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SHAMING SEX Chi Alpha promotes regressive and unhealthy attitudes

ELIGIBLE BACHELORS 11 men to face off in annual Mr. Rice competition

TIME FOR TIP-OFF Check out our men’s and women’s basketball previews





Rice soccer earns at-large bid to NCAA tournament ANDREW GROTTKAU

73 days after sustaining hurricane damage, Willy’s Pub finally reopens its doors


Rice soccer spent the weekend waiting and hoping after its 1-0 loss to the University of North Carolina, Charlotte in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament. The loss meant the Owls would not receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament; they would need an at-large berth for the first time since 2004 to qualify.

I don’t have a ton of words. Just pure excitement. Annie Walker Junior Forward On Monday, Rice finally received the news: they were part of the NCAA field of 64. Rice will face Baylor University in the first round in Waco, Texas on Friday. Junior forward Annie Walker said she was overjoyed to find out the Owls’ season was going to continue. “It’s unexplainable,” Walker said. “We’ve been stressed out all weekend anxiously waiting to find out if we made it. I don’t have a ton of words. Just pure excitement.” Walker was watching the selection show with three of her teammates in the locker room. She said that as soon as they learned the news, they couldn’t contain their emotion. “We were all screaming and yelling,” Walker said. “We saw two of our teammates running toward the locker room, so we ran out and met them and we were screaming in the hallway. We found our trainer and then ran and told our academic advisor. I haven’t ran like that since our games.”


After being closed for two months, Willy’s Pub has finally reopened. Pub came back full-force on Tuesday morning, operating under normal hours, hosting a re-opening brunch event and offering $1 beers after 9 p.m. Pub closed on Aug. 25 in preparation for Hurricane Harvey and remained closed for 73 days due to the water damage it suffered during the hurricane. Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations and health inspections delayed the return of Willy’s Pub, according to General Manager and Brown College senior Michael Dyer. Dyer said he thought the damage would take only a couple of weeks to repair after first seeing the damage in early September. “I remember going in and looking at [the damage], and thinking that it was nothing,” Dyer said. “We just had one wall that clearly needed to get some replacement for the drywall and just needed to be redone. Our furniture was all fine, all of our equipment was fine, anything that we cared about was fine.”

illustration by areli navarro magallón




Faculty Senate to vote on revised neuroscience major RISHAB RAMAPRIYAN & ANDREW MU

within major

outside of major









total degree requirement



MATH 101 & 102

BIOC 212


CHEM 121 & 123

2 additional courses


PHYS 125 & 126


NEUR 383/ELEC 380

BIOC 201 CAAM 210

PSYC 203



infographic by sydney garrett

Faculty Senate will vote Nov. 15 on whether to approve a new interdisciplinary neuroscience major, which would open to students next semester, according to professor Behnaam Aazhang, NeuroX Steering Committee director. The Faculty Senate postponed voting on the major at their Oct. 25 meeting after members voiced concerns that students entering Rice with limited Advanced Placement credits would not be able to complete the prerequisites to reach the 400-level honors research courses within four years, according to Susan McIntosh, chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum. “My sense is that just about everyone involved — and I know that includes the architects of the neuroscience major — feel all Rice undergraduate degrees and other opportunities should be accessible to anyone admitted to the university,” Michael Wolf, faculty senate member and chair of the department of mathematics, said. “I expect [the major] approved at the

next Senate meeting in November. It’s just unfortunate that there isn’t a scheduled meeting of the Senate earlier to get this issue settled more quickly.”

I believe that to understand the brain is to understand the very essence of human nature. Axel Ntamatungiro Duncan College Freshman The version of the major presented on Oct. 25 required students to enter with 26 AP credit hours in order to reach the 400-level honors courses, Wolf said. However, the median number of AP credits for this year’s entering class was 23, so the honors courses would have been inaccessible to over half of students. The NeuroX Steering Committee submitted a revised proposal to the CUC on



2 PUB FROM PAGE 1 On Sept.19, Facilities and Engineering Planning Director of Project Management Ana Ramirez told the Thresher that FE&P had found contractors and was planning to begin work by the end of that week. However, the contractor did not start work until Oct. 23 due to compliance issues with federal regulations, according to FE&P Associate Vice President Kathy Jones. “The restoration got delayed because we found out that federal regulations required that we bid the work to three general contractors so that the project would be eligible for reimbursement by FEMA,” Kathy Jones said. Pub’s reopening was further delayed due to an issue with one of Pub’s sinks during a health inspection on Oct. 30, according to Dyer. “Our three-compartment sink that we use to wash all our dishes has these straight edges on the inside that make it hard to get into the corners to clean it,” Dyer said. “[The health inspector] looked at it and he said that it was against regulation and that it had been for many many years but that we had always been grandfathered into the old regulations because we had our sink for so long.” After replacing the sink, Pub passed health inspection on Monday night, according to Dyer. Students on Tuesday may have noticed certain changes to Pub’s appearance since it was last open in August. “We got rid of one of those long bars over by the dance area, so that’s gone now,” Dyer said. “We got rid of the long

Willy’s Pub employees and customers enjoyed its reopening on Tuesday following a 73-day closure. Pub closed in August after sustaining water damage during Hurricane Harvey. jasmine zhou/thresher

table in the middle that was anchored down to give us some more space, we got rid of some of the concrete furniture that was over by the TV area, and there’s a couple of new couches in there.” Dyer also said that he expects Pub to receive more new furniture and replace the current stage with a permanent one in the next couple of weeks. Pub’s re-opening means that the bar’s employees, who had been missing out on income from their on-campus job for most of the semester, can finally go back to work. Dyer said that during the closure Pub was able to pay each of its bartenders

wages for 10 hours, equivalent to about two weeks of actual work. “We felt that we needed to give them something, because they came in expecting to have an on-campus job and to make money and then that was taken from them,” Dyer said. With the extended closure of Pub, freshmen have only had the chance to go to one Thursday Pub Night all semester, which occurred the night before Pub closed for Harvey. Martel College freshman Kush Brahmbhatt said that despite the lengthy repair time, he’s still excited about going to Pub.

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“I loved the first pub night,” Brahmbhatt said. “It was a fantastic destressor from the first week of classes and a great way to start the weekend. I was pretty interested [in Pub] coming into Rice, and that really hasn’t gone away.” Dyer said that freshman can expect future Pub Nights to look pretty similar to the first one in August. “I’d say to [freshman] to remember what they did the Thursday night of Silly Week, because it’s gonna be pretty much exactly like that again,” Dyer said. “It’s gonna be pretty good. Oh, and [don’t] go to Mi Luna. Fuck Mi Luna.”

Bioengineering Computational and Applied Mathematics Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering Computer Science Computational Science and Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Honor Council to decide on penalty increase RISHAB RAMAPRIYAN THRESHER STAFF / RR41@RICE.EDU

The Honor Council is on the verge of increasing penalties for Honor Code violations on smaller assignments. The council also discussed implementing a statute of limitations and debated the role of faculty in determining punishments at an annual open meeting Saturday. At the meeting, the council voted 16 to 6 to reduce the consensus penalty structure threshold for one letter grade reductions from 6 percent to 4 percent for the 2017-18 academic year. Threequarters of the council’s 34 members must vote in favor for the change to be approved, according to council chair Reese Rosenthal. The change is still pending due to absent Honor Council members who will vote in the next several days.

I think that the Honor Code is above any one class or any one professor. James Suffoletta Honor Council College Representative Under the modified consensus penalty structure, assignments worth between 4 and 12 percent of total course grade would receive a two letter grade reduction penalty. The CPS serves as a starting point for council decisions on violation penalties, according to the Honor Council By-Laws, but the council may depart from the structure on a case-by-case basis. The Honor Council decided the current one letter grade reduction for assignments was not a sufficient deterrent against cheating for many

smaller assignments, which are worth around 5 percent of the course grade. “It should always be a better option to get a zero on the assignment than cheat,” Rosenthal, a Hanszen College junior, said. “There is an intrinsic wrong in violating the Honor Code, no matter what the assignment is worth.” The council also voted preliminarily on implementing a statute of limitations for reporting violations. In an unofficial vote, a majority of members agreed that violations that occur during a given semester should be reported by the end of the following semester, including the summer term. Rosenthal said the CPS, which establishes punishments for cheating according to the weight of the assignment in the overall course grade, is intended to both invalidate the assignment which violated the honor code and have a punitive effect, requiring significant course grade reductions The Honor Council has not given any penalties lower than a three letter grade reduction this academic year, he said. Honor Council at-large representative Haihao Liu said the deterrent effect of the CPS will not work if students are not aware of the penalties. “If students have never even heard of the CPS, in particular the severity of the penalties, then any talk of a punitive aspect acting as a deterrent against breaking the Honor Code is a moot point,” Liu, a Will Rice College senior, said. “I myself had never seen nor heard of the CPS until I joined the council.” Rosenthal said the Honor Council would find ways to educate of both students and faculty by working with various academic departments. FACULTY INVOLVEMENT Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson, who attended the Saturday meeting, said faculty members should be more involved in penalty decisions.

