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Learning to lead Students reflect on whether the Doerr Institute’s coaching model can deliver results





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Anita Alem

varying opinions on the program’s methodology and efficacy.

The Doerr Institute for New Leaders is not a “coaching institute,” according to Associate Director for Coaching Holly Tompson — although it is only one of 12 initiatives, it is what many students have come to associate most with the institute. The Doerr Institute, which was created through a $50 million gift from venture capitalist and philanthropist John (Lovett ’73) and Ann Doerr (Jones ’75), coached 266 students last spring, and went on to train 10 students to be peer coaches. Although all of the peer coaches the Thresher interviewed reported positive experiences when undergoing coaching with the Doerr Institute, they expressed

Leadership coaching The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” The Doerr Institute’s coaches are ICF-certified and typically have experience coaching executives. When asked to define coaching, however, both peer coaches and professionals tend to first define everything coaching is not. According to Tompson, leadership coaching lies in a category distinct from mentoring, athletic coaching or therapy, as it uses a different methodology. Instead of providing advice or 0see DOERR, page 4

Managing Editor

infographic by samantha ding

Rice launches Sallyportal, online professional networking site Meredith McCain Thresher Staff

An online professional network geared toward connecting Rice alumni, parents, students and faculty, Sallyportal, launched Oct. 12 in honor of Rice Day. Sallyportal, named by Rice alumnus Matt McGee (McMurtry ’16), is a product of the Rice Education of the Future Initiative report that the Rice Student Association compiled in 2014. The report emphasized the student desire for professional mentorship, and the idea for Sallyportal began to take form. This new online hub offers a variety of resources to facilitate relationships among the Rice community, including a message board where students can communicate with alumni and faculty and a connect tab that allows users to search for members of the Rice community based on industry, company, major, residential college and more. Mariah Lawhon (Jones ’16), the assistant director of alumni programs and manager of the Sallyportal project, said she sees the site as a way to foster Rice community collaboration. Before she graduated, Lawhon was a student member of the REF task force that helped develop the project. “Students can seek advice from Rice alumni and parents who have raised their hand to say ‘I want to help Rice students,’” Lawhon said. “It’s a painless and accessible networking experience. Alums can also connect amongst each other,

and alumni and parents can see many different campus programs, professional development events and volunteer opportunities in one centralized location.” At Monday’s SA Senate meeting, Lawhon said her office had set a goal of engaging 5 percent of alumni and 20 percent of current students on Sallyportal by next year’s Rice Day. Lawhon said the enrollment over the past week has already almost met that goal.

It’s a painless and accessible networking experience. Mariah Lawhon Sallyportal Manager

Won Hee Cho, the co-chair of the SA Future Alumni Committee, highlighted the key differences between RiceLink and Sallyportal, which offers opportunities such as connecting with mentors for a professional career or graduate school, identifying networking events and posting questions on message boards. “Some students think that the only reason they’ll ever interact with alumni is to find internships during their breaks,” Cho, a Lovett College sophomore, said. “So, they might ask, ‘How is this any different from

RiceLink?’ It’s different because this allows you to network with alumni for a number of other reasons, not limited to finding internships.” Karen McDonell (Jones ’77), director of alumni programs, emphasized the benefits that Sallyportal offers to Rice faculty when she spoke at the Faculty Senate meeting this past Wednesday. “You can recruit alumni volunteers for your classroom or for your colleges,” McDonell said. “If you work with certain student groups, this is a great way to support them. You can also get out the word to students about research opportunities, promote departmental events and find alumni mentors for your students.” To publicize the launch of Sallyportal, the Association of Rice Alumni set up three Sallyportal stations across campus on Wednesday. Students who signed up for the network and stopped by these stations received free t-shirts and the opportunity to discuss this new website. McMurtry College freshman Chris Botello expressed his enthusiasm about the unique opportunities that will be available to him and other Rice students through Sallyportal. “Sallyportal is really important because it allows us to reach out to alumni who are already in the workforce,” Botello said. “It can help make us feel more needed or wanted in particular fields because there are alumni who can provide us with insight into the workplace.” Julie Fette, deputy speaker of the Faculty Senate, spoke about the positive impact Sallyportal could

courtesy association of rice alumni

Rice launched a new networking website, Sallyportal, last week to facilitate professional connections among members of the Rice community. The site has already come close to meeting its participation goals for its first year. have, especially for students in the School of Humanities. “[Sallyportal] is especially gratifying for us in humanities,” Fette, a professor of French studies, said. [We] have trouble convincing our students to choose a humanities major against so much parental pressure to find a socalled ‘practical’ major. The alumni connection made possible through Sallyportal will enable undergrads to realize the enormous possibilities of careers regardless of major.” The SA Future Alumni Committee

hopes to promote the site among Rice undergraduates to extend their alumni networking efforts, Cho said. Cho said he believes the site has the potential to truly benefit students and the overall Rice network. “Sallyportal is designed to be a more intimate and free version of LinkedIn,” Cho said. “We’re hopeful that students will be able to use this online resource as a way of branching out into the larger Rice community and maintaining useful connections.”



the Rice Thresher

NEWS IN BRIEF RPC treasurer appointed deputy treasurer of Student Association Drew Keller, News Editor The Student Association Senate voted nearly unanimously Monday night to appoint Ameesh Shah, the current Rice Program Council treasurer, as the first SA deputy treasurer. Shah, a Jones College sophomore, will assume the new role immediately. As deputy treasurer, a position created by the Senate in a bill passed Sept. 12, Shah will assist SA Treasurer Maurice Frediere with the SA’s financial tasks. One of these tasks is management of blanket tax funds, which are distributed to estabilished campus organizations including roughly $46,000 for RPC to run each Beer Bike and $57,000 annually for other RPC events (The Thresher also receives $57,000 yearly). SA President Griffin Thomas said a conflict of interest between Shah’s RPC and SA roles would not be an issue, in response to a question at the Senate meeting before the vote. “We’ve had a long conversation about this,” Thomas, a Lovett College senior, said. “If he were to be treasurer of the SA and treasurer of RPC, that might be a problem. But as deputy treasurer, he is not going to be supervising or overseeing RPC.” Frediere, a Duncan College sophomore, said Shah would be a non-voting member of the blanket tax committee but would be expected to recuse himself during voting regarding RPC. Frediere selected Shah for the position after sending applications for the position to the SA listserv several weeks ago. Last year, Shah served in the Senate as a New Student Representive. He was confirmed with two abstentions and no votes against.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Week aims to educate Zac Odermatt

For the Thresher

The Rice Alliance for Mental Health Awareness hosted Rice’s first Mental Health Awareness Week, hosting a viewing of “Silver Linings Playbook,” distributing anxiety and depression screenings and encouraging students to take an online pledge over the course of last week in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. According to RAMHA co-president Helen Wei, the week was Rice’s version of a larger national awareness campaign. “The week itself has been put on by the National Alliance for Mental Illness, so we wanted to bring that to Rice and do our own part to try to keep Rice stigma-free,” Wei, a Will Rice College junior, said. RAMHA co-president Cindy Hwang said expectations of happiness, including those set by Rice’s recent No. 1 ranking for happiest students by the Princeton Review, can cause mental illness to be overlooked. “When we only embrace that ranking for what it is and we don’t look deeper into how Rice culture actually is, we miss a lot of what people are dealing with on a regular basis,” Hwang, a Sid Richardson College senior, said. Wei said she is also concerned about the issue of feeling isolated on a happy campus. “Without us really talking about [mental illness] on campus, and especially at Rice, it is something that’s really prevalent, but hidden,” Wei said. According to Hwang, the week was intended to start a discussion. “We’re just hoping conversation can happen,” Hwang said. “Our goal is to allow people suffering from mental illness be able to talk about it.” One student who attended the screening event said the screening was an important step toward

jiayi lyu/thresher

The Rice Alliance for Mental Health Awareness shared anxiety and depression screenings to students as part of Rice’s first Mental Health Awareness Week. This campaign also featured a viewing of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and a pledge to reduce stigma surrounding mental health. self-understanding. “I know that I would have been much better off if I had realized I had anxiety earlier, and something like this might have helped me understand it was happening to me,” the student, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “You don’t want to talk about it — you feel weak and alone.” Through the stigma-free pledge, Wei said the stigma-free pledge helped move students toward understanding mental illness. “That’s why the stigma free pledge is more than signing a petition or getting email updates — it’s one step,” Wei said. “The important thing

is putting yourself out there and educating yourself.” Wei outlined her expectations for RAMHA as a club for the year and ways to make it a more active and visible presence on campus. “[We want to] make it easier for people to be able to start conversations about mental health on campus, and also educate our members so they know how to talk about it, how to become those representatives in their own college or friend group,” Wei said. This article has been condensed for print. Read more at

courtesy janet ni

jiayi lyu/thresher

The Hangout begins

courtesy janet ni

The Hangout, an outdoor learning space between Fondren Library reading room and the Humanities building, opened on Oct. 13. Visitors are encouraged to rearrange the network of hammocks and poles, which boasts a total of 729 configurations. The project was the winning entry to the mini-charette design competition hosted by the Rice School of Architecture in fall 2015. A team of eight students then worked with sponsors and mentors to implement the proposal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

