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SAD REACTS ONLY Technology companies don’t deserve idolization

TRIED AND KTRU KTRU offers outlet for nontraditional radio music

COME HERE OFTEN? Students share why they attended Rice football’s homecoming game




Crunching numbers The proposed plan would include waived tuition in taxable income, reduce tax brackets from seven to four, increase the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 and get rid of personal exemptions.


GOP tax plan raises graduate student concerns

Here’s how it breaks down*: Total Income: Standard Deduction: Personal Exemptions: Taxable Income: Annual Tax Owed:

Current Tax Plan $31,732 $6,350 $4,050 $21,332 $2,775


Rice courses available for free on Coursera and EdX

House Tax Plan $76,632 $12,000 $0 $64,632 $10,404


$7,629 increase

Rice hopped on the online course bandwagon a few years ago, and the courses continue to be popular today. Massive open online courses (called MOOCs) were drawing in hundreds of thousands of students eager to access courses for free. The Rice administration began posting calls for professors to teach these online courses.

annual tax under current tax plan annual tax under proposed House tax plan

12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0

BIOC +$7,629

ENGL +$7,142

PSYCH +$7,166

BIOE +$7,617

BUSI +$7,327

*Calculated using a $30,000 stipend, typical of a graduate student in biochemistry at Rice. Total income includes $1,732 health insurance stipend provided by Rice and $44,900 full tuition waiver provided to many graduate students ($43,220 for graduate students in business). Calculation assumes single household with no dependents. Actual numbers vary, as students often receive external funding in addition to their stipends. All stipend and tuition information taken from graduate departments at Rice and cashier pricing. infographic by christina tan


The Republican Party’s proposed tax plan threatens graduate students and university endowments, according to statements made by the American Council on Education and Association of American Universities and supported by Rice University. The House’s proposed tax plan, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, would repeal previous provisions that excluded tuition waivers and tuition exemptions from taxable income for graduate students, according to the ACE. Chance Tarver, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student, said he would lose his ability to live just off his stipend. “If this bill passes, I may have to

quit pursuing my degree whenever it goes into effect,” Tarver said. “I will no longer be able to live off of my stipend since I will be taxed as if my income was double what it actually is.”

My standard of living would fall to the federal poverty line effectively. Chris Ellison Graduate Student Chris Ellison, a history graduate student, said that he would not be able to financially support himself if he had to pay income tax on tuition waivers.

“I might be keeping half of what I make now,” Ellison said. “My standard of living would fall to the federal poverty line effectively.” Erik Weaver, a physics and astronomy graduate student, said he is against classifying tuition waivers as taxable income because it is money that he never gets to see. “Given Rice’s fairly high tuition, this increases the amount of taxes a Rice graduate student would pay by almost a factor of five,” Weaver said. “To me, this is especially unfair, since the tuition that we pay is provided either by working for the university or by research grants.” George Zodrow, professor of economics and Public Finance Scholar at the Baker Institute, said the bill would hamper highereducation advancement.

“The House proposals go in the opposite direction [of advancing higher-education], curtailing several education credits, eliminating the deductions for student loan interest and the exemption of certain employerfunded tuition payments, and making tuition waivers taxable to graduate students,” Zodrow said. Katherine Shoemaker, a statistics graduate student, said she left a well-paying job to pursue graduate studies, but her decision would have much been harder if she had known about this tax bill. “I have to believe that Rice would do something about it, perhaps reducing tuition to nearzero rates for students working for the university, or something along those lines,” Shoemaker said. “If this does go through, the best case

A [massive open online course] is really for someone who’s interested and self-motivated in learning a topic. Scott Rixner Computer Science Professor “Back in 2012, MOOCs had a lot of hype as being one of the next great sources of educational breaks or educational opportunities,” Scott Rixner, a Rice professor who teaches online computer science courses via Coursera, said. “I think Rice felt that it was important to at least explore what was going on and be involved at least a little bit before they made some decisions about whether or not they should have greater involvement in this or not.”




Survey of All Students shows student support for LEAP proposal CAMERON WALLACE ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR / CFW2@RICE.EDU

A majority of students support the the Student Association’s Lifetime Enrichment Activities Program proposal to replace the Lifetime Physical Achievement Program requirement, according to the results of the 2017 Survey of All Students. The data presented at the SA meeting on Monday along with the introduction of the LEAP legislation showed that the 92 percent of the student body that answered the question supported the proposal by a margin of 63.09 to 31.19 percent. “I wasn’t surprised that so many students supported it,” SA President Justin Onwenu said. “Supporting it does not restrict students at all. It does the opposite; it gives them more freedom, so even if this passed, it would not hurt people who like the LPAP.”

The data were also broken down by college. Most colleges had over 50 percent approval, with the exception of Baker College, where SA Senator John Michael Austin sent a mass email opposing the proposal and the creation process earlier in the semester. Baker had 42.7 percent approval, 15.5 percent less than the next lowest college. Austin, a junior, said the questions on the SAS were not an accurate portrayal of student interests, because they did not allow for alternate viewpoints. “The questions on the SAS didn’t include the explicit option of maintaining the LPAP requirement while also creating these new classes, which I would have liked to have seen and is something Baker supports,” Austin said. If enacted, the proposal would expand the LPAP requirement to include a broader range of cours-

es. Opponents of the program have said that it would take away from the health education aspect of LPAP, while supporters have said that the program would contribute to Rice’s academic excellence. Onwenu said he was somewhat surprised by so much controversy. At the end of Monday’s Senate, Senator Ariana Engles interrupted the motion to adjourn, stating that she was unable to voice her opinion during regular meeting time. “I hope that [the executive team], as a team of fine individuals representing the entire Rice student body, consider this data as well, and then try to accurately reflect what the student body feels,” Engles, a Lovett College sophomore, said. Senate will vote on the proposal next week. If it passes, the Committee on Undergraduate Education will refine it and the Faculty Senate will decide on its implementation.










SID 19%


VOTED AGAINST infographic by sydney garrett



Saturday dinners to become permanent part of dining options

A student stays in for Saturday evening for dinner at North Servery after Housing and Dining implemented Saturday dinners at the beginning of this semester. jennifer wang/thresher


Saturday dinners are here to stay, according to Housing and Dining Senior Business Director David McDonald. North and Seibel serveries have each averaged 400 swipes a Saturday dinner since the start of the semester when they were implemented, McDonald said. McDonald said the number of swipes has been consistent with his expectations. “For 800 people to come, that’s a good representative number of the population,”

McDonald said. “That’s a big number.” For comparison, H&D typically serves around 2,000 dinners each day Monday through Thursday and Sunday, according to McDonald. Friday looks more like Saturday at 800, McDonald said. This is the first year that H&D included Saturday dinners as part of its full oncampus meal plan. According to McDonald, overcrowding due to a larger-than-expected enrollment this year offset the financial costs of adding another meal to the plan. Regardless of enrollment in the future, McDonald said the meal plan will continue to

include Saturday dinners and the cost of meal plans will not increase any more than the already expected 1-3 percent annual increases. “Any meal plan increase at this point will be a standard incremental increase to cover standard inflation costs of doing business,” McDonald said. Paper plates and cups have helped keep costs of Saturday dinners down because the incremental cost of paper is less than the incremental costs of agency labor in the dish room, McDonald said. “We frown upon paper as much as possible, but as an interim experiment, we think it was a good try,” McDonald said. “That may change for next year though.” The increase in the number of off-campus meal plans this year has also helped make Saturday dinners financially sustainable, McDonald said. According to McDonald, a number of factors, including the source and cost of ingredients and menu design, will keep the meal plans financially sustainable in future years. Looking forward, McDonald said that based on this year’s data, he does not expect an increase in the number of participants in Saturday dinners next year. However, he said that H&D has a plan to accommodate potential future increases. “We have a plan in place if we have to open a third or fourth servery, [but] we haven’t had to get there yet,” McDonald said. Hannah Todd worked last year with H&D on a pilot of Saturday dinners paid for with Tetra as Student Association external vice president. She said the current Saturday dinners increase low income accessibility.