Hutchinson said the Honor Council should consider leaving the size of a grade reduction penalty up to faculty after deciding if a grade reduction is appropriate for the case. “It’s really hard for you to decide in the abstract, which is what you are doing today,” Hutchinson said. “Whether the violation took place and whether it should be sanctioned is a decision for the Honor Council to make. The impact on the grade could be left to the faculty member to decide.” However, Honor Council college representative James Suffoletta said he believes that bringing faculty into the decisions will go against the basic principles of the Honor Code due to variability and bias among professors. “I think it’s difficult to increase faculty involvement in terms of the faculty recommending punishments because it would then result in uneven application of the Honor Code,” Suffoletta, a Will Rice sophomore, said. “I think that the Honor Code is above any one class or any one professor.”

Rosenthal said that a committee will be formed in the coming weeks to find ways to increase faculty involvement in the Honor Council in a way that balances both student and faculty interests. “While I always welcome ways to increase both student and faculty involvement in the Honor System, ultimately the decision will be in the hands of the council,” Rosenthal said. “When the time comes, whatever decision we make will absolutely take into consideration both the needs of students and of faculty.” Rosenthal said he hopes these discussions will lead to more changes that allow the Honor System to better serve student and faculty interests. Rosenthal said there is a need for both active student and faculty involvement. “The Honor System only works if we all choose to participate in it — that includes students and faculty,” he said. “To me, the Honor Code shouldn’t be something that we pay only half attention to during O-Week; instead, the Honor Code needs to be something that is a wider part of our campus culture.”







infographic by sydney garrett

R-HAT faces low turnout, leadership confusion LIZZIE BJORK THRESHER STAFF / EWB2@RICE.EDU

The Rice Student Volunteer Program never assumed leadership of Rice Harvey Action Team opportunities as they initially expected, according to RSVP co-president Lynn Zhu. The Center for Civic Leadership has retained control of R-HAT, Director Caroline Quenemoen said. Amid the confusion over leadership, R-HAT engagement declined severely as classes resumed, according to Michael Domeracki, associate director of domestic programs and fellowships at the CCL. MISCOMMUNICATION According to Quenemoen, the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, which partnered with the CCL to found R-HAT, stepped out of the program after Harvey because engaging undergraduates in community opportunities is not its mission. The CCL now manages partnerships and coordinates Hurricane-Harvey-related volunteer efforts in partnership with the Student Association,

the Graduate Student Association and RSVP, which publicize volunteer opportunities. Zhu, a Sid Richardson College senior, said she was under the impression that the Doerr Institute, one of the founding partners of R-HAT, initially proposed transferring control of R-HAT to the student group. Zhu said RSVP was excited to take control of R-HAT, as she said the Doerr Institute had initially asked them to do. RSVP had a plan to incorporate R-HAT into its existing structure and created an R-HAT committee of five students. In September, Quenemoen said RSVP was well-suited to engage with R-HAT. “We wanted to ensure a continued student leadership role in R-HAT, and RSVP made perfect sense to engage as their mission is to support student volunteerism,” Quenemoen. “Additionally, they are accountable to the SA as a blanket-tax organization and advised by the CCL.” This week, Quenemoen said the Doerr Institute may have overestimated the capabilities of RSVP in asking them to manage community partnerships once classes resumed.

However, Zhu said RSVP is equipped to communicate with community partnerships, as they do this every semester for the volunteering opportunities they arrange. She said the misunderstanding with the CCL over RSVP’s desire and ability to manage partnerships may have stemmed from initial difficulties in contacting community partners who were not yet ready to assess their volunteering needs. Domeracki said he has been in in charge of student communications with RSVP and the SA. In a meeting in early September, Domeracki said the CCL and RSVP agreed the CCL should coordinate partnerships and RSVP should handle publicity and student engagement. Zhu said that RSVP has been frustrated by its lack of involvement in the decisionmaking process and that their dialogue with the CCL surrounding RSVP’s role has frequently changed. “We met multiple times a week, for hours, but it didn’t seem like a lot was getting done,” Zhu said. “We were never given the reins.” She said she was particularly frustrated

that RSVP never gained access to the R-HAT listserv and its 2,000 subscribers. She said they repeatedly asked for access but were only recently informed that IT would not allow students to manage the email. “IT just flat-out said you can’t give [listserv access] to a student,” Domeracki said. “I told RSVP that.” SA President Justin Onwenu said there have been miscommunications around RSVP’s role. He said he understood that the CCL would manage the partnerships and that RSVP would publicize them, with the SA operating in an advisory role and overseeing RSVP. “It was this revolving door where, from the SA perspective, the CCL didn’t necessarily trust RSVP to get the job done and RSVP kind of pulled back because the CCL wasn’t giving them enough control,” Onwenu said. According to RSVP co-president Carey Wang, RSVP did not feel comfortable advertising volunteering opportunities that they had not organized, especially when they noticed transportation and problems






Provost rejects alternative course evaluation tool SANVITTI SAHDEV THRESHER STAFF / SS163@RICE.EDU

IDEA, an alternate course and instructor evaluation system piloted in about 200 classes last year, will not be implemented at Rice despite a committee recommendation to move forward with the system, according to Provost Marie Lynn Miranda. “When we ask students and faculty to make a major switch in software platforms, we should have an overwhelming case for why the new platform is better — which simply was not there,” Miranda said. Miranda said she considered the assessment of the special committee, which consisted of faculty, students and administrators, but made the decision not to pursue IDEA as the committee was not in consensus about the strengths and weaknesses of the software. She announced her decision in the Faculty Senate meeting on Oct. 25. The results of the committee’s review indicated that IDEA had attractive features, but it would have some disadvantages. “It takes much longer and requires students to answer more questions than the current instrument, including questions that are not necessarily relevant to the course they are taking. In addition, some considered the user interface confusing,” Miranda said. Any benefits IDEA would have provided can be obtained by making improvements to the existing software, which will save both money and faculty’s time, Miranda said. “I am very attuned to what I will refer to as, ‘software change fatigue,’” Miranda said while addressing the Faculty Senate. According to Miranda, the need for changes in the course evaluation system was first brought up three years ago when the Rice Committee on Teaching,

All courses and instructors will continue to be evaluated through the existing Esther program after Provost Marie Lynn Miranda decided not to move forward with IDEA. jiayi lyu/thresher

under the leadership of professor Michael Gustin, conducted an in-depth diagnostic of the current instrument for evaluating teaching at Rice. This review revealed limitations to the current tool.

I am very attuned to what I will refer to as, ‘software change fatigue.’ Marie Lynn Miranda Provost After investigating various evaluation platforms, the Committee on Teaching

recommended the IDEA software. During the IDEA test run, students in certain courses were asked to complete evaluations with both the IDEA system and the current system, according to Miranda. This allowed a clear comparison of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two systems. Rushi Bhalani, a student in Business Communications (BUSI 296), which testran the pilot, said the IDEA evaluation system did not ask questions that would be useful for students in the process of picking classes. “Overall what Rice students care about, for better or worse, is how well are we going to do in this class, how much work are we going to have to put into it, is the professor good, is the class good,”

Bhalani, a Baker College senior, said. “I think those were the type of questions that the pilot did not have.” The 2017-18 Committee on Teaching will review the IDEA pilot committee’s findings and determine specific changes to Rice’s existing course and instructor evaluation tool. Frank Geurts, the chair of the Committee on Teaching, has agreed to lead the effort to identify and recommend appropriate changes, Miranda said. Since IDEA will not be implemented, current software limitations will need to be improved, according to Provost Miranda. “In light of the effort required to change to IDEA, we preferred to explore an alternative: Integrate some of IDEA’s best features into Rice’s current instrument,” Miranda said.

