ideology and national origin. All contribute to our identity, our sense of community and our campus life. Rice is a rigorous institution. Many of us consistently stay up late into the night to get good grades and get everything done. Most of us are also doing it in our native language. Some international students have to learn and adapt to an unfamiliar culture while learning difficult material at one of the country’s best

Last week, Kaylen Strench wrote an opinion piece in the Thresher calling attention to the lead story of the previous issue, whose headline read, “Seventh Under Scrutiny: Sid Richardson College faces administrative backlash following sexual assault at unregistered party.” Kaylen wrote that the headline and accompanying photo of Sid contributed to making it “not only unclear that a sexual assault had occurred, but … imply[ing] that whatever happened, the members of Sid Seventh were somehow to blame.” The headline for the article was the topic of considerable discussion among certain members of the Thresher editorial staff. While the headline is factual, it was certainly not intended to obscure the fact that a sexual assault was reported or to shift responsibility from the perpetrator of the assault. If it did

ONLINE

Andrew Ta* Editor in Chief

sports Maddy Adams Editor Andrew Grottkau Editor Sarah Nyquist Designer

news Anita Alem* Editor Drew Keller* Editor Andrew Ligeralde Asst. Editor Justin Park Designer

While some international students may come from similar backgrounds or have had similar experiences at Rice, to generalize the morality of non-native students is hypocritical and an exercise of homogenizing students from an incredible array of backgrounds. Students from all nationalities cheat, and violations of the Honor Code are by no means confined to international students. Rice as a community must be a welcoming environment that holds its students to the Honor Code and a high

Maurice Frediere is a

Duncan College freshman

convey such messages, then in retrospect I wish we had written it differently. We were concerned that a headline focusing purely on the assault would serve to sensationalize the event and detract from the tragic reality that such assaults occur to many students throughout the year. Though this particular assault was publicized due to RUPD’s crime alerts, and so elicited a much greater response from students and administration, we didn’t want to create the perception that the assault was an isolated incident. As the Survey on Unwanted Sexual Experiences results showed earlier this year, sexual assault is widespread on campus. In reporting on events like the assault, we hope to not only make the Thresher a source of fact amid rumors, but also support further conversation surrounding the assault and

what we must do to make our campus a safer place. But I’m glad that she spoke out about the misplaced blame she saw in our headline – and I’m thankful she reminded us all that in the end, the assaulter and the assaulter alone bears culpability for the violence they inflict.

Drew Keller is a Brown College sophomore and Thresher news editor

Check out op-eds from SA presidential candidates Joan Liu and Griffin Thomas

opinions Mitch Mackowiak* Editor

Miles Kruppa* Senior Editor

To lump in international students or students from one country together as being predisposed to moral deficiencies is not reflective of the reality of what our international students experience on a daily basis.

standard of morality. This morality, though, is confined not just to not cheating on tests. Being a Rice student must mean that we treat each other with respect and make acceptance and understanding as important a part of our identities as our nationality. In October, Brown College came under fire for handing out the “Most likely to be a bitch ass n----” award. James Carter, a Brown College junior, declared in the following week’s Thresher that we cannot yet call Rice exceptional, writing, “If we are truly to be an exceptional place, we must be cognizant of how our actions impact our peers and have the audacity to speak out against injustices.” The people spewing xenophobia acted with a total disregard for how their hateful words impacted their peers. I knew James was right back then, that we couldn’t call ourselves exceptional in regards to how we treated students of color, and now I know that we are far from being exceptional in how we treat international students. That is simply unacceptable. Be the person that Rice thought you were when you were admitted. Build up our community; don’t tear it down and ostracize its members.

‘Seventh Under Scrutiny’ headline revisited

Editorial Staff Yasna Haghdoost* Managing Editor

schools in a non-native language. These circumstances do not justify cheating, and there is no justification for violating our Honor Code. However, to lump international students or students from one country together as being predisposed to moral deficiencies is not reflective of the reality of what our international students experience on a daily basis.

art Carrie Jiang Director Jake Nyquist Photo Editor Jessica Kelly Asst. Photo Editor arts & entertainment Sophie Newman Editor Walden Pemantle Editor Samantha Ding Designer’

copy Jasmine Lin Editor Julianne Wey Editor Tiffany Yip Asst. Editor backpage Joey McGlone Editor Riley Robertson Editor * indicates member of the Editorial Board

ricethresher.org/opinion 10 p.m. tonight

The Rice Thresher, the official student newspaper at Rice University since 1916, is published each Wednesday during the school year, except during examination periods and holidays, by the students of Rice University. Letters to the Editor must be received by 5 p.m. the Friday prior to publication and must be signed, including college and year if the writer is a Rice student. The Thresher reserves the rights to edit letters for content and length and to place letters on its website.

Editorial and business offices are located on the second floor of the Ley Student Center: 6100 Main St., MS-524 Houston, TX 77005-1892 Phone (713) 348-4801 Email: thresher@rice.edu Website: www.ricethresher.org Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the piece’s author. The Thresher is a member of the ACP, TIPA and CNBAM © Copyright 2015


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

OP-ED

the Rice Thresher

5

Though we forget the details, we are all going to be OK

On the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday, I opted for solidarity. There was a screening of Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” at the Museum of Fine Arts that I wanted to see. Originally, I was going to watch it with my roommate, but her plans changed. The other friend I thought would appreciate such a film was busy with schoolwork. Even though I suppose I could have asked another friend, I did not. I went alone – odd for someone for whom a good conversation with the right person can be a natural shot of caffeine. It was one of those movies that made me cry. Narrating as illustrations, photographs and videos danced on the screen, Anderson looked at death. The death of her beloved rat terrier, the death of her mother and the death of her artist friend are the specific ones. She dedicated the movie to her late husband, musician Lou Reed. In one scene, while telling the audience how she had recounted her childhood hospitalization to people, Anderson made a revelation on screen. The creepy thing about stories, she explained, was how much we forget their details, wiping

away the ones we don’t like, every time we tell them.

