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DON’T FORGET D1 For humanities, neglect by Rice too common


CAN’T MISS ‘IT’ ‘It’ a nail-biter with dynamic cast and writing

SEE A&E P. 8

FÚTBOL PHENOM Stallings picking up where she left off in senior year SEE SPORTS P. 11


Wi-Fi complaints double this year WILL LEDIG FOR THE THRESHER / WPL1@RICE.EDU

Undergraduate students have submitted twice as many complaints about Wi-Fi issues as this time last academic year, according to Misha Bruno, Senior Consultant for IT Transformation and Strategic Initiatives.


Students packed into Tudor Fieldhouse to speak to over a hundred employers on Tuesday as part of the Fall Career & Internship Expo. Almost 50 percent of the 149 companies selected the computer, information technology, and math cluster.

Students perceive inequality in career fair EMILY ABDOW NEWS EDITOR / ESA2@RICE.EDU

The Fall Career & Internship Expo filled Tudor Fieldhouse with rows of possible employers on Tuesday, but some students and alumni said the annual expo offered them few career opportunities. English major Kelsie Utz, who attended the career fair, said she wants to work in publishing or for a literary magazine. “None of [the options] are anything remotely close to what I want to go on to do with the rest of my life and my Rice degree,” Utz, a McMurtry College junior, said. The Center for Career Development invited over 20,000 companies across the country to attend the expo according to Jessica Campbell, associate director of employer relations for the CCD.

“What I worry about is students tuning out companies or opportunities without really taking the time to explore it,” Campbell said. “Hardly any opportunity is going to check every single box that you’re looking for, but if it’s just checking a couple of boxes of interest, then I think you should explore it.” The CCD developed six six career clusters to encourage students to think outside their major, Campbell said. Each of the 149 companies self-selected one or more clusters. “We’re always trying to educate and encourage employers to think broadly about major, especially at Rice,” Campbell said. “But just like we are encouraging employers to do that, we’re also wanting students to think broadly about the kinds of opportunities they’re looking for.” In the arts, communication and entertainment cluster there are

18 companies including the Drug Enforcement Administration and Walmart. Both organizations were listed under all six career clusters.

It’s absurd to ask students to change their outlook on life. Kelsie Utz McMurtry College Junior AlEn USA, a household cleaning and laundry care product company, was the only company in the arts, communication and entertainment cluster not cross-listed with any other career cluster. “It’s kind of ironic that [the CCD] would ask students to think

more broadly if they’re not going to attempt to broaden their own horizons with the people they’re asking to come to the expo,” Utz said. The largest career cluster is computer, information technology, and math with 72 companies followed by 71 companies in the engineering and architecture cluster. Computer science major Spencer Chang said that despite large amount of companies recruiting computer science students, there are also opportunities for social science or humanities majors, though some are less advertised. “Every company has a business side or a client based side so it seems like there is a discrepancy but I don’t think the gap is as big as it’s perceived,” Chang, a Jones College junior, said.



Willy’s Pub remains closed as construction lags ELLIOT STAHR FOR THE THRESHER / ERS9@RICE.EDU

Willy’s Pub will remain closed for at least two weeks more after experiencing water damage from Hurricane Harvey. Water accumulated in the floor of Willy’s Pub during the hurricane, resulting in its closure beginning on Aug. 25. “Water managed to build up under the Rice Memorial Center and found a release from the pressure by going up through the floor,” Kat Iverson, Willy’s Pub operations manager, said. “At one point we were told that there was knee-high water.” Pub must undergo serious repairs before it can pass inspection by the city of

Houston. This includes tearing out and replacing sheetrock and the wall base as well as painting the space, according to Facilities Engineering and Planning Director of Project Management Ana Ramirez said.

It’s pretty frustrating for everyone involved. Kat Iverson Willy’s Pub Operations Manager Immediately after the storm, Rice hired a disaster response company, Blackmon Mooring, to

tear out the damaged sheetrock and wall base and install dehumidifiers, fans and air cleaners to dry out the space, according to Ramirez. Pub originally estimated in a Facebook post Sept. 4 that they would be closed for about two weeks following the storm. However, two weeks have passed and the rebuilding has not begun. “It’s pretty frustrating for everyone involved,” Iverson, a Martel College senior, said. According to Ramirez, FE&P has identified contractors and are currently finalizing the contract. Rodriguez said FE&P hopes to mobilize by the end of the week and expects a two week time frame for completion

of the construction once the contractors begin their work. Pub Marketing Manager Kari Brinkley said that she is frustrated because Pub employees are out of work until construction is finished. “We’re not getting paid at all,” Brinkley, a Duncan College junior, said. “It’s just rough because that’s all of our income.” This is not the first disaster that Pub has experienced. In 1995 Willy’s Pub was doused in lighter fluid by a disillusioned Will Rice junior and set aflame, and all of Pub was destroyed besides a few beer lines and the charred sign that now hangs above the RMC stairway. According to a


Someone at Brown started a cheer one time that was just ‘Rice has objectively the worst Wi-Fi.’ Sam Holloway Brown College Freshman Student complaints prompted the Office of Information Technology to begin an initiative to improve internet connection on campus by replacing outdated equipment and moving towards newer authentication methods, according to Bruno, the manager of OIT’s new wireless upgrade project. OIT will invite outside companies to submit proposals for improving Rice’s network and choose the most effective solution. OIT expects its Wi-Fi improvement initiative to result in improved login verification, consistent campuswide Wi-Fi access and faster internet speeds, according to Bruno. Jones College senior Alex Quam said internet connectivity problems prevented him from booking a study room in Fondren Library. “I was in the library on my laptop and the Wi-Fi kept acting up, so I was continually unsuccessful in booking [a study room] there,” he said. “I ended up giving up and deciding to work elsewhere because booking a study room was no longer as convenient as it used to be.” Most of the connection issues tend to be concentrated within the residential colleges, according to Bruno. Yifan Cao, a Hanszen College freshman, said he can never access the Wi-Fi from his room. “The Rice Wi-Fi is so unstable in my dorm,” he said. “I always have to use my cell phone to provide a hotspot for my laptop.”




Club partners with Planned Parenthood Rice Bikes mobilizes for Harvey relief KRISTEN FERRARA


Members of Rice for Reproductive Justice joined local Planned Parenthood volunteers to make period relief kits for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. According to Citlalli Alvarez, a senior field organizer at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, volunteers created and packaged around 1,000 period kits on Sept. 11. RRJ President Sydney Stocks said the devastation in Houston inspired her to help her community. “So many people in Houston have lost everything,” Stocks, a Lovett College junior, said. “At the shelters, people are struggling with loss and meeting basic needs, and period kits are one way to reduce stress, financial burden and discomfort in such a difficult time.” At the event, volunteers assembled period kits which contained pain medication, tampons and pads, a card containing Planned Parenthood contact information , and sanitary wipes. RRJ Vice President Elana Margosis said this process was rewarding. “We work throughout the year to promote reproductive justice, and that includes when disasters like Harvey hit our community,” Margosis said. Margosis, a Duncan College junior, said she appreciated the unique approach taken by Planned Parenthood to help those in need. “People spend hundreds of dollars a year on period-related sanitary products,” Margosis said. “That’s an added expense for the people who are rebuilding their lives after Harvey and they might not have

WI-FI FROM PAGE 1 Hanszen freshman Alessandro Topini said connection issues during online Hearthstone matches impacted his gaming.

extra money to spend on period products right now.” Lovett freshman Hannah Andersen said she was pleased with the environment she encountered at Planned Parenthood. “Everyone I interacted with that day was very friendly and kind,” Andersen said. “As far as the work itself goes, to me it felt natural and necessary.” RRJ intends to partner with Planned

Parenthood for a number of other events this year, according to Stocks. “Currently, our executive board is supporting Planned Parenthood at an organizing summit in Oklahoma City,” Stocks said. “We plan to continue volunteering efforts with Planned Parenthood and are organizing to provide reproductive healthcare access to Harvey victims staying in shelters.”