the Rice Thresher



Alternative homecoming shirt sale raises scam suspicion Drew Keller News editor

With homecoming weekend approaching, a two-day weekend sale of homecoming shirts targeting Rice students resulted in more than 100 students placing orders — but some now say they feel misled after realizing that the shirts have no association with Rice, and others on campus have warned that the entire sale may be a scam. Inkonit, a small South Dakota company, launched the sale through a Facebook page over the weekend. Over 1,000 students were invited and nearly 200 students posted orders for shirts ranging from $13 to $17, which are supposed to arrive Wednesday. However, Inikonit deleted the page late Sunday amid revelations that the company was not associated with any Rice organization and allegations that the sale was fake. One of the administrators of the page, Kari Peterreins, first created the page in July with its privacy settings set to “secret.” She changed the setting to “closed” around 1 p.m. Saturday, after which Rice students began posting their orders. “We are getting ready 4 the best week of the year - HOMECOMING!!” the page’s initial description said. “A group of 1st & 2nd year students put together this shirt to rep during homecoming week, parties, pre-games and the big game vs Prairie View - These shirts will fill the streets and the stands & bring the fun along with them - Make sure to get yours while you can …they go fast.” The description instructed students to post their orders on the page publically and invite friends at Rice, offering a 10 percent discount for every five friends invited with a cap of 100 percent off. Students who posted on the page were sent an email directing them to pay for the shirts online. The legitimacy of the shirts was publicly called into question Sunday afternoon when Duncan College freshmen Rebecca Artall and Mackenzie Flanagan, who had both posted shirt orders, examined the company further and then posted in the page listing dubious aspects of the sale. Artall said she and Flanagan looked at the profiles of Kari and Jacob Peterreins, the page administrators, and found that they had no

association to Rice. The Peterreins deleted Artall’s post in the page and removed her from the group. Flanagan then made a post repeating Artall’s observations. Kari Peterreins responded, acknowledging that Inkonit had no connection to Rice but defending the company’s authenticity. Other students joined the discussion, raising questions of why the shirts had no mention of Rice on them despite alledgedly having been requested by Rice students and pointing out that, contrary to the Peterreins’ claims, many shirts distributed by on-campus organizations promote partying. “Kari [Peterreins] used vague, awkward language, and said that anyone who said it was a scam was just saying that so that they could sell the official Rice homecoming shirts, which she repeatedly called lame,” Flanagan said. “This made no sense, because the Rice shirts are free, so no one was trying to sell them.” The ordering process itself used credit card payments secured through a third party. The company provided a South Dakota telephone number to reach Sales Associate Jacob Peterreins. A man who identified himself as Peterreins answered the number and strongly denied the allegations of fraud. “The accusation that we are trying to scam people is really disappointing and childish,” he said. “If we were trying to scam people, we would use pre-paid debit cards or another method — we wouldn’t use traceable credit card transactions of less than $15 each.” Peterreins defended Inkonit’s legitimacy, stating that the company has previously provided products for other colleges, fraternities, sororities and similar organizations. At least three separate versions of the company’s website are currently online, though none of them reference each other:, and They all offer the same shirt in different colors, apparently intended for different homecoming events. According to online records, Jacob Peterreins registered “Inkonit” as a business name in 2013 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jacob Peterreins claimed that a group of Rice students had originally approached the company about offering homecoming shirts at Rice this year, but he refused to give the students’ names.

jiayi lyu/thresher

courtesy inkonit

Inkonit, a self-described ‘small South Dakota screenprinting company,’ offered homecoming shirts to Rice students in a sale last weekend, though the shirts did not specifically mention Rice. “That group of students no longer wants to be identified,” he said. Jacob Peterreins said the company had taken screenshots and removed the posts of students asserting that the sale was a scam. “We’ve lost a lot of money on this whole silly thing already,” he said. “That’s libel, and we could sue them for damages.” Artall said she was aware of the Peterreins’ threat to sue over the scam allegations, but was not concerned. Libel, or written defamation, consists of making a false statement that causes the subject material harm; under Texas law, such as statement about a private citizen must additionally have been made out of negligence or intentional malice. “After so many people realized that the shirts seemed like a scam, Kari [Peterreins] made a final post and the page has since been deleted,” Artall said. “At some point she threatened to sue me for libel, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.” Over the course of Sunday afternoon, many students who had posted orders left the page and several residential colleges sent out listserv emails warning of a shirt sale scam. Around 5:30

p.m. Sunday evening, Kari Peterreins changed the description of the Facebook page. “To our misfortune and yours, some individuals took it upon themselves to make false accusations about the validity of our company and our products,” the updated description said. “We are not and have never claimed to be affiliated with Rice. We are not here to argue with anyone over the validity of our company/products. Please stop with the allegations. You won. Justice has been served for Rebecca [Artall].” The page was deleted later in the evening, though phone calls to the company’s numbers continue to be answered. Duncan College freshman Cam Walton said he paid $7 for a shirt, having gotten a $10 discount from inviting 38 Facebook friends. “Within the hour of the order, I went back onto Facebook and read all of the posts explaining why it was probably a scam,” he said. “I mumbled some expletives and hung my head in shame. On the bright side, if the shirts are actually real and get delivered, I’ll have a decently cool shirt that lets everyone know the extent of my gullibility.”



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

the Rice Thresher

Search begins for new college masters as terms come to an end Baker College

David Yang & Sarah Smati For the Thresher

The current Baker College masters Ivo-Jan and Rose van der Werff will be leaving at the end of the academic year, which marks their seventh year as masters. Many Baker students said the van der Werffs made an effort to get to know the students on a personal level: The masters can often be seen interacting with Baker students during dinner, at cabinet meetings and during the yearly events they host in their house. Both of the van der Werffs, who have two adult daughters, work at the Shepherd School of Music. Ivo-Jan is a violist and professor of viola who has performed more than 2,000 concerts around the world as part of the Medici String Quartet and contributed soundtracks and recordings for movies. Rose is a violinist who coordinates the Chamber Music and Outreach program for the prep school at Shepherd. In addition to their daughters, the couple has two dogs, one of whom

0DOERR FROM PAGE 1 mentorship, coaches use a method of inquiry. Students typically attend three to five sessions lasting 60- to 90-minute sessions with their coach. Before the first session, students complete online pre-work informing their coach of any leadership goals they may have. They must also take an online “emotional intelligence” test, which quantifies characteristics like empathy and self-awareness. Tompson said coaching can often look like guided goal-setting, where coaches help students move toward the goal that students themselves carefully choose based on their priorities. A portion of the first session is dedicated to analyzing the results of the EI test, and students may use the results as guides in forming their goals. “Coaches are not giving students new activities to go get involved in,” Tompson said. “They say, ‘Let’s try to do this a little differently. Given that this is your goal, let’s fast-track your development.’” The student is responsible for taking steps toward the goal and reflecting on the outcomes. Tompson said leadership coaching can be particularly useful for Rice students because the organizations they are entering today are typically less hierarchical than they have been previously. “Coaching gives you a better appreciation of your strengths as a leader and how you might be able to influence even if not in an official leadership position,” Tompson said. “In these flatter organizations, that’s going to be a lot more important.” Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs Jesse Hendrix, who is a certified leadership coach, said coaching is based extensively in psychology. Hendrix said the model draws on the idea that those being coached already have the solutions for overcoming challenges they face, so they do not need to be explicitly instructed or told what to do. “If you come up with an approach to a challenge, you’re going to be a lot more inclined to make that happen,” Hendrix said. “If someone else says, ‘You should go do that’ and it’s not your idea, maybe you only put 50 percent into it.” Joan Liu, a Jones College senior, said she found the relationship with her professional coach to be comfortable because of its confidentiality. “I looked to [my coach] as almost an extension of myself, who I can freely bounce ideas off of,” Liu said. “There’s zero judgement, there’s no guiding, there’s no preset agenda. I just came in and talked and she would go through it with me.” Selecting peer coaches According to Tompson, the Doerr Institute partnered with the Center for Civic Leadership and the Center for Career Development to offer training to staff, alumni and a select group of students to become coaches themselves in the late spring. There were about 22 total attendees, including faculty, staff, alumni and students. The program

Jones College is named Baker. “The energy and vibrancy of Baker has kept us wanting to be involved in the best possible way,” Ivo-Jan van der Werff said. “We can both feel ridiculously proud of any of our students’ achievements, be they academic, in sports or music or within the Baker community. This way of life has felt so natural to us that it is hard to comprehend what life will actually be like when we leave.” Baker Chief Justice Jahid Adam said the van der Werffs have helped to support student leadership at Baker while allowing student decision-making. “[The van der Werffs have] played a large role in defining Baker as a supportive and inclusive community while I’ve been here,” Adam, a junior, said. “As Chief Justice, I’ve relied on the masters multiple times for support and guidance, and they have consistently been incredible resources.” Baker juniors Natalie Swanson and Patrick Garr lead a college committee to search for new masters. “The advent of new masters brings with it new ideas and a new perspective that can help further facilitate our culture while adding something new to us moving forward,” Garr said. Ivo-Jan van der Werff expressed strong support for the residential college system. “We hope Rice will continue far into the future with the residential college system,” Ivo-Jan van der Werff said. “It’s so great for alums to have not just the sense of being Rice [graduates] but to proudly declare which college they were at.” While the van der Werffs will be leaving their official posts as masters by the end of this year, they will still be teaching as professors at Shepherd with the knowledge that their legacy will remain among Bakerites for years to come.

consisted of an ICF-required 60 hours of training. The students selected as peer coaches were either part of the CCD’s Peer Career Advisor program or had previously held summer internships as part of Leadership in Professional Context (LEAD 150) and Leadership and Professional Excellence (LEAD 250). The latter is the class students take in conjunction with summer internships through the Leadership Rice Mentor Experience. These peer coaches were then responsible for coaching this year’s LEAD 150 and LEAD 250 students. The CCL and CCD reached out to specific students for the peer coaching program, and ultimately selected 10; these students were then required to undergo leadership coaching as well.