The creepy thing about stories, she explained, was how much we forget their details, wiping away the ones we don’t like, every time we tell them.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the story of my time at Rice. As graduation draws closer, my fear of missing out grows stronger, and I ruminate the past in my head, thinking about how next year, I won’t wake up on campus. I

won’t wake up at my second home, because I will have found a new one. Sometimes, I get jealous of the underclassmen. They have all of this time left, while I’m desperately hoping that the little time I do have left with my friends, professors and even the squirrels, goes more slowly. And then I remember that everyone has to go through this. If you don’t graduate, it’s usually because something bad happened to you. A few days ago, I thought about how there were many unpleasant parts of my Rice experience, and that reliving my time here would mean reliving those parts too. I wouldn’t be able to just pick and choose the good parts. Anderson was right. Stories are creepy. We never tell them as they were. After the film ended, I walked back to campus, my black boots crunching the dirt and rocks beneath me. Several times I pulled out my phone, because I saw something ordinary which in that moment looked extraordinary. Did you know you can be in the museum district, and angle your camera at the trees above you in a way that erases the buildings? Without earphones, I listened to the sounds of the city, and the sounds of my own walking. Back

on campus, I saw someone, presumably a student, lying down on the ground in front of Fondren. He was talking to someone on the phone, and was basking under the sunlight. I walked past him. I had cried in the auditorium during the film, but I was no longer crying. Although I will say that I do feel like shedding tears as I’m sitting in Fondren, writing this piece with a purple pen. I wasn’t crying as I passed by him because I knew that somehow, at some point, we are all going to be OK.

Tina Nazerian is a McMurtry College senior

Love is kind, love is patient, develop personal bonds

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.’” -Erich Fromm

If you search “finding love at college” on Google, the first link will be a Cosmopolitan article entitled, “Don’t Fall In Love In College.” Here is the world’s best search engine telling you to give up, to stay away from love in college. And there’s reason behind that. Love can get messy, nasty, terrifying and heartbreaking – why experience that when you can avoid it? Sure, it may give you the best time of your life, but it can also give you the worst. College is a place where we enjoy and utilize our youth to the fullest. It is not meant for finding this thing called “love.” But is love really this special thing that one miraculously finds one day, changing his or

her entire outlook on life? Will it suddenly fill you up with passion so strong you can’t sit still? I disagree. Sex can do a better job in both changing your world and giving you an irresistible urge. And love, I believe, is so much better than sex. We often have a very skewed view of love in our minds. Our world tells us that love is Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on a sinking ship, Mr. Darcy as he professes his love to Elizabeth, and Romeo and Juliet calling for each other amid their family’s feud. Our perceptions of love are tinted by our exposure to the perfect, exciting love we see in movies and read in books. Maybe this is why America’s divorce rate is hovering around 40-50 percent. Happily ever afters aren’t common. Because finding love really is not like that. Love is more subtle, gentle, gradual. Love is kind, love is patient. You find love through a

slow process, without even being aware of it. When you study with peers, get dinner with friends, or make conversations with classmates, you’re gradually immersing yourself in relationships. And, as you get to know others better, you learn of their talents, personalities, flaws and secrets. Love is when you accept all these things without a question or doubt in your mind. You spend a long time with someone, and you love everything about him or her. That is love. And it doesn’t always have to be romantic love. So, as Valentine’s Day rolls around, try looking at your relationships a bit differently. Each friend, classmate or even acquaintance could be someone you end up loving. I’m not telling you to flirt with everyone you meet, but rather to get to know each and every person on a deeper level than just from football games or parties. Rice’s cultures make it so

easy to meet new people, so why not take it a step further? Obviously, there will be people you end up disliking and people who you feel are too weird. But even so, be patient and nice, and try to understand everyone you meet. The next thing you know, you may be in love with someone you never expected.

Minsoo Kim is a Lovett College freshman

H&D Staff Appreciation Dinner a Success! paid for by the student association

Election Candidates

Blanket Tax Update

General Elections are coming up! Voting starts at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 and closes at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19. Be sure to get informed about all your candidates. Visit sa.rice.edu for more information on the specific election timeline and campaign statements!

Six organizations applied to be subsidiary organizations with access to the blanket tax general pool: Rally Club, Rice Catalyst, Rice Standard, Rice Environmental Society, Queer Resource Center and Rice University Splash. The Blanket Tax Committee has reviewed their applications and has formally moved to recommend Rally Club and Rice Catalyst to the Student Senate. Rally Club is a registered student organization aiming to increase student participation, interest and support for Rice Intercollegiate Athletics through advertising, promotions and events. Rice Catalyst is a registered student organization that showcases student perspectives on popular science topics and undergraduate research. For more information on the applications and our findings, please visit sa.rice.edu.

Election Candidates Student Association: President: Joan Liu, Griffin Thomas EVP: Brianna Singh, Justin Onwenu, Hannah Todd IVP: Komal Luthra Treasurer: Maurice Frediere

On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Campus Appreciation Committee hosted a Housing and Dining Staff Appreciation Dinner in the Cohen House. This committee was an initiative committee started this year by Blessing Falade. The committee worked all year to plan and make this event a success. The New Student Representatives along with some student volunteers spent a few hours prior to the event decorating the Cohen House with streamers, balloons, roses and red tablecloths in order to play up our Valentine’s Day theme. Around 6 p.m., staff began trickling in, greeted by some of the NSRs. After a short time of mingling over cheese and crackers, two NSRs, Carolina Hatanpaa and Gabrielle Lencioni, introduced the event and our committee’s vision. Immediately after, the staff lined up to be served Italian cuisine by the student volunteers. Nati Salazar then proceeded to introduce Jazz Silva, who gave a thank you speech to the staff on the behalf of the student body, highlighted by one of her own personal stories with one of the staff members. After dinner, Navya Kumar and Jacqui Lee introduced the video we made

for the staff showcasing shout-outs from all the colleges and some students. We ended the evening with a group picture around the cake! In all, we had about 100 of the staff show up, many accompanied by family members. It was very successful and we received a lot of help from Olivia Waldron and Julie Bogar. As the staff left for home, many came up to us, expressing gratitude for throwing an elaborate dinner for them.

Great job, Committee Chair Blessing Falade and members Carolina Hatanpaa, Gabrielle Lencioni, Jacqui Lee, Nati Salazar and Navya Kumar!

Secretary: Sonal Pai RPC President: Jodie Nghiem, Iman Khan Thresher EIC: Yasna Haghdoost RSVP Chair: Siyu (Kalian) Shi University Court Chair: Marcela Interiano Campanile EIC’s: Matthew Cruz and Kira Chen Rice Video Production Station Manager: Minoti Kale Rice Video Production Program Manager: Kevin Li Honor Council Senior Class Rep: Katherine (Katie) Jensen KTRU Station Manager: Ernest Pelton photos courtesy rice student association


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OP-ED

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

the Rice Thresher

SA AND BLANKET TAX ELECTIONS

Join us at McMurtry commons on Friday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m

by abigail panitz and claire weddle

CONTESTED POSITIONS

SA PRESIDENT

SA EXTER

JOAN LIU

GRIFFIN THOMAS

JUSTIN ONWENU

“Join Joan.”

“Vote for me and I’ll fight for you.”

“Experience. Vision. Passion.”