“I think we have tapped into an unmet need on campus and are moving to make Rice as accessible as possible to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds,” Todd, a Wiess College senior, said. SA President Justin Onwenu said Saturday dinners have met the SA’s accessibility goals. McMurtry College freshman Amy Mu said she appreciates that Saturday dinners are part of the meal plan. “I don’t always feel comfortable having to spend money on transportation and outside restaurants,” Mu said. “It feels more reassuring that the university provides these options for students who don’t necessarily have the resources to go out and eat all the time.” Wiess College junior Talia Kramer said she is unsure whether they are the best solution. “In my opinion, I think the integration of Rice students with the Houston community outweighs the benefits of free Saturday dinner,” Kramer said. “Saturday dinner costs can always be avoided as well by simply saving food from the servery from lunch.” McDonald said Saturday dinners have been a good way to increase accessibility to low-income students. “The continued narrative around folks who may not be able to afford to go off campus has been a big topic at the university for several years now, and this is a good way to help accommodate that,” McDonald said. McDonald also said the addition of Saturday dinners helps athletes with tight schedules as well. “We feel this is solving a lot of problems,” McDonald said. “It’s taken a while. [But] I’m really glad to have gotten this off the ground.”





Student placed on involuntary medical leave seeks to return EMILY ABDOW NEWS EDITOR / ESA2@RICE.EDU

Rice University freshman Michael Lu said he is speaking with attorneys after he spent 12 days in the hospital for psychiatric symptoms, leading the Dean of Undergraduates’ office to temporarily withdraw him from Rice and recommend he take at least a year off. University officials were unable to comment on Lu’s specific case under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. In a video he posted to Facebook on Oct. 30, which has been viewed more than 3000 times and shared more than 50 times, Lu alleged Rice “jailed” him by placing him in the hospital. Lu, who studied piano performance, said Student Health Services prescribed him medicine for his asthma after Hurricane Harvey, and that the medicine caused him to develop bipolar mania. According to Lu, several doctors have said he is ready to resume his studies, but Rice will not yet allow him to return. “It was very traumatizing to me, this whole experience,” Lu, a McMurtry College freshman, said. “In my whole life I’ve never had something like this.” According to Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson, who said he could comment on mental health cases in general, around 50 to 60 students voluntarily take a medical withdrawal from Rice each year for mental health reasons. In very rare cases, Hutchinson said, he may withdraw a student against their will with the advice of medical professionals. Hutchinson said Rice has not had legal actions brought against it relating to mental health issues. “I don't want my students to think, 'If I tell someone that I'm thinking that I might hurt myself then they will kick me out of school,’” Hutchinson said. “That does not happen.”

DIAGNOSIS After Hurricane Harvey, Lu said the asthma he has had since the age of six got so severe he needed to use an inhaler at least once an hour to keep breathing. Lu said he had to wait for treatment until Student Health Services reopened after Labor Day. Then, he said Dr. LeCresha Peters prescribed prednisone and within two days of taking the drug he could not sleep. Lu said Health Services provided him a list of side effects and he had a bad experience with the drugs four years earlier. After calling his father, Lu said he decided to cut the dose of prednisone in half but still struggled to fall asleep before 4 a..m. Lu said he emailed his professors about his health and was referred to talk to someone in the counseling center. He said he also revisited the health center and was given Benadryl before he flew home to St. Louis for fall recess. On Oct. 10, Lu said he returned to Rice for a studio class that night. On the plane, he said he had a headache so he took Tylenol and twice the maximum dose of Benadryl. Lu said he was able to perform in his studio class, but that same night he was still unable to sleep. He emailed his professors saying he would need to take time off but went to class the next day. “The next morning I went to a piano lesson and I remember feeling bad about the last night and I did cry,” Lu said. “But after the lesson I felt like I could go to my 11 a.m. class.” Instead, Lu said Gary Smith, associate dean of the Shepherd School of Music, walked Lu to the Student Wellbeing Office where he filled out a questionnaire that indicated he had symptoms of hypermania. Hutchinson said all new faculty at Rice are trained on how to connect students with Rice’s available mental health resources, which can include walking students to the Wellbeing Office.

HOSPITALIZATION Lu said he was admitted to the emergency room at Methodist Hospital on Oct. 11, then the next day, to the psychiatric ward and diagnosed with prednisone-caused bipolar mania. That same day, Oct. 12, an advisor with the Student Wellbeing Office, sent Lu a letter stating that at the current time, Rice would not change Lu’s enrolled status for the fall semester. Curtis Henry, the advisor, asked in the letter than Lu talk to staff members in the Wellbeing and Counseling Center before returning to campus. “[Students] leave with a letter that is the roadmap back to Rice,” Donald Ostdiek, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, said. “These are very detailed very specific letters that almost can sound harsh [due to their specificity] because

these are times when people are in crisis and they need to hear exactly what you're saying.” Hutchinson said when a student experiences an acute episode, Rice may recommend immediate assessment at a neighboring hospital. This year, out of the 16 students who have been hospitalized, 14 returned immediately to Rice, according to Ostdiek, which is a sign more students are choosing to stay at Rice after experiencing mental health issues. The next day, Neva Young, whose LinkedIn profile says she is a pyschotherapist, filed an Application for Temporary Mental Health Services for Lu with the county clerk. The same day, a judge signed an order of protective custody allowing Lu to be held at Methodist Hospital for treatment.


Michael Lu, a McMurtry College freshman, recounts the circumstances leading to his involuntary medical withdrawal in a video he posted to Facebook on Oct. 30. courtesy michael lu facebook





William Akers, biomedical pioneer and professor emeritus, passes ANNA TA NEWS EDITOR / AXT1@RICE.EDU

William Akers, professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering and co-developer of the first artificial heart, passed away Nov. 5 at age 94 and is survived by two daughters. Akers began at Rice University as an assistant professor in chemical engineering and married his wife Nancy, who passed in 2016, in 1947. While teaching, he served as the chair of chemical engineering from 1955 to 1965 and later in various administrative roles in the 1970s before retiring in 1993. In 1994, the William W. Akers Chair and Professorship was established, according to an obituary published by Rice News. Walter Chapman, who currently holds the chaired professorship, a position permanently paid for by an endowment gifted by Henry Jackson (Hanszen ’37) for that purpose, said Akers loved teaching chemical engineering design and challenging students. “Bill Akers loved Rice,” Chapman said. “He was a mentor to me and valued advisor to the chemical engineering department.