I don’t think coaching is worth [$30 an hour]. AJ Barnes Peer Coach

Training: ‘I didn’t realize what coaching was’ Dylan Dickens, a Martel College junior, said students were paid $200 for attending all 60 hours of training. Liu said although the training was long, she found the steps to be necessary, since they included outside reading and practice sessions. “I was skeptical about coaching and then got so much out of it, so I [realized] it’s unfair for me to have a preconceived notion about coach training,” Liu said. “I tried to go into it with an open mind.” However, Dickens said he lacked a full understanding of what the purpose of a coach is until he underwent leadership coaching himself. “After just the first half an hour of training, it clicked with me how much I as a client almost wasted coaching,” he said. “I think Doerr needs to work a little bit on explaining to people what a coach is. And it’s really hard because people have preconceived ideas of what a coach is and is not.” Martel senior AJ Barnes agreed he misunderstood the program, since he entered thinking it would be centered around mentoring students through their first internship experience. “I didn’t realize what coaching was and I still don’t really know what it is,” Barnes said. “It’s different depending on who you talk to. I was very open [to students I coached] — ‘This is a brand new thing, I know about as much as you do.’” Payment: ‘It’s an appropriate sum’ Tompson said Doerr paid peer coaches $15 to $30 per session depending on how much training they had undergone, to provide students an incentive to train the maximum 60 hours.

Amber Dai

For the Thresher

Michel and Melanie Achard will leave their positions as Jones College masters at the end of this academic year. Michel Achard, an associate professor of linguistics, and Melanie Achard, who works for a security software company, began their tenure as masters in 2010. “We simply wanted to have the privilege to share the students’ lives for a while,” Michel Achard said. “We were certainly not disappointed.” The Achards said they were sad to leave the Jones community. After they move off campus, Michel will continue teaching, and they will come back to Jones as associates. While Michel and Melanie Achard have made countless contributions to Jones, their dedication and trust in the students and the student government allowed the Jones Executive Cabinet to make changes and improvements at the college, according to Jones External Vice

Brown College senior Adam Cleland said he found the payment to be appropriate for the work, especially considering executive coaches make hundreds hourly coaching C-suite executives. “If you compare it to what my friends are paid to tutor seventh graders it’s an appropriate sum,” Cleland said. “For the amount of coaching that we went through, for the organization that we’re partnering with, it’s appropriate.” However, Barnes said he felt the payment for the job, which is the most highest paying he has ever held, was unjustified, especially because he also worked as a teacher during the summer. “I don’t think [coaching] is worth that much money,” Barnes said. “If it’s worth that much, then people who wake up at 5 a.m. and spend 12 hours a day molding people’s minds [as teachers should make more money]. People who work at the [Recreation Center], people who in my opinion are working harder, should be making a bit more.” McMurtry College senior Sawyer Knight said since his summer peer coaching experience, he has moved onto coaching other students as well as professionals, in industries ranging from research to investment banking. Coaching versus advising Although peer coaches said the advice-free environment was helpful when they were being coached, some did not feel it was effective when they turned to coaching students themselves. Cleland felt leadership coaching in its current form may not be as effective for college students as it is for executives, because it relies on students having the solutions to their challenges. He said he raised these concerns during training but was told to follow guidelines because the methodology works for students. The line between advisor and coach blurred for Cleland, especially when students had tangible questions on actions they could take to perform better at their internships. “I believe college students don’t have the life experience to be able to find all of the answers inside of them,” Cleland said. “I knew it wasn’t going to work so I pulled my own strategy out. It was an altered strategy of coaching that needs to be implemented in the college coaching setting.” Liu, however, said she strongly disagreed with the idea that students do not have the answer to their personal hurdles within them. “I think that’s bullshit, that only CEOs have the answer,” Liu said. “Who are you to dictate what their own personal hurdles are, or what they need to do to make themselves a more effective person?” Barnes said he similarly alternated between coaching and advising, and ultimately realized he prefers mentoring to coaching. To avoid conflicting with ethical guidelines forbidding coaches from doling out advice, Barnes would signal to his students at the end of a session when he was taking on an advisory role. “I wanted to validate their feeling and say, ‘That’s a really great idea,’ which we were told not to say because it’s judging their idea,” Barnes said.

President Edward Gao. “Their guidance, encouragement and unwavering support gives our student government the confidence and ability to constantly strive to improve every aspect of Jones,” Gao, a junior, said. Jones resident associate Allison Leedie compared the masters’ role at Jones to that of a driver’s ed teacher: someone who sits beside you to guide you, but does not have total control “They will say, ‘It’s the students’ college, so how do the students want to handle this? What do the students think is best?’” Leedie said. “That’s what I love most about working with them.” The transition will be bittersweet and difficult to imagine, the Achards said. Not only did they have an incredible impact on empowering the college’s government, but they also can be credited for individual student growth, Bethany Fowler, a Jones senior who is part of the search committee for new masters, said. “It is impossible for me to imagine my Rice experience without the support of Michel and Melanie,” Fowler said. “Over the past three years, it’s fair to say that their guidance has actually shaped the person I’ve become, and the same is true for Jones as a whole. Melanie and Michel have brought out the best in Jones, and that influence will long outlast their time as masters.” The college is currently in the process of selecting the new masters. The selection committee, made up of 11 Jones students, is headed by Gao and Jones president Chris Sabbagh, a senior. The committee is in the process of the first round of candidate interviews. “Our ideal masters are those who are always by our side guiding us in the right direction, occasionally taking control to keep us in line,” Gao said.

Tompson said although students who are being coached often want the coach to be an expert in their area and provide advice, this is not and should not be a requirement of coaching. For example, she said she often works with physicians, and is able to coach them successfully without herself being a trained physician. “Does it help to know a little about their world?” Tompson said. “Yes, but would I ever try to give them advice on their world or say I understand their world? No. It’s a fine line.” Being peer coached Martel senior Neethi Nayak, who had an internship through LRME this summer, said she did not find her peer coaching helpful because she was at a personal career stage beyond that of her coach. She felt the coaching would have worked better if her coach had similar interests or were more familiar with her strengths and weaknesses. “I felt like I was thrown into the peercoach mentorship relationship without any background,” Nayak said. “There were already so many people I needed to touch base with, and this was just another person to touch base with.” On the other hand, Brown junior Harrison Lin said he had a great experience with his peer coach, but felt it might have been because his coach took a more unconventional route. She did not ask any specific questions about leadership coaching or ask him to do pre-work. “It’s like at the end of a long day, you go to your friend and you say, ‘This rocked, this sucked,’ and they just listened,” Lin said. “Through my talks with her, I was able to structure how I felt about work and how I could make the most out of it.” Lin said despite his experience, he remains skeptical of leadership coaching in general. “I’m not sure I’m inclined to seek out a ‘leadership coach’ because I’m not sure what that experience is like,” Lin said. “I don’t think I would go to the Doerr Institute.” ‘What society doesn’t need better leaders?’ Tompson emphasized that coaching is still only one of 12 strategic initiatives for the Doerr Institute, and only used as a tool to accomplish Doerr’s ultimate mission to develop leaders. Peer coaches may coach freshmen as part of another initiative, the Leadership Development Navigator. Select LRME students from this summer will be trained also be trained as peer coaches. The Doerr Institute is currently moving into coaching graduate students. Other programs like Rice Emergency Medical Services and Associate Dean for Health Professions Gia Merlo’s Medical Professionalism and Observership (NSCI 399) have specifically requested coaching. Tompson said coaching is a resource for everyone, regardless of career interest or major. “If every single sophomore wants a coach, we will provide it,” Tompson said. “We want to make sure it doesn’t seem like this is for businesspeople. What society doesn’t need better leaders?”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


the Rice Thresher


sixuan pan/thresher

Happy birthday, KTRU

KTRU Rice Radio celebrated its 50-year anniversary with a free concert with Sound on Sound Fest on Oct. 14. The event featured rapper Open Mike Eagle along with Houston artists Young Mammals and Us and was part of a concert series open to the public. The student-operated radio station, which was established in 1967, returned to FM radio on the 96.1 frequency last year after having spent several years restricted to digital and HD2 formats.

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Same ingredients and price of the sub or club without the bread.

The original Italian sub with genoa salami, provolone, capicola, onion, lettuce, tomato, & a real tasty Italian vinaigrette. (Hot peppers by request)


Layers of provolone cheese separated by real avocado spread, sliced cucumber, lettuce, tomato & mayo. (Truly a gourmet sub not for vegetarians only, Sprouts* optional) Bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo! (My B.L.T. rocks)

or th ig e JJ ina ’S l


★ sides ★


★ Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookie ★ Extra load of meat ★ Extra cheese or extra avocado spread


freebies (subs & clubs only) Onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, sliced cucumber, hot peppers, dijon, Jimmy Mustard, yellow mustard, oil & vinegar, oregano, sprouts*

#7 SMOKED HAM CLUB 1/4 pound of real wood smoked ham, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo!


Choice roast beef, smoked ham, provolone cheese, Dijon mustard, lettuce, tomato & mayo.


Genoa salami, Italian capicola, smoked ham, and provolone cheese all topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo & our homemade Italian vinaigrette. (Order it with hot peppers)


A full 1/4 pound of medium rare roast beef, provolone, lettuce, tomato & mayo.


Sliced turkey breast, real wood smoked ham, provolone, and tons of lettuce, tomato & mayo! (A very traditional, yet always exceptional classic!)

★ Soda Pop ★ Real potato chips or jumbo kosher dill pickle

My club sandwiches have twice the meat or cheese, try it on my fresh baked thick sliced 7-grain bread or my famous homemade French bread! Tell us when you order!

Sprouts* optional Fresh baked turkey breast, provolone cheese, avocado spread, sliced cucumber, lettuce, tomato and mayo!


#13 GOURMET VEGGIE CLUB® Double provolone, real avocado spread, sliced cucumber, lettuce, tomato & mayo. (Try it on my 7-grain whole wheat bread. This veggie sandwich is really yummy! Sprouts* optional)


Roast beef, turkey breast, lettuce, tomato & mayo. An American classic!