Short-term bike rental program comes to campus KIMMY SCHUSTER THRESHER STAFF / KFS1@RICE.EDU

Rentable bike stations recently installed on campus offer a new way for members of the Rice community to get around Houston. This fall, Houston Bike Share, a nonprofit organization, partnered with Rice’s transportation demand and management department and sustainability department to install the three BCycle bike stations. The BCycle stations are located at the Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, the Greenbriar Parking Lot and West Lot. Five more stations will be added within this school year, according to Richard Johnson, director of the Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management. Houston BCycle operates 46 stations in Houston totaling over 350 bikes available at any time as a branch of the national bike share program, Houston Bike Share office manager Miles Wilson said. BCycle aims to expand the Houston cycling community and to implement bike systems that complement and improve existing transportation. The locations on Rice’s campus were selected by a committee that included both undergraduate and graduate student representatives along with Rice staff and a representative from BCycle, according to Sara Meadow, internal vice president of the Student Association. “I wanted to get students and staff involved in the process as much as I could to have meaningful engagement,” Meadow, a Sid Richardson College junior, said. “Between talking to different members of the community and a survey that was sent out to all of the colleges, I was able to get a pretty good idea of the general locations that represented student and faculty interest.” Johnson said the idea for a bike share program began in 2012 in Environmental

Issues: Rice into the Future (ENST 302/SOCI 304), a class that uses the campus as a living laboratory for learning about sustainability. “As a part of their research, a team interacted with one of the coordinators of the Houston BCycle Program, which really started Rice’s interactions with BCycle,” Johnson said. “From that point, we were in regular contact with BCycle, exploring opportunities to bring their service to campus and engage more beyond the hedges.” Since 2012, student and faculty demand for easy short-term bike access ranging between 30 minutes to a few hours has steadily increased, according to Johnson. The launch of BCycle’s bike share program on campus will help connect Rice with the Houston community, according to Lin. According to the 2017 student and employee commuter surveys conducted by the Transportation Demand Management Department, 17 percent of off-campus undergraduate students, 11 percent of graduate students, and six percent of employees bike to campus. “We have to consider the evolution of commuting methods and bike sharing and the different types of technologies entering the market,” Johnson said. “BCycle is intended to be used by a broad range of Rice’s campus population — faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students — as well as visitors to the Rice campus.” Around 250 employees said they would consider using BCycle on campus on the employee commuter survey. The guest rate for BCycle is $3 for 30 minutes, according Wilson. Riders can pay $9 for a month-long membership which allows for an unlimited number of 60-minute rentals or $99 for an year long membership. After 60 minutes members must pay $3 for each additional 30 minutes

Students and other members of the Rice community can rent bikes for short-term use at three newly installed BCycle stations located around campus. hannah kim/thresher

of use. Rice students and employees also have the option of paying $25 per semester using their Rice email and the promo code RICEEDU, Wilson said. Bikes can be returned to any BCycle station in the Houston system. Amani Ramiz, a Brown College junior, said she likes that the bikeshare will help students even off campus. “The bikeshare is a great idea, especially for when people need to go off campus for a short time or have a class somewhere like the BioScience Research Collaborative, far from their college,” Ramiz said. Lisa Lin, program manager for Rice’s Transportation Demand Management Department, said the addition of BCycle’s bike sharing on campus will contribute to Rice’s recent designation as a League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly University. “The vision is that Rice is able to offer its students access to enough high-quality

mobility services that they will not need nor want a car when they come to Rice,” Lin said. “My goal is to see the bike share on campus spur even more bike-related efforts and activities at Rice, and to help us to the next level of achievement with being considered a Bike-Friendly campus.” Johnson also said the installations will allow Rice to increase its use of sustainable transportation. “My belief is that with this new addition to Rice’s bicycle services and safe bike facilities, we’ll be able to cut down on the hundreds of bicycles that Rice students abandon on campus every year and have more members of the community deciding to bike instead of drive,” Johnson said. “Though this application and data collection, Ms. Lin has set a baseline from which we as a university can build an even more robust, sustainable transportation program and assess progress.”


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2017 RHAT FROM PAGE 3 surrounding the opportunities. Zhu said taking the Metro, as some opportunities required, was difficult because graduate students are not given free cards. Zhu said she paid for Metro cards for volunteers who did not have them and was not able to communicate these difficulties with the CCL. “We’re part of the face of R-HAT, but we don’t have any control over it,” Wang, a Will Rice College senior, said. Domeracki said he was never informed of

any discomfort regarding the opportunities or RSVP’s role in publicizing them. Quenemoen said she has not heard negative feedback from RSVP since Zhu emailed her in early September about challenges with volunteering at the NRG pet shelter. Quenemoen said she followed up with the community partners and resolved the issues. Onwenu said that, while he was not sure if better communication would significantly increase volunteer turnout, he was frustrated to see more posters about DuncStep and


filled slots


unfilled slots

Total Slots: 622 Filled Slots: 153 Available Slots: 469 *Data provided by the Center for Civic Leadership and spans from Oct. 6 - Nov. 6 2017. Volunteer opportunities included: Rice Community Clean-Up and Moving Assistance, PAIR Donation Unloading, Bundling and Distribution, KIPP Unloading and Distribution, Baker Ripley Shelter at NRG, etc.

infographic by christina tan

NEUR FROM PAGE 1 Oct. 27. The CUC approved the proposal the same day, which is required step before the proposal is presented to the Faculty Senate. The NeuroX Steering Committee, which was created to formulate and draft a proposal for a neuroscience major, is comprised of faculty from various departments and programs, including neuroscience, BioSciences, psychology and electrical engineering. The committee submitted the original proposal in January to the CUC, which underwent two major and two minor revisions before the Oct. 25 Faculty Senate, McIntosh said. The revised neuroscience major according to a proposal dated Oct. 30 is a Bachelor of Arts degree program requiring between 62 and 66 credit hours to satisfy major requirements with hours varying due to which electives students choose. The requirements are subject to change until the Nov. 15 Faculty Senate meeting, according to Aazhang. Including Rice’s requirement of 60 hours outside of the major, the total hours for the revised neuroscience BA amounts to between 122 and 126 credit hours. A Bachelor of Science degree is expected to follow in coming semesters, the proposal said. The major requires introductory courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math, statistics, computational engineering and psychology, according to the proposal. The major also

has four core courses which cover topics in neuroscience and neuroengineering as well as project-based laboratory courses. Elective courses allow students to choose from a range of subjects including bioengineering, electrical engineering, philosophy and psychology.

All Rice undergraduate degrees and other opportunities should be accessible to anyone admitted to this university. Michael Wolf Faculty Senate Member “The program will be unique amongst the top 20 U.S. universities in that none of the other undergraduate programs require core courses in neuroengineering in combination with strengths in biology and social sciences,” the proposal states. Lucy Lai, a Lovett College senior who is looking to apply to neuroscience graduate programs, said she believes the structured major will allow students to complete the necessary coursework to be competitive applicants.



TURNOUT Both Quenemoen and Zhu said that maintaining student involvement in R-HAT has been a challenge. Since Oct. 6, 153 of the 622 opportunities offered to students have been filled. Over 2,000 students volunteered through R-HAT between R-HAT’s inception and Sept. 6, according to Doerr Institute Director Tom Kolditz. Domeracki said R-HAT engagement declined severely the weekend after classes resumed and then dropped again after the next weekend, Sept. 16 and 17. Due to low turnout, Quenemoen said the CCL has turned down community requests for volunteers due to low turnout. Since few students signed up for opportunities during the week, the CCL had to restrict their partnerships to organizations who could host volunteers over the weekend. “What we learned very quickly — and there’s no value judgement here — is that students don’t want to [volunteer] on a weekday,” Quenemoen said. The CCL expected this decline in engagement, Quenemon said. Throughout the months since Harvey, the CCL has been balancing student interest and availability

with community partner demand. “We don’t want to over-promise and then not be able to deliver,” she said. According to a survey sent out when classes resumed, over half of respondents said they wanted weekly recurring volunteer commitments. Believing this level of commitment was not feasible, the CCL organized bi-weekly opportunities instead. Domeracki said he has continued to send R-HAT opportunities out on the listserv every week. R-HAT offered 11 volunteering opportunities each day over Labor Day weekend and six the next weekend as demand decreased, Domeracki said. By the end of September, R-HAT offered two opportunities most weekends. In the months since Harvey, volunteering opportunities have become more multidimensional, according to Quenemoen. For example, Fe y Justicia, a worker protection organization, wants Spanish-speaking volunteers to interview migrant workers who have come to Houston for jobs related to Harvey recovery, which Quenemoen said presents a dynamic opportunity but requires more skills. “It’s a lot easier to just send people to the Red Cross to clean cots,” Quenemoen said. Many organizations are now working to address their long-term needs, requiring more skilled volunteers, according to Quenemoen. Assessing student interest is still a challenge for the CCL. “If students are not interested, that’s okay,” Domeracki said. “We’re not demanding that students volunteer.”

“I’m really excited for it to finally become an option for students, because while Rice has many neuroscience-related course offerings, it really lacks a structured curriculum that ties together all aspects of neuroscience,” Lai, a Lovett College senior, said. “I would have liked that kind of structure as a freshman.” While the neuroscience major and minor will be administratively housed in the biosciences department, an interdivisional agreement was signed by deans of the four involved schools - the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the School of Humanities and the School of Social Sciences - to ensure sustained and productive collaboration, according to the proposal. At the Faculty Senate meeting, senate members expressed concerns about the lack of a home department for the major and overlap with the cognitive sciences major. “The proposed major does overlap with the existing cognitive sciences major, but the two majors have distinctive focuses,” the proposal states. “Neuroscience focuses on the study of the brain, while cognitive sciences focuses on the study of the mind.” Lai said that she decided to major in cognitive sciences and supplement the major with other courses in biology, engineering and math to create her own neuroscience curriculum, but does not believe that cognitive sciences is an appropriate substitute

for neuroscience. “The bare minimum requirements of cognitive science certainly did not provide enough rigor to prepare someone for graduate studies [in neuroscience],” Lai said. According to the proposal, students are encouraged to pursue independent research at either Rice or the Texas Medical Center. Faculty members at Rice, the University of Texas Health Science Center and the Baylor College of Medicine have agreed to accept Rice undergraduates into their research laboratories for independent study. The NeuroX Steering Committee found significant student interest in the major based on the that the neuroscience minor, which was introduced in 2013, is the fourth most popular minor at Rice. In addition, more than 50 students have participated each year in the Independent Neuroscience Research (NEUR 310) class created along with the minor, with many authoring peer-reviewed publications. Axel Ntamatungiro, a Duncan College freshman, said he is eagerly anticipating the neuroscience major approval. “I plan to be a neuroscience major because I believe that to understand the brain is to understand the very essence of human nature,” Ntamatungiro said. “The 21st century will be marked by advances in technology that will challenge our conceptions of human nature. Rice needs to be in the forefront of this change.”