Oct. 11 Lu said he was taken to the emergency room

Knowing Bill’s research accomplishments and his outstanding contributions to Rice in teaching and service, it was a great honor to be named to the chaired professorship bearing his name.”

Dr. Akers and his incredible legacy will live on with every single Rice engineer who tackles an important problem in our world. Junghae Suh Associate Professor of Bioengineering In 2015, Akers donated $1 million to establish the the William W. Akers Endowed Engineering Scholarship fund to support high-need, undergraduate engineering students, according to the Rice News article.

TIMELINE OF MICHAEL LU'S MEDICAL WITHDRAWAL FROM RICE Oct. 12 Oct. 13 Oct. 13 Oct. 20 Oct. 23 Oct. 30 Lu received letter from Wellbeing Office

Order of Temporary Protective Mental Custody Health approved, Services application keeping Lu at Methodist filed

WITHDRAWAL FROM PAGE 3 In a Certificate of Medical Examination also completed on Oct. 13, a doctor wrote “deterioration of mania into aggression” and “possible violence” as facts for Lu’s emergency detention. The doctor also noted Lu presented risk of harm to himself or others based on the fact that he leaves his college classes, wanders around without shoes and lays down face down on the ground. Lu said the night of his studio class on Oct. 10, he felt nauseous so he left the class to lie face down on a couch. To not dirty the couch, he said he removed his shoes but then could not find them. He send he found them after class under the couch using a flashlight. On Friday, Oct. 20, Hutchinson sent Lu a letter stating he was temporarily withdrawn from Rice and should use his period of absence to work with licensed professionals. In the letter, Hutchinson recommended he take time away until at least fall 2018. Lu said he was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 23. Hutchinson said almost all students who take medical withdrawal choose to take time off, typically recommended to be six months. “Except in very rare cases, we do not make the decision for them,” Hutchinson said. “We are actively getting them to join in the decision making process.” Some students choose to stay at Rice despite advice they take a medical withdrawal, according to Hutchinson. Hutchinson said the Counseling Center and Wellbeing Office will work with those students to create a plan which may include certain environments or substances that should be avoided. Once every year or every other year, Hutchinson said a student who wants to stay at Rice has a condition so severe that treating professionals say remaining continue to harm their mental health. “On those occasions where I have the advice of the medical professionals who are treating that individual that it would actually be harmful for that individual to stay in the university, I may in fact withdraw them,” he

Dean Hutchinson temporarily withdraws Lu from Rice

Lu said he was discharged from Methodist

Lu posts video on Facebook detailing his experience

said. “That is an exceedingly rare event.” Lijuan Lu, Lu’s mother, said she flew from China to wait for Michael to be released from the hospital. Lu said two Methodist doctors she spoke to said Michael could return to his studies. One day before Michael’s release, Lu said a third doctor said that if Michael were to try to return to Rice, he could face expulsion. After returning with St. Louis, Lijuan Lu said she and her son saw two different doctors who said her son is fit to return. Sometimes the approval of an outside professional for a student to resume studies is not adequate without the context of Rice, according to Hutchinson. “They may not realize just how much stress can be created in this highly competitive and intense environment,” he said. Very rarely, Rice will deny a student’s request to return because the student has not yet taken enough time to address their mental health concerns, Hutchinson said. Once that student has addressed their concerns, Hutchinson said, they can return to Rice. “There's always the standing invitation,” he said. “Keep working on this, let us know. Sometimes it just takes a little longer." LIjuan Lu said she is currently talking to attorneys and considering legal action against Rice. “He wants to be the best pianist in the world,” Lijuan Lu said. "He’s very driven and a very good kid. He has no problem at all.” Lu said he has begun an online mini-concert series, posting videos of himself performing to raise awareness for his situation and advocate for others who have asthma. The purpose of a medical withdrawal, Hutchinson said, is to set students up for success during and after their return to Rice. “I don't want my students to survive Rice, I want my students to thrive at Rice,” Hutchinson said. “There are students who will say, ‘I can get through this,’ but when I chat with those students I’ll say, ‘I don’t want you to just get through this, Rice is so much more than that.’

Philip Walters (Sid Richardson ’76) said the first artificial heart, which Akers helped create in the 1960s, influenced his decision to attend Rice. “There was a point in my undergraduate experience when I thought I might be interested in pursuing biomedical engineering, and Dr. Akers took the time to make sure I understood, in unvarnished terms, what the pursuit would require of me,” Walters said. “I ended up not taking that direction, but I will always value our discussions, and I greatly admire him, and am glad he was in my life.” Akers and his family have also established several scholarships and endowments. Junghae Suh, associate professor of bioengineering, said Akers’ work studying transport phenomena continues to contribute to the foundation of how academics apply engineering thinking to human health. “I owe my professional career as a bioengineer and a teacher to pioneers like Dr. William Akers,” Suh said. “His vision and foresight combined with the courage and optimism to imagine a better tomorrow gave life to bioengineering at Rice and across the

GOP FROM PAGE 1 scenario is that the system changes to keep graduate school as a feasible option for students.” Ellison said he believes that Rice must try to mitigate the bill’s impact if it passes, otherwise many humanities graduate students including himself may have to leave the program. “These programs are designed to be full-time, but I don’t think anybody in the School of Humanities, which is the lowestpaid of all the schools on campus, would be fiscally capable of continuing full-time and still writing the checks that would be due to the IRS in April,” Ellison said.

Nothing about ending America's leadership in higher education by destroying the graduate student system will make America great. Chance Tarver Graduate Student The bill would also increase the cost to students attending college by more than $65 billion between 2018 and 2027 through the proposed changes to tax brackets and repeal of multiple provisions such as the Student Loan Interest Deduction and the educational assistance program, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means analysis. “This is like getting taxed on using your rewards points at your favorite restaurants,” Tarver said. “But hey, who [am] I to judge? We all have to do our part to help give tax cuts to millionaires and corporations.” The proposed bill would also repeal the Lifetime Learning Credit provision that credits taxpayers who are currently pursuing higher-education, according to the ACE. Alicia Mangubat, a chemistry graduate student, said this would be detrimental to many. “A lot of students really depend on that [Lifetime Learning Credit],” Mangubat said. “It decreases the amount of taxes we have to pay with our very small stipend.” Jason Guo, Rice’s Graduate Student Association vice president of student


courtesy rice engineering

globe. Dr. Akers and his incredible legacy will live on with every single Rice engineer who tackles an important problem in our world.” advocacy, said that graduate students are concerned, but declined to comment further. Zodrow said there would also be multiple direct and indirect impacts of the bill on the financial stability of universities. H.R. 1 would add an excise tax on the endowments of private colleges and universities, undermining their tax-exempt status, according to the ACE. “Investment income from endowments is used every day to support nearly every aspect of an institution’s operations...from financial aid to research and student retention and success programs,” Ted Mitchell, ACE president, wrote in a letter to Congress. Allison Thacker, president of the Rice Management Company, which manages Rice’s endowment, said they are still analyzing the proposed tax bill and the impact on Rice’s investment capabilities. According to John Diamond, professor of economics and Public Finance Fellow at the Baker Institute, H.R. 1 would impact charitable giving to Rice due to an increase in the standard deduction amount such that donors would no longer receive a tax deduction for their charitable contribution. “[The impact] depends on how many Institute’s donors would no longer itemize deductions after the reform, and what share of gifts they give, as well as how much those who lost the ability to deduct contributions would pull back on giving,” Diamond said. Mitchell said the decline in charitable giving will impair universities' stability. AAU President Mary Sue Coleman wrote that it would impact all Americans who rely on research universities. “This bill will have dire consequences for Americans who rely on research universities for undergraduate and graduate education, and to conduct cutting-edge research that results in life-saving medicines, and innovative technologies that bolster our national defense and economic competitiveness,” Coleman wrote. Tarver encouraged fellow students to contact their congressional representatives and ask them to oppose any bill that would hurt lower to middle-class Americans. “Nothing about ending America’s leadership in higher education by destroying the graduate student system will make America great,” Tarver said.