THE J.J. GARGANTUAN® The original gutbuhstuh! Genoa salami, sliced smoked ham, capicola, roast beef, turkey & provolone, jammed into one of our homemade French buns, then smothered with onions, mayo, lettuce, tomato & our homemade Italian vinaigrette.

The same as our #3 Totally Tuna except this one has a lot more. Housemade tuna salad, provolone, sliced cucumber, lettuce & tomato. (Sprouts* optional)


Sliced turkey breast, bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo. (JJ's original turkey & bacon club)


FUND YOUR INITIATIVE. Do you have an innovative and creative project that will improve undergraduate life at Rice? Fund that idea with the Dr. Bill Wilson Student Initiative Grant. Grant application and information can be found at:


Real wood smoked ham and bacon with lettuce, tomato & mayo! (This one rocks!)





(Application includes a proposal describing the project and a detailed budget showing other sources of income) Application Deadline is Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 11:59 p.m.


New deputy treasurer holds conflict of interest At this week’s Student Association meeting, current Rice Program Council Treasurer Ameesh Shah was nearly unanimously appointed as the SA’s first deputy treasurer (see p.3). While we do not doubt Shah’s competence in performing the duties of the deputy treasurer, Shah’s current position as the treasurer of RPC, a blanket tax subsidiary organization, raises concerns about a conflict of interest. SA President Griffin Thomas dismissed these concerns at the SA meeting; his argument was that a conflict would have arisen only if Shah were the treasurer, not the deputy. However, according to Section XIII A.3. of the SA Constitution, “Members of the Student Association shall not hold Student Association positions that create a conflict of interest or the reasonable appearance thereof, nor shall the business of the Student Association be conducted in such a manner that creates a conflict of interest or the reasonable appearance thereof.” Ultimately, we believe that this situation creates at the very least a “reasonable appearance” of a conflict of interest. Even if nothing improper occurs in this specific instance, these types of situations ought to be avoided on principle. It is plausible that such conflicts of interest for a brand new, previously untried position could create problems we may not currently be able to foresee. Last year’s blanket tax review process was indicative of the many problems that conflicts of interest could pose. Despite the fact that there are many Rice students qualified to engage in the SA and subsidiary organizations in various ways, appointments such as this perpetuate the notion that only a small portion of students are actually involved in having their voices heard. This can create an echo chamber, where only a small group is involved in important decisionmaking that affects students. Not bringing in more outsiders does not best serve the student body. Even if the SA were to have had difficulties in finding qualified candidates for the Deputy Treasuer position from within the pool of applicants, they nonetheless owe it to the students to select a candidate without a clear conflict of interest. When the deputy treasurer position was first created, we questioned whether the SA creating another appointed position (as opposed to an elected one) detracted power from the student body in deciding who handles important financial decisions. That the individual appointed to the position, despite his abilities, is the treasurer for another blanket tax organization, reinforces the perception of a leadership pipeline and a hierarchy within student government that is insular and inaccessible to many students.

Errata In last week’s Oct. 11 issue, the story “RUPD to begin security camera test run at Lovett College” stated the secuirty cameras have been installed. The cameras have not gone up yet.

Letters to the Editor


Great argument for Bailiff’s firing Mr. Tolpadi’s piece entitled “Told by Tolpadi: After football’s brutal start, it is time for Bailiff to go” is arguably the most cogent argument I have seen to date for the firing of David Bailiff as head football coach of Rice University. As Tolpadi accurately notes, this year’s edition of the football Owls appears to be even worse and more undisciplined than last year’s squad (both from a talent and coaching standpoint) and is one of only four teams out of the 128team Football Bowl Subdivision that has yet to record a win this season. With likely unwinnable road games against Stanford University and Louisiana Tech University remaining, it appears as if the football team is destined for another 5-7 — or, more likely, worse — campaign. This is unacceptable at a university which Edgar Odell Lovett wished to be “of the highest grade.”

The university can no longer afford to have a football coach who simply is a great man and great ambassador for the university.

executed and had I coached better we would have won” have long stopped providing hope and optimism to Rice football’s everdwindling and aging fanbase — see the student section at the end of the loss to the University of North Texas for proof. In yet another era of conference realignment where Rice has miraculously made the top 11 candidates for a potential (although unlikely) expansion of the Big 12, the university can no longer afford to have a football coach who simply is a great man and great ambassador for the university. It must have someone who has the expectation of playing in and winning multiple conference championship games and potentially even a New Year’s Six Bowl appearance, not someone who views an invitation to a bottom-feeder bowl game as a job well done and a catalyst for yet another contract extension. To make matters worse, our crosstown rivals, coached by a former Rice offensive coordinator, no less, are firmly entrenched in the top 10 of the college football rankings. Meanwhile, Rice is firmly entrenched near the top of ESPN’s weekly “Bottom 10” rankings. I appreciate Coach Bailiff ’s efforts and accomplishments over the last 10 years. Attending the 2013 Conference USA championship game against Marshall University remains at the top of my favorite sports memories. But since that game, the football program has fallen to depths that the university should not tolerate. For that reason, it’s time for a change.

How would you like to be asked to Esperanza? “I want to say Robert Downey Jr. asking me shirtless but I feel like that’s a cop-out.” – Yasna Haghdoost, Editor in Chief

“I want the SA to commission a task force to create a poll asking me whether, next year, I might go to Esperanza with them ;) .” – Walden Pemantle, A&E Editor

“Like a real American — via aerial banner ad pulled by 25-foot-long bald eagle.” – Charlie Paul, Web Editor

“Crawl through my window in Anderson with breakfast tacos in the morning.” –Sam Ding, News Designer

“Just buy me some food. I’m hungry.” – Andrew Grottkau, Sports Editor

“Erotic skywriting + ice cream cake = guaranteed yes.” – Lenna Mendoza, A&E Editor

Coach Bailiff ’s tiresome press conference bromides that include such gems as “I have to do a better job of coaching” and “Had we

Jonathan Myers, Will Rice College ’12 Former Thresher sports editor

How we should label mental health Please explain to me why you would accommodate anyone directing a “stigma” against anyone (see p.2). ‘Advocacy for’ “Advocacy For” is the positive use of language to achieve positive goals. It is measured by the frequency of positive affirmations and the infrequency of negatives. As simple as that seems, recognizing the positives and the negatives in a society which confuses the two is often difficult. The use of positives must be deliberate, constant and consistent, for it takes many positives to overcome one single negative. Though it is a rule of “Advocacy For” to present the positive, sometimes negatives are so well established, focusing on them can bring them clearly to people’s consciousness. In the simplest, most common of metaphors lie the most powerful negatives. A first primer of ‘don’ts’ Avoid the intransitive verbs “are” or “is” and thereby avoid the offensive labeling of people as “schizophrenics” or “a schizophrenic.” Instead, use person-first language and name the illness, such as “He/ she has schizophrenia.”

Avoid the articles “the,” “a,” and thereby avoid “the” mentally ill, “a” depressive. Use “person-first” language, such as “people with bipolar disorder” or an “individual with depression.”

“With free tickets and beer.”

– Juan Saldana, Business Manager

“I don’t care how anyone asks me, but if they can bring Droubi’s back to Rice I’ll say yes.” – Anita Alem, Managing Editor

“I would like to be serenaded by One Direction.” – Emily Abdow, Assistant News Editor

Avoid using adjectives that label people. Instead, use substantives, naming their conditions.

“WITH FOOD. All the food.”

Avoid “mental illness.” Whenever you can, use the fully informative, specific diagnosis.


Avoid “mental illness” in the singular. Use the plural “mental illnesses” as there are many. Avoid “mental” illness. Whenever possible, use illness instead. They are illnesses. Avoid the innuendo “stigma” — it victimizes. Use instead “prejudice” or “discrimination,” specifics which can be concretely addressed or redressed. Avoid recounting “myths,” as they are repeated in folk cultures well-known. Instead, inform and educate to truths. Harold A. Maio Retired mental health editor

– Julianne Wey, Copy Editor

– Amber Tong, News Editor

“In a way that gives me the impression we aren’t going to Esperanza.” – Mitch Mackowiak, Opinions Editor

“If someone asks me to go to Esperanza with a dog, I will definitely say yes.” – Sirui Zhou, Photo Editor

“With a cool-looking rock.” – Jasmine Lin, Copy Editor

HAVE OPINIONS? OF COURSE YOU DO. Submit op-eds and letters to the editor at Columnists welcome! Inquire at

Wednesday, October 19. 2016


the Rice Thresher


SA should not simply serve SA should support any special interest groups proposal to improve Rice Experience, like Bill #2

For several years, significant concerns have been raised about advising for almost every pre-professional track other than the prehealth one. Several students have walked into meetings with advisors to be told that Rice has no resources to help them find opportunities they want and need. Senate Bill #2, which created a Health Professions Taskforce, serves to garner more support for what is already one of the most supported fields at Rice. Therefore, the Student Association’s support of this initiative has shown that it is out of touch with the more pressing needs of Rice students. Any taskforce should comprehensively explore the needs of all students, not an individual’s perspective unsupported by any grassroots sentiment outside the SA. We have an entire department dedicated to pre-health advising, and it is within their scope to evaluate their services’ efficacy and address student complaints. However, a sole SA Executive Committee member, Komal Luthra, brought this bill to Senate without having had any conversations with the Office of Academic Advising, Rice Pre-Medical Society, Global Medical Brigades or the Medical Humanities Society. Not only does this action affront the people in those organizations dedicated to serving students, it demonstrates a disregard for existing institutions created to provide pre-health advising. Any effort to improve a perceived deficit in pre-health advising should partner with these organizations. Any other approach creates an unsustainable, top-down initiative that doesn’t engage the people it ought. This initiative is unfortunately similar to the SA’s attempt to create a computer science advisory board last year against the wishes of an existing computer science student organization. Additionally, this bill targets a very specific demographic of the student body. If you ask the pre-health professions student population if they want additional or improved resources, you can’t really expect anything other than yes — there’s always room for improvement. However, when contextualizing this need within the broader scope of university resources, this information tells us nothing when it is not compared with advising resources for other disciplines.