Year: Junior College: Jones Major: Mathematical economic analysis Current Position: SA external vice president Platform Focus: To work more with students and organizations to gather voice of entire student body, increase transparency, clarity and engagement between administration and students, and connect Rice more to local Houston community

Year: Junior College: Lovett Majors: Political science and policy studies Current Positions: Lovett College president, Blanket Tax Standing Committee member Platform Focus: To increase transparency for the SA, engage Rice in state and national dialogue, and promote initiatives for first-generation and lowincome students

Year: Sophomore College: Sid Richardson Major: International health and policy Current Position: SA senator Platform Focus: To expand use of tetra and make the meal plan more flexible, establish greater lines of communication between students and Honor Council/SJP/policies on alcohol, increase communication for students through faculty advisory boards and promote environmental sustainability

ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES JOAN LIU As an active member of the Student Association since her freshman year, current External Vice President Joan Liu, a Jones College junior, wants to expand her role in the SA to the presidency. Over the past year, she has worked on faculty advisory board and Rice University Police Department legislation, helped bring awareness of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to Rice’s campus, and chartered the Campus Culture Priorities Working Group, which focuses on student well-being. Her main priority is to bring clarity and engagement between students, organizations and the administration. “I’m trying to get more engagement,” Liu said. “A lot of times people say ‘The SA doesn’t do anything’ or ‘The SA is doing all this stuff, and I don’t understand it.’ Both statements are representations of things the SA should not be doing and also a misrepresentation of what the SA is actually doing.” Liu served as a New Student Representative her freshman year and as the SA treasurer her sophomore year. As SA treasurer, she worked on the Blanket Tax Crack Team which reviewed processes regarding last year’s blanket tax system. She said these past positions and her work as EVP have helped her prepare for the presidency. “I have worked to draft actual legislation on campus-wide policies,” Liu said. “All of my past experience has really built up so that I can understand the SA inside and out. I’m able to identify gaps as well as the things we do well. I think in terms of my past experience, it has built me up to be able to look back and think critically about all the things we do and don’t do.”

GRIFFIN THOMAS Liu wants to focus on having the SA work closely with students and organizations to carry out student-driven initiatives. The purpose of the legislation was to facilitate communication between students and department faculty. Some programs similar to this such as CS Speaks already existed, but the SA wanted to further expand the faculty advisory boards to more departments.

All of my past experience has really built up so that I can understand the SA inside and out.

“The whole point of [the academic advisory board legislation] is to include students in conversations about academic policies,” Liu said. “In these conversations at Senate, we’ve had things come up such as CS Speaks which is an organic student initiative that has already happened. It almost seemed as if SA is overriding this organic student initiative. The intention of the advisory board legislation is not to override any organic student initiatives. It’s to help broaden any interests students have.” Liu hopes to bring not only transparency, but clarity and engagement

between students and administrative groups like SJP. She said in order to increase clarity, there must be much more than just a statement of the rules. She hopes that, as president, she can have the SA facilitate engagement between students and administration so there is a clear understanding of the administrative policies. “My priority is clarity and engagement,” Liu said. “I think it’s about really understanding the functioning and role of SJP is or other offices like it within our institution and understanding how we work with them. It’s not just knowing what they do but understanding what they do and engaging with them.” Liu also wants to focus on connecting Rice to the Houston community. She hopes to not only get students involved in a social context, but a political context as well. Her work with bringing awareness of HERO to campus is an example of what she hopes to accomplish in the future as president. “Being at Rice, I think a lot of times we take for granted that we are in Houston,” Liu said. “With HERO not passing, we should know what that looks like for us as members of Houston when we leave the hedges. We need to understand how this could affect the faculty we try to recruit down the road and the prospective students of Rice.” Liu emphasized that her main focus is student engagement not only with the Houston community, but with the SA and administration. “Student engagement is critical,” Liu said. “Students have to be part of the conversation moving forward.”

Current Lovett College President Griffin Thomas, a junior, is trying to shift his focus from running a college to campuswide government, a return to the Student Association after a stint as a New Student Representative freshman year. “My freshman year I served as an NSR and was kind of upset with the SA and how inefficiently it was run, so I wasn’t terribly interested in continuing my involvement in the organization,” Thomas said. Thomas’ opinion has since changed. He has admired the way the past two SA presidents committed to actively address controversial issues, and he enjoyed his past year serving on the SA as a standing member of the Blanket Tax Committee. He also created the Student Access and Success Working Group to seek out low-income and first-generation students among other less prevalent voices on campus. Last semester, Thomas drafted and sent an application to recruit underrepresented students to serve on the working group. “Traditionally I think low-income and firstgeneration students, athletes, international students tend to get left out of conversations,” he said. “If nothing else [I want them to] have a seat at the table.” Another goal of Thomas’s platform is to encourage the student body to address campus and nationwide issues more proactively. According to Thomas, the Rice community should foster dialogues on race on campus in light of recent protests across college campuses such as the University of Missouri, Columbia and Yale University. Thomas also mentioned the presidential debates, noting how the presidential candidates perceive college, particularly student loans, differently.

Transpa for Thoma organizatio and the T for student requiring t SJP meetin Thomas ha He wrote a last Februa the institut complaints Hansen in 2

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Thomas important a student bod “I’m a p been a lot o way that th [Critical Thi “I think tha SA a good a students ca deliberation Thomas transparen governmen knowledge for the task


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

OP-ED

the Rice Thresher

Sponsored by:

m. for our first annual SA Presidential Debates! Free Food. Free Boba. Free Beer.

RNAL VICE PRESIDENT

RICE PROGRAM COUNCIL

BRIANNA SINGH

HANNAH TODD

IMAN KHAN

JODIE NGHIEM

Year: Sophomore College: Hanszen Major: Chemical and biomolecular engineering Current Positions: SA secretary Platform Focus: To encourage students and organizations to come to SA to advocate for change, encourage senators to work on sustainable projects to impact Rice, work to expand Rice’s standing in community beyond the hedges

Year: Sophomore College: Wiess Majors: Spanish and policy studies Current Positions: SA senator Platform Focus: To have meal plan cater more to students’ wants, connect Rice to Houston through experiential learning opportunities, on-campus lectures and carrying out ideas from Rice student body

Year: Junior College: Jones Majors: Computer science and cognitive sciences Current Position: RPC socials chair Platform Focus: To emphasize student input and proper publicity and continue receiving input and ideas to plan the best events possible

Year: Junior College: McMurtry Major: Ecology and evolutionary biology Current Positions: RPC external vice president Platform Focus: To uphold high levels of transparency and responsiveness to student feedback, streamline the student feedback process in order to more effectively improve and shape our events to student needs

arency is an overarching concern as. He wants to continue making ons like Student Judicial Programs Title IX office more approachable ts. He cited the recent reform of two supervisors instead of one at ngs as a productive development. as had concerns with SJP in the past: an opinion piece for the Thresher ary on the changes and controversy tion faced in regards to harassment s filed by former Rice student Olivia 2012.

willing to do what litically unpopular o what is best for ents.

s said transparency is also as it affects the relationship of the dy to the SA. process guy and I know that there’s of concern in the past year about the he SA has been run specifically with hinking in Sexuality],” Thomas said. at [we should focus on] making the and effective organization in which an also trust that our process of ns is fair.” s also wants to make the SA more nt by communicating with college nt. He said his experience and e of college government suits him k.