Rice must stand with students against tax bill In another example of the drastic effects national policy can have on the Rice community, the tax bill in Congress has the potential to severely impact graduate students (see p. 1). The proposal would remove exemptions for tuition waivers, increasing the effective tax paid by graduate students on already small stipends. The bill would also apply a tax to Rice’s endowment income. Even with this additional financial burden, however, Rice must commit to raising graduate student stipends to offset increased taxes if the tax plan becomes law. Without doing so, the reduction in post-tax stipend income


could seriously endanger the ability for graduate students to support themselves while attending the university, as well as impact the diversity and quality of the future students who are able to afford to come to Rice. President David Leebron’s Vision for the Second Century II focuses heavily on Rice’s graduate programs. That recognition of graduate students’ importance should be reflected in Rice taking a strong stance opposing the tax bill — the university has already said it supports the Association of American Universities’ statement against it — and the actions it takes if the proposal becomes reality.

Corrections In the Nov. 8 print edition, the Photoshop work for the “Mr. Rice 2017: Bachelors of Rice” should have been attributed to Sophia Huang and Grant Lu. The editorial cartoon, “The CCL handing off R-HAT,” was only by Esther Tang, not by Areli Navarro Magallón and Esther Tang. OP-ED

Have we ignored the beast social media has become? The past year has been less than stellar know how you react while browsing, they can for social media companies. It is surprising exert influence with great effect. Despite their altruistic mission statements then, that such companies continue to enjoy a particular reverence among the wider the firms have no incentive to change their university population. Buoyed by some of ways. Maybe once they tweak their algorithms the legitimate benefits social media brings to the negative impacts will be resolved and daily living, these companies have sailed over things will be set straight. But many of the seas of negative impact unscathed and with fixes that could be taken to address some still-glistening reputations. Those interested of their platforms’ worst aspects go against in a job after college (most people) regard the the firms’ core business tenants. It would firms as elite options for future employment be a waste of faith to give them the benefit and are particularly generous in their grace. of the doubt. The economic principles of This mentality has grown increasingly the ‘attention economy’ encourage poor behavior, and hoping the firms muster the problematic and needs to change. Twitter, Google and Facebook found goodwill to change is like hoping ice cream themselves tangled in scandal after the won’t melt on a warm day. It doesn’t make sense then that people discovery of thousands of Russian-backed political advertisements syndicated through are not more skeptical of social media firms, their respective advertising platforms. These and more aware of their ugly side. Especially advertisements, generated by a variety of at Rice, the breadth of our education should pages such as fake veterans’ organizations encourage critical reflection on the world or phony religious coalitions, were fabricated around us, and we should not be selectively to systematically divide American society by ignorant to avoid cognitive dissonance manipulating public perception during the because the prospect of working at one of 2016 election. Only recently have the firms these big firms is so seductive. Their status begrudgingly accepted responsibility for their should be a reflection of their actions and roles in influencing public perception and impacts. If you wish to work for a social released the relevant data. For such a massive media firm, do not assume they (or you) are making the world a better place. If we are scandal, they have been too slow to act. In Myanmar, where many people use critical of the impacts of large corporations Facebook as their primary news source, it like Shell or Exxon, why should tech be an has deepened the hatred of the Rohingya exception? Honesty is the best policy: These minority. Government propaganda against firms pay extremely well, make cool tech, the Rohingya minority can be easily shared provide exciting work environments, and are and legitimized to the millions of people tied hugely influential. They also have negatively to the service. Social media has changed the impacted society. Being dishonest with others is one thing, but being dishonest with world — but not necessarily for the better. While services like Facebook do offer yourself? That’s just foolish. productive tools like sharing events and those YOSEPH MAGUIRE lovely birthday reminders, anyone who has Wiess College Senior mindlessly scrolled through the News Feed knows that the vast majority of content does not contribute to daily life. It is either catered to confirming biases or just plain distracting. And the volume of data the firms collect on users compounds their power. Because they

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

illustration by areli navarro magallón


Take individual responsibility: Identity politics are not a real solution to social issues Last election cycle slammed a huge wedge between the political left and right, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. The root of our troubles isn’t Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter or political correctness. It’s deeper than that. We can’t reach political compromise, enact effective societal change or just plain old get along because of an insidious line of thought that’s crept into our society: identity politics. The problem here isn’t that people aren’t “oppressed” — we all carry our own baggage, the times we’ve been wronged and the things that aren’t fair. Maybe your great-great-grandfather was enslaved, you come from a broken home, your family immigrated illegally, you struggle with your sexuality or you battle a mental condition. The list could go on, but the point is this: Although we’re blessed to live in a free nation, life is hard, and at some point, we’ll look in the mirror and realize that, frankly, we’re not all that put together. Identity politics take that reality and convince us that everyone else is the problem by fractionating us into categories — “poor Hispanics,” “straight white males,” “trans females,” “homo/heterosexuals,” etc. In the hierarchy of today’s identity politics, the higher you fall on the scale (i.e. the more “oppressed” you are), the more your voice and interests matter. Two huge problems exist with this line of thought: First, it’s technically impossible to list all the ways people are “oppressed,” and secondly, there’s no authority to accurately “weigh” these different types of hardships. We’ve stopped dealing with individuals as individuals and shifted to a subtle variation of Marxist “class warfare” — we’ve traded a struggle between rich and poor for a struggle between affinity groups. Consequently, our political sphere has radicalized

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

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and we’re witnessing more riots, more shootings, and a breakdown of our political discourse. The main problem in America isn’t a “lack of freedom.” Our main problem comes when we project our hardships onto other groups of people. We’ve convinced ourselves that if we’re not where we want to be, it’s someone else’s fault. So what’s the solution? Look inside, not just outside. Ask yourself the hard questions: How can I take personal responsibility for picking myself up and taking care of my problems? What can I do to make my life and the lives around me just a little better? A meaningful life — where what you do matters — comes only in the face of hardship. Difficult situations and circumstances are inevitable, but throwing your hands up, believing you’re a victim and blaming other people is the most counterproductive thing you could do. God forbid we waste our lives believing the world is out to get us. It’s not. Face your own weaknesses, inadequacies, and flaws. We’ve all got them, and, if we’re really honest, we know what they are. Acknowledge that, yes, in some ways — maybe even a lot of ways — you are “oppressed,” and some things in your life really are hard. But also acknowledge that ultimately, you’re the only person who can really do anything about it. Then get up and go to work.


Duncan College Freshman

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




Lovett College sophomore Kaarthika Thakker (left) and Martel College sophomore Alec Tobin (right) play music on their hour-long KTRU shift. The collection of music in KTRU’s studio, seen overflowing in the shelves, is 50 years old. DJs select music rarely played on mainstream radio, including tracks recorded by local Houston musicians, as well as “guilty pleasure” songs that are less eclectic than most of KTRU’s fare.