This task force neglects students who are not pre-health and have been grossly underserved by a lack of pre-professional advising. The prehealth professions section of the OAA website outlines their mission to “expose all interested students to the variety of career opportunities available in the health professions arena, assist students in identification of and participation in appropriate developmental activities in preparation for postgraduate programs, and guide students during the application process.” Most students outside pre-health professions have no access to a comparable caliber of advising as that which the health professions advising department provides. Those in favor of this resolution often justified voting yes by stating that students should be able to pursue projects they are passionate about. As college presidents, we completely agree. However, the SA, especially the Executive Committee, sends deep cultural messages to the university about students’ priorities when it sponsors task forces. Therefore, it should concern itself with tackling serious, campuswide issues that give voice to students’ concerns that are already echoing around the university. When the SA Executive Committee expends resources on under-researched bills that do not reflect the student body’s sentiments, it loses the trust of both students and administrators.

Bissy Michael is the Sid Richardson College president and a senior, Madhuri Venkateswar is the McMurtry College president and a senior, Rahul Kothari is

the Lovett College president and a senior, and Ly Nguyen is the Martel College president and a senior

Some brief information, before I get started: Komal Luthra, a member of the Student Association executive team, brought this bill forward to create a small task force to investigate the state of prehealth advising at Rice. In my opinion, though, Komal presented this legislation not as an executive on the SA, but as a prehealth student who wants to help improve something she cares about. After much discussion and debate, it was finally passed two weeks ago (you can read more about it in the Thresher article from that week). The first thing I want to say is that this bill’s controversial nature makes it valuable. Even as a relatively minor piece of legislation, the fact that it has been so polarizing forces the community and the SA to inspect and dissect the situation. What is going on in this process and legislation that has caused such disagreement to build, and how will the SA learn and grow from this? I’m glad we are asking these questions and discussing this aspect of our Student Association. After personally reflecting upon this bill and discussing it with others, I realized that this bill has rustled up so many differing opinions because it represents a question central to the spirit of student government: Should the government only act in representing the aggregate of the student body, or should it be available as an advocacy channel for specific interest groups on campus? This question is difficult for anyone to answer, including me. Consequently, I had to take another step back and investigate the SA’s overarching priorities. The Student Association Constitution begins with a statement of purpose: a seven-part mission statement that I believe superbly encompasses our highest priorities as undergraduate students. The third part, which states that the Student Association shall be “to provide a forum

for the expression of student views and interests,” almost answers the question for me. The mission also states the SA should “enhance the value of the Rice University experience” and should “provide channels of communication and cooperation among all parts of the student body.” Nowhere does it state we should solely focus on the grander aspects of student life. Nowhere does it limit the SA to only making decisions that benefit the entire student population. I voted for this legislation because I also want to create the best Rice experience for as many people as I can. That goal is better achieved if we create a culture in the SA that encourages students to come forward with their ideas to improve the community around them. I want to be a member of a student association that will support and assist students who want to enhance the aspect of Rice about which they are most passionate. If the SA limits itself to only supporting legislation that affects the entire student body or concerns issues the entire student body feels is important to them, it also limits its ability to be a beneficial force of change for undergraduates at Rice campus. We must use every resource we have to make Rice as great as we can, and nothing less. The next time a student seeks SA support in a personal endeavor to create a better Rice, I will be prepared to back them.

Paul Dingus is the Baker College president

and a senior

cartoon by jennifer fu

The temptations of Sallyportal.

STAFF Yasna Haghdoost* Editor in Chief Anita Alem* Managing Editor Juan Saldana Business Manager news Drew Keller* Editor Amber Tong* Editor Emily Abdow Asst. Editor

opinions Mitch Mackowiak* Editor sports Andrew Grottkau Editor arts & entertainment Lenna Mendoza Editor Walden Pemantle Editor design Justin Park Director Samantha Ding News Designer Katrina Cherk Sports Designer Christina Tan A&E Designer Jennifer Fu Illustrator photo Sirui Zhou Editor

copy Jasmine Lin Editor Julianne Wey Editor backpage Riley Robertson Editor business operations Shannon Klein Ads Manager Sean Kelley Distribution Manager online Charlie Paul Editor Alex Kim Editor *Editorial Board member

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: Website: The Thresher is a member of the ACP, TIPA and CMBAM © Copyright 2016


Danny Brown doubles down on ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ Naomi Pringle For The Thresher

yutian liu/thresher

Five years and two albums have passed since the release of rapper Danny Brown’s breakout mixtape, “XXX.” His new album “Atrocity Exhibition” makes it clear that despite the passage of time and an upsurge in recognition, for Brown, nothing has changed. However, he emphasizes that despite having “lost control,” he doesn’t want our help, only our attention. He begins by drawing parallels between his present and his past. The first track, “Downward Spiral,” purposefully adopts material from older work, lifting lines, including the title, from the eponymous track of “XXX.” Brown’s 2013 release, “Old,” expanded on “XXX,” fleshing out previously explored themes, while “Atrocity Exhibition” continues to develop them. He’s still trying to crawl out from under the thumb of depression and drug addiction, asserting desperately at the beginning of the album, “I gotta figure it out.” However, there’s a sense that maybe he never will. “Tried to quit a few times,” he raps on “Goldust,” “but it didn’t work out.”

Director Nishtha Jain spoke to students at a screening of her documentary Gulabi Gang, about a group of Indian women activists who fight corruption and violence against women. The screening and discussion was held as part of the Chao Center for Asian Studies documentary series.

The reason “Atrocity Exhibition” is so captivating isn’t because the listener wishes to live vicariously through the music, but rather because never before has Brown displayed such anguished vulnerability.

Souffles shine at rise n°2 Lauren Heller For The Thresher

For those who have always dreamed of dining at a cute bistro in Paris but are grounded in the reality of being a college student, rise n°2 may be the place for you to live out your fantasy at a more reasonable price. Tucked in the corner of the second floor of BLVD Place, the development that houses a big Whole Foods and other trendy restaurants, rise n°2 is a French cafe that specializes in souffles. The first time I looked at the menu, I was intrigued by the starter called “Marshmallow Soup.” Dessert for an appetizer? Sign me up! After doing some more research, I discovered to my dismay that the marshmallow soup was in fact a savory tomato soup with goat cheese made to look like marshmallows. However, the extensive list of both savory and sweet soufflés was enough to overcome this initial disappointment and motivate me to try this new restaurant. Upon walking through the big wooden door, you will immediately notice the knick knacks for sale and the strings of lights strewn around the restaurant. Once you settle into the kitschy atmosphere, the friendly staff brings mini French baguettes to be cut with a guillotinelike knife. Beware that this bread is addicting — it is served warm with quality butter and the guillotine is a fun way to slice it. Turning to the drink

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

menu, you’ll find a number of unique French specialties; I decided to try the Sparkling Apple Cider Duche De Longueville and I can attest it was not your average Martinelli’s. For cheese lovers, an international cheese cart, or Chariot de Fromage, offers guests a choice of three to five cheeses. My dinner date and I decided to try five cheeses: black truffle cheese, a goat cheese with a red wine rind, a strong Belgian beer cheese, a dry Spanish cheese and black pepper crusted goat cheese. The black truffle cheese was outstanding with a creamy texture and actual pieces of black truffle. The cheeses were served with toasted crostini, dried figs and quince paste, making for a delightful starter. Although there are salads, sandwiches and other entrees, we came for the souffles so we decided to split a savory one and a sweet one. There is a standard souffle menu and a seasonal souffle menu. While we chose to order the herb and spicy sausage savory souffle and the bread pudding sweet souffle from the standard menu, the seasonal menu had some tempting options including a crab savory soufflé and a bananas foster sweet souffle. When the bread pudding souffle arrived, the server poked a hole into it and then poured a rich creme anglaise sauce down the middle. Needless to say, it made for a fantastic finish. If you haven’t already figured it out, the title of the restaurant relates to the fact that

proper souffles rise. The number “2” comes from the fact that there is an original location in Dallas. The souffles we ordered did not disappoint — they were quite voluminous on the outside but light and fluffy on the inside, while still being flavorful.

Left: Bread pudding souffle with creme anglaise Right: Spicy herb and sausage souffle Of course, the unique atmosphere and menu come at a cost. Depending on if you order appetizers and how many souffles you want to try, your bill can come out to be between $25 and $35 after tax and tip. That said, I highly recommend this restaurant for a fun date, or an ideal place to try before Esperanza.

Although much of this album is an elaboration on previously explored themes, Brown lives up to his reputation as one of the most original rappers. The album is peppered with unexpected lyrical and instrumental elements. His verses are lengthy and varied, a product of his aversion to reliance on punchy hooks. He often takes an idea and runs with it, sometimes dropping a recognizable rhyme scheme altogether to do so. It’s fascinating to watch his thought process, but it can be hard to follow and enjoy. Despite the difficulty of some of the lyrics, Brown’s skill as a wordsmith is obvious. The content of this album is heavier than his last, but Brown hasn’t lost his sense of humor, or his self-confidence. “I’m Coltrane on Soul Plane/Propane flow game,” he brags on “Get Hi.” It’s easy to mistake his weird, innovative and frequently amusing rap style for playfulness. He regularly comes across as hedonistic and even goofy, but this album 0see BROWN, page 9

Do you like EDM? How about electro-soul-funk filled with sexy sax solos? If the answer to both is “yes,” GRiZ should be a must-see for you. The accomplished Michigan-based producer is coming to White Oak Music Hall Thursday, Oct. 20 in support of his new album, “Good Will Prevail.” Tickets start at $24.50 and doors open at 8 p.m.