Approximately 1,000 period kits, containing pain medication, tampons, pads, sanitation wipes and Planned Parenthood contact information, were created for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

kristen ferrara/thresher

“It’s the only reason I lose,” he said. Duncan College OIT ambassador Vinay Raghavan said he has noticed a difference in the quality of the Wi-Fi and

illustration by esther tang

the ability to connect. “I’ve definitely heard many complaints about the Wi-Fi,” Raghavan, a Duncan senior, said. “I do know that the Rice OIT is aware of the issue and is trying to pinpoint the problem by collecting data about people having issues with the Wi-Fi.” Brown College OIT ambassador Robbie Foley said he has not noticed the Wi-Fi getting any worse, though he is having the same connection difficulties as last year. When Wi-Fi is slow on his phone, Foley said he switches to using data because he has an unlimited plan. When his laptop disconnects from the Wi-Fi, Foley sometimes switches to the Rice Visitor network. “At this point I’ve gotten used to it but I notice the freshman complaining about it,” Foley, a sophomore, said. Rather than becoming aggravated at Wi-Fi issues, some students have instead treated the poor Wi-Fi quality as a joke. “Someone at Brown started a cheer one time that was just ‘Rice has objectively the worst Wi-Fi,’” Brown College freshman Sam Holloway said. “[That] summarizes my feelings.”



Rice Bikes held the first in a series of monthly Bike + Beats, a bike drive and fundraiser to replace transportation lost to Hurricane Harvey, at their garage last Friday as part of a larger Houston-wide initiative. According to branding manager Kristi Maulding, Rice Bikes donated two bicycles to Keep Houston Rolling, a partnership between local bicycle organizations and Rice Bikes that provides bicycles to the Houston community. Rice Bikes gave over $150 in monetary donations to the JJ Watt Foundation, which also supports Harvey relief. Rice Bikes plans to do more drives, especially geared towards faculty and staff. “I feel like the students don’t really have that many extra bikes laying around to donate,” Maulding, a Martel College senior, said. “I think the majority of the students, instead of donating bikes, donated money.” Since they were established in 2012, Rice Bikes has formed relationships with many local organizations, including Keep Houston Rolling partners Houston BCycle and Freewheels. According to BCycle office manager Miles Wilson, 400 bikes have been donated. “With the torrential flooding from Harvey, within a few days lots of people lost their main option for transportation,” Wilson, a senior at the University of Houston Downtown, said. “If we can make the lives of those impacted marginally easier by providing them with a bike, we would consider that a win.” According to Rice Bikes general manager Lydia Dick, Bike + Beats will continue to serve as a promotional event and as a fundraiser for both Keep Houston Rolling and other charities. “We want to make sure that Rice Bikes has a sustained contribution to rebuilding Houston in the aftermath of Harvey,” Dick, a Martel College senior, said. “We knew that we didn’t have the resources to donate large plots of money and so we really like to use our expertise to try to help get [people] on the road.” Immediately following Harvey, a team of seven mechanics went out to a warehouse owned by FreeWheels to assist in repairing bikes, according to Dick. “I feel like Rice in general gets stuck behind the hedges and since we are a full-service bike shop, we have a lot that we can offer,” Maulding said. “Especially when there’s a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey, it’s the least we can do to help out others. If people lost their cars and we can fix bikes, we should do whatever we can to help.” This article has been condensed for print. Read the full story online at

now available by appointment at Rice Student Health Center






Fondren upgrades to revamp experience RISHAB RAMAPRIYAN & ANDREW MU FOR THE THRESHER/ RR41@RICE.EDU & AMM30@RICE.EDU

Fondren Library upgraded its facilities throughout the spring and summer to include standing desks, elliptical foot pedals, and the Mothers’ Room for Nursing in response to community feedback. “It’s really about creating different spaces within this building that serve specific needs,” Fondren Library Head of User Experience Debra Kolah said.

By adding standing desks, elliptical pedals and whiteboards, Fondren is accommodating to students’ needs. They genuinely want students to succeed. Jason Choi Brown College Freshman The new equipment, added throughout the spring and summer, can be found scattered throughout the library, but students can move standing desks and elliptical foot pedals to maximize convenience during studying. Other new additions include charging stations and whiteboards in study spaces. Will Rice College sophomore Smeet Madhani said he finds the standing desks useful. “Because I don’t like to stay in one spot for too long or sit down for too long, it’s super easy for me to use [the standing desks],” Madhani said. “I also think since there aren’t that many of the elliptical foot pedals or standing desks, they

should be available for checkout instead of being spread out all over [Fondren].” Brown College freshman Jason Choi said that as a visual learner, he is excited about the additional whiteboards to draw mind maps for his upcoming psychology exam. “It is an example of culture of care that the Rice community is promoting,” Choi said. “By adding standing desks, elliptical pedals and whiteboards, Fondren is accommodating to students’ needs. They genuinely want students to succeed.” Will Rice freshman George Liu said he believes that the new additions are valuable. “The standing desks and increased number of whiteboards particularly are helpful,” Liu said. “I’m not as sure about elliptical foot pedals. Personally, I don’t think I’d be able to multitask that well.” Paper cutters that are safer to use, stronger hole punchers and additional pens replaced dated office supplies, according to Kolah. The Mothers’ Room for Nursing, located in room 411, is available to staff, faculty, students and visitors to feed their infants or pump milk. “There are a lot of staff or postdocs that don’t have private space and need to attend to nursing,” said Kolah. “[The Mother’s Room] is brand new. It came out over the summer and it’s getting heavy use.” Last year, room 156 was modified to be a meeting room for large study groups and clubs with the addition of comfortable chairs and a display case for Rice memorabilia. Additionally, lockers were made available for students to check out and the food and drink policy was relaxed. These changes are a result of discussion between Fondren’s Student Ambassadors and User Experience (UX) office as well as feedback from the annual Survey of All Students and weekly guerilla testing sessions, according to Kolah. “Last year, one of the primary focuses of [the UX office] was to work with the li-

brary on developing a list of spaces, services and other areas that could be improved, based on input from the student survey and with the help of the Student Ambassadors,” said Vice Provost and University Librarian Sara Lowman. The Student Ambassadors program, founded in Spring 2016, meets monthly as a focus group for library related issues ranging from library social media to study spaces, according to Kolah. “I chose to become a library ambassador after I used the library’s resources and learned how much I didn’t know about how the library is meant to help us,” said Student Ambassador Kseniya Anishchenko, a Sid Richardson College junior. Student Ambassador Reagan Hahn, a Will Rice College junior, said that she enjoys serving in her current position. “Explaining what the students want and need to the librarians is a very reward-

ing experience because the staff are ready and excited to enact change,” said Hahn. According to Lowman, student-driven initiatives at Fondren are funded using an endowment that was created from the sale of KTRU in 2011. Kolah said Fondren Library is now focused on creating a lounge area outside of room 156, renovating the lighting on the fourth floor and designing a more easy-to-navigate website. Fondren is also undertaking a long-term project to improve the search function on its online catalog. “We know that there are some big problems that we need to continue to work on including search and color printing and those issues are strong in mind,” Kolah said. Rice faculty, students and staff can submit comments and concerns at

Fondren Library added elliptical foot pedals and standing desks based on student input and discussions between Fondren’s Student Ambassadors and the User Experience office.

jessie li/thresher

SA bylaw amendment aims for transparency CLAIRE CARPENTER FOR THE THRESHER / CCC13@RICE.EDU

The Student Association Senate unanimously passed an SA bylaw amendment seeking to increase transparency on Monday. The Bylaw Amendment To Establish Mechanism for Transparency and Accountability requires all SA officials except residential college presidents to submit a platform at the beginning of their term and each semester, detailing their goals for the year. Brown College Senator Grace Wickerson said she helped create the legislation to ensure SA member accountability and promote involvement in student government. “I think [the bylaw amendment] will help by allowing people to actually share what they’re doing and for that info to be public,” Wickerson, a sophomore, said. “Hopefully it’ll allow more communication from the SA and out of the SA.” The bylaw amendment also requires almost every SA member to send monthly progress reports. The external vice president, internal vice president and president are not required to send in reports, but will be receiving them, according to SA

President and co-sponsor Justin Onwenu. In the past, Rice students had difficulty becoming involved because they were often uninformed about what the SA was doing, according to Associate Vice President and co-sponsor Phil Hedayatnia.