KTRU DJs experiment with underappreciated music despite strict guidelines ELLA FELDMAN THRESHER STAFF / EMF6@RICE.EDU

If you’re ever craving the croak of a frog, tune into KTRU. “Last week, I was looking through the stacks and found a Smithsonian recording of 92 different North American frogs, so I played a frog call,” Chris Brehm, Baker College senior and KTRU DJ, said. KTRU (officially named KBLT-LP) is Rice’s student-run radio, broadcasting 24 hours a day from their quaint stickercovered studio on the second level of the Rice Memorial Center. KTRU broadcasts to the radio on 96.1 FM, and streams online at DJs consist primarily of undergraduate students, although there is some graduate and community involvement. Frog calls are not too out of the ordinary for KTRU, whose physical music library is comprised of thousands of CDs and albums dating back to 1967 when the station was first founded. For KTRU DJ director Pharson Chalermkraivuth, this rich library is a vehicle for developing his own musical taste. “Picking out a random CD from the stacks to queue up is a fun way to discover great music,” Chalermkraivuth, a Baker senior, said. “The wealth of material in the station means that you can delve deeper into pretty much any genre you want to.”

Pilar Canavosio, a Hanszen College freshman, echoed this sentiment. “It’s especially satisfying when you play a random song and realize, ‘Wow, this is a really cool song!’” she said. Canavosio, in her first semester as a DJ, decided to get involved with the station after hearing aboutfrom them during Owl Days. “I immediately liked the culture of the radio station, and the people that are involved with it are interesting,” she said. “They’re different than the average student.” For station manager George Barrow, the DJ community is the best part of KTRU. “It’s a community where it is okay to make mistakes, and raw creativity and passion are central and celebrated above all else,” Barrow, a Sid Richardson College senior, said. He cites this community for introducing him to some of his best friends at Rice, and for providing him with great memories, among which he cites KTRU’s 26th annual show last spring’s KTRU Outdoor Show that featured Jamila Woods and Saba, and various instances of inspiring friends to join the DJ community. Then there are the moments Barrow shared with no one but those tuned into 96.1. “There was also the time that I played trombone for the very first time, directly into a microphone, broadcasting live on FM at 2 a.m.” A major component of the station’s mission, according to their website, is to play












*excluding AP prep courses infographic by tina liu

music that typically goes underplayed on the mainstream radio. “We want to let people know that good music doesn’t only come in electric guitar,” their website states. KTRU’s music selection is broken down into various categories. These include “playlist tracks” a collection of around 60 albums that emphasize unique and innovative music, “guilty pleasures,” songs that are more mainstream (by KTRU standards), and “local music,” which includes independent Texas artists.

It’s a community where it is okay to make mistakes, and raw creativity and passion are central and celebrated above all else. George Barrow KTRU Station Manager Radio programs are divided into general shifts and speciality shows. During a general shift, DJs must abide by certain requirements pertaining the track categories. These rules include a minimum

COURSES FROM PAGE 1 Jason Hafner, a professor in the department of chemistry, and Rixner, a professor in the department of computer science, were among the first at Rice to provide their courses to popular online course sites like Coursera and edX. Hafner was eager to be involved in “new and interesting” ventures in the world of online courses, which motivated him to create courses. As professors of MOOCs, Hafner and Rixner record and post lectures to their respective sites, as well as homework problems that are comparable, if not the same, as the ones given to Rice students.

of three playlist tracks per hour plus one per shift, one local track per hour, and no more than one guilty pleasure track per shift. Two “alternate tracks,” which include reggae, jazz, and modern classical among other alternative genres, are required per hour. All music must come from KTRU’s physical collection of CDs and records, and DJs are expected to play a variety of music. DJs looking for more autonomy in the music they play can apply for specialty shows, which focus on one genre. Specialty show DJs are allowed to play music from outside KTRU’s collection and on digital sources, and do not have to meet the track requirements. The KTRU board is working on loosening restrictions for specialty shows, because there haven’t been many new shows pitched in recent years, according to Barrow. Mai Ton finds the general shift approach somewhat limiting. “The fact that they scold mainstream music so much when music is just music, that’s not really cool,” Ton, a Baker freshman and KTRU DJ, said. Despite this, Ton cites the hours she spends in the KTRU studio as some of her most rewarding. “It’s such a creative outlet. In no way do I see it as a resume boosting type thing, which is cool because in high school that’s all I did,” she said. “KTRU is an extracurricular activity that I do for fun, that I actually enjoy, and it genuinely makes me happier.”

The final exams are based around the honor system, although students can pay to receive a certification signed by the professor if they pass the course. “The ones I’ve made have been the real Rice class, I focus very much on making it the real Rice experience,” Hafner said. At the same time, courses like MOOCs may never reach the rigor found in traditional courses. While the objective of a MOOC is to simply expose people to a new topic, this vastly differs from a traditional classroom, or even from online for-credit courses. Often, there are logistical limitations to how far a MOOC can go. “The problem with physics is that there’s


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017 always the lab,” said Hafner when asked if MOOCs could ever reach the capacity of a traditional course. He paused and said, “virtual reality, maybe.” Both professors avoid courses for credit due not only to these limitations, but also because of other factors like proctoring exams.

I told my students this semester that this thing we’re doing — where they come here, [I] talk at them ... I told them we’re the last generation that’s going to do that. Jason Hafner Physics Professor However, several for-credit online courses are offered to Rice students in an attempt to relax summer schedules and allow students to fulfill credits outside of Houston. And that’s not to say MOOCs don’t have significant advantages, either. “The way I set mine up, there’s the discussion forum and it’s categorized into the different discussions about each and every question in the whole class,” Hafner said. “So if you’re confused about a problem it’s almost like you can get instantaneous help by not posting a question but just by reading what other people did. That doesn’t exist in any way in a real in-person class.” In addition to the discussion forum, online lecture videos allow students to view the lecture multiple times, providing clarity in a way not possible in traditional lectures,

Hafner said. Students have the option to rewind and replay as many times as needed in order to truly understand what the professor is saying before continuing with the lecture. Rice students enrolled in Hafner’s introductory physics classes are encouraged to take advantage of his online course as a supplement, highlighting an important factor of online course creation by Rice administration. MOOCs alone, however, are not comparable to typical Rice courses. “They’re two very different things that have very different objectives,” Rixner said. “A MOOC is really for someone who’s interested and self motivated in learning a topic. The on-campus classes are meant for someone who really wants to immerse themselves in a topic and be challenged by the faculty and taught to not just learn the material but how to think differently about the discipline. This is not about online versus oncampus, this is about the courses having very different objectives.” In regards to online courses, Hafner sees an educational future markedly different from the one we have today. “I think [online courses will] eventually be a substitution,” Hafner said. “I told my students this semester that this thing we’re doing – where they come here, [I] talk at them. I told them they were the last generation that’s going to do that.” Hafner believes that online courses are a stepping stone to broad educational change. “I was really making a reference to [artificial intelligence],” he said. “There’ll be a book that you read and then you get confused and you ask the book a question and the book explains it to you in a way that matches the way you need to learn it. That’s where it’s headed.”