If you’d rather be drenched with a bucket of blood than go to Esperanza, go see “Carrie: The Musical.” This updated version of the production based on the Stephen King novel runs from Thursday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 23, including a midnight showing on Saturday. Tickets are $17 for students.

In 1985, Staley did set design for the Houston Grand Opera’s production of “Faust,” which is being reused for this season’s production. Staley was inspired to revisit themes of the play in a new series of paintings. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and stays on view until Nov. 12.

Rice is offering a free advanced screening of “Before the Flood.” From Academy Award-winning duo of Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio, the documentary explores the dramatic impacts of climate change. The event begins with a reception Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m., followed by a screening and discussion.

White Oak Music Hall 2915 N. Main St.

MATCH Houston 3400 Main St.

Zoya Tommy Contemporary 4102 Fannin St.

Sewall 301 Rice University


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

0BROWN FROM PAGE 8 paints a clear picture of the rapper’s profound pain. This album more than any of his others presses this point, emphasizing the depth of his depression and how most of us will never understand his misery. “Your worst nightmare for me is a normal dream,” he raps in the opening track. The songs on “Atrocity Exhibition” are for the most part less accessible than those on his last album, “Old.” Brown is here to say what’s on his mind, and though he wants to be heard, he’s not going to pander. The instrumentals are


the Rice Thresher as experimental as his lyrical style. He jumps from jazzy brass sounds on “Ain’t it Funny” to post-punk influences on “Dance in the Water” and “Goldust.” He’s less interested in attracting a large crowd; catchier songs like “Kush Coma” and “Smokin & Drinkin” are largely absent. But that is not to say the album is void of songs with a wide appeal. Tracks like “Really Doe” and “Pneumonia” show that Brown still knows how to make a hit, and make it well. True to its name, “Atrocity Exhibition” is in a sense about Brown showing off. However, he isn’t interested in glamorizing his drugdependent lifestyle. Brown’s music has never been an attempt to brag about his life of debauchery, but a casual listening of “Old” could have left you with that impression. The

message of this album, however, is loud and clear. The reason “Atrocity Exhibition” is so captivating isn’t because the listener wishes to live vicariously through the music, but rather because never before has Brown displayed such anguished vulnerability. For most, this album isn’t relatable, as few will be able to identify with the depth of the depression he relays, but it is still enthralling. He manages to display through his music at once exceptional energy and stylistic innovation, as well as a sense of stagnation, despite his best efforts to change. The result is a collection that is heartbreaking, complex and possibly his most intriguing album to date. Brown will be at Warehouse Live this Thursday, Oct. 20 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $26.

Top Tracks ‘Rolling Stone’ ‘Really Doe’ ‘Pneumonia’ ‘When it Rain’ ‘Lost’ ‘Dance in the Water’

Upcoming Show Venue: The Ballroom at Warehouse Live Time: Doors at 8 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m. Price: $26 before day of show Address: 813 Saint Emanuel Street courtesy danny brown

Danny Brown is currently touring in support of his second album, ‘Atrocity Exhibition.’ The album narrows in on themes of depression and drug addiction from Brown’s earlier works.

Opening Acts: Maxo Kream, ZelooperZ


EVENTS Saturday, Oct. 22 Tuesday, Oct. 25 Thursday, Oct. 27 Friday, Oct. 28 Saturday, Oct. 29 Monday, Oct. 31 Wednesday, Nov. 2

Esperanza Deadline for Contribution to Rice Feminist Forum Notes from a Critic, or Black Feminist Remixed Screen on the Green: Little Shop of Horrors Queer Book Club Q&A Meeting Houston GLBT Political Caucus Meeting


DarkMatter is a poetry duo composed of Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian. Their poetry covers a wide range of issues, from societal views of mental illness to gender dysphoria. They have performed around the world, including at the Queer International Arts Festival. For more information, visit


October is National LGBT History Month. Originally began in 1994, it was created to encourage education about the LGBT community. Equality Forum has taken charge of the month starting in 2006. Each day in October they upload a video and biography related to a prominent person in LGBT history. These videos can be accessed on



10 A&E

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

the Rice Thresher




illustration by jennifer fu

Franklin Shen For The Thresher

Ah, the American burger. Ever flexible, the burger is perhaps one of the few entrees that has graced both the menus of the most humble fast food restaurants as well as some of the highest regarded fine dining establishments in the world. For better or worse, it is also is a pillar of our proud American culture. I am proud to be an American, if for no other reason, because we can boast of being the birthplace (according to Wikipedia, in 1900 by a Louis Lassen) of the noble burger. Therefore, I took personal offense when I visited Bernie’s Burger Bus and inserted their product in my mouth. Although Bernie’s Burger Bus does have food truck roots, the bus has been replaced by two brick-and-mortar locations throughout the Greater Houston area since 2014. Bernie’s Burger Bus also plans to open another restaurant in the Heights to join the one in Katy and the original sit-down establishment in Bellaire. The latter was the location I went to, and I was impressed with the familyfriendly and playful interior. The kitchen is disguised in the form of a school bus, harking back to the former food truck days of the

establishment. There are also both outdoor and indoor seating areas and a bar for those of age. The service is not too bad; although I went with a large party, food came in a reasonable amount of time, and the servers were friendly and helpful in explaining the menu. The menu also reflects the playful nature of the establishment, with all of its products nicknamed after things one might remember from elementary or high school. For example, their standard burger is nicknamed “The Principal” while their spicier burger topped with pepper jack cheese, a chipotle aioli and a spicy guacamole is called the “Fire Drill.” How novel. I opted for the “Study Hall,” perhaps because it was the weekend before my first midterm, but more likely because it featured one of my favorite ingredients: pork belly. I am a huge fan of adding “unconventional” components to put a twist on the classic burger as it can be a great way of elevating it to new heights and exploring new culinary possibilities. And I have to say, the pork belly was done beautifully. It was flavorful, it was tender, it just melted in my mouth. I would gladly order a larger piece as a full-on entree if it were an option. At this point, you may be thinking, hold on, is there a typo in the title

of this review? This person is telling me to get off the bandwagon while he is praising the interior and falling in love with this pork belly.

The burger patty itself was committing more sins than Rasputin: It was horrendously underseasoned and fairly overcooked. Reader, there is no typo. While the execution of the pork belly was undoubtedly excellent, the rest of the burger was, well, underwhelming. First of all, the bun was too chewy. The doughy nature of the bun clashed with the tender braised pork belly and lacked an even sear. The burger patty itself was committing more sins than Rasputin: It was horrendously underseasoned and fairly

Take your career to the next level at Rice U!

overcooked. For a dining establishment centered around burgers, the process of cooking the patty should be perfected, yet mine was far beyond well done. However, this could be the fault of the “not too bad” servers, who, although were friendly and knew the menu well, failed to ask any of our party how we would like our burger cooked. If this were the case though, I would expect any sit-down burger establishment to err on the side of searing the patty to a medium. On top of this, the fries were nothing to rave about, and the condiments were average, with the exception of the ketchup which I quite liked. I would also say that the “famous” tipsy onions are worth trying out, but be warned, for they can be a bit too boozy for some. And now we come to price. I ended up paying around $13 for my “Study Hall,” which was an averagely priced burger on their menu. This may not seem too bad for a gourmet burger, but the serving size, is worthy of a, well, smaller price range. Admittedly, I did indulge myself in some Cheez-Its after returning to my apartment. So, would I go back? Only if someone else was paying for me. And if I cared about that other person a lot. And if they have snacks back at their place. Otherwise, no.

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‘Luke Cage’ stumbles over plot, dialogue in 1st season but still a worthy watch Michael VerMeulen For The Thresher

As the newest installment in Netflix’s series of Marvel superhero television shows, “Luke Cage” stands out as the first film or television show to center around a black superhero. The premiere season succeeds in not shying away from the show’s blackness and creates an authentic tone all its own, a rarity due to the homogeneous nature of most superhero properties. Nevertheless, the show does fall flat in the execution of its story, starting off strong but falling into mediocrity in the season’s second half. The show begins with Luke Cage (Mike Colter) trying to make a living in Harlem following the events of “Jessica Jones,” in which Cage also appears. Concealing his powers of super strength and unbreakability, Cage maintains the image of an average working man, holding jobs as both a janitor at a local barbershop and as a dishwasher in a popular Harlem nightclub. This nightclub is owned by crime lord Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) against whom Cage must eventually fight in the battle for the soul of Harlem. Cage also interacts heavily with hyperaware detective

Misty Knight (Simone Missick), who serves as both Cage’s friend and enemy at times, as well as Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), who makes her most sustained appearance yet after stints in Netflix’s other Marvel shows “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones.” One of the best aspects of “Luke Cage” are its performances. Mike Colter carries the show as its titular character Luke Cage, building upon the strong, collected presence that he had in “Jessica Jones.” Mahershala Ali exudes a jovial fury in his performance as the villainous Cottonmouth and chews the scenery whenever the chance. Alfre Woodard also has a powerful showing as councilwoman Mariah Dillard, Cottonmouth’s cousin who is just as conniving. Furthermore, the supporting cast feels like they were plucked from reality. To this end, all of the actors help contribute to possibly the show’s biggest attribute: its atmosphere. Set from the opening minutes in which a group of black men of varying ages discuss the merits of different eras of the New York Knicks, the show’s mood is one that has not been seen in any superhero television show or movie. Uniquely Harlem-oriented, the show’s universe feels real and lived-in while simultaneously fantastical due to the world’s

interactions with superhumans and their powers. “Luke Cage” also utilizes a number of songs performed by born-and-raised Harlem artists, contributing even further to the genuine feel of the show’s universe.