Night of Decadence than R-HAT. Despite past challenges, Zhu and Wang still hope to work with the CCL and increase their role in R-HAT. “Our goals are the same,” she said. “We’re not as concerned with figuring out who’s to blame, but ultimately we just want to see R-HAT succeed.”

Please join us in a family-style Thanksgiving Day dinner at Greenbriar and Rice. Dinner starts around 11:30 in the parish hall of Christ the King Lutheran Church (enter opposite side from campus). Any students who aren’t going home, young adults without plans, and all adults without family in town are invited. You may bring a covered dish to share (salad, vegetable, bread, dessert, fancy drinks, etc.) but it isn’t required. If you know you’re coming before Wednesday November 22, RSVP to Beverly Davis ( If you don’t sign up, you are still welcome.

Everyone has things to be thankful for, including good food and fellowship.





Last week’s op-ed highlights need for dialogue on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Honor Code should remain in students’ jurisdiction Rice’s website touts the school’s honor code as “one of the most distinct aspects of the academic experience at Rice.” It governs all courses at the university, establishing a consistent set of rules concerning academic honesty campuswide. Dean Hutch recently proposed that faculty participate in adjudicating cases (see p. 3). However, the Thresher believes that faculty involvement in the honor code should not be expanded. Giving faculty more discretion on sanctions would facilitate uneven application of the Honor Code, which is what the Consensus Penalty Structure was created to address; as we all know, some professors are far more lenient than others. Additionally, the status associated with faculty members would inevitably apply pressure on Honor Council and how they adjudicate cases. One of the vital strengths of Honor Council is that students’ cases are heard and judged by their peers, and adding faculty to the mix would completely alter that fundamental standard. Above all, the Honor Code’s continued success at Rice is dependent on an even application that both faculty and students can trust and willingly accept.

In last week’s issue of the Thresher, Gary Dreyer wrote an op-ed titled “Don’t just tell a story; tell the full story” attacking a guest lecture on Palestinian revolutionaries delivered by University of Houston professor Abdel Razzaq Takriti. In this piece, Dreyer recycles many Zionist arguments and stereotypes. He objects to telling the stories of Palestinian activists “in the most vivid and human terms,” he labels Palestinians as terrorists and he equates Takriti’s historical research with Nazism and antiSemitism. Most egregiously, he complains of the omission of the “forced expulsion and/or ethnic cleansing” committed by Palestinians. Perhaps Dreyer should take his own advice and tell the “full story,” which includes not only the 1972 Munich Massacre but also the 1948 Deir Yassin Massacre, and Israel’s campaign of organized violence designed to drive Palestinians from their homes and subjugate the remainder under martial law. Despite its argumentative flaws, Dreyer’s article serves as a powerful reminder of the need for more dialogue on the IsraeliPalestinian conflict at Rice. Aside from a handful of Baker Institute events attended mostly by septuagenarians, this issue rarely comes up on our campus. Part of this is due to an academic lacuna. Outside of a handful of courses in the history department, Rice students have shockingly few opportunities to study Israel, Palestine or the wider context in which the conflict takes place. The Jewish studies department offers few, if

Correction In the Nov. 1 print edition, the photograph titled “Rice reacts to the World Series” was taken by Rishu Harpavat. The editorial cartoon, “When the costs always outweigh the benefits,” was an illustration by both Areli Navarro Magallón and Esther Tang.

illustration by areli navarro magallón and esther tang

any, courses on contemporary Israeli society or politics, and the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication has struggled to offer even introductory Arabic classes. It is hard for us to debate the finer points of the issue if we do not share any common knowledge. The university should devote more resources to teaching about the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, especially considering the number of excellent scholars of the Middle East already working at Rice. More importantly, it falls on all of us to educate ourselves and expand the debate. Everyone at Rice should feel free to express their opinions without being accused of anti-Semitism. This label is often hurled at proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which targets companies complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories. Students at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley have already voted to divest from companies like Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard that provide bulldozers and surveillance technology to the Israeli military. While both resolutions were ultimately defeated by trustees, they sparked continuing debate and encouraged all involved to learn more. As Rice considers the responsible investment of its huge endowment, BDS is a conversation we must have. Only through respectful debate will the full story emerge. Benjamin Jones Jones College Senior


The only ‘lack of dignity’ at Night of Decadence was Chi Alpha’s In last week’s Thresher article, “Evening of Elegance Attendance surpasses NOD for the first time,” Chi Alpha staff member Mathison Ingham said, “We wanted to create an event that gave dignity to people and let them have fun in an uplifting atmosphere.” This merits a response to those who attended or considered attending NOD and to Chi Alpha as an organization. To the former: Resist the notion being presented to you that sexuality, nudity, or following your own choices is without dignity. There is nothing wrong with your body. Chi Alpha claims that NOD strips Rice students of their dignity and implies sex positivity is immoral. The contrary is true: A person is dignified when they can walk in their own body with confidence. It is the culture that Chi Alpha promotes that lacks dignity, a culture of shaming those who show self-confidence in their own skin. That there is a nationally backed organization on campus perpetuating not just slut-shaming, but regressive attitudes toward healthy expression of sexuality, is damaging to individuals and our institution. I’m not terribly attached to NOD. It’s just a fun party with a complex history and

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

undeniable problems. EOE is a phenomenal event in theory: Wiess doesn’t have the capacity for a 2,000-person party and there are plenty of people who aren’t comfortable attending. However, seeing NOD demonized by Chi Alpha angers me. Almost any member talking about EOE gave the same sound bite on “dignity” as an ostensibly innocent alternative. I find it ironic, however, that from speaking with new student members of Chi Alpha, it seems there is far more peer pressure from Chi Alpha not to attend NOD than there ever has been by the rest of campus to attend. If EOE is about people having fun at their own level of comfort, is there not incredible hypocrisy in telling people what they should be comfortable with? Chi Alpha has attempted to present EOE as an “innocent” “alternative” to NOD, but it is no secret they will do anything they can to bring an end to NOD swiftly and completely. If this was simply a wholesome alternative, why peer pressure their members into attending? This damaging attitude speaks to a much broader problem. Positions like Chi Alpha’s are the reason discussion of contraception in the Critical Thinking in Sexuality workshop

was nixed to avoid ruffling any religious convictions. College should be a safe space where you’re protected from sexual misconduct, not new ideas. In fact, being shielded from someone challenging your beliefs is antithetical to higher learning.

Is there not incredible hypocrisy in telling people what they should be comfortable with? As a community, we should be angry at the pervasive derision of the Chi Alpha campaign. The fact that churches and individuals fully outside the Rice community are able to influence events and culture on campus at our secular institution is also incredibly concerning. $20,000 is a tremendous amount of money — certainly enough to influence campus events. I would hope that this kind of outside pressure would elicit the same righteous indignation as the outside political consultants fiddling with our student government elections last year. Rice should not be a platform on which other organizations can flex their

arts & entertainment Lenna Mendoza* Editor Naomi Pringle Asst. Editor

copy Sarah Smati Editor Catherine Soltero Editor

backpage Joey McGlone Editor Isaac Schultz Editor

business operations Tom Wang Advertising Manager Sara Lopez Marketing Manager Grace Earick Distribution Manager Sanvitti Sahdev Business Designer

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

video Clara Tian Editor

online Charlie Paul Web Editor Alice Liu Digital Content Editor *Editorial Board member

influence and peddle their beliefs. The fact that members often can’t talk about sex except to imply that it’s shameful is reflective of a damaging religious dogma and lack of healthy sexuality. Everyone at Rice should be happy and confident doing what they’re comfortable with, and no one should stand for the indignity of being subverted for valuing themselves. This includes members of the organization, among whom I count friends and role models. So Chi Alpha, as an organization, please at least do Rice students the courtesy of honesty: You think premarital sex and sexuality are shameful. You think our institution of higher learning and empiricism should be governed morally in the 21st century by your centuriesold religious tenets. You don’t respect us and are campaigning to convince our community that we shouldn’t respect ourselves, and if we don’t go your way, we’re going to hell. This letter has been consdensed for print. Read the full version online at Joshua Kaye Wiess 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



Mr. Hanszen

1 Mr. Baker



Mr. Duncan



Mr. Lovett

Mr. McMurtry


MR. RICE 2017


Enjoy this sneak peek at this year’s candidates for Mr. Rice. The event will be Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with proceeds donated to Camp Kesem Rice. Headshot photos courtesy of Sydney Garrett, Thomas Herring and Alison Drileck.