ESPERANZA editor-in-chief categories:





art director

spotlight editor


Fun if you pregamed.

C+ I saw popcorn? Was there more?


Downstairs: not enough bangers. Upstairs: too many people looking like they were trying to bang.

ARice students clean up well. Also, good timing for Minute Maid Park as the venue.


Has it always been this coupley?


Extremely fun if you had a date you liked. Probably not as fun if you didn’t have a date, like Juan.


Drank a cup of lemon water and inhaled a lot of starry-night air.


Being able to scream the lyrics to Mr. Brightside and then go up the elevator and pretend to be classy while listening to jazz was a treat.


I could hear the echoes of cheers from the World Series games. #HoustonMFTexasHoe


Theme was lazy, but execution was not.


I loved swing dancing under the stars and seeing the city from the roof of Minute Maid Park is an experience I won’t forget.


Saw people grabbing fistfuls of popcorn with their sweaty hands.


I was happy to have the best of both worlds between the live jazz band upstairs and the dance music downstairs.


Having to watch the DJ and his girlfriend make out the whole time was not ideal.


Esperanza is for sure more fun when you’re not an awkward freshman.


ARTS entertainment


Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2017 Recap MADDIE FLAVIN THRESHER STAFF


‘Call Me by Your Name’ perfectly captures first love Earlier this year, in the most jawdropping Oscars finale yet, “Moonlight” became the first LGBTQ film to win Best Picture. In what has since been dubbed the “Moonlight effect,” films focused on comingof-age experiences of this long-ostracized community are making their way to the big screen in droves. One of them is Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name.” A smash hit on the festival circuit, this comingof-age story about the joy and pain that come with first love is a sensually sun-kissed marvel that reminds us why love is life’s greatest gift. Elio Perlman is a 17-year-old whose family spends their summers in northern Italy. Each summer, Elio’s father, an archaeology professor, hires one of his university students for six weeks as an assistant. In the summer of 1983, the student selected is a 24-year-old named Oliver. While Elio never felt any attachment to his father’s previous assistants, this summer’s immediately feels different. It starts with a simple touch of the shoulder. From there comes Elio’s growing realization of his feelings for Oliver as well as the question, “How long will he wallow in silence before he tells Oliver?” The chemistry between Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer as Elio and Oliver, respectively, is so beautiful it elicits speechlessness. Chalamet’s breakthrough

performance is like watching a tiny caterpillar become a beautiful butterfly. During his time with Oliver, the petals of closed-off Elio, who hides himself in books, start to open and embrace the sunlight. Hammer brings a seductive confidence to Oliver, who relishes every step of the adventure he finds himself on. The film’s music calls to mind the personal playlists from one’s teen years — the kind that induces overwhelming nostalgia as an adult. Melodies composed by Sufjan Stevens allow the viewer to occupy the lovers’ headspace, having their heart warmed by the soothing “Mystery of Love” and weeping their eyes out for the melancholy “Visions of Gideon.” Sayombhu Mukdeeprom’s cinematography,

with its capture of rich Italian landscapes, blue waters, majestic statues and liberating nights, induces jealousy. If there are two things the cinematography will make the audience want, it’s to pack their bags for an Italian vacation and fall in love. During the film’s final 20 minutes, which include a four-minute unbroken take of Elio played over the credits, the tears can’t be stopped. When an artist places the audience in the character’s shoes and has them walk a long distance, that is a triumph of storytelling. “Call Me by Your Name” not only appeals to its target audience but also captivates anybody who has ever had the honor of having their heart soar or break through true love.


‘Three Billboards’ handles anger and trauma Life always seems to look for new ways to piss us off. Just look at the last 12 months. But how do you deal with all the negativity and anguish? If you’re Martin McDonagh, you find the overlapped faces of comedy and tragedy in the situation. His latest film, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which features his trademark pitch-black humor, becomes 2017’s most relatable movie with its exposure of anger’s ability to both fuel and eat you. Seven months ago, teenager Angela Hayes was sexually assaulted and burned alive outside her hometown of Ebbing, Missouri. Lacking answers, the local police department, led by the terminally ill William Willoughby, closes the case. But Angela’s mother, Mildred, sees this lack of answers as a result of apathy and laziness. Using her savings, Mildred decides to rent out three billboards on the same stretch of road where Angela died in order to send a message to the police. But when the billboards are deemed offensive and disrespectful, Mildred finds herself in an escalating war of words and violence with the town which won’t stop until she gets what she wants. “Three Billboards” features master class performances, two of which should immediately go on an Oscars voting ballot. Frances McDormand is an incendiary force of nature as Mildred. A strong-willed woman with no filter in her speech or her decisions, she constantly tests the audience’s allegiance to


MOUSETRAP Go see Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “Mousetrap” for its second and final weekend this at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, or 8 p.m. Friday or Saturday. Just don’t give away the twist. Admission is free.

her. While her verbal shutdown of a culpable priest and wince-inducing assault on a shady dentist earn her love points, her later actions, which include arson, raise concern. McDonagh makes Mildred neither a hero nor a villain. She’s simply human, and that ultimately makes her a startlingly accurate representation of our current headspace. The underrated Sam Rockwell should win Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of police officer Jason Dixon. A “mama’s boy” who loves using excessive force and reading comics while on duty, Dixon undergoes the film’s most beautiful transformation. Consumed by hatred, his feelings bar him from fulfilling his true potential as a detective. Woody Harrelson is bitingly funny as Willoughby. “I’m in the middle of my goddamn Easter dinner,”

he barks over the phone in front of his young daughters. Abbie Cornish gives an unexpectedly heartrending performance in her brief scenes as Willoughby’s wife, Anne. Lucas Hedges’ performance as Angela’s brother, Robbie, has shades of his award-nominated role in last year’s “Manchester by the Sea.” While he played a teenager with world views shattered by a family death in both films, his performance here shows what happens when time hasn’t eased the load of that pain. A lot of the time, life doesn’t go the way we want. We like to believe that there’s a greater reason for what happens to us. But in the world of “Three Billboards,” life is cruel and unfair, leaving us to question whether the darkness has stripped human nature of all goodwill.

courtesy the wall street journal


Rapper Aminé energizes Warehouse Live ELLA FELDMAN


“She’s a ... bad thing.” These four little words worked like magic on me on a summer afternoon in 2016, when I first watched rapper Aminé’s music video for “Caroline.” I’m not sure if it was the charming lyrics, his “Pulp Fiction” T-shirt, or all those bananas, but I was in love. Along with a growing Aminé fan base, I waited patiently for more music, which finally arrived this past July with “Good for You,” his cheeky debut album filled with flirty lyrics, saucy beat drops and an array of pop culture references. I bought tickets to his Houston show as soon as they went on sale, and finally saw him when he graced Warehouse Live on Sunday, Nov. 5. Donning braids and a Maserati hat, opening act Towkio started off the show with “Clean Up,” a collaboration with fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper. He gave us a taste of his hometown with impressive footworking, a style of dance originated in Chicago, and performances of Chance collaborations “Juke Jam” and “Heaven Only Knows” as well as his more recent songs. Although few audience members were familiar with his music, Towkio gave a lively performance that excited the crowd.