Politics ought to be something that we all take part in. Phil Hedayatnia SA Associate Vice President “That was the greatest critique of the SA across the student body,” Hedayatnia, a Brown sophomore, said. “We began to craft proposals so that every student can understand how the SA works.” The SA will post the platforms and reports on their website. “We designed the website for beginners in mind, because everyone ought to be able to understand and take action in the SA,” Hedayatnia said. “Politics ought to be

something that we all take part in. So Justin [Onwenu], Grace [Wickerson] and I came together to see how that could happen.” After three weeks of drafting and adjusting the legislation, the coauthors were able to present a proposal that most members of the senate support, as indicated by the unanimous vote to pass the proposal. “I believe that between multiple discussions during Senate, senator’s dinners, president’s dinners and other avenues, the amendment was able to be adjusted to be the best possible version for our campus,” Lovett College Senator Ariana Engles said. The bylaw will also restart the tradition of naming an “SA Member of the Month” that stopped last year. The executive committee will now select the SA member of the month based upon progress reports as well as nominations by the student body. These reports will encourage officials to stay accountable and fulfill their roles as energetic members of the SA, Onwenu said. “When students campaign, whether it’s for senator, positions on the executive team or SA president, they pour their hearts out in engaging with students to get elected,” Onwenu said. “As members of the SA, we

have a duty to bring this same energy and engagement with the student body even when campaigning ends. This amendment will do just that.” Along with encouraging SA members to bring energy to their positions, the reports will also encourage SA members to fulfill their promises, Hedayatnia said. “It creates an incentive,” Hedayatnia said. “If SA senators uphold their promises, the reports will show what the senators have done.” Engles said the monthly reports will not be a large work burden. “I don’t believe that this amendment will increase my workload,” Engles said. “I’m pretty excited for other Rice students to be able to easily see how many wonderful initiatives we have in the Student Association.” Wickerson said she is hopeful about the future with the legislation in place. “I really feel like [the bylaw amendment will] be really helpful for our SA,” Wickerson said. “I really think that the more productive we are by being more transparent, the better we can work, the better we can get more people involved in the SA.”














On Monday, Interim Dean of Humanities Lora Wildenthal sent an email to humanities majors and those in the humanities division, encouraging them to attend the career fair. “Go and learn,” Wildenthal wrote. “Confront your own ideas about your postgraduation life. Let’s show those skeptics of the value of a humanities degree how wrong they are, and more importantly let’s launch you into the best fit possible after graduation.” Utz said she felt the email implied humanities majors aren’t taking advantage of resources instead of understanding why students feel underserved. “I think it’s absurd to ask students who are pursuing a passion to change their outlook on life and settle for an opportunity that’s not exactly what they want when that’s not something other majors are asked to do,” Utz said. “I don’t like it at all.” It is often only larger companies with the resources to travel who attend the expo and recruit many students, Campbell said. In addition, many industries including government and communications hire in the spring. Michael Robinson (McMurtry ’17), who majored in anthropology and visual and dramatic arts and is now working at the Society for the Performing Arts, said students with similar interests should skip the career fair and go straight to the CCD. To find a job, he said he met with the CCD the summer after graduating. “The people who work there can help you worlds more than wandering around a room with 100 different companies and being confused with what’s going on,” Robinson said. “It’s takes a little more personal attention than going to something for an hour, passing out five different resumes and leaving.” The CCD seeks student feedback through an expo exit survey and a survey by Universum, Campbell said. Most companies pay $500 to attend the expo, but the CCD offers to subsidize or waive fees for companies students voice an interest in connecting with.


Thresher article published following the incident, the fire caused over $2 million in damages to the Rice Memorial Center. Pub was originally going to be scrapped until a group of students formed the Save Pub Club and garnered enough support to bring Pub back from the ashes. In 2001 Tropical Storm Allison unleashed 38 inches of rain on Houston, compared to almost 52 inches in parts of Houston during Harvey. According to a Thresher article following the natural disaster, Pub took on several inches of water after it entered through the entrace to Farnsworth Pavillion. According to Brinkley, the central social role that Pub fulfills is uniquely important for Rice students who live on campus. “I personally like to stay on campus and not have to go out. I think it’s safer to be on campus and around people that you know,” Brinkley said. McMurtry College sophomore Davis Nelso said residential colleges have stepped in to fill the gap in social life that Pub’s closure left. “I think it would have been easy for many students to go to off-campus bars or social events, but many colleges organized social events to serve in place of Pub Night,” Nelson said. “Multiple McMurtry committees rallied together to throw a karaoke night last Thursday so everyone in the college could attend something fun and relaxing.” Pub was only open for four nights this year, and some of their bartenders have not been trained yet. However, students can look forward to a celebration once Pub is restored to its former glory, according to Brinkley. “We’re definitely trying to do syllabus week round two, you know, remind people that we still exist,” Brinkley said.








Career clusters are the CCD’s effort to encourage students and employers to think beyond major. Employers at the expo self-select one or more clusters to describe their company and its hiring needs. INFOGRAPHIC BY SYDNEY GARRETT

Rice Biomedical Engineering Society webmaster and historian Andy Zhang said the BMES board compiled a list of bioengineering recruiters and provided it to the CCD. Zhang said the CCD then offered to invite the recruiters to the expo and offer them subsidized fees. “There are so many oil and gas and consulting companies when you look on the list,” Zhang, a Jones College senior, said. “I doubt those people even talk to all of those companies, while I go there to talk to one or two companies and then leave. I would like more chances to get a job.” Zhang said he was not aware of the Universum survey. He said the CCD should also

ask each department for a list of companies their students would like to network with. Regardless of major, attending the expo is a valuable experience, Chang said. “Even if you don’t think you’ll get anything out of it, you still get stuff out of it that’s intangible,” Chang said. “You get the experience talking to recruiters. And every year you get to restock your water bottles, it’s great.” For Robinson, the benefit of the expo depends on the individual. “It’s a delicate line between helping certain people and making others feel like they won’t be where they want to be after graduation,” Robinson said.





Rice should admit more humanities majors

CCD must address more student interests With another Career Expo come and gone, the question of post-graduation employment looms ever larger. For some, the Expo no doubt provides an avenue toward jobs. For others, however, most often humanities and social sciences majors, it doesn’t offer much of a way forward (see p. 1). Each Career Expo put on by the Center for Career Development has come with its fair share of student complaints. Those not interested in particular industries — i.e. consulting, oil and gas, banking, tech — are hard-pressed to find a compelling company. This is not necessarily the fault of the CCD, as major companies in those sectors have the resources to travel to Rice and opportunities to recruit in large numbers. However, there are still ways to improve the post-grad resources currently available to students in less heavily recruited majors.

For instance, the CCD could reach out to academic departments and work with them to find desirable companies for students. The sports management department does a great job on their own, and perhaps the CCD can learn by example. They could also reach out to clubs for targeted events. Rice Women in Business plans lunches with different consulting firms for their club members. Future involvement from the CCD could be beneficial on both ends. As students, we can’t expect the CCD to somehow work magic and summon every company we want nor can we expect the CCD to drop opportunities in our laps. But we can’t expect better if we accept that the current state of affairs is how it has to be. Rice students are always told to strive to be better, and if we work to make ourselves better for better post-grad careers, those careers should be visible to us.