Mr. Wiess


7 Mr. Jones


Mr. Brown


JAMES WARNER sophomore

Major: Statistics. Why? He says he “just can’t explain.” On campus: He’s a part of the Apollos, Kinda Sketchy, the Black Male Leadership Initiative, the Rice University Biosciences Society, the Student Philanthropy Committee, Rice DataSci Club and the Student Admissions Council. Talent: “Interactive tango” and b-boying.


Photo Courtesy: Angie Vertti

DAVIS NELSON sophomore

Major: Mathematical economic analysis. Why? He’s interesting in banking and financial modeling. On campus: He’s the captain of the men’s club lacrosse team, an analyst for Rice Finance, a Peer Academic Advisor, a tour guide and a member of Rice Chi Alpha. Talent: Juggling while hoverboarding on stage.


Photo Courtesy: Rodrigo Trujillo



Mr. Sid


Major: Bioengineering. Why? He’s more interested in computer science, but is staying with the BIOE major because of close friendships he has formed with other BIOEs. On campus: He’s the secretary of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a peer coach with the Doerr Institute and improvement head at Duncan. Talent: Singing because he has “the voice of Celine Dion.” Photo Courtesy: Andy Zhang


NICK GE senior

Major: Cognitive sciences. Why? He’s pre-med. On campus: He’s president of the Rice Beatbox Club and the a capella group The Apollos. Talent: Beatboxing. Photo Courtesy: Ana Paula Pinto




Major: Mechanical engineering. Why? He did well in physics and math in high school, and so he thought “why not do some engineering?” On campus: “None really.” Talent: He did a four-way lap dance to the “ChaCha Slide.” Photo Courtesy: Anson Tong


Major: Cognitive sciences. Why? He’s interested in psychology and neuroscience, and he’s “extremely pre-med.” On campus: He’s involved in Camp Kesem Rice, the Baylor Patient Discharge Initiative, the Blanket Tax Committee and the competitive Bollywood dance team Rice Riyaaz. Talent: Dancing. Photo Courtesy: Nicolas Terrazas

10 Mr. Will Rice



Major: Biochemistry. Why? He’s always been fascinated by “the most complicated biological machine on Earth: humans!” On campus: He’s a Hanszen Rice Health Advisor, an Old Section justice, and is on the Hanszen College Night, Spirit and Kitchen Committees. Talent: “You’ll see on [Wednesday].”


Photo Courtesy: Jordan Pflum

DANIEL KOH sophomore

Major: English. Why? Because he likes to “get lit with lit[erature] and get learnt before [he] gets turnt.” On campus: He’s a Student Association senator and is involved with the Rice University Navigators and Camp Kesem Rice. Talent: He sang “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” in a dress and “very high” heels.


Photo Courtesy: Terrence Liu


Major: Computational and applied math and mathematical economic analysis. Why? He wants to go to graduate school for economics. On campus: He’s an employee at Rice Coffeehouse, a member of the Rice Journal of Public Policy and Martel treasurer. Talent: He made popcorn without setting off the fire alarm, turned off the Martel speakers during quiet hours, and refilled a printer. Photo Courtesy: Clair Hopper


11 Mr. Martel


Major: Anthropology, with a focus in archaeology. Why? He loves being on archaeology project sites and the theoretical discussions in the field. On campus: He’s the president of the Rice Urban Agriculture Club and a member of the Rice Climbing Club. Talent: He rapped “Cabinet Meeting #1” from the Hamilton soundtrack. Photo Courtesy: John Rudd



Major: Computational and applied math and cognitive science. Why? He’s interested in artificial intelligence and “how people think and work.” On campus: He’s involved with the Student Association, the Rice Program Council, intramural sports and powderpuff coaching. Talent: He sang an Ed Sheeran-Bruno Mars mashup. Photo Courtesy: Terrence Liu






Where can one buy empty Franzia bags, find copious quantities of leftover breakfast pastries, share memes about Beer Bike and find people to split an Uber? Facebook, of course. From political pages to college Facebook groups to marketplaces dedicated to selling objects and sharing Ubers, Rice students use Facebook to change their profile pictures for Beer Bike, advertise events, comment on articles and keep up with friends. Duncan College sophomore Juliette Turner said she has had a Facebook since sixth grade and uses it primarily for business purposes and to keep up with friends. Unlike her friends from middle and high school, who often use Facebook to post updates about their daily lives, Turner said Rice students use Facebook for a “healthy mix” of memes and more intellectual conversation. Although her digital friends use Facebook to post pictures, she thinks more of this type of sharing happens on Instagram and Snapchat.

If you don’t have a Facebook, you’re not going to know what’s going on. Juliette Turner Duncan College Sophomore ILLUSTRATION BY ESTHER TANG


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“I feel like Facebook is more like a bulletin board now,” she said. Sid Richardson College senior Luis Zelaya said Facebook is important for both publicity and entertainment. “Club events are a huge part of Facebook culture,” he said. “And individuals use it for wasting time.” Zelaya often uses Facebook to post funny thoughts, motivational quotes and memes, which have become well-known across Rice and sometimes generate hundreds of likes. One of his memes, which he said was intended to honor his favorite economics professor, featured “da penny, da quarter and DeNicco” with a picture of each coin. While Zelaya said that Facebook has facilitated his meme-sharing, he thinks he would still create memes and post them on a different platform, like Twitter, if Facebook did not exist. Zelaya said it is nice to have a funny or positive message mixed into the enormous content that passes his Facebook feed. “Facebook is more formal than Instagram or Snapchat,” Zelaya said. “[It] can breed actual discussion, with Thresher articles in particular.” One recent article, Evening of Elegance Attendance Surpasses NOD for First Time, generated over 150 comments in the Facebook group “Let’s be honest: we can’t get a million fans for Rice University.” Discussion ranged from the role of Chi Alpha on campus to memories of alumni’s NOD experiences. “I suspect quite a few of the Chi Alpha types followed Jesus right across the street to NOD after the Elegance wore off,” one user commented. Since Facebook puts a screen between people and eliminates the role of body language, Zelaya said people have to be more careful with their tone and word choice to make sure they do not offend people. In his view, Rice students are generally thoughtful and able to have productive conversations. On the other hand, Duncan College magister Brandy McDaniel said that she does not see a whole lot of Facebook discussion among Rice students. Some students do want to have debates, and while McDaniel said she sees different viewpoints, the discussions that happen in her Facebook feed tend to be more defensive or ideological. In the six years she has lived on campus, she has noticed a decline in Facebook usage.

“It’s become less effective of a way to advertise events because it seems like students are on Facebook less,” she said. In particular, she said this year’s freshman class at Duncan does not use Facebook much. Jack White, McMurtry College freshman, rarely uses his Facebook, checking it once every few weeks “for maybe 10 minutes.” White said he has never really been interested in Facebook, and when he does check his Facebook, it is mostly in regards to events in the McMurtry College group. Even without checking Facebook, White hears about events through word of mouth or flyers. “For most things at Rice, there are enough flyers and information and just people talking about it,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything.” Aside from a few group messages on Facebook Messenger, White has not felt the need to use Facebook more since coming to Rice. Duncan sophomore Rebecca Artall thinks the opposite. “Everything happens on Facebook,” Artall said. She did not have Facebook before coming to Rice but made one a few weeks into her freshman year because she felt like she needed it to know what was happening on campus and at Duncan. “I can feel it lowering my quality of life, but I’m already addicted to it so I don’t know if I can do much about it,” Artall said. Turner also said that Facebook can be a distraction. She also thinks it can be unhealthy to combine work and relaxation. “I think we need time to be away from work and school,” she said. “When you’re trying to do something on social media that’s relaxing, to have work keep popping up and distracting you from that relaxation point just keeps our minds on.” White thinks Facebook is the dominant form of social media on campus and that most Rice students use Facebook more than he does, but from what he has seen, it is not a huge part of people’s lives. Conversely, Turner feels Facebook is necessary. Although she temporarily deleted the Facebook app from her phone so that she would not get distracted by Facebook as easily, she felt she missed out on everything happening on campus. “If you don’t have a Facebook, you’re not going to know what’s going on,” she said. Because it is hard to get people to read or engage with their emails, Turner said the Student Association primarily uses Facebook for their publicity. While Facebook generates a higher response rate than other forms of online communication, Turner said it is still hard to get people to engage with the content presented on their Facebook feeds. “You have a really short time frame to capture someone’s attention,” she said. “It’s more of an ‘I’m scrolling through and I have three seconds to notice something.’” When all SA members changed their profile photos on Oct. 4 for the 100 Ideas Campaign, for example, Turner thought that many Rice students had noticed the posts but neglected to follow up on the goals of the campaign by clicking on the photos to learn more. McDaniel has noticed similarly passive Facebook usage among Rice students. She thinks publicizing events on Facebook is most effective just before events begin because the posts can capture the attention of students who are currently on Facebook and already procrastinating. “They aren’t going to see [an event] and mark it on their calendar if the event is in five days,” she said. Because she has only a personal account, McDaniel said the Duncan magisters always send an email for every event. “I don’t think a student should have to friend me on Facebook to know what’s going on,” she said. “And I don’t friend any student unless they friend me first. I just feel like that’s a boundary they shouldn’t have to feel obligated to let me in their life that way.”