Aminé is a born performer. The quaint Warehouse Live stage became his own personal trampoline where he leapt and bounced all night long. After a short break, a band of musicians in yellow T-shirts filtered onstage, and a cloud-like blowup of the words “Good For You” came to life behind them. The lights went out and an electric staccato burst through the speakers. In a “Stranger Things” shirt, Aminé took the stage to perform his single “Baba,” a high energy, Ethiopian-infused tune. The song’s infectious liveliness set the mood for the rest of the night. Aminé followed “Baba” with a groovy mashup of Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” and TLC’s “No Scrubs” before jumping into the “Good for You” tracklist. His energy didn’t falter once as he performed every song on his album. He immaculately bounced between energetic songs like “Beach Boy” and “STFU” and mellow tunes like “Sundays” and “Turf.” He





View a screening of “Southwest of Salem” this Friday at 7 p.m. A recipient of both a Peabody award and a GLAAD award for “Outstanding Documentary,” this film follows four lesbians wrongly accused of sexual assault. The screening is free.

Take advantage of the great weather and head downtown this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to watch over 200 artists create live street paintings. Tickets are $7 presale or $10 at the door.

Over 150 artist will display their works in open working studios and exhibition spaces this weekend for ARTCRAWL Houston. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Rice Media Center Rm. 100

Downtown Houston

Jones College Commons

Various Locations






Trump Twitter Chrome extension

Glitter stretch marks





The art of Harry Potter

Esperanza blisters

courtesy chrome web store

courtesy the sun

In a phrase: #glitterstripes Where to find it: Have you noticed my Instagram dependence yet? Body positivity and art intersect in this new trend of filling in your stretchmarks with glitter. Rather than submit to the prescribed beauty standards that attempt to shame bodies for their “imperfections,” these women are calling attention to their “flaws” and accentuating them on their own terms, creating art where there once was stigma. Interestingly, the movement’s most popular photos depict conventionally thin models, who may naturally have stretch marks, but who some have accused of faking their stripes. What remains clear is that glitter has made its comeback, moving beyond the conventional adornment of fabric and sticking to bare skin — be it eyelids or hips.

AMINÉ FROM PAGE 8 made up for a lack of Kehlani during their dreamy collaboration “Heebiejeebies,” and taught us to pronounce his name right with his song “Hero.” For the record, it’s “uh-mee-nay.” Aminé is a born performer. The quaint Warehouse Live stage became his own personal trampoline where he leapt and bounced all night long. He held eye contact with audience members as we yelled familiar lyrics in unison, and he interacted with us between every song. A proponent of self love, he led a call and response in which he yelled, “You’re beautiful!” to which we responded, “I know!” About halfway through the show, he announced that it was time for Houston to leave its mark on his “tour pants,” a pair of pants with a patch for every city he’s performed in. Every hand went up as he scanned the audience for someone to sign the pants, finally landing on a woman who was one of the first to line up for the show. After careful consideration on stage, she scrawled “Houston MF Texas, Ho” onto a yellow patch. Aminé’s energy went through the roof during “REDMERCEDES,” a bouncy ode to his Mercedes Benz and lavish life that got the whole crowd jumping. He followed up with breakup anthem “Wedding Crashers” and nailed Offset’s verse in his absence. A bubbly keyboard riff gave way to a familiar beat drop, and every audience member yelled the charming lyrics of “Spice Girl” while bouncing in unison. In a very Aminé fashion, he paid tribute to the ladies themselves by concluding the song with a sample of the iconic Spice Girls hit, “Wannabe.” The show was clearly coming to an end, and anticipation pulsed through the audience as it dawned on us that there was only one song left. Aminé planted himself behind his mic stand and, staring into a crowd that was ready to burst, set off an explosion of energy with the lyrics that started it all: “She’s a ... bad thing.” Then he performed “Spice Girl” one more time, because why not?

In a phrase: Make Trump Eight Again Where to find it: Google Chrome web store Chrome extensions are by no means a new thing. There’s the practical — such as Mercury Reader, which strips articles of ads, leaving just the text and relevant images for easy consumption — and then there’s the random (Millennials Begone replaces the word “millennial” with “pesky whipper snappers” and Giphy Tab produces a new gif with each new tab). This weekend, T***p’s official, personal account tweeted the above image. Reactions to the president’s petulant message ranged from indignant to incredulous. One tweet suggested followers download the Chrome extension Make Trump’s Tweets Eight Again, which converts T***p’s tweets’ text into the crayon scrawls of his inner (?) child. So at least now you can laugh while you ask yourself once again if this is real.

courtesy barnes & noble

In a phrase: A book of original concept art Where to find it: Barnes & Noble, Nov. 21 Harry Potter fans have something new to look forward to (How long has our love been strung along now? Books, movies, video games, an amusement park, a play … we’ll take it all). The Harry Potter film franchise isn’t ready to relinquish its profits just yet; a collection of production paintings, concept sketches, storyboards, etc. is being published to capture the artistic processes that bring the wizarding world to the screen. At $70, the book is pricey, but true Harry Potter fans recognize this as the perfect opportunity to discover exactly where they went wrong in depicting our favorite characters. If anyone reading this is seized by sudden generosity or would like to thank me for imposing my arbitrary tastes on you all, my mailing address is 1601 Rice Blvd., Houston, TX 77005.


In a phrase: Ow. Where to find it: Your achilles heel Esperanza was everything you expected: lights, a ridiculous number of photos, the rush of high school dance memories. Most notably, the night was your first time off campus in months and a refreshing change of wardrobe. If you were one of the several who dusted off the one pair of heels you brought with you “just in case” or those who hit up Rice Village in a last-minute, desperate search for the dress shoes you neglected to bring, you may be suffering from post-awkward-dancingblisters. You were too sober for the pain then and you’re definitely too sober for it now. At least the pictures you sent to your mom were worth it.


Beauty hacks to save your wallet AMELIA CALAUTTI


Picture this: You’re watching a makeup tutorial when the blogger pulls out four eyeshadow palettes, three concealers, two primers and a dozen other products — all for a “simple, no-makeup-makeup” look. With advancements in the beauty industry, it’s easy to find products marketed to pinpoint every single specific issue. It’s hard enough to decide what you’re going to eat for breakfast, let alone decide between 20 different mascaras. (Do I want one that lengthens my lashes or one that volumizes them? Maybe both?) Makeup routines are getting longer, with hundreds of different steps and tons of makeup products. But let’s be real — as college students, we are two things: tired and broke. Who has time to spend 45 minutes on makeup before a 9 a.m. class or blow money on new products just to keep up with increasingly intricate tutorials? Shorten your routine and save money for Coffeehouse with these hacks that show you how to get the most bang for your buck out of products that you already own. 1. A COLOR STICK AS A BLUSH, CREAM SHADOW AND LIP TINT Monochromatic makeup looks are all over the runways and a quick and efficient way to look put-together. Try a blush or nude colored stick, like Bite Beauty’s Multistick ($24) or Wet n’ Wild’s MegaGlo Makeup Stick ($4), and swipe it on the apples of your cheeks, lips and eyelids for a coordinated flush of color. Blend the color with the warmth of your fingers for a glowfrom-within look. The stick can also act as an eye primer, so you can layer eyeshadow on top of your lids to intensify the color. 2. MOISTURIZER AS FACE PRIMER AND MAKEUP REMOVER No matter if you have oily or dry skin, moisturizing is an essential part of any skin routine. Applying moisturizer smooths the skin for a more flawless base, while the sticky texture helps the foundation last longer.