NON-CONTESTED POSITIONS Thomas elaborated on his leadership style, which he called said was vital to his work as Lovett president. “There is no way to make everyone happy all of the time — the student body is just too big and diverse,” Thomas said. “However, it is critical to ensure that everyone walk away from the discussion feeling that the process was fair and their voice was heard.” Thomas has made his voice heard over controversial issues in the past. He supported Senate Bill #4 but was critical of the way it was introduced. He co-wrote an opinion piece for the Thresher in November calling to reframe the debate and encourage more people to voice their opinions. Thomas voted for the bill, but voted against a popular amendment that would change the wording of “additional members to be appointed by the Student Association president” to “additional members to be appointed by the Student Association president and confirmed by the Student Association Senate or by majority vote of the Student Association Senate.” Thomas’ history of dealing with controversial issues stretches outside of the SA. As Lovett president, he communicated with the director of SJP in September when complaints were filed against Lovett’s backpage, prompting SJP to change the Code of Student Conduct to address the use of private information in both formal and quasiformal publications. Thomas emphasized his campaign slogan, “Vote for me and I’ll fight for you.” “I don’t play politics really,” Thomas said. “I’m willing to do what is politically unpopular to do what is best for students. I don’t shy away from fights; I’m willing to represent student interests in an aggressive manner.”

SA INTERNAL VICE PRESIDENT

SA TREASURER

SA SECRETARY

KOMAL LUTHRA

MAURICE FREDIERE

SONAL PAI

“New leader. New voice. New vision. New direction.”

“Invest in your potential. Vote for Maurice.”

Year: Sophomore College: Hanszen Major: Kinesiology Current Position: Academics Committee chair Platform Focus: To encourage student participation in academic initiatives

Year: Freshman College: Duncan Majors: Economics and policy studies Current Position: New Student Representative Platform Focus: To increase transparency of funding for student organizations and create a student life app

Year: Freshman College: Hanszen Major: Bioengineering Current Position: New Student Representative Platform Focus: To promote well-being and integrity and mental and physical health, and to give the SA a fun and approachable brand

Other non-contested positions include Marcela Interiano for University Court chair, Kalian Shi for Rice Student Volunteer Program chair, Yasna Haghdoost for Thresher editor in chief, Matthew Cruz and Kira Chen for Campanile editors in chief, Minoti Kale for Rice Video Productions station manager, Kevin Li for RVP program manager, Katherine Jensen for Honor Council senior class representative and Ernest Pelton for KTRU station manager.

7


arts

ENTERTAINMENT

8

Houston’s Halal Guys hits a bullseye Melody Yip

Thresher Staff

vidya giri/thresher

Thorsten Brinkmann debuted his new exhibit, ‘The Great Cape Rinderhorn,’ on Thursday, Feb. 4 at the Rice Gallery. Brinkmann used recycled objects to create an inventive, playful atmosphere in which visitors are invited to experience the art on a physical as well as visual level. The architectural landscape is crafted from a careful arrangement of recycled objects collected from City of Houston’s Reuse Warehouse inventory and resale shops.

Rice Gallery exhibit invites interactive play Lenna Mendoza Thresher Staff

The Rice Gallery’s last installation, “Intersections,” used only a cube and light bulb to fill a blank, white room with transient shadows. The space was so empty that it echoed. In great contrast, the gallery’s newest installation, Thorsten Brinkmann’s “The Great Cape Rinderhorn” fills the same space with an absurd and eclectic collection of used objects, from canes to a giant plaster bull’s horn to plastic vegetables. The choice to employ pre-used objects in the installation is an exploration of Brinkmann’s experiences with consumer culture. “In Europe, people don’t keep things very long anymore, it’s more kind of a one-way culture,” Brinkmann said. “If you go to poorer countries you will see that they reuse objects much more than we do.” These objects are repurposed in surprising ways as wall hangings and sculpture components. In this way, they transcend their retro and kitsch associations. Still, in their employ they create a rather domestic space, including a bedroom which can be accessed only by crawling through an Alice-in-Wonderland miniature hallway. At times, it begins to feel only one bizarre step from interior decoration, which fits well with one of Brinkmann’s recent projects, the interior of a four-story house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The careful curation of each object is incredible. They’re even skillfully arranged behind curtains and underneath furniture, inviting the viewer to peek and interact. The space is fantastical, quaint, vibrant. Brinkmann’s high-saturation self-portraits and still life works of art hang on the papered walls. In his self-portraits, which he creates using a camera with a timer, parts of his body are obscured by the

THE WEEKLY SCENE The editors’ picks for this week’s best events. Time to explore the wonderful world of Houston.

same sort of “junk” objects that fill the installation as he parodies traditional styles of painting. The still life photos swap out the traditional fruit and flowers for the same used objects, which are often decayed to a degree. The tongue-in-cheek photos rebel against highly respected canonized art and artists. “I never was a big a fan of holiness in art,” Brinkmann said. One component of the charm of “The Great Cape Rinderhorn” is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Inside the crate is a makeshift movie theater, the projector playing a film showing Brinkmann’s process of taking the self-portraits that fill the installation. He poses regally beneath and on top of a chair, a trash can on his head. The film stutters in a silent film fashion which adds to the slapstick feel. This silliness extends into a more general sense of fun and play. I took a friend with me to the installation, who admitted that he is not usually interested in art. The moment we entered the lobby, his eyes lit up in disbelief at the contents of the gallery. By the time we left, his perception of art had changed completely and he couldn’t stop talking about the installation. “I like the idea that people can sit on it, that they can walk through, that their experience is with the whole body, that you use all your senses, and if you want to see the whole installation you have to do it,” Brinkmann said. I think that’s one of the most remarkable things about “The Great Cape Rinderhorn.” The way it makes you engage with it forces you to open up – you have to crouch, sit, crawl and poke your head through holes if you want to experience the instillation in full. For those who are not able, there are small video monitors and an iPad tour that feature the less accessible areas of the installation. Watching other visitors in the space,

it became apparent that the delight my friend felt was not a singular experience. In fact, the other visitors told me what they thought about the installation – I didn’t even have to ask. “That’s the thing about the crate ... [with] a lot of people inside, they start to talk a lot, it becomes a social space,” Brinkmann said. “You have to communicate to get through the tunnel somehow.”