Eight percent of this year’s freshman class was admitted to the School of Humanities. Out of 1,048 new students, only 83 plan on studying one of the 15 humanities majors, even though Rice considers humanities one of its four major schools. As a history major, I know I’m a minority, and I’ve (mostly) gotten used to it. I love my major, my classes, and my professors, and I definitely see the value in my degree. But I worry Rice and many of its students do not. We’ve already scaled back distribution requirements, and I’m willing to bet that the average Rice student hears about medical humanities five times more often than the 19 majors and minors offered by the School of Humanities. And I think they’re missing out. The first page of the Rice website proclaims this university “fosters diversity and an intellectual environment that produces the next generation of leaders and advances tomorrow’s thinking.” This mission is very broad, one that calls for a wide range of talents and perspectives — including the writing and critical thinking skills promoted by the humanities. I think we can all agree that diversity is important to our campus values and educational pursuits, but it seems this commitment does not include intellectual diversity. It should, though, for there’s no doubt that a humanities major brings a different perspective. Because Rice lacks a strong liberal arts structure, increasing the number and visibility of humanities majors is all the more important for maintaining the intellectual culture we claim to harbor. In my mind, admitting more humanities majors would be an easy but meaningful step in the right direction. Rice requires applicants to apply for a particular school, and the Office of Admission website recommends that this decision “not be made lightly.” This implies that Rice considers academic interests rather seriously. Rice has given itself an excellent opportunity to increase academic diversity. Having more humanities freshmen would also make it easier for students to follow their academic interests. I remember the dread I


Somewhere over the rainbow: Where Rice Wi-Fi works cartoon by areli navarro magallón

felt during O-Week academic planning as I realized there were no other history majors in my year. Even though I’d always loved history and had applied to study it, the empty table scared me, and I spent my first semester planning to be a political science major and just take history classes on the side. While advising during this year’s O-Week, I witnessed the same thing happening to new students. No matter how enthusiastically I talked about history, I worried my voice was being drowned out by the chorus of (mis)assumptions that there are no jobs for humanities majors and the number of STEM enthusiasts. STEM majors have noticed these pressures too — even some of my pre-med friends have expressed that they wish Rice were more encouraging of other fields. A university as distinguished as Rice should empower students to explore their interests and develop their talents and aspirations. All too often, it seems Rice tends to funnel students into particular fields. To be sure, this phenomenon is not limited to Rice. Nationally, the number of humanities majors has dropped by half in recent years. The Rice of the North has seen the number of humanities majors decline by 20 percent over the past decade, according to The New York Times. Stanford University is actively looking to recruit more humanities majors — but even so, 15 percent of Stanford students major in the humanities, nearly double the percentage of students at Rice. We cannot truly claim to be one of the preeminent national universities if we focus so heavily on technical disciplines. “Unconventional wisdom” should refer to more than engineering feats.


Duncan College Sophomore


Rice needs to credit student artists when displaying their work As you’re probably aware, Rice’s light pole banners changed to a series entitled “Art at Rice” over the summer. The banners feature public art, works that were displayed in oncampus galleries and architectural objects. The campaign seems to respond to recent criticism of the administration’s lack of support for the arts, especially surrounding the closing of the Rice Gallery and the opening of the Moody Center for the Arts. A map and descriptions of the banners are available through the Rice News article “Shedding light (poles) on art across campus,” most of which include the artist’s name, the title of the work and where it is or was displayed. Of the 128 banners, nine are works by Rice students. Strangely, the format of these banner descriptions is a little different. For some reason, they don’t include the name

STAFF Drew Keller & Juan Saldaña* Editors in Chief Jasmine Lin* Managing Editor Shannon Klein Business Manager news Emily Abdow* Editor Anna Ta Editor Cameron Wallace Asst. Editor spotlight Elizabeth Rasich Editor

of the artist nor the work. Instead, eight of these nine descriptions hold only three (fairly nondescript) words: “Rice student art.” The ninth has some more description: “Rice art student photograph.” Even the description for Herzstein Hall’s doorknobs is more specific. Each student work sharing the same generic description conveys that “student art” was a quota to meet, a box to check off. With this campaign, Rice Public Affairs is only paying lip service to student artists’ legitimate concerns. Ultimately, the fact that student artwork goes uncredited in a project intended to demonstrate the university’s support for the arts is unacceptable and more than a little ironic. Were the artists asked permission to use their work? If so, why aren’t their names included? In the likely case that they

arts & entertainment Lenna Mendoza* Editor Naomi Pringle Asst. Editor backpage Joey McGlone Editor Isaac Schultz Editor design Christina Tan Director Sydney Garrett News Designer Katrina Cherk Sports Designer Ellie Mix A&E Designer Tina Liu Spotlight Designer Areli Navarro Magallón Illustrator Esther Tang Illustrator

opinions Julianne Wey* Editor

photo Sirui Zhou Editor Charlene Pan Asst. Editor

sports Andrew Grottkau* Editor

copy Sarah Smati Editor

were not, isn’t that copyright infringement? Student artists deserve the same basic respect and legal consideration that this project gives professionals. It’s also worth noting that exhibits shown at the visual and dramatic arts department’s Emergency Room Gallery weren’t credited either. Furthermore, while the series includes eight photos of four different fountains, there are no photos of the many incredible Rice Media Center exhibitions, also sponsored by VADA. Although the campaign wasn’t illintentioned, it’s still problematic and comes across as insincere. It’s concerning that the administration fundamentally misunderstands what it means to support the arts and especially fledgling artists. Using someone’s art without their name isn’t

Catherine Soltero Editor business operations Tom Wang Advertising Manager Sara Lopez Marketing Manager Grace Earick Distribution Manager Sanvitti Sahdev Business Designer online Charlie Paul Web Editor Alice Liu Digital Content Editor video Clara Tian Editor *Editorial Board member

exposure, it’s exploitation. Honestly, even when all artists are appropriately credited, supporting the arts on campus isn’t as simple as decorating light poles. It means providing young artists opportunities to display their works in gallery spaces. It means encouraging attendance to their performances and exhibitions. Most importantly, it means giving them a say in the future of the arts in their community. LENNA MENDOZA

Thresher A&E Editor McMurtry College Senior

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, CMA, and CMBAM © Copyright 2017



Unconventional humor Rice’s resident jokesters


Maybe it is time for someone to ask The Princeton Review to add another category. For years, The Princeton Review has consistently ranked Rice University in the top 10 of its ‘Happiest Students’ list, but some Rice students will not be satisfied until they can also call themselves the funniest.





McMurtry sophomore Caroline Siegfried fit her fist in her mouth for a ‘Stupid Talent Show.’

Jonathan Bunt is a Martel sophomore and a frequent prank victim.

Emma May Anderson is a Brown junior and president of Spontaneous Combustion.

James DeNicco is an ECON 100 lecturer known for his jokes in class.

The residential college system facilitates humor in a unique way. Students at McMurtry College took to comedy to entertain themselves during the week off of classes from Hurricane Harvey by staging a “Stupid Talent Show.” Ben Johnson, a senior at McMurtry who organized the event, said that the show consisted of “a few sign-ups but mostly audience members improvising with talents on the spot.” Zach Verne, a McMurtry sophomore, emceed the event. “I started off by reciting the opening monologue from ‘Bee Movie,’ which is indicative of the kind of stupid funny stuff other people did,” Verne said. “We had several people recite the alphabet backwards, recite the preamble and even just make weird noises [like] screeches, pig noises.” Sophomore Caroline Siegfried titled her talent show performance “Total Eclipse of the Fist.” She played the classic Bonnie Tyler song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” while squeezing her entire fist into a small bowl, a teacup, and eventually her own mouth. “We were bored,” Siegfried said. “Honestly, this was a lot more fun than a normal talent show.” Will Rice College holds a tradition called “Friday Games.” Every Friday during lunch, Will Rice’s secretaries organize a series of “relay races and quirky versions of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey,” as Will Rice sophomore Margaret Wang put it. “Friday Games is a great way to start off the weekend,” Wang said. Rohan Bhardwaj, a Will Rice junior and secretary, said that they try to involve members of every grade in the games. “Games encourage people to come out of their shell when they would usually just sit and talk to a couple of close friends,” Bhardwaj said.