Uniquely Harlemoriented, the show’s universe feels real and lived-in while simultaneously fantastical due to the world’s interactions with superhumans and their powers. Nonetheless, the plot of “Luke Cage” does not match the strength of its performances

or general character. Frequently moving at a glacial pace, poorly edited and drawing perhaps too heavily on cliched blaxploitationstyle dialogue, the show’s errors are difficult to ignore. Especially after the halfway point in the season’s plot, the narrative shifts from grounded and realistic to almost cartoonish in a way that I was not able to take nearly as seriously as before. The show’s action is also surprisingly middling considering the possibilities provided by its protagonist’s abilities, often unclear in its execution and unsuccessfully masking Colter’s limited fighting ability. Overall, “Luke Cage” is a show that falls somewhat short of its Netflix counterparts. While I would recommend it to fans of the ongoing Marvel television that wish to be fully informed for the upcoming “Defenders” series or who want to watch it for completionist sake, the series’ glaring weaknesses make me unable to suggest it for newcomers to the Marvel comic-book universe or those looking for an especially dramatically fulfilling show to watch. It has quite a few upsides, but they are accompanied by some negatives that76985 prevent the show from having a wider appeal.

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Rhoades embracing high expectations Madison Buzzard Thresher Staff

With four returning starters, two key players returning from injury and a host of talented freshmen, head coach Mike Rhoades and the Rice men’s basketball team enter the 2016-17 season with heightened expectations. Rhoades said he hopes to build on a 201516 campaign that saw the Owls notch a 12-20 record, including a 7-11 record in ConferenceUSA. According to Rhoades, changing the culture has been a catalyst for success. “These are guys that want to play college basketball,” Rhoades said. “They want a great school. They appreciate being here at a great school. That helps the culture.”

Our culture is not just about our team — it’s about our students. We want basketball to be a place-to-be for our students. Mike Rhoades Basketball Head Coach Over the past two years, Rhoades has attempted to implement the “HAVOC” system, which he developed as an associate head coach at Virginia Commonwealth University. “HAVOC” is a defensive system that employs an aggressive full-court press designed to pressure the opponent to turn the ball over. According to Rhoades, depth and talent issues have plagued the system. However, he also said the return of redshirt junior guard Marcus Jackson and redshirt freshman guard Chad Lott from season-ending injuries last year will increase the effectiveness of “HAVOC.” “Having [Jackson and Lott] back now, fully healed, helps our depth and positioning,” Rhoades said. “They are a credit to our needs. Not just depth, but position as well. We have guys that can play multiple positions. Getting those two guys back for leadership, toughness and maturity is huge for us.” The Owls return seven players from last year’s team. Sophomore guard Marcus Evans, who started all 32 games last year for Rice as a freshman, has been thrust into the spotlight after a stellar 2015-16 campaign. Last year, Evans was selected as FirstTeam All Conference USA and Conference USA Freshman of the Year after leading all freshmen in the nation in scoring with 21.4 points per game. Still, Rhoades said, Evans has been striving to improve and to adjust to his new role as the team’s point guard. “He is learning to get guys shots as much as he can get his own shot,” Rhoades said. “He is doing a great job of making sure guys are in the right place in the right time, getting good shooters like Marcus [Jackson] and Egor [Koulechov] good shots. He is capable of having big nights for us.” Evans said Rhoades has pushed him to become more selfless and more team-oriented. “What I need to work on is making my teammates better, getting them involved,” Evans said. “Coach knows we will be a better team if everyone contributes. That is what I worked on the most over the summer.” Evans’s shift in focus from go-get-yourown-shot to assisting teammates has been driven by the addition of fellow class of 2019 recruit Lott. Last year, Evans mostly played at 0see BASKETBALL, page 14

sean chu/thresher

Junior Aliza Wolfe fights for the ball during a 1-0 victory over the University of Southern Mississippi earlier this month. The victory began the Owls’ four-game Conference USA win streak. As of now, Rice is three points behind conference leader Western Kentucky University with three games to play.

Kidd’s Corner

Long win streak gives soccer team the opportunity to compete for conference title Rice soccer is clicking at the perfect time. With just three Conference USA games remaining before the conference tournament begins, the Owls (8-4-1, 5-2 in C-USA) are riding a season-long four-game win streak and are within striking distance of Western Kentucky University, which sits atop the C-USA standings with 18 points. Thanks to their recent hot streak, the Owls have a chance at a special season. Following a home loss to WKU, the team really could have gotten discouraged. I know I did. After a loss to the University of North Texas the previous week, a second loss meant trouble. Rice fell to 4-3-1 (1-2 in C-USA) after the defeat despite outshooting its opponent 18-7. The Owls hit the crossbar multiple times and a comeback effort never succeeded. But, the only thing they could do was focus on the next match. They came

away with a much needed victory over a hot University of Southern Mississippi team just two days later.

Thanks to their recent hot streak, the Owls have a chance at a special season.

The next hurdle ahead was the weekend road trip against the University of Texas, San

Antonio and the University of Texas, El Paso. Again, the Owls were up to the challenge, successfully earning two victories. Riding a three-game win streak, it became clear in the conversations I had with multiple players that the confidence was high. Rice then went on the road for a second consecutive week for a one-game weekend against Middle Tennessee State University. The Owls won once again. Sophomore forward Annie Walker’s gamewinning goal in the 86th minute of the match was the icing on the cake. So at 8-4-1, I want to look back at the 2014 season. Two years ago during the 2014 Conference USA championship season, the Owls were 7-3-3 at this point in the season. This year’s Owls may not have as many ties as the 2014 squad, but can boast that they 0see SOCCER, page 13

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


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0SOCCER from page 12 have one more victory at this point of the season than even that historic squad. The 2016 squad has scored 28 goals thus far in the season, on pace to easily beat the 33 goals scored in both the 2013 and 2015 campaigns. This team is young and energetic, and head coach Nicky Adams has done an incredible job recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each of her girls and rotating players in a manner that maximizes the team’s potential. The Owls’ streak can be attributed to key players stepping up at the right times. Sophomores Darcy Mickalow and Walker have emerged as of late. Mickalow shares the team lead for goals with four and Walker shares the team lead for assists with five. The duo has either scored a goal or registered an assist during the four game winning streak. The spark they have provided showed in the match against Southern Mississippi when both came on as subs late in the game. Within two minutes, they managed to give the Owls a 1-0 lead. Junior Nia Stallings has also emerged during the second half of the year with four goals and five assists on the season. She was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts against UTSA and UTEP. Stallings played all 180 minutes over the weekend , scored a goal in each game and registered a pivotal assist in the comeback win over UTSA.

I am extremely proud of this squad and what they have accomplished thus far this season. It has been a joy to watch this team evolve, and I am even more excited for what lies ahead in the [next] three games. The seniors in the back line such as Jenny Fichera and Jasmine Isokpunwu have been anchors for the team and are first and third, respectively, in minutes played. The midfield duo of Samantha Chaiken and Aliza Wolfe are constantly creating chances and are dangerous up top. The remainder of the team has come together and play with extreme confidence while freshman goalkeeper Samantha Colley continues to impress week in and week out. Colley has recorded two shutouts during the current four game streak and has surrendered just three goals in that stretch. Overall, I am extremely proud of this squad and what they have accomplished thus far this season. It has been a joy to watch this team evolve, and I am even more excited for what lies ahead in the remaining three games of the regular season. The University of North Carolina, Charlotte and Florida Atlantic University each currently have one more point in the standings (16) than the Owls (15). However, that can all quickly change. As it is now, five teams in Conference USA are within three points of each other — the equivalent of one win — and it will be an all-out battle for Rice to finish at the top. So, with the challenge lying ahead and with Rice riding a hot streak, let the games begin. Kidd’s Corner is a column written by Michael Kidd. The opinions expressed in the column are solely his own.

Michael Kidd

is a Lovett College senior and a Thresher staff writer

sean chu/thresher

Junior wide receiver Temi Alaka fights tight coverage to come down with the ball during Saturday’s 14-13 loss to the University of Texas, San Antonio. The loss dropped the Owls to 0-6 on the season and 0-4 in Conference USA. Alaka caught four passes for 59 yards in the game to lead the team.

Football still winless after 14-13 loss Aniket Tolpadi Thresher Staff

Despite a very strong defensive effort and a furious late-game rally, the Rice University football team fell to the University of Texas, San Antonio 14-13, done in by a series of crucial errors at critical times that ultimately dropped the team to 0-6. The Owls received the ball to start the game and opened with a methodical, 13-play drive that was highlighted by a one-handed third-down catch by junior wide receiver James Mayden and finished by a 13-yard touchdown run from redshirt senior quarterback Tyler Stehling. Unfortunately for the Owls, sophomore kicker Hayden Tobola missed the ensuing extra point, which put Rice firmly behind the eight-ball for the remainder of the game and appeared to adversely impact Tobola’s confidence on his kicks later in the game. After a pair of punts, however, the Owls relinquished the lead. Junior Roadrunners wide receiver Josh Stewart broke free on a post route for a 75-yard touchdown catch that put UTSA up 7-6. After this touchdown, the floodgates opened for the Owls. A UTSA punt deflected off redshirt freshman running back Nahshon Ellerbe, resulting in a turnover that produced a Roadrunners touchdown. Tobola missed a 50-yard field goal, and while redshirt senior linebacker Tabari McGaskey stripped sophomore Roadrunners running back Jalen Rhodes of the ball and returned it to the UTSA 38-yard line, the Owls failed to get even a field goal try from the resulting possession. After halftime, Rice scored on its first offensive possession to bring the score to 14-12. Head coach David Bailiff and the Owls’ coaching staff made a rather head-scratching decision to kick the point after touchdown, rather than attempt to tie the game with a two-point conversion. As a result, the score stayed at 14-13 for much of the third and fourth quarters, setting the stage for a chaotic final five minutes of play. The Owls first stuffed Rhodes on fourth-and-

goal from the two-yard line, then drove the ball 71 yards downfield to set up a potential gamewinning 42-yard field goal attempt with 1:27 on the clock. Tobola, however, failed to convert on a kick for the third time in the game. The Owls got the ball back one final time, hoping to give Tobola another chance to redeem himself on another game-winning field goal attempt. While they were able to drive the ball to the UTSA 27yard line, Stehling was unable to spike the ball before time expired. The entire Owls sideline appeared to believe there was one second left on the clock after Stehling’s spike, but the officials deemed that the clock had run out. As such, the Owls were denied the chance to attempt a 44yard game-winning field goal and were instead left with another heartbreaking loss.