I never was a big fan of holiness in art. Thorsten Brinkmann Artist of ‘The Great Cape Rinderhorn’

Crowds flocked to last Saturday’s opening of a new Halal Guys restaurant on Farnham Street. The New York-based food-stand chain has long been a favorite for late night meals. On my first visit to New York, I was impressed with the massive gyro platters slathered in thick tahini. So when I headed over to the Halal Guys in Upper Kirby, I hoped for the same flavors and quantity as my first time. In an attempt to evade a long wait I went around 3:30 p.m. The end of the line only grazed the door, but the wait still seemed long. After approaching the counter, I realized that the wait was partially caused by the food’s intricate presentation. The platters are split into neat thirds – lettuce and tomatoes, meat (falafel if vegetarian) and rice. A line cook layers slivers of pita bread in a fan shape on top, drizzling the signature tahini sauce (and red sauce if folks are real about the spice) over everything to complete the dish. Behind the counter, everyone looks busy. I watched a cook toss together giant heaps of gyro beef while another busied himself with chicken. The lady armed with the tahini sauce eagerly whited out platter after platter. They all wore the lurid mustard-and-red colors that make Halal Guys stand out. Other cooks busied themselves adding other options on the menu, including baklava and sides of jalapenos and olives, though why anyone would want jalapenos with the fiery red sauce, I have no idea. The food at the Houston location upholds the same standards of quality as in New York. Neon orange rice spiced with turmeric and cumin mingled with tender morsels of gyro beef and sprinkles of diced vegetables. The meat is incredibly savory while the tahini sauce showcases a hearty creaminess that elevates the other foods’ flavors. The pita bread, however, won me over the most. I picked off those soft, pillowy slices of goodness one by one with no trouble. Everything complemented each other to create a robust, filling meal. Would I have waited two hours on opening day for this? Probably not. Perhaps after some tweaking with better efficiency in food preparation, people will get their hands on these meaty platters much easier. The price also increased from $7 at a New York food stand to $8.29 in Houston. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Getting a taste of New York in sprawling Houston gives a more prominent urban vibe here that’s very welcome. It’s also wonderful to know that Houston is continually garnering more attention in the food scene. Whether hankering for a late-night food fest or an affordable meal, Halal Guys rises to the occasion marvelously.

Visitors encouraged each other to explore the rest of the installation, pointed out interesting pieces, laughed together, asked questions and provided explanations. In this way, you become part of the environment, a guest or resident of this eccentric home. “The Great Cape Rinderhorn” will be on view until May 15. The Rice Gallery’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. It’s a great experience even for those who are “not usually interested in art,” but be sure to come dressed to crawl so you can see all the installation has to offer.

52 PICK UP

CORPROCRACY

DALI ON FILM

ART SHOW

52 cards, 52 scenes, one relationship. That’s the tagline for Houston Theater LaB’s acclaimed production of 52 card pickup. The show begins with 52 cards, each with a scene title on them, being thrown into the air. From there, the cast picks one card at a time, acting out the scenes in corresponding order. The show runs through Feb. 28.

This is the last weekend to catch the Station Museum of Contemporary Art’s free exhibition, “Corpocracy.” The exhibition is a collection of compelling works by artists and sociologists about corporate culture’s effect on society. The show will be open until 6 p.m. every day until Sunday but after that, it closes for good.

Didn’t know Dali made films? Now’s the time to check them out and impress your friends with your newfound surrealist wisdom. Aurora Picture Show presents Bunuel and Dali Films at the Menil on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. Trigger warning for creepy insects and detached images of sex and death.

You know the one. Grab your appetite for experimental art, music and late night sweets and head over to the Pancakes and Booze Art Show on Friday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. Note to the wise — it will be crowded. Get there early if you don’t want to be stuck in line in this unseasonal cold.

MATCH Houston 3400 Main st. thelabhou.org

Station Museum 1502 Alabama St. stationmuseum.com

Menil Collection 1515 Sul Ross St. aurorapictureshow.org

Warehouse Live 813 Saint Emanuel St. pancakesandbooze.com


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WHAT’S HIP RIGHT NOW WEBSITE:

Frinkiac search

courtesy frinkiac

In a phrase: Either the stupidest or most genius search engine. Where to find it: www.frinkiac.com Weird search engines are an Internet staple … At least, if you’re the kind of person (like me freshman year) who spends 20 percent of their time at Fondren studying and 80 percent web-surfing. There’s “Artcyclopedia,” which allows you to find everything you’d ever want to know about certain works of art and the artists who made them. There’s “Oh My God LOL!!!,” which lets you search the dregs of the Internet for all relevant memes when you enter a keyword. And for the total freaks, there’s “Horror Find,” which allows you to just search for weird, creepy shit in a systematic way. The newest gem is “Frinkiac,” a search engine that provides a means of searching for any (literally any) still from “The Simpsons” with a quote or key phrase. While I’m not a huge Simpsons fan myself, I did enjoy finding the images corresponding to “You don’t win friends with salad” and “Don’t make me run, I’m full of chocolate!” Anyway, you will probably feel horrible about yourself if you waste even three minutes using this thing, but it sure is, well, interesting.

A&E

the Rice Thresher

FASHION:

by kaylen strench

FILM:

Rainbow freckles

‘Zola’

courtesy seventeen

In a phrase: The coolest trench since dying your armpit hair. Where to find it: Instagram for pics, or just go wild yourself. God, this one really would make our greatgrandparents roll over in their graves. It started the way all of this shit starts, with a Kardashian Instagram post. Nearly 10 months ago, Kendall Jenner debuted penciled-on freckles in an otherwise unexciting selfie, giving the okay for others to draw spots on their face. Very shortly after, others started not only copying Jenner’s trend, but totally one-upping the starlet by showcasing glittery, colored freckles. Question one: How do you get rainbow frecks? Most Insta stars report using body paint, which sounds relatively safe and thankfully temporary. Question two (the more important one): Should you sport rainbow freckles? I mean on the one hand, they are pretty hip (this is What’s Hip Right Now, after all). On the other hand, anyone over 40 is going to think you dropped out of school to become a birthday clown. So, I guess if you can take the judgment, go for it, dude.