Jonathan Bunt, a sophomore at Martel College, is known across campus for his hilarious sense of humor and huge imagination. “This summer, my bike got stolen,” Bunt said. “Rather than spending money on a new bike, I built a driveable couch on used wheelchair wheels. It was the highlight of my summer.” Bunt’s affinity for humor leads to many back-and-forth practical jokes between him and his friends. “Last semester, my friends and I would hide uncooked spaghetti noodles in each other’s pillows, shampoo and laptops every day,” Bunt explained. “While you were showering, people would throw handfuls of dry pasta into the shower. The hot water cooked the pasta so it got mushy in your hair and on the shower floor.” Bunt recalls Martel’s “Hammered and Sickly: The Communist Revobrewtion” College Night as a particularly funny experience. “We all went out on the sundeck blasting the U.S.S.R. National Anthem and had an upperclassman read aloud Karl Marx’s ‘Communist Manifesto,’” Bunt said. “Everytime he read, ‘Seize the means of production,’ everyone stood up and cheered.” Many in the Rice community know Luis Zelaya, a Sid Richardson College senior, for the Rice memes he frequently posts on Facebook. “Poking fun at Rice’s idiosyncrasies makes me love the place even more,” Zelaya said. Zelaya has been posting Rice memes on Facebook since his sophomore year. Zelaya’s jokes became famous last year when, in one of his memes, he wondered what the difference was between two posters plastered on either side of Rice Stadium that read “Rice Business” and “Rice Business Wisdom.” Rice students loved it, and the joke became a campus wide hit. “I like memes because they are instantly consumable,” Zelaya said. “You can look at the meme, laugh and move on.”

Emma May Anderson, president of Rice’s improv group Spontaneous Combustion, engages in humor both at her SpoCo practices and at Brown. SpoCo’s members perform funny skits on campus about once a month. Emma aligns her own sense of humor with that of SpoCo’s: “Anyone can draw a penis on a wall and make people laugh, but that’s not fulfilling,” Anderson, a Brown College junior, said. “For SpoCo, it’s all about quick wit and clever humor — those are more challenging to pull off, but ultimately much funnier.”

Rice is fortunate enough to not only have funny students, but also humorous professors. James DeNicco, ECON 100 lecturer and Baker College associate, uses humor in the classroom largely because he thinks that it makes his students in a large lecture class more willing to ask questions. “And almost nothing is worth doing if you can’t have fun with it,” DeNicco said. “I make jokes in class because it makes everyone have more fun, including myself. My funniest classroom memory is when I once accidentally said, ‘A surplus occurs when inventory is just shitting on company’s shelves!’ It took me several minutes to regroup after that.” DeNicco also admits to liking a bit of vulgarity and irreverence in his humor. His favorite shows are “South Park,” “Family Guy” and what he calls “obscure dark horror comedies.” “Of course, that’s not the type of humor I use in the classroom,” DeNicco said. “Selfdeprecating humor works best with students. I can mercilessly make fun of myself with no repercussions.” For DeNicco, humor is a way to bridge gaps between opposing viewpoints and to get people to talk to each other. During the times that his views differ from those he works with in academia, he turns to comedy. “Humor lets you express your views in a way that isn’t abrasive, and in a way that makes people more likely to listen,” DeNicco said. Eleazar Marquez, a MECH 211 lecturer, agrees with DeNicco that humor has value in the classroom. “In Science and Engineering classes, it is easy for students to lose attention,” Marquez said. “Humor regains their attention quickly, and this is when they learn most.” Marquez enjoys poking fun at his students during class. “I like to threaten to call their parents and give them a bad report when they make a mistake,” he said. “Jokingly, of course.”

It’s all about quick wit and clever humor — those are more challenging to pull off, but ultimately much funnier. Emma May Anderson Spontaneous Combustion President For Anderson and other SpoCo members, the most important part of successful humor is trust. “You can’t get on stage and do a scene with someone you don’t trust,” Anderson said. “Developing relationships with the group allows you to believe that every scene will be a success.” Anderson loves SpoCo practices and views them as a cathartic break from her difficult work as a mechanical engineering major. Her funniest memories, however, come from lunchtime at Brown with her friends. “At lunch, I’m usually not the one among my friends cracking jokes and making everyone laugh,” Anderson said. “I’m usually the butt of the jokes.”


Angela Duno (top left) and Luis DunoGottberg (top right) sit with their family.

Luis Duno-Gottberg’s tenure as Baker magister got off to a stormy start. When Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday, Aug. 25, he had only been the college’s magister for about three weeks. “It’s quite a start to be starting in the position of having a tragedy of this magnitude,” Duno-Gottberg said. In times of an emergency like a hurricane, the life of a magister can be difficult. In

addition to making sure their own families are safe, magisters work with university leadership to ensure there is safe housing, food and water to sustain the entire student population of the college. Duno-Gottberg said that the experience was exhausting, but he was impressed by the college’s ability to “come together immediately.” “It’s challenging because we have to take care of a bunch of people, but when those people are engaged and help take care of themselves and everybody else, it works,” Duno-Gottberg said.

Now that the immediate threat from Harvey has passed, Duno-Gottberg is settling into his role as magister alongside his wife, Angela Duno, and his five children. She is working towards a degree in nursing, while Duno-Gottberg holds a number of faculty positions on campus. He is an associate professor of Caribbean and film studies, as well as the department chair for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. The Duno-Gottbergs are excited to live in the Baker magister house, but they’ll miss their old house’s porch, which overlooked the Houston skyline, and being close to coffee and pastries at Weights and





MAGISTERS FROM PAGE 6 vited 20 Baker students to their house to cook a paella and “think about Spain and traditions of that kind.” They’d like to do something similar in the future with Indian food. “Of course it’s feeding people, but it’s feeding people’s stomachs and their brains and their souls,” Duno-Gottberg said. Baker President Natalie Swanson approves of Duno-Gottberg’s efforts to encourage student-adult team interaction with events like the Spanish food dinner. “Luis has been a wonderful addition to the Baker community,” Swanson said. “He and his family open their home to Bakerites with scheduled and unscheduled events around meals, amazing coffee, and conversations.” The Duno-Gottbergs take on their role as the first cohort of magisters with the new title. Until this year, magisters were called masters. “Thinking that a change in the word will do away with the more entrenched legacies of racism and so forth that would be naive,” Duno-Gottberg said. “I’m glad that we changed the name, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be alert to the times we’re living in.” After being a magister at Duncan and then living off campus for several years, DunoGottberg is taking time to get to know Baker. “Baker is like one of those matryoshkas, those Russian dolls. It has many layers, and I’m still discovering,” Duno-Gottberg said.

Measures cafe. Their new living room is decorated with old Latin American film posters, where Duno-Gottberg answered questions with his baby son on his hip. This is not the first time that Duno-Gottberg has been on a college’s adult team. When Duncan was founded, he was first a resident fellow and then the college’s first magister. As a resident fellow, he lived in “Ba-Dunc,” which was the building that would become Duncan College. “Ba-Dunc” was populated by a combination of 70 Duncan freshmen and a group of Baker students who stayed there while Baker College was being renovated in 2009. The next year, Duncan College was fully populated by Duncan students and DunoGottberg became magister. That connection with Baker partly informed his decision to apply to be a magister this past year. Overall, Baker felt like a good fit. “When we interviewed, it felt like we were dancing with the best dance partner ever,” Duno-Gottberg said. Duno-Gottberg thinks one of the advantages of the residential college system, and the adult team system in particular, is the number of interactions students can have with professors outside of the classroom. He envisions discussing news and politics with Baker students. On Sept. 2, the magisters in-



Some Fall 2017 Opportunities:

business manager marketing manager news editor



The sweat was palpable, but at least everyone’s lycra body suits helped keep everything in check.

Humidity: 100% Felt like: 109°


It was a fight to the death to get in but once inside it was a good time.


Was too lazy to wait in line, but did steal a bite of my friend’s pizza crust that tasted fine, if a little cold.

No pancakes this time, but I got a whiff of some Chick-fil-A nuggets I’m sure someone enjoyed.

A Water was much needed to replace all the body fluid I lost in sweat.




So many great songs to yell along to off-key, plus stretchy clothing and scrunchies made for the ideal dancing outfit.


Not enough space to My dancing was pull out The Running awkward, but that’s Man (Youtube: How more of a me problem. To Do The Running Man (Totally Rad 80’s Dances))


Line was blessedly short (when I went).

Perfect excuse to wear a fanny pack shamlessly.