You’re heartbroken for that team in the locker room because they tried so hard and fought. David Bailiff Football Head Coach

According to Bailiff, this loss was an extremely difficult one for his team. “You’re heartbroken for that team in the locker room because they tried so hard and fought,” Bailiff said. “That fourth down stop gave us a chance to get down the field. To clock things out, you’re supposed to have three seconds, and apparently we didn’t have that on the clock, so the game expired.” McGaskey said that while the loss hurt, he recognized that UTSA played well enough to

win. “That sort of loss definitely leaves a sour taste in your mouth, but you’ve got to give credit to UTSA for coming out and playing hard,” McGaskey said. For the Owls, this game was one full of missed opportunities and, at times, poor execution. The team’s much maligned defense held a UTSA offense that only last week put up 55 points and accumulated 532 yards to just 14 points and 334 yards, but this effort went to waste. The two missed field goals and missed extra point were all backbreaking errors, as was gifting UTSA an extra possession deep into Rice territory. All told, though, it is very difficult to win football games when scoring only 13 points, so one has to also look at the poor offensive execution when analyzing Rice’s performance. Coming off the bye week, the coaching staff was tasked with turning around a dismal start to the season. Bailiff himself said both the coaches and players needed to improve. One game into the second half of the season, we can see the results of the adjustments were mixed at best. As for positives, the defensive execution was a vast improvement over previous games, and the team was only called for three penalties. Rice still appears stubbornly committed to a horizontal passing game that features many passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. On Saturday, the Owls did integrate more aspects of a vertical passing game, taking some more shots down the field against UTSA. All of that said, though, Bailiff and his staff continued to make questionable decisions. They, of course, turned down the opportunity to tie the game with a two-point conversion in the second half, instead settling for a 14-13 deficit that would ultimately hold up as the final score. Almost as notably, Bailiff and his staff sent redshirt junior quarterback Nate German in for Stehling on a few drives, a player who, to this point, has been used exclusively as a running quarterback. That the Owls have rarely thrown the ball with German playing 0see FOOTBALL, page 14


0FOOTBALL from page 13

0BASKETBALL from page 12

quarterback this season made it rather easy for the Roadrunners to play defense against the obviously one-dimensional offense. The decision to resort to such a predictable offense for the first two downs of several drives in the game forced the Owls into third-and-long situations that simply wasted offensive possessions. Put it all together, and what you had against UTSA was an Owls coaching staff that, despite showing some improvement after the bye week, continues to make seemingly elementary mistakes that are holding back the team. Bailiff said he and his team will work through their tough start. “That locker room’s a hurting locker room right now, but they believe in each other, and we’ll work through this,” Bailiff said.

the shooting guard position. However, because Lott is most comfortable at shooting guard, Evans will instead play more at point guard, a position more naturally geared toward a facilitating role. Evans said there should be no issues in adjusting to the new lineup. “[Lott] is a selfless guy — he will do anything for the team,” Evans said. “We both just want to win, and I think we will work well on the floor together.” Although the Owls return four starters, only center Andrew Drone is a senior. Drone said the transition over the past several years has been an opportunity for growth. “It is mostly leading by example,” Drone said. “We have to keep our heads up. The young guys will try to emulate us.” The combination of leadership, talent and depth has created a buzz around the Owls’ basketball team. National media outlets such as College Basketball Madness have picked Evans to be the Conference USA Player of the Year and have picked the Owls to improve upon last season’s 10th-place finish. Rhoades said he hopes the excitement translates into rousing fan turnout every Rice home game. “We have 17 home games, which is great for our students,” Rhoades said. “Our culture is not just about our team. We want basketball to be a place-to-be for our students. We want them to put their books away and spend two hours going crazy.” Rhoades said an enthusiastic student body will be necessary to motivate a team that is bound to endure difficult stretches due to youth and inexperience. However, he said the Owls must maintain optimism in order to achieve success. “I really like what we have in preseason,” Rhoades said. “We are better this year; we are more talented. There will be games where we take some lumps this year, but there will be some games where we surprise some people, where they say ‘Hey, these guys can play.’ If we put it all together, I think the sky’s the limit.” The Owls open their season on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in a preseason game against Our Lady of the Lake University.

That locker room’s a hurting locker room right now, but they believe in each other and we’ll work through this. David Bailiff Football Head Coach Up next for the Owls is their homecoming game against Prairie View A&M University, an Football Championship Subdivision school that theoretically should not be in Rice’s class. As such, they will present a good opportunity for the Owls to pick up their first win of the season and snap their current streak of futility. The Owls will next play the Prairie View A&M Panthers (4-2) on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at Rice Stadium.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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courtesy rice athletics

Junior Egor Koulechov dribbles the ball upcourt during a win last season over Western Kentucky University. Koulechov is one of four returning starters for the Owls entering the 2016-17 season.

“beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s


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Owls Soaring

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Senior Leah Mikesky swings at the ball during the Owls 3-0 sweep of the University of Alabama, Birmingham on Sunday at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls have won 10 of their past 11 matches to climb to second in Conference USA.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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RICE BUSINESS TOWN HALL “All right, all right, settle down everybody. Thank you for joining us on the tennis courts for the first ever Backpage town hall. As you all know, we’re here to discuss the recent atrocities that have befallen the Rice community. In particular, we need to talk about those god-awful ‘RICE BUSINESS WISDOM’ signs that currently mar our football stadium.” -BP “I have to tailgate out there! I don’t want to look at that while I’m playing Louisville Chuggers™ and trying to hold down my lunch!” -Guy No. 1 “These signs are an outrage! My parents had to look at those this weekend! They looked to me for answers and I couldn’t come up with anything, thus confirming my incompetence in the eyes of my father.” -Crowd “I’m halfway through my third transfer application. I can’t take this anymore.” -Audience (hoots of agreement) “At first I just thought that they were unfinished since, you know, half of them look unfinished. Is that on purpose? Is this some kind of art installation that I’m not getting or something? Do those signs think they’re better than me? I fought in the war! Well, the balloon war of ’13… Coldest balloon war in 40 years...” -Hardened veteran “What I don’t understand is why they were so lazy in making the signs? I thought ads were supposed to convey buzzwords like “RICE, BUSINESS, WISDOM,” not just state them outright. What’s wrong with a picture of a racially diverse group of men and women wearing suits and shaking hands somewhere on campus? Wouldn’t that get the same message across without being so … terrible? When you just state the words you want people to think about, it’s offensive and frankly unsettling.” -HART major “Trust me folks, we hear your complaints. We’re all here because of our disgust for those embarrassments of signs. It’s time to move forward. What do we do from here?” -BP “Reparations! I want compensation for the emotional trauma I have to suffer when I see those signs. We want no less than $20 in tetra … each” -Guy No. 2 (murmurs of approval) “No, friends, don’t you see? The school has unlimited money. If we teach them that they can put up whatever dumbass banners they want and all they have to do is buy us off, then we’re committing to a whole life of this misery! We need change. We need to send a message.” -Fellow revolutionary (group contemplation) “BURN THEM TO THE GROUND!!” -Aggro-visionary (crowd erupts in excitement) “Let’s sic the MOB on them!” -Member of the MOB (crickets) “My ENGI 120 group is working on something to help disabled kids walk, but we could easily modify it to sling burning everclear-soaked Rice T-shirts at those disgusting signs.” -Freshman MECH (exhilarated clamor) “Woah, woah. Let’s pump the breaks for a moment here. I too feel strongly about this, but I’m not sure if arson or medieval war machines is the best way to communicate our frustrations.” -BP “Damn you and your level headedness. We need action! We need fire!!” -potential arsonist “Let’s build a wall!” -guy at wrong rally “LET’S START A FIRE!!!” -guy at right rally (hollers, yelps, and yee-haws of consensus) “OK, stop all of this madness for just a moment. I think we have a good solution. I propose that we offer the administration an ultimatum: Allow the student body to hold a caption contest to decide on something to fill in the space on the unfinished signs, or we will burn the signs to the ground.” -BP “You know, that’s not a bad idea. This kind of thing worked well for Mountain Dew, and if they don’t accept, then we still get to start fires!” -omnipotent voice of reason “It’s settled then. We will draft up our grievances and submit them, with the ultimatum, to the administration first thing tomorrow. Well done, team. We’ve done historic work here today.” -BP Please submit caption ideas to On the off chance that any of them are actually funny, top choices will have the chance to appear on next week’s Backpage.

The Backpage is satire and written by Riley Robertson. This week, Simon Chan contributed. For comments or questions, please email

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The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, October 19, 2016  
The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, October 19, 2016