9

TRENDING: Marley Natural

courtesy shutterstock

In a phrase: Awesome plot/idea, ugh James Franco. Where to find it: Should hit theaters in the next year or so. So this is a hard one to explain, but I’ll give it a try. A few months ago a chick who goes by the name of “Zola” posted a massive, epic story on Twitter about “how her and a bitch fell out.” Her engrossing chronicle about the adventures of two sex workers in Florida (yes, I read the entire thing) contains all of the ingredients for an epic film: sex, drugs, violence, love, betrayal, you name it. “Zola’s tale” really would make for an incredible film, but who would make it happen? It really could only be the hot, talented, if not overly narcissistic, James Franco. In typical Franco fashion, James is going to direct, produce and star in the film. Though many of Franco’s recent directorial projects have been largely critical flops (“Sal,” “The Sound and the Fury,” etc.), his weird vibes and free spirit seem like a good match with the “Spring Breakers” spirit of Zola’s “Stripper Saga.” I’d admittedly probably see it.

courtesy marley natural

In a phrase: Fancy bongs. Where to find it: marleynatural.com Smoking weed is slowly losing its shady, scummy stigma. As legalization spreads across the nation, “lighting up” is steadily transforming into not only a socially acceptable hobby, but one that shows potential for large-scale appreciation. At least, this is clearly the perspective of new weed-friendly line “Marley Natural,” which is trying to rebrand marijuana consumption as a pastime with class. The small company’s first collection, “Black Walnut,” includes a wide variety of quality crafted marijuana paraphernalia, including a $68 spoon pipe, a $162 premium bubbler and a $72 hand-blown glass steamroller. Though the collection’s clearly pricey, you could think of it as an opportunity to transform from “stoner” to “weed connoisseur.” Alternatively, you could just buy your bongs at the local smoke shop like the rest of us.

4 quirky Valentine’s Day date ideas to break the cliches Walden Pemantle & Sophie Newman A&E Editors

Valentine’s Day is tough. Even if you’re in a relationship, dates can quickly end up feeling overdone, cliche and just plain awkward. That being said, cynically moping around on “Singles Awareness Day” by yourself sounds even worse. Regardless of where you land on the relationship spectrum — hanging out with friends, a date or actually trying to make the day special — take the day to do something fun and maybe even just a little romantic … if you’re brave. Straight White Men In the season of love and heartbreak, let’s not forget our nation’s real unsung heroes – straight, white, heterosexual males. Guys: I know you have been feeling neglected. You can’t get a word out without someone pulling the ol’ cisgendered remark or directing you to the “straightwhiteboystexting” Tumblr page. Fear no more. Now, after minutes of systemic oppression, it’s your time to take the stage. Take a date (your mom, grandmother, hookup) to the Stages Repertory Theatre’s regional premiere of Straight White Men. If you don’t like theater, you might be excited to hear that this event is recommended for “mature” audiences – you know what that means.

Aquarium This is an especially good idea if you’re not sure whether or not you’re on a “real date.” If you are, great. The aquarium is fun, interesting and a perfect level of quirky. If you’re not, it’s still a good place to kick back with friends and ogle some fish instead of ogling each other. Who knows, your impressively vast knowledge of marine mammals could be the spark you and your date need to realize your feelings for each other. Afterward, bring your special someone for a feast in the Nautilus ballroom, just for the halibut (reservations required). It’ll leave your date saying, I want to tackle that box.

Picnic If you really want to impress, a picnic is the way to go. It’s more casual than a fancy dinner, and since you can pick what food to pack, it gives you an even better chance to show how well you know your date without having to cook dinner, or foot a pricey bill. Try buying sandwiches from Revival Market, pastries from Common Bond Bakery or, the excellent to-go Indian food from Himalaya. Fancy cheese, bubbly water and wine are always a plus, but really, this is a chance to pack exactly what your date wants. Chocolate and bonbons be damned, if your date likes cottage cheese and kombucha, I say pack it.

Man Seeking Woman If you truly don’t have any plans (and truly don’t care), this comedy is the ultimate for lying in bed in your underwear and laughing at your loneliness. The show follows awkward 20-something Josh’s experiences trying to rebound after a tough breakup. Far from a typical rom-com, monsters and magic show up at the worst times for Josh, adding an element of magical realism that keeps everything honest, while poking fun at how absurd dating can be. Highlights of the first season include what to do when your ex is dating, quite literally, Adolf Hitler, and how to cope when even your hand dumps you.


10

Football adds 18 players to 2016 recruiting class Aniket Tolpadi Thresher Staff

The Rice University football team added 18 players to its program, with athletes from around Texas signing their National Letters of Intent on Feb. 3. As the Owls look to compete for a Conference USA championship and return to a bowl game, they primarily acquired three traits in their incoming class: size on the interior offensive line, playmakers at wide receiver and speed on defense. Based on the team’s graduating class and performance last season, these were the team needs earmarked by Head Coach David Bailiff and his staff. These needs were reflected in the types of studentathletes added to the team.

We are looking for young men that will not only help us win a conference championship in football, but also help us graduate 100 percent. David Bailiff Head Coach

Of the 18 recruits, eight are offensive players and 10 are defensive players, and all are from Texas. Offensively, the team added three wide receivers, three offensive linemen, a tight end and a cornerback. While the staff is excited about all the recruits, co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Billy Lynch said Aaron Cephus, a 6-foot-5, 188-pound receiver from the Houston area, has the potential to make an immediate impact on the team. “Aaron Cephus is a tremendous athlete that not only has the length and the athleticism but has a real knack for timing his jumps,” Lynch said. “The ability to have that impeccable timing gives us an opportunity to have a big play athlete that can really stretch the field.” 0see Recruiting, page 11

courtesy denison herald

Taylor a superb owl Former Rice wide receiver Jordan Taylor holds the Lombardi Trophy following the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Taylor, a member of the Broncos’ practice squad, has been recognized for helping star quarterback Peyton Manning return from a foot injury this season.

jake nyquist/thresher

Ace on the diamond

Senior pitcher Blake Fox was selected as a Preseason Second-Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association last week. So far in his Rice career, Fox has a record of 26-2 with a 2.45 earned run average. The Owls open their season Friday, Feb. 19 at home against the University of Arizona as they look to win their 21st straight conference championship.