BMy friend got whacked in the face and her contact came out.

OVERALL B+ Always a solid public, did not disappoint.

B A bit grody and sweaty, but gnarly fun.

ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK (ASB) Info Fair: September 28, 8:30 PM, Grand Hall. Applications due October 5. Engage with communities through direct service work and advocacy; gain awareness and in-depth education around a social justice issue.

RICH FAMILY ENDOWMENT FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Applications due October 12. This is a funding and civic leadership development opportunity for individuals or groups implementing local community engagement projects.

LEADERSHIP RICE MENTORSHIP EXPERIENCE (LRME) Info Sessions: October 17 & November 29. Learn more about this mentored internship program and how to apply for Summer 2018.


LEARN LEVEL ADVISING Discuss your civic and professional goals with CCL staff, and find out how to get involved with the CCL! Contact Shanna Florence, Assistant Director:


Learn. Act. Create Change.

B+ I didn’t get whacked in the face or stepped on so I can’t complain. INFOGRAPHIC BY TINA LIU

LOEWENSTERN FELLOWSHIP Info Session: September 26, 12 PM, Miner Lounge. Learn more about this year-long opportunity to conduct service and civic research internationally.

Visit, find us on Facebook, or stop by the RMC (Suite 208).



ARTS entertainment


‘Mother!’ blends horror and biblical allegory YE LIM OH FOR THE THRESHER / YO8@RICE.EDU

MOTHER! Running time: 121 minutes Rating: R Genre: Mystery/Drama

Motherhood requires sacrifice, but does it require your everything? “mother!” says that it does. Darren Aronofsky’s feminist rendition of “The Shining,” “mother!” is an amusing failure that willingly exchanges perfection for cinematic extravagance. Though the parallel with “The Shining” may be surprising, the line of reference is unmistakable: A couple settles into an enigmatic household in the middle of nowhere, while the husband (Javier Bardem), a self-absorbed writer, struggles to sustain his literary reputation in the quietude of nature. Strangers start invading the family’s life, threatening their well-being and, eventually, their lives. However, Aronofsky replaces the passive, horror-stricken wife in “The Shining” with the eloquent woman in distress, performed by Jennifer Lawrence. His directorial move

toward a female-centered focus is clear. The dramatic range of Lawrence’s facial expressions, along with her classically feminine figure, perfectly embody a beautiful and enduring wife caught up in a Greek tragedy. The film also grapples with voyeurism toward women. Aronofsky ignites the voyeuristic gaze of the audience as he furnishes Lawrence’s presence to resemble a goddess from a mythological painting, her fair skin gently permeated by light and her simple Victorian attire flattering the contours of her body. This voyeuristic gaze is not only shared by the audience, but also by the strangers who enter the house. They worship her, ignore her, hail her as a Madonna or nail her as a whore, but cannot abandon the lens of dichotomy. The film is an apocalyptic allegory of female objectification; Aronofsky utilizes extensive religious and mythological symbolism to carve out a prototypical tale about the plight of woman as she enters the sphere of marriage. Or at least that’s the impression that one has before the third act. Then, it completely blows up. I’m not talking about “The Sixth Sense” kind of plot twist that has plagued lazy Hollywood writers since the ’90s. The change is not superficial, but fundamental; the relatively composed imagery and reality that the film was building on burst into an exorbitant jumble of fantastic chaos. It has the disturbing ambience of “Requiem for a

courtesy the tablet

Dream,” one of Aronofsky’s earlier works, but it is more visually gratifying and relies less on shock value. Aronofsky uses all of his signature tricks, imagery and cinematic metaphors to make the final act work. So, does it work? That’s a different story. The movie is really either a hit or a miss, depending on how much on-screen anarchy one can bear before the chaos looks more like an elaborate rumble than a lofty experiment. For me, it was a miss. I felt more amused than disturbed by Aronofsky’s cinematic circus, and the movie became a bit repetitive in its

effort to outsmart the audience. However, it’s an interesting miss. It’s like an ’80s cult movie — you adore the film despite, or precisely because of, its campy charm. Still, it’s a miss that only a virtuoso like Aronofsky could make, because a mediocre filmmaker would never have the audacity and mastery over cinematic language necessary to actualize his or her imagination to such a degree. Although I can’t give it a standing ovation, I’d say the film is a must-go for bored cinephiles searching for stimulation, good or bad.


Box office blockbuster ‘It’ expertly terrifies MADDIE FLAVIN THRESHER STAFF / MF37@RICE.EDU

IT Running time: 135 minutes Rating: R Genre: Thriller

For over 40 years, Stephen King has been the horror genre’s Walt Disney, crafting genuinely tingling tales that seamlessly blend reality with the otherworldly. His literature uses the spooky as a commentary on human nature’s wicked side. The latest adaptation of his book “It” takes advantage of its R rating, venturing into territory from which the 1990 TV mini-series version was barred from. But, in an era where something scary seems to happen every day, “It” becomes a dark fairy tale about bravery in the presence of fear. On a rainy day in October 1988, little Georgie Denbrough vanishes while out


FROM THE ASHES As part of their Green Film Series, Rice Cinema will show “From the Ashes” on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. The documentary explores the impact of the coal industry on human health and the environment. The showing will be followed by a panel discussion. Admission is free. Rice Cinema

playing with his paper boat. Months later, Georgie’s older brother, Bill, still feels the stabbing pain of grief and guilt while living in denial of his loss. But, in the 24 hours after the last day of school, Bill and his friends, who dub themselves “The Losers’ Club,” find themselves being individually terrorized in disturbing ways. As the seven youths realize their assaults are linked to a malevolent force responsible for their small town’s history of deaths and disappearances, they must look fear in the face to destroy this monster. In the tradition of the great ’80s comingof-age movies, the casting yields young actors who bring the genuine realities of adolescence to their characters. The seven main actors in “It” may have born in the 21st century, but they feel at one with the ’80s zeitgeist in their roles. The strength of their chemistry ranks up there with the casts of “Stand By Me” and “Super 8.” Jaeden Lieberher uses body language wonderfully to complement Bill’s emotionally tarnished heart. Finn Wolfhard (“Stranger Things”) is hilarious as the potty-mouthed Richie Tozier. Sophia Lillis as Beverly, the Club’s only female member, gives the most moving performance of the group, painting a nuanced and uncompromising portrait of

a viciously abused girl grappling with gender politics and her own developing body.



This Saturday and Sunday, come sample hundreds of hot sauces, or test your mettle in the Carolina Reaper Pickle Eating Competition. Admission is $10, and proceeds will benefit the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.

If Sid ’80s wasn’t enough to get your throwback fix, never fear. Discovery Green presents art cars, arcade games and a live band, along with a screening of “Back to the Future” this Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

Bayou City Event Center 9401 Knight

Discovery Green Labranch at Lamar

The seven main actors in ‘It’ may have born in the 21st century, but they feel at one with the ’80s zeitgeist in their roles. Bill Skarsgård’s interpretation of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a shapeshifting creature who finds sadistic joy in making misery for the Losers’ Club, towers over Tim Curry’s more hilariously unhinged take. Part Jim Carrey’s Grinch and part Heath Ledger’s Joker, this new Pennywise is a nightmarish performance artist who goes for the jugular in his screaminducing party tricks. When the children discover Pennywise’s secrets via a projector presentation in a garage, be very afraid for what comes afterward. Skarsgård uses his physical assets to take charge of the role, particularly his 6-foot-4 stature and a jawdropping ability to individually point his irises

— his own natural blue or post-production’s CGI yellow — in different directions. Janie Bryant’s costume design for the clown, heavily Renaissance influenced, and the film’s makeup department also aid in wiping away any traces of the actor. While most screenwriters create static dialogue, particularly for children, this film’s screenplay acknowledges its young characters’ complicated maturity as they realize that they can’t rely on adults to save them anymore. Though the film has a two hour and 15 minute runtime, it moves along at an effective pace that takes its time with each plot point and knows when to move on. “Here,” Pennywise tempts Georgie shortly before abducting the boy, “take it.” This moment, prominently featured in the film’s spectacular marketing campaign, seduced many a moviegoer into seeing “It,” resulting in the biggest box office opening weekend for both the horror genre and the month of September, at $123 million. While audiences won’t lose their arm to this movie the way poor Georgie does to Pennywise, “It” will nonetheless be an exercise in the strength of one’s nerves, confronting them with what scares them the most.