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ARTS entertainment



‘Sacred Deer’ demands sacrifice from its characters and audience MADDIE FLAVIN THRESHER STAFF / MF37@RICE.EDU

SACRED DEER Episode length: 121 minutes Rating: R Genre: Mystery/Thriller

vidya giri / thresher

Against a black screen, operatic music swells. Then, in a flash, a graphic and lengthy close-up of open-heart surgery consumes the screen. This shocking scene warns viewers from the start that “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is not for the queasy. In this psychological horror revenge story, director Yorgos Lanthimos transplants the nerve-shredding premises of ancient Greek tragedy into the 21st century to tell a discomforting story of the futility of control and the perils of denial.


Coffeehouse to add student exhibition space with ‘Espresso Yourself: Art’ LENNA MENDOZA A&E EDITOR / LMM10@RICE.EDU

Perhaps the words “Rice Coffeehouse” conjure the image of a steamed milk heart or leaf in your head. This semester, Coffeehouse aims to bring you art beyond your latte with the expansion of performance series “Espresso Yourself.” While visual art is not new to the space, “Espresso Yourself: Art” will restructure this facet of the student-run business. “Art has been in Coffeehouse kind of informally for a long time,” Wiess College junior and “Espresso Yourself” organizer Ilana Nyveen said. “But it’s just been ‘Oh, this person who works at Coffeehouse has art’ or ‘[Someone who] knows someone else got in touch with us and wanted to put art up.’” “Espresso Yourself: Art” will run on a semesterly exhibition cycle. Any undergraduate artist can submit pieces via an online form, and submissions for the spring semester close this Friday, Nov. 10. The initiative was in part inspired by consideration of Coffeehouse’s role in student life, as well as the state of student art at Rice more broadly. “We’re in the unique position where a lot of people come through everyday so anything that we put on the walls would be


super visible,” Martel College junior Clair Hopper and former publicity and marketing manager for Coffeehouse, said. “[The idea] also coincided with all of the flack the university had been getting with opening the Moody Center and not allowing students to visibly display their art there, and the

[‘Espresso Yourself’ is] never going to be a concert or a gallery exhibit but it doesn’t really need to be. It’s about Coffeehouse not just being this passive space that we use, but really making the space our own. Ilana Nyveen ‘Espresso Yourself’ Organizer Rice Gallery closing, and the Matchbox and the Emergency Room being so small. So we decided to kind of institutionalize making our centrally-located and very visible space available for artists to display their work.”

Although being a central location means a lot of exposure for these works, Coffeehouse is certainly not logistically ideal for displaying artwork, according to Hopper. Hopper said this became clear during the summer pilot of what is now “Espresso Yourself: Art.” “With the realities of not only our walls but also the fact that people are going to be sitting down in front of the art, people are going to be standing, walking with their open cups of coffee near the art. There’s just lots of logisitical questions that need to be answered that we’re still working out, but this first round is very instructive in just the logistics of the physical realities of the space,” Hopper said. Still, these difficulties don’t trouble the organizers. For them, “Espresso Yourself: Art” feels like an extension of Coffeehouse’s role in campus life. “[‘Espresso Yourself’ is] never going to be a concert or a gallery exhibit but it doesn’t really need to be. It’s about Coffeehouse not just being this passive space that we use, but really making the space our own,” Nyveen said. “One of the reasons that I applied to work at Coffeehouse is because of that feature of it — the fact that it’s more than just a cafe, that it’s a community space.”

The power of ‘Sacred Deer’ is only possible thanks to fantastic performances from the star-studded cast. As Steven, Colin Farrell is one of the most narcissistic, dishonest control freak fathers ever put on film. Steven Murphy is a heart surgeon with a successful career, a big house, an ophthalmologist wife, Anna, and two high-achieving children, Kim and Bob. For the past six months, he’s been spending time with Martin, an off-kilter teenager in need of a father figure. The relationship is strange, but Steven appears to have it under control. Then, one morning, Bob wakes up with paralyzed legs. The doctors can’t find a cause or a cure. But since Martin created this curse, he knows the cause and controls the outcome. Since his father died on the operating table under Steven’s watch, Martin feels it’s only fitting that Steven, as a father, makes a “Sophie’s Choice” as penance for his sins. Steven must choose whom of his blood to kill — Anna, Kim or Bob. If Steven can’t choose, the three of them will display increasingly alarming symptoms that will ultimately result in death. The power of “Sacred Deer” is only possible thanks to fantastic performances





Opening this weekend, “Or,” is a raunchy farce about the life of female Restoration playwright Aphra Behn. The show runs this and next weekend, Thursday through Saturday. Shows begin at 8 p.m. and tickets are $5 for students.

One of a series of student exhibitions, “Nancy the Riveter” explores the feminist themes of Depression-era illustration and photography. The event is this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and is free.

This Thursday through Sunday, check out one of a collection of films and other cinema art pieces. Several are being screened in the Rice Media Center and are $10-15 for an individual viewing or $99 for unlimited weekend access.

Hamman Hall

Matchbox Gallery Sewell Hall Room 258

This Saturday at 1:00 p.m., head to the Lawndale Art Center for the annual Zine Fest. Featuring over 100+ vendors, Zine Fest Houston 2017 will focus on the digital future and feature zine and animation workshops, podcast recordings, and food trucks. The event is free.


Various Locations

Lawndale Art Center 4912 Main St





courtesy go gaurded

In a phrase: Go, but guarded Where to find it:

The mere act of running the inner loop already puts an individual in danger of spontaneous death (or is that just me?). Combine this with the sun setting an hour earlier, and you may second guess your evening jogs. Go Guarded has created an easy to use, easy to carry self-defense mechanism for runners. The device resembles a ring, and is easy to wear and use. From its front protrudes a sharp, jagged plastic spike meant to aid you should an assailant attack. The makers champion it as the best product on the market as it requires no retrieval and cannot be knocked out from your hand. At only $13, Go Guarded is an affordable “solution” to being a woman in a world where attack is an all too regular occurrence.

FASHION: Astros Gear



Annual late-semester mess


Traumatic election night flashbacks

courtesy mlb shop


courtesy npr

In a phrase: Wait, are you even from Houston...? Where to find it: I don’t even know or care. What sport is this for again?

In a phrase: Merry Christmess Where to find it: In your backpack, under the bed, in your bathroom

In a phrase: Has it really only been 365 days? Where to find it: Your nightmares

Your laundry hamper is overflowing. In an act of ultimate desperation, you’ve taken to wearing your NOD lingerie. Solo cups and suspicious stains have finally gone from “Yeah, I have fun on the weekends” to really gross. Several Thresher issues litter the ground, shielding the public from particularly affronting stains. Your roommate has either joined you in your state of filth or has given up on passive aggressively kicking your underwear onto your side of the room. The holidays approach and your stress is at an all time high, so of course you cannot possibly spare one minute (much less the hour it would realistically take) to clean your room. You come to terms with your new quality of life and purchase a new bottle of Febreze. Happy spraying.

That’s right, folks; it’s officially the one year anniversary of the Night That Must Not Be Repeated. Red hats, Twitter, and our nation’s standards were forever changed that night, and tonight marks the end of the first quarter of T***p’s term. I include this in today’s issue not to depress you (but it should), but to genuinely remind those of us who cannot remember the events of that night to solve the mystery of your weird ghost hangover. Donate money to a worthy cause, play castrate the sexual offender (like pin the tail on the donkey but with scissors and a different kind of ass), or work yourself to oblivion. Whatever your plans, know that they can’t be any more depressing than Hillary Clinton’s (or the countless affected by legislative bigotry).

The window is rapidly closing, so for those that have developed a sudden interest in Houston and/or baseball following the World series, you’d better get your fan gear while it’s relevant. Orange is an amazingly flattering color and jersey fabric is the exact aesthetic you’ve been looking for to match with your one pair of basketball shorts/ leggings. If you took offense to these remarks and feel the urge to tell me all about how your baby blanket was Astros themed and that you’ve been a die-hard fan since the age of two, I really don’t care. A cap, some booty shorts, a codpiece, I expect to see a wide variety of merchandise gracing Rice’s fashionable fall trends.