The Final Kauntdown NCAA football’s conference structure restricts Rice’s ability to attract top recruits Recruiting students is not a problem for Rice University. Rice is one of the top academic institutions in the nation and boasts some of the best resources and facilities of any school in the country. Recruiting student-athletes, however, has not been as easy. This year, according to Rivals.com, Rice ranks outside the top 100 football recruiting classes of 2016 after national signing day. It is the second straight year Rice has not been ranked on the list. At first, it’s easy to look at the Rice football team and wonder why it cannot seem to secure highly touted high school athletes. After all, the baseball team seems to succeed at recruiting All-American-level talent on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this comparison is unfair. The football program at Rice faces recruiting challenges in 2016 that are based in the structure of modern day NCAA Division I football. Back in 1991, the baseball program was in a similar place as the football program is today. The team was consistently average, their winning percentage oscillating above and below .500 on a year-to-year basis. In 1992, however, the Owls hired manager Wayne Graham and saw an immediate 13-win improvement. In 1994, after two straight winning seasons, the Owls had an All-American in Jose Cruz Jr. Finally, in 1996, the Owls won their first conference championship. They have now won 20 consecutive conference titles thanks in large part to their ability to sustain success by recruiting talented players. The problem with the baseball team’s success is that it relies on a cycle of positive reinforcement. The baseball team wins, which impresses recruits, and these recruits join the baseball team to help it win even more.

More troubling, however, is that the baseball team had an advantage in 1991 that the football team does not have in 2016. In 1991, Rice competed in the Southwest Conference, one of the top athletic conferences in the country. It could sell recruits on the opportunity to prove themselves by winning conference championships against such schools as the University of Texas, Austin, Baylor University and Oklahoma University, to name a few. Today, however, Rice’s conference, Conference USA, is considered a less talented league and its champion usually plays in a bowl game that may not be recognizable to recruits. For these reasons, Rice is not alone in its recruiting struggles. No Conference USA football team is ranked above 69th on the top 100 recruiting classes in the country. There is little the school or coaching staff can do to attract more football players because the current structure of NCAA Division I football restricts upward mobility. Once a team is in a lowly conference, there is little it can do to impress recruits and therefore little it can do to compete with major conference teams. If Rice can change anything to attract more high-profile recruits, it is the culture surrounding athletics at the university. While the current marketing strategies have at times been strange, they project the right message. If the university can create a culture that promotes athletics, more student-athletes will be likely to want to come to Rice. Through this strategy, the Owls can improve their ranking of No. 11 out of 14 recruiting classes in Conference USA this season.

This ranking, however, is only mildly noteworthy compared to the grander imbalance evident in NCAA football. The poor ranking this year is likely partially due to the success of the University of Houston football team, which propelled its recruiting class from No. 89 last year to No. 44 this year after winning the Chickfil-A Peach Bowl. Since both Rice and Houston vie for recruits from a similar area, Rice likely lost some recruits because of the Cougars’ success, not because Rice was unattractive. Instead of looking at this year’s rankings alone, we must focus on the larger issue at hand. As of now, there is virtually nothing Rice can do to earn one of the top 50 recruiting classes in the country. For this reason, we should not place blame on Coach David Bailiff or Rice for a poorly ranked recruiting class. Instead, when searching for reasons highly touted studentathletes do not choose to come to Rice, we need to look no further than the NCAA. The Final Kauntdown is a column written by Andrew Grottkau. The opinions expressed in the column are solely his own.

Andrew Grottkau

is a McMurtry College freshman and Thresher sports editor


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

the Rice Thresher

SPORTS

11

Kidd’s Korner

Competitiveness is present in sports and in life One particular trait resides inherently within each and every person regardless of who they are, where they come from or what they have been through. Whether you are a student, an athlete, a professor or a doctor in the nearby Texas Medical Center, each day presents challenges that you must overcome. The way to overcome these challenges is by competing. Take students, for example. Students compete among themselves to do well and become the very best and most well-rounded individuals they can be. Athletes compete every day to better themselves physically in order to dominate the opposition at both the individual and the team levels. Professionals such as doctors compete against terrible diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s in hopes of one day developing a cure that saves countless lives. The point I am trying to make is that competition, whether it is against yourself, another person, a circumstance or a daunting task, brings out the best in people and is the way we should live out our lives. While competition is integral to every aspect of life, perhaps the most prevalent way this is shown is through the avenue of sports. The will to compete for your teammates is like no other. There are two teams sharing the same court, field or stadium, and more often than not only one team can come away victorious. As the stakes are raised from preseason to regular season to postseason and beyond, the performance on the field is elevated and enhanced. In looking specifically at the game of baseball, I can say competition has been the single most exciting aspect of my time with the Rice Owls. Baseball is the most competitive of all sports when it comes to its individual aspects. When a pitcher is on the mound, he is doing nothing but trying to get the batter out. Simultaneously, the batter has no other motive than to drive in runs for his team. During the past year, there have been two instances in which the competitive nature of baseball and of the Rice Owls in particular has been on full display. Last season, Ford Stainback, a four-year starter for the Owls from 2011 through 2015, was playing in a Sunday game at the University of Arizona. In an odd turn of events, Stainback was ejected in the first inning of that game because his competitive spirit overflowed into the love and loyalty he had for his teammates. Following a tough loss the previous night to the Wildcats, Stainback scored in the first inning and yelled as he crossed home plate due to his excitement. Stainback was trying to rally his teammates while never losing sight of the respect he had for the game or acting in an unsportsmanlike manner towards the opposing team. However, the umpire decided to eject Stainback for the first time in his storied career. Stainback was greeted by a clubhouse of fired up teammates who realized he had sacrificed himself for the sake of the team. “Nobody was mad about [the ejection] and some people were happy that it happened because it showed some fire for the team,” Stainback said. “Competition shows [that] people care and while we were out there having fun, it comes down to competing for each other and not just ourselves.” More recently, the team has been taking part in a spring series of intrasquad games in preparing for the season opener against Arizona on Feb. 19. Competition has been run-

0RECRUITING from page 10 Defensively, the team was able to add talent on all three levels. The Owls signed four defensive linemen, two linebackers, and four defensive backs. As with Lynch on the offense, assistant head coach/linebackers coach Darrell Patterson talked glowingly about all of his recruits. According to Patterson, however, Dylan Silcox, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound defensive back from Winnie, Texas, particularly impressed him. “Dylan Silcox is a cornerstone of our class, he was our first commit,” Patterson said. “He got one of the greatest compliments you could ever get when [former Rice tight end and current San Francisco 49er] Vance McDonald said, ‘Coach, he’s more athletic than I was.’” Rice’s academic rigor may deter some top-tier athletes. With their successes in recent seasons, however, Bailiff and his staff have proven otherwise with their recruiting abilities. In fact, Bailiff actually said that