ELIF BATUMAN Novelist and New Yorker staff writer Elif Batuman will visit Rice for a discussion and signing of her most recent novel “The Idiot.” The book is a semi-autobiographical account of the life of a Turkish-American college freshman. Tickets are free; the event is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies






Nintendo music compilation

Comida Latinoamericana




Embroidered nipple shirts


Backpack purses

courtesy xenoverse mods

courtesy @embroiderynipples

courtesy ali express

In a phrase: Latin-American food Where to find it: NOT Torchy’s Tacos

In a phrase: Nostalgia made productive Where to find it: YouTube

In a phrase: NOD everyday Where to find it: @embroiderynipples on Instagram

Hispanic Heritage Month began five days ago. That’s five days that you have actively chosen not to enjoy the world’s best cuisine (No, the servery’s “barbacoa” does not count). This week, try actually planning your Saturday dinner and venturing farther than Rice Village to support local Latino businesses. Follow the garish neon (a true indicator of authenticity) to Laredo Taquería, enjoy your gordita standing beside Tacos Tierra Caliente, or — dare I suggest — explore beyond a taco and order something unfamiliar like a pupusa at Mama Rosa’s Pupusería. True quality means locations aren’t necessarily within walking distance, but you can always cram six people into a four-seater for the true Latino Carpooling Experience. Bonus points if half your group shows up late.

You’re sitting in Coffeehouse, right in that sweet spot of actual productivity. Ideas are flowing and you’ve even managed to ignore the strange smell coming from someone’s microwaved lunch when you are suddenly jarred from your work. The music. Maybe it’s the same three top hits that get to you. Maybe it’s an indie song oozing with such blatant pretension that you have to roll your eyes. Problem is, you can’t stand your music anymore either. That’s when you remember that strange recommendation from that one annoying column in Thresher: Try studying while listening to Nintendo music. Your life is changed. Alternately soothing and invigorating, the mix is just what you need to get through another ass-numbing two hours of work. You write the Thresher a letter of appreciation for their efforts.

In a phrase: Impractical way to carry your $200 textbook Where to find it: Still hanging off your shoulder by one strap

A tasteful alternative to those boob socks you almost impulse-bought at 1 a.m., these plain tees feature two small embroidered nipples. Artist José Ramirez is based in Mexico City and sells his nipple T-shirts through his Instagram, making the logistics of owning one of his designs slightly more complicated than buying a $2 Forever 21 shirt. The product, however, is definitely worth it. The shirts come in black or white and are delicately stitched with pink gradient thread to create eerily realistic nipples. Options include pierced nipples, adding a playfulness to the subtle, gender neutral design. Versatile and undeniably Hip™, this shirt is sure to get you compliments. Just make sure to throw a blazer over the twins before your job interview.

Say goodbye to annoying purse straps and cumbersome clutches. People are switching out their purses for something they’ve had all along: backpacks. The difference between your beat up Jansport form middle school and these stylish new options is stark, however, and that’s not just because these come sans cringey sharpie doodles. Available pretty much anywhere, these classy, leather mini backpacks combine the convenience of a backpack and the aesthetic of a purse, making you a girl that can indeed “do both.” Only foreseeable con? Many come with a drawstring opening, making a zippered purse the superior option for transporting any uh … dank necessities.

courtesy serious eats







Freshman Nicole Lennon tries to get the ball over the block during Rice’s 3-2 win over Stephen F. Austin State University on Saturday. Lennon earned the Rice Adidas Invitational II Tournament MVP Award for her performance over the weekend. jasmine zhou/thresher

Volpe gets 250th win in 3-0 weekend JOSHUA ANIL & SPENCER MOFFAT FOR THE THRESHER / JA47@RICE.EDU & SM114@RICE.EDU

Two hundred and fifty wins. Head coach Genny Volpe reached this milestone in the second match of the Rice Volleyball team’s Adidas Invitational II with a 3-1 victory over Georgetown University. When asked about the accomplishment, though, Volpe said her players and assistant coaches deserved the credit. “When I reflect on it, I have just so much gratitude for everyone that has been a part of the Rice volleyball program,” Volpe said. “It’s definitely not my thing. It’s about all the players who have played before me and my assistant coaches.” The Rice women played three matches over the course of the weekend, with a 3-2 win over the Arkansas State University Red Wolves and a five-set victory over Stephen F. Austin State University, in addition to their victory over Georgetown. Despite not having freshman Seyvion Waggoner, who had accumulated 105 kills over the first 11 matches of the season, the Owls banded together to win the weekend tournament. Sophomore Lee Ann Cunningham said the tournament victory is a sign of the team’s resilience. “It really is a testament to our character,” Cunningham said. “We were able to pull together and string together three wins in the same weekend, even though we have injuries going on.”

According to Volpe, freshman Nicole Lennon played a major role in responding to challenges within the invitational. “Nicole Lennon certainly has been a strong factor for us all season but I thought she really stepped it up this weekend,” Volpe said. “We gave her a lot of sets and she took a lot of swings and she passed a lot of balls and played some great defense. I was probably most impressed with her defense this weekend.”

It really is a testament to our character. We were able to string together three wins in the same weekend. Lee Ann Cunningham Sophomore Volleyball Player Lennon earned a double-double in the Owls’ victory over the Red Wolves as she racked up 20 kills and 17 digs, providing both offensive and defensive production. Lennon continued her production against Georgetown and SFA, finishing with 64 kills and 37 digs over the course of the tournament. Lennon’s efforts did not go unnoticed, as she was named the Rice Adidas Invitational II MVP and

named to the all-tournament team. She also earned the C-USA Freshman of the Week Award. Other players made significant impacts this weekend as well. Cunningham and sophomore Adria Martinez were also named to the All-Tournament team; Martinez totaled 41 digs in the tournament while Cunningham totaled 75. Volpe said Martinez proved to be a leader in crucial situations throughout the tournament. “Martinez did an awesome job,” Volpe said. “She went out there with a ton of confidence. I am sure she was nervous with it being her first time to run the offense for three matches in a row. She did a great job. She did what I asked her to do. She followed the game plan and also added a lot of energy to the court.” With the close of the tournament came the close of nonconference play. According to Volpe, though nonconference matches lack the weight of conference matches, they give the team vital opportunities to improve. “Our [nonconference schedule] has been really beneficial to us,” Volpe said.“We have not played one single match that has not been challenging.” The Owls open conference play on Sept. 22 with a match against the University of Texas, El Paso at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso as they begin the climb toward 300 wins for Volpe.

The Rice women’s swim team raced to second place this weekend in a five-kilometer race at the University of Kansas’ CSCAA Open Water Championship five-kilometer race. Only Kansas finished ahead of Rice, winning by just four points. The Owls beat out 10 other teams in the event, including schools such as the University of Missouri, Southern Illinois University and St. Louis University. Junior Hanna Huston led the pack for the Owls, finishing third individually, with a time of 1:04:52.89. After beginning the race in first place, Huston said she decided to fall back to draft off other swimmers. She was unable to regain her lead, but, in the final 1,000 meters, she pulled away from Kansas swimmer and fourthplace finisher Lauryn Parrish to secure her third-place spot. Huston said she was incredibly pleased with how she swam during the race. “I was very happy with my performance,” Huston said. “It was more competitive this year than it was last year so I was excited to race.” Not far behind was sophomore Sarah Nowaski, who finished sixth with a time of 1:05:26.93. Head coach Seth Huston said he was proud of how Nowaski performed. “[Nowaski] swam really controlled throughout the race,” Huston said. “She really put herself in a position for a top-eight finish.” Freshman Lindsay Mathys began her collegiate career by rounding out the team’s 22-point total, calculated by adding the positions of the team’s topthree finishers, with a 13th place time of 1:06:34.98. Senior Alicia Caldwell finished off the Rice team results with a 14th-place finish and a time of 1:06:42.71. Both Hanna Huston and Caldwell said the five-kilometer race was grueling. According to Hanna Huston, the wind levels were not ideal, making the water choppy. However, she said it made for a much more entertaining race. “It was harder to swim but that’s what makes it fun,” Hanna Huston said. “You never know what you’re going to get even during the race.” According to Caldwell, one must have not only have physical strength to compete in an open water race but also a strong mentality. “The pain starts to set in pretty early so you have to mentally keep yourself on track,” Caldwell said. “You have to fight through the pain until the end.” According to Caldwell, who has mostly competed in short distance races during her career at Rice, finishing 14th in a five-kilometer race made her fully realize her potential in races outside her comfort zone. “I was glad to see I could still push the longer distances,” Caldwell said. “I am now more excited to concentrate on the rest of the season and see what I can do.” Up next, the Owls will compete in the Rice Fall Splash Invitational, swimming against the University of the Incarnate Word and the University of Houston on Oct. 7.