DEER FROM PAGE 10 from the star-studded cast. As Steven, Colin Farrell is one of the most narcissistic, dishonest, control freak fathers ever put on film. Steven is an irritating, pathetic character, but in his mind, he is never at fault and always the most important. Nicole Kidman continues her fiery comeback year in the role of Anna. Steven’s equal in running the household, Anna has high expectations of her family, encouraging hard work and personal responsibility. What makes the character fascinating is how level-headed, realistic and even merciful she is in the midst of Martin’s curse. Unlike Steven, she realizes the deep hole they’re all in. She doesn’t want to irritate the situation further, as she’s aware of the curse’s inevitable outcome. Rising star Barry Keoghan shows his range as Martin, a psychopath who relishes his mission of cutting Steven down to size. With a monotonous voice, electric blue eyes and an unsettling poker face, Martin is a terrifying hellion who lays out his terms and conditions, then makes himself an observer of its resulting insanity. Raffey Cassidy is lovely as 14-year-old Kim, a restless music lover who delivers a haunting a capella rendition of Ellie Goulding’s celebration song “Burn” early on in the film. Alicia Silverstone is


a riot in her brief appearance as Martin’s lovesick widowed mother, which includes her awkwardly sucking Steven’s hand and insisting to him, “I won’t let you leave until you try my tart.” Lanthimos’ screenplay, co-written with Efthymis Filippou, refuses to provide any initial backstory to the characters, encouraging the audience to keep watch for clues. The actors deliver their dialogue in a deadpan, matter-of-fact format designed to evoke both unease and rapt attention. Thimios Bakatakis’ cinematography pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” with its unsettling gliding through the hallways of the hospital, as does the score, whose selections call to mind horror classic’s grinding, shrieking style. “Live or die. Make your choice.” While that iconic quotation originated in 2004’s “Saw,” it applies disturbingly well to “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” Both films depict characters making heartrending choices that require enormous sacrifice to appease a deitylike figure. A morality play that’s not afraid to get weird, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” takes great pleasure in mind-screwing its willing audience into frozen shock.

courtesy mubi






‘Thor: Ragnarok’ salvages weak plot with its humor MICHAEL VERMEULEN THRESHER STAFF / MAV6@RICE.EDU

THOR: RAGNAROK Episode length: 130 minutes Rating: PG-13 Genre: Fantasy/Sci Fi

Since its beginning with the release of “Iron Man” in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the highestgrossing franchise in film history. “Thor: Ragnarok,” the 17th film in the expansive series, mostly stays within the mold of the other successful movies: An entertaining comic adventure that lacks real drama but makes up for it with solid performances, wild action scenes and hilarious banter. The third installment in the “Thor” series, “Ragnarok” follows the titular character (Chris Hemsworth) as he attempts to escape imprisonment in a deadly gladiatorial contest and prevent Hela, the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett), from destroying his homeworld, Asgard, and taking over the cosmos. The film’s best quality is its sense of humor, aided in large part by very game actors. Much more overtly comedic than its predecessors, “Ragnarok” is heavily influenced by the zany style of its director Taika Waititi, whose works “What We Do in the Shadows” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” exhibit some of the most uproarious movie moments in recent years. “Ragnarok” is aware of its inherent ridiculousness, a quality

evident in Hemsworth’s performance as Thor. In prior appearances, the character was consistently one of the most serious. Now, he cracks wise in a way that would even make Tony Stark proud, brought to life through Hemsworth’s commendable comedic chops.

The filmmakers should have gone all the way to make an outright comedy rather than combine farcical humor with material that, if approached differently, could beget the most emotionally devastating story of all the Marvel movies. courtesy dark horizons

Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, continuing to excel as the charming trickster with whom audiences have fallen in love. Mark Ruffalo is delightful as Bruce Banner and especially the Hulk. For the first time in the franchise, the Hulk has the ability to speak full sentences, and the film takes advantage of this through the endlessly amusing verbal sparring between him and Thor. Memorably wacky additions to the series are Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, who, in unfortunately limited screen time, brightens the proceedings considerably, and Waititi himself as the soft-spoken revolutionary rockman Korg, easily the picture’s funniest character. The film somewhat falters in the mixing of its superb comedy with a

half-baked dramatic throughline. Cate Blanchett gives it her all in portraying the cartoonish villain Hela, as she tries to imbue her character with a level of fun that matches that of the heroes. However, even an actress of her caliber cannot salvage a rushed plot and hasty character-building. In addition, a few potentially moving scenes that would have better balanced the hilarity with needed emotion were undercut with unnecessary jokes. The filmmakers should have gone all the way to make an outright comedy rather than combine farcical humor with material that, if approached differently, could beget the most emotionally devastating story of all the Marvel movies. That’s not to say that none of the noncomedic elements work. Tessa Thompson

shines as the fearsome Valkyrie, possibly the most powerful female character in a Marvel film so far. Idris Elba as Heimdall has a significantly increased role from previous stints as the character, a welcome change for an actor with such gravitas. Many of the action sequences are thrilling and feel truly dangerous for the heroes. Overall, “Thor: Ragnarok” is a fun time at the movies that will be appreciated by fans of both the franchise and comedy in general. Though the plot does not have the dramatic heft that could push the film to greatness, the hysterical comedy excellently rectifies this misstep. All it tries to be is a supremely entertaining experience, and in that regard, it passes with flying colors.



Sophomore cornerback Justin Bickham and a teammate combine on a tackle during Rice’s 52-21 loss to the University of Alabama, Brimingham on Saturday. The loss, the Owls’ seventh in a row, dropped Rice to 1-8 on the season.

courtesy michael wade rice athletics


Turnovers and defensive lapses doom Rice SPENCER MOFFAT FOR THE THRESHER / SM114@RICE.EDU

The Rice offense has frequently let good defensive performances go to waste in conference play this season. But against the University of Alabama, Birmingham, it was the defense’s turn to let the game get out of hand. The Owls allowed six touchdowns on the way to a 52-21 loss that dropped Rice to 1-8 on the season and 1-4 in Conference USA. The Owls have now lost seven in a row. Sophomore defensive tackle Zach Abercrumbia said the defense’s play was frustrating. “From the jump, we just got hit in the mouth,” Abercrumbia said. “I feel like this was by far one of our worst games with the amount of rushing yards they had. We have to do better in allowing the secondary in the backfield to make plays.” The defense allowed 28 points before the offense got on the board early in the second quarter. After getting the ball on a handoff, junior running back Austin Walter

dodged defenders and ran all the way for a 70-yard touchdown. The Owls then ran a surprise onside kick and recovered, gaining possession around midfield. Unfortunately, freshman quarterback Miklo Smalls, who replaced starting freshman quarterback Sam Glaesmann in the first quarter, threw an interception on the next play. UAB returned it for a touchdown to go up 35-7. The Owls added two more second-half touchdowns but fell by 31 points, the fifth time this season they have lost by 30 or more. Rice gave up three turnovers in the game, and the defense did not force any turnovers. Head coach David Bailiff said Rice needs to get takeaways if it wants to start winning games. “I was really proud of how the guys fought back in the second half,” Bailiff said. “[But] we’re not going to win games till we start winning the turnover battle.” Smalls said he believes the Owls are talented enough to improve. “We always knew that we had the talent and we had the coaches [to win] and we have the players that can make big plays

happen,” Smalls said. “Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen most of the season.”

I feel like this was by far one of our worst games with the amount of rushing yards they had. Zach Abercrumbia Sophomore Defensive Tackle The Owls will look to win their first home game of the season as they face the University of Southern Mississippi on Nov. 11 at 2:30 p.m. Southern Miss is hoping to end its two-game losing streak and become bowl eligible with its sixth win; the Golden Eagles are 5-4 on the season. After they play the Golden Eagles on Nov. 11, the Owls will have two more games left on the schedule as they play Old Dominion University on Nov. 18 and the University of North Texas on Nov. 25.