ning rampant at Reckling Park with players fighting for weekend start slots, positioning in the starting lineup, and even backup roles. A unique incident unfolded in the third intrasquad game of the spring. All-American pitcher Blake Fox was on the mound trying to get one of the team’s most prominent power hitters, Andrew Dunlap, out. Dunlap hit a towering shot to deep left field but the trajectory of the ball carried it just foul and out of play. Fox, being the competitor that he is, felt irked by how long Dunlap had watched the ball and on the very next play, Dunlap was jogging over to first base not because he had hit the ball but because the ball had hit him. Fox intentionally threw at Dunlap because the competitor in him had urged him to do two things. First, Fox was sending a message that there were certain rules of etiquette in baseball that Dunlap was not following. Second, he purposely hit Dunlap in the strong muscle of the back so as to not injure him because of the respect he had for him as a person, and because he would never dare to intentionally harm a teammate. Fox said he has a lot of respect for Dunlap despite the brief altercation. “I grew up with Dunlap, I went to middle school [and] church with him,” Fox said. “I know he is a big strong hitter and when I get on the mound I’m very competitive. But all in all there was a conversation between me and him within 10 minutes [of the incident] and things worked themselves out pretty quickly.” As Fox detailed, this small feud did not even last 10 minutes. Moments such as these portray the level of camaraderie in competition and serve as a learning opportunity that gives sports its higher meaning. All in all, the respect one has for his teammates, the game itself, and for striving to win comes about through an appreciation for competition and an ability to celebrate in the good times and reflect in the bad times. The lesson of these two separate incidents is that competition must focus on making others better more so than making yourself better. This message can be translated into multiple facets of everyday life for those engaged in competition beyond sports. Compete to earn that job you have been striving for in order to impact others with the work you do once you have acquired it. Compete against a disease experts believe has no cure and be the individual that saves countless lives. Compete in the academic world to expand knowledge and inspire students to reach their full potential. Compete in life so that you may reach your goals while learning valuable lessons along the way that do more good than you could have imagined. I challenge all of you reading this to compete in an effort to make the world a better place. Kidd’s Korner is a column written by Michael Kidd. The opinions expressed in the column are solely his own.

Michael Kidd

is a Lovett College junior

the high academic standards make it easier to recruit athletes. “You’d think the academics would make this an obstacle, but that makes this a very easy university to recruit to,” Bailiff said. “When we walk into a home, we’re offering a scholarship that could change their lives. It’s one where we do the traveling camps, we don’t have great numbers, but we have young men that believe they’re admissible to Rice.” Bailiff said he is extremely excited about the potential of his incoming class, both on the field and off. “They are great fits academically, and they are great fits athletically,” Bailiff said. “We are looking for young men that will not only help us win a conference championship in football, but also help us graduate 100 percent. They’re going to come in and make a big difference at this university.” The new recruits will officially join Rice football over the summer to prepare for the upcoming season, or, if they are redshirted, to become stronger and prepare for their collegiate careers.

Taking a charge

tiffany yip/thresher

Freshman forward Marquez Letcher-Ellis attempts to draw a charging foul as a University of Southern Mississippi player goes for the layup. The Owls won the game 72-65 to bring their record to 8-15 on the season (3-7 in C-USA).

rize eo! p 00 vid $5 cted ele s to

The video's intended use is to engage Rice voices to spark dialogue on complex social issues. Video requirements: Maximum 15 minutes in length Format of your choosing, but should touch on the following: race relations, stereotypes, GLBT concerns, privilege, religious diversity. Video must be Mac-compatible and submitted to the Office of Multicultural Affairs on flash drive by Monday, March 7th, 2016. Please be sure to obtain written permission from individuals videotaped to use their words/likeness.

For additional info. contact Catherine at mino@rice.edu.


BACKPAGE

the Rice Thresher

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gmail

Mail COMPOSE

FlagGate 2K16 ugdean@rice.edu to president@rice.edu

Inbox Starred Important Sent Mail Drafts

Dearest Bron-Bron, As I’m sure you’re aware, this weekend bore witness to an unprecedented amount of theft, specifically of the flag-related variety. It appears to have been a domino effect. Duncan, concluding that Martel’s status as a dormitory forfeited its right to a flag, removed it promptly, and Martel retaliated by burgling Duncan’s banner. Jones, in a display of immature competitiveness, pilfered Will Rice’s pennant; Will Rice escaped with Wiess’ ensign; Wiess filched Lovett’s flag, and so on. The majority of the residential colleges participated in committing offenses, save Sid Richardson, whose members decided against following the sinful standard of stealing standards. In attempting to determine the cause of such heinous behaviour, I have been examining the recent past to see if any particular event could be the perpetrator. My first thought was the extermination of the Cheer Battle during O-Week – perhaps students were acting out physically because they didn’t have any verbal outlet to do so. The implications of this hypothesis were horrifying. Would Lovett be burned down? Would someone defecate on Brown? I came to my senses when I realized that no matter how far this could go, no one would ever actually — and pardon my language — “fuck Will Rice.” Gross. I mean, what would the logistics even be there? How could someone literally engage in sexual activities with a building? Why, I don’t even think any student at this university would have the sheer gall to expose themselves in public, much less around a college as beloved as Will Rice. The only explicable reason to do so would be to urinate, but surely the young adults around campus can contain their bladders to make it to a bathroom indoors ... Where was I? Right. The culprit. After considering all possibilities, I believe I’ve identified the problem. In the past three weeks, students have become fearful of drinking and socializing together in situations that are public in spirit or effect, organizing gatherings that are publicly announced or advertised to college members or students in general, and throwing parties that are held in college facilities but not sponsored by the colleges. Their Rice-y angst and awkwardness, unable to be quelled by gatherings like those I’ve just stated, has driven them to cause upheaval on campus. If you look at the graph below, I believe you’ll see that there it supports my case. I know it’s a little complex – I was up all night making it and didn’t get a wink of sleep — but if you spend some time and really analyze the data, you should be able to see what I mean. Flags stolen

12

In the past three weeks

Previously

I’m sure you now understand the severity of the problem. With regard to solutions, I believe there are a number of ways to move forward. Primarily, RUPD should encourage the consumption of alcohol immediately, specifically in private settings. Without the bottled sedatives that typically subdue students, they have become more active and unruly than ever before. We will further subsidize this initiative by providing a keg to each college; we can take this money from the advertising division of athletics. (Who signed off on that? Is it even producing results?) I look forward to hearing from you. Events like FlagGate are extremely dangerous, and only tarnish Rice’s reputation as a refined institution. Sincerely, Hutch-puppy P.S. I’ve hired new groundskeepers for the south colleges. Have you noticed that grass has stopped growing around Will Rice?

The Backpage is satire and written by Joey McGlone and Riley Robertson, and this week Isaac “Marcus” Schultz collaborated. For comments or questions, please email thirsty@rice.edu.

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The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, February 10, 2016  
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