Bayou Bucket exposes growing gap between Rice, UH

Senior forward Nia Stallings’ hot streak has led Rice offense over the past two weeks. vidya giri/thresher


It had been over three years since a Rice soccer player had last scored a hat trick when senior forward Nia Stallings’ third goal of the night soared past the outstretched arms of the University of Houston goalkeeper. By the time the dust had settled at the end of the week of Sept. 4 to 10, Stallings had racked up 10 four goals and two assists in three games, earning her the Conference USA’s Offensive Player of the Week award. In Friday’s conference opener against Florida Atlantic University, she continued to add to her season totals, tallying an assist as Rice notched a 6-2 victory.

We get 24 shots a game: Eventually you just have to put them away. Nia Stallings Senior Forward While her performance this year has certainly impressed, this is nothing too out of the ordinary for Stallings. She’s been one of the Owls’ top contributors over the past few seasons, ranking first on the team and seventh in the conference in points last year. Still, this year, Stallings has been even better: With nine games left in the regular season, she’s already up to 12 points, fourth in C-USA. She credits her teammates for helping her achieve these new heights. “I owe it all to the team,” Stallings said. “We’ve been working on finishing and executing, and it’s all coming together for us now.” Off the field, Stallings is just as active as she is on it. Majoring in mathematics, she’s been on C-USA’s Academic Honor Roll for the past three years and hopes to incorporate both her academic and athletic prowess into

her future career. “I want to go on an analytics route,” Stallings said. “It would be cool to have a sports analytics career, or maybe retail analytics: [to] work for Adidas or Nike.” Despite being pursued by other top-tier schools, including some Ivy League suitors, Stallings ultimately ended up choosing Rice. According to her, the blend of academics and Division I sports at Rice was just right. “[Rice] encompassed everything I [wanted],” Stallings said. “When I came on my official visit, I loved the campus; I loved the coaches [and] the team and was just excited to be here.” Although it may be unthinkable now, Stallings’ first choice of sport was actually gymnastics, not soccer. “My mom and my older sister were both gymnasts, so I obviously wanted to try that route, [but] I did not have the discipline and the flexibility to be a gymnast,” Stallings said. “So I tried soccer, and I was surprisingly good at it for a five-year-old, so I stuck with it and I loved it.” After over 15 years of playing the sport, Stallings has developed a pregame routine. “We have a pregame meal, and then usually I take like an hour[-long] nap,” Stallings said. “Then I just listen to my favorite music until the game, and that usually gets me in the zone.” In her free time, Stallings is no different from the rest of us: Her favorite pastime is being with her friends. “I have such a fun and close-knit friend group here,” Stallings said. “We’re constantly together, and that just makes life easier.” Even in light of all her accomplishments, Stallings continues to attribute her success to the opportunities created by her teammates. “If you get so many chances [to score], eventually some are going to go in,” Stallings said. “We get 24 shots a game: Eventually you just have to put them away.” And there’s been nobody better at putting them away this year than Stallings herself.

I truly thought there was a chance. Sure, Rice was going up against the University of Houston football team, a team that received votes for the top-25. And yeah, the Owls looked terrible in their 62-7 loss to Stanford. But Rice was coming off its best performance in a long time. The Owls dominated the University of Texas at El Paso in every sense of the word. It looked like Rice had turned a corner. And UH looked bad last week. The Cougars’ defense performed well, but their offense was anemic. If Rice’s defense could have played as well as it did against UTEP and if UH’s offense could have been as bad as it was against Arizona, I really thought the Owls could have kept the game close. With Rice riding high in its first game in Houston after Harvey, anything seemed possible.

What about Rice football is better than UH football? That its head coach sticks around, maybe? That’s about it. Those dreams died in a three-minute, two- second span in the first quarter. A brief recap: Touchdown, UH. Not that surprising. Fumble, Rice. Uh oh. Field goal, UH. Not yet a disaster, but close. Interception, Rice. Dear Lord. Another TD, UH. Good game. The game went from 0-0 to 17-0 in just 3:02. The mood changed from “Rice has a chance to pull off a huge win” to “I can’t believe I have to watch the rest of this game” in that brief span of time. The Bayou Bucket was billed as a unifying event for the city of Houston. It was anything but unifying on the football field. All this game did was highlight the gaping chasm that has grown between Rice football and UH football over the four years since the rivalry was last played. There was UH, in its glitzy new stadium and in front of a near-sellout crowd, dominating an overmatched Owls team. Sophomore defensive lineman Ed Oliver, a five-star recruit, was pummeling Rice players left and right. And head coach Major Applewhite explained in his postgame press conference that the Cougars treat all of their opponents the same — even if that opponent is lowly Rice. Then there was Rice. Owls fans filled up just one section of the stadium despite the university’s proximity to UH. The player of the game for Rice was the punter. And the Owls’ best play was a fourth and goal stop when they were

already down by 38 points. I don’t fault the players for celebrating the stop, but it’s tough not to feel some pity when a team does that while trailing by six scores. It was just seven years ago that Rice beat UH 34-31. Four years ago, the Owls lost by one possession. This time, it was 38-3, and it truly should have been a lot worse. The score was 38-0 at halftime; if UH had needed to score more in the second half, it probably would have. Sure, Rice has taken beatings in the Bayou Bucket before. In 2009, the score was even more lopsided--Houston won 73-14. But at the time, both schools were on a similar level in recruiting because they were both in Conference USA. Since then, both Rice football’s reputation and C-USA’s reputation have tanked while UH’s reputation and the American Athletic Conference’s reputation have soared. Past blowouts have been signs of bad years. This blowout was a sign of a downward trend. The former C-USA rivals are rivals no more. It’s impossible to call it a rivalry because, well, what about Rice football is better than UH football? That its head coach sticks around, maybe? That’s about it. The Bayou Bucket would’ve meant everything to Rice if it had won. It could’ve been one of the signature wins of head coach David Bailiff ’s tenure. To Houston, it was just a victory in a warm-up game in preparation for more talented, higher profile opponents. There will be another Bayou Bucket next year, and again in 2020 and 2021. Both Bailiff and Applewhite expressed interest in scheduling the matchup to open every season, so there will most likely be more matchups down the road. I’m wondering when Rice will next win the Bayou Bucket. UH might as well build a trophy case for it on campus. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If John F. Kennedy spoke at Rice Stadium today, he could easily replace “Why does Rice play Texas?” with “Why does Rice play Houston?” The gap is that big. But hey, we made it to the moon. So maybe Rice did have a chance. All I know is if it did, Rice football’s moonshot crashed and burned.


Thresher Sports Editor McMurtry College Junior

read it online at


vidya giri/thresher





The Backpage is satire and written by Joey McGlone and Isaac Schultz. Lizzy Kalomeris really tested our patience this week. For comments or questions, please email


OLD SCHOOL TUTORING is looking to fill positions at our after school care and tutoring program for 2017-2018. Oering $12 hourly and up, and located across from Rice! Contact Daniela Hernandez at OldSchoolFCC@gmail. com or 713-510-3102

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The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, September 20, 2017  
The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, September 20, 2017