Senior midfielder Samantha Chaiken said her celebration had to be more reserved. “[Freshman midfielder] Ashley Burgess put four exclamation points in our group chat,” Chaiken said. “I was sitting in my accounting class and I literally shed a tear. I was just casually looking at my phone in accounting which isn’t allowed, but I figured it was a special circumstance.” According to Walker, the team elected not to watch the selection show as a group because the players were concerned it would be especially disappointing to find out bad news together. The joy, Chaiken said, was an exuberant ending to what had been a difficult few days. “It was a topsy-turvy weekend,” Chaiken said. “It kind of makes you sick to your stomach just waiting and waiting and watching all of the rest of the tournaments play out.” Head coach Nicky Adams said the team earned its place in the NCAA tournament. “I am so happy for this program,” Adams said. “This team has put in so much hard work to get where we are. Obviously super disappointed with the conference tournament, but really excited that the committee saw our entire body of work and not just worried about one game.” This year is the first time Rice has made the NCAA tournament in three years. It is Rice’s fourth-ever appearance; the others came in 2004, 2005 and 2014. The Owls have never scored a goal in the tournament. Most recently, they were shut out 3-0 by the University of Texas, Austin in the first round in 2014. Five current Owls seniors, including Chaiken, played in that game as freshmen. Chaiken said the experience should help the seniors this time around. “We’ve been there before, so it’s nice to have that experience knowing exactly what’s going to happen,” she said. “Granted, it’s going to be like all our other road games so we have to treat it as such and make sure we come away with a [win].” Rice now turns its attention to Baylor. The Owls and the Bears tied 0-0 on Aug. 24 at Holloway Field in Rice’s third game of the season. Baylor outshot Rice 18-11 in the game, including 10-1 in the first half, but the Owls had the better chances in the second half and overtime. Chaiken, however, said she expects the Bears to look very different when they face off this time. “They probably have changed some things up and found themselves more,” Chaiken said. “I would say the same about our team. We’re going to watch some film and figure it out and move forward from there.” The team practiced Monday evening after learning its season would continue. It also practiced early on Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning. According to Adams, the team must focus on its approach in the days leading up to the tournament. “I think mentality is the number one thing,” Adams said. “We have really good, strong soccer players. We have to make sure our mentality matches our physicality.” Walker said the team is ready to play the underdog role in the tournament. “We’re playing for a lot but we’re also playing with nothing to lose,” Walker said. “Everyone’s going to see us as the underdog. That’s fine. We’re happy with that. [We have to be] confident, ready to go and excited.” Asked what she would consider a success, Walker said only one thing. “Winning,” Walker said. “Winning first round.” Rice will try to do just that on Friday at 7 p.m. in Waco, Texas. If the Owls win, they would face the winner of Eastern Washington University and the defending national champion, the University of Southern California.






Sophomore forward Robert Martin


First year head coach Scott Pera inherits an Owls squad which lost four starters to transfer this season, including leading scorer Marcus Evans and 47 percent 3-point shooter Egor Koulechov. Junior guard Connor Cashaw, who averaged 8.0 points in 26.1 minutes per game last season, is the lone returning starter for Rice. The Owls look to replace 82 percent of their total offense with sophomores Ako Adams, Robert Martin, Austin Meyer and Tim Harrison. Off the bench, Rice will rely on graduate transfer guard A.J. Lapray for an injection of 3-point sharpshooting.

last season’s record


11-07; 5th in Conference USA



A.J. Lapray

Najja Hunter

Lapray is a graduate transfer from Pepperdine University. Last season, he missed 18 games due to injury but averaged 2.9 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in 12.2 minutes. He will take on a bigger role at Rice and showcased his shooting ability in the preseason game by scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting including 4-of-5 3-point shooting.

Hunter was a three-star recruit according to ESPN and Rivals after averaging 12.0 points and 4.8 rebounds while leading his team to a 30-4 record. He played 23 minutes in the Owls preseason game, indicating Pera may be willing to play the freshman big minutes early on.


GUARD Evans transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University after leading the team in scoring and earning a place on the First Team All-Conference USA.

Chad Lott

Marcus Jackson

GUARD Jackson transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara after graduating from Rice with one year of eligibility remaining. He averaged 12.2 points per game last season.

Marquez Letcher-Ellis


Lott transferred to Howard University after his freshman year at Rice. During his freshman year, he put up 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds.


Letcher-Ellis transferred to the University of Nevada after his sophomore year. He averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

STAR PLAYER TO WATCH Head coach Scott Pera

Connor Cashaw

Despite many of his closest teammates transferring to other universities this season, Cashaw elected to play out his junior season as the captain of this year’s Owls squad. An excellent finisher and deadly mid-range shooter, Cashaw will surely handle the bulk of the scoring load this year after scoring in double-digits 10 times last season.







3 Ako Adams SOPHO




Friday (11/10) at 7 p.m. vs. Eastern Kentucky University at Tudor

10 Robert Martin LINEUP 30 Austin M eyer 0 Connor Cashaw SOPHO








left photo: frankie huang/thresher; right 3 photos: courtesy rice athletics


Egor Koulechov

GUARD Koulechov transferred to the University of Florida after graduating from Rice. He shot 47.4 percent from 3-point range and averaged 18.2 points per game.







Head coach Tina Langley

last season’s record


Rice women’s basketball finished last season with the program’s first-ever postseason tournament victory, winning the Women’s Basketball Invitational on its home floor. This year, the Owls have added talent through both transfers and freshman recruits. Head coach Tina Langley enters the season with high expectations: Rice is picked to finish fifth in Conference USA in the preseason poll, which would be the its highest finish since 2012. Langley and the Owls open the 2017-18 season this Friday at 4 p.m. at Grand Canyon University.

Senior guard Shani Rainey

Every year is a new year for us. We’ve got a lot of work to do as a team, we’ve got a lot of new people and they’ve got to get used to a new system. KEY ADDITIONS


INJURIES * All out for season.

Erica Ogwumike

Maya Hawkins

SOPHOMORE GUARD Ogwumike transferred to Rice last year after her freshman year at Pepperdine University and sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules. She earned a spot on the All-West Coast Conference First Team for her performance with the Waves, averaging 18.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

• Shani Rainey



Hawkins graduated as Rice’s all-time leader in three-point field goals and free throw percentage. She finished her career by winning the WBI MVP Award to lead Rice to the tournament title.


• Kendall Ellig


Jasmine Goodwine

Olivia Ogwumike

JUNIOR FORWARD Ogwumike transferred from Pepperdine alongside her sister and sat out last year due to NCAA transfer regulations. In 16 games her sophomore season, she averaged 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds and played 23.4 minutes per game.


Goodwine finished her career 10th all time on the Rice scoring list and eighth all-time in made field goals. During her senior year, she earned a spot on the All-C-USA Second Team her senior year and was also named to the First-Team All-WBI.

We’ve had some team bonding and they fit right in. We’re really excited to have them and see how they can produce on and off the court.


Friday (11/10) at 4 p.m. at Grand Canyon University

Junior guard Lauren Grigsby

P U E N I L G N I T R A T S 10 D

-Senior guard Wendy Knight regarding new players

E T C E J 13 PRO 5

gsby i r G n LaurReGUARD JUNIO

e wumik



ight n K y d Wen ARD R SENIO

marco e d a I e Nicol ORWARD JUNIOR


30 O

umike w g O livia D





left 3 photos: courtesy rice athletics; right 2 photos: sean chu/thresher





So you bought your Esperanza ticket before you realized your significant other is going with their significant other. Don’t be discouraged! Against the better judgement of some of Rice’s top SWGS researchers, we at the Backpage have developed a quick, scientifically unproven way to help you round all four bases at Minute Maid this Saturday. Just cut and fill out the form below, pin it to your chest, and keep your eyes peeled for other hopefuls at the dance! Bobby pins not included. Success not guaranteed.

Set your preferences I am looking for a: Female Male Both Either Any Other:_________

My dream* (A.N.U.S) has _______ hair. Blonde Brunette Black No Beer Bike Not red Real fucked up

I’m looking for a: Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Not-freshman Minute Maid taffer My dream* (Answer Noted in Uppermost Selection)’s hobbies include: Volunteering Sports (this includes videogames, right?) Hanging out with friends Doing homework instead of hanging out with friends Doing homework because they have no friends The MOB Art Other: _______ My (A.N.U.S)’s professional aspirations are (select all that apply): Consulting Mr. Rice Pre-med Consulting A tech conglomerate Grad school, then consulting My dream date is __________! Frolicking in a field Strolling by the beach Doin’ some drugs and looking at the stars Going to a college dance at a baseball park

What does “Starlight Starbright” mean to me? I’m out 20 bucks. A night full of wonder, magic, and I’ve heard there’s even a chocolate fountain. OooWeeee! A perennial migration of Rice students to the off campus. I’m out 40 bucks, because my original date said no. My (A.N.U.S.) thinks SPAM is: Delicious Gross My (A.N.U.S.) appreciates ________. Breathing room Constant attention Holding nothing back Jamming A high-fiber diet Occasional probing

*** “Dream” of course refers not to “the one,” your true love, or your soulmate, but rather the other half of your hook-up. After all, “Esperanza” means “hope,” that unrequited emotional device you use to convince yourself that the world will become a better place. May as well have a quick fuck-and-duck while you can, and try and ignore the fact that you have to endure ~five more decades of stress, loveless marriage, ungracious kids and shitty waiters.

The Backpage is satire and written by Joey McGlone and Isaac Schultz. For comments or questions, please email


TEACH FOR TESTMASTERS! Dynamic and Energetic teachers wanted. Starting pay rate is $20 to $32 per hour. Flexible schedules. We provide all training, all training is paid, and we pay for travel. Email your resume to RICE ALUM HIRING tutors for Middle & High School Math, Natural & Social Sciences, Foreign Language, Humanities, and SAT/ACT prep. Reliable transportation required. Pay is based upon variety of factors. Contact 832428-8330 and email resume to sri.iyengar@


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The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, November 8, 2017