Contrary to popular belief, moisturizer actually helps limit oil production better than a mattifying primer containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid dries out the skin, which signals your glands to produce more oil, so keeping your skin moisturized is the easiest (and cheapest) way to prevent additional oil secretion. Moisturizer also doubles as a makeup remover that you can apply with your hands or on a wipe or washcloth. Just make sure to wash your face afterwards and to use face-specific products, as creams for the body include many harsh fragrances that can irritate the skin. Try a cold cream, such as Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser ($5), which is exceptionally good at removing makeup because of its oil component, or any regular moisturizer such as the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer ($13). 3. CONTOUR PALETTE AS EYESHADOW PALETTE In addition to using your contour palette to achieve Kim Kardashian-like cheekbones, (Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit ($40)) contour palettes usually include matte and shimmer highlight shades, and darker contour shades, making it perfect for a natural eyeshadow look. Swipe the brown shades in the crease and under the lower

lashline to create depth, add the matte, light shade on the lid and shimmer in the inner corners to highlight. Since contour palettes are made to mimic the shadows and highpoints of your face, the shades will compliment your eyes without looking too harsh. Bonus tip: Dust the shimmer shade on your chest and collarbones before a night out to create a light, pretty sheen that takes your look to the next level. 4. EYESHADOW AS … BASICALLY EVERYTHING If you invest in one thing as a makeup artist, it should be an extensive eyeshadow palette. All it takes is one large, diverse eyeshadow palette to create a multitude of looks (try BH Cosmetics Neutral 88-piece Eyeshadow Palette ($13)). With a range of matte and shimmer shades, the possibilities are endless. Use matte tones on an angle brush to fill in sparse eyebrows, or black or dark brown along the lashline as a more natural and foolproof alternative to liquid eyeliner. Light shimmer tones can also work as highlighter — swipe it on the tops of your cheekbones, brow bone, nose and cupids bow. For sparkling lips, pat on a glitter shade in the same tone as your lipstick for dimension.




4 courtesy (1) beautizine (2) aveeno (3) anastasia beverly hills (4) bh cosmetics



Volleyball seeking conference title and 36th in the nation in blocks per set. Rice also ranked first in the conference in opponent hitting percentage. According to Volpe, the Owls must use their defense to their advantage against teams like Western Kentucky and North Texas. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Volpe said. “We will need to put pressure on them with our serving and our block. Our block can be the best on any given day in the league, [so] we need to use that to our advantage.” Despite finishing with its best regular season record since 2008, the Owls have seldom won easily. Just four of their 21 wins were sweeps, and nine of their victories were in winner-take-all fifth sets. That includes Saturday’s regular-season ending 3-2 win over the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Our block can be the best on any given day in the league, [so] we need to use that to our advantage. Genny Volpe Volleyball Head Coach

Junior McKay Kyle is looking to help Rice volleyball avenge last year’s heartbreaking conference championship loss this week in the Conference USA tournament. jasmine zhou/thresher


Last year’s Rice volleyball season ended in heartbreak in the conference tournament. The Owls lost in five sets to Western Kentucky University, nearly pulling off an improbable run the conference championship as the No. 6 seed. This year, the No. 3 seeded Owls are looking to redeem themselves. They open the Conference USA tournament on Friday against the University of Southern Mississippi in Bowling Green, Kentucky. According to head coach Genny Volpe, the team is prepared for a battle. “It’s a tournament where you focus on surviving and advancing,” Volpe said. “Each round, especially the first round, is very

challenging. Our conference has a lot of parity, so you have to be focused and ready to execute from day one.” The Owls head into the tournament having won three of their past four matches. However, they are underdogs. The No. 1 seed, the University of North Texas, and the No. 2 seed, Western Kentucky, shared the regular season conference title. They have each beaten the Owls once this year and each received votes in this week’s top 25. Volpe said she believes Rice has a chance against the favorites. “We might be the underdog, but we have the tools to win,” Volpe said. Sophomore Grace Morgan and senior Portia Okafor led the Owls with 117 and 102 blocks, respectively, in the regular season. Rice ranked second in the conference

Volpe said the team’s ability to perform well in tight matches has been encouraging. “It’s tough to be in that situation,” Volpe said. “To be 9-1 in those matches says a lot about [the team’s] grit.” The Owls will have to show that grit if they are to advance through the tournament and play three matches in three days. Two of those matches would likely be against the top two teams in the conference. Despite the road ahead, Volpe said she is excited for the postseason. “I like to think that we are very prepared and can allow all of our hard work to pay off and watch our team blossom,” Volpe said. “I want to play as long as we can, and it is definitely enjoyable to see them excel after a long season.” The Owls will begin their tournament run on Friday against Southern Miss at 2 p.m. If they were to win, they would advance to Saturday’s semifinal against the winner of Western Kentucky and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. The conference championship match is scheduled for Sunday.

Martel, Lovett victorious in Powderpuff playoffs 2017 POWDERPUFF PLAYOFF BRACKET




Screaming fans, sweat-stained jerseys and leather pigskins. There was some serious football played this past weekend, not just at Rice Stadium. Powderpuff playoffs began this week with Martel College facing Duncan College and Will Rice College facing Lovett College in the quarterfinals. MARTEL 7, DUNCAN 6 In the north college matchup, Duncan started the game with a touchdown on its





first possession but was unable to convert the extra point. The game then became a defensive battle, keeping the score 6-0 Duncan until the fourth quarter. Martel managed to score late in the fourth quarter and converted their extra point to take a 7-6 lead. Duncan drove down the field in the final two minutes to try for a gamewinning score, but the Duncan quarterback was picked off in the end zone by Martel junior Sadie Richardson, ending the game. Martel came away with the 7-6 win and will advance to the semifinals against undefeated McMurtry College.

LOVETT 13, WILL RICE 0 Lovett defeated Will Rice in a south college quarterfinal game on Monday night in a rematch of the previous week’s 25-12 Will Rice victory. Lovett scored two touchdowns en route to a 13-0 win, one in each half. Lovett sophomore Sarah Lasater led the team in receiving. Will Rice was unable to score; Lovett sophomore Emily Klineberg interecepted a pass on fourth and goal with two minutes left in the game. Lovett will advance to the semifinals to take on Hanszen College.


Rice men’s basketball is still rising

Remember that Rice basketball team from last year? The one that went 23-12, made the College Basketball Invitational and had hopes of competing for the conference title in the near future? The one that made the “Rice Rising” mantra head coach Mike Rhoades had preached for years finally feel real? We all know how that ended. Head coach? See ya. Six top players? Bye. All those conference title dreams? Down the drain. Rice Rising, however, is far from dead. This season won’t be like last year, I know that. Egor Koulechov and Marcus Evans were two of the best players in program history. Losing them both in the same offseason along with four other top contributors is devastating no matter who replaces them. But this isn’t the end. You want evidence that the momentum from Rice Rising isn’t gone? Look no further than recruiting. The year before Rhoades took over, Rice’s recruiting class ranked dead last in C-USA according to 247Sports. Since then, it’s consistently been near the top of the conference. Other than 2017, when head coach Scott Pera had a short recruiting season after taking the job, Rice’s class has ranked no lower than second. The program has gone from the bottom of the conference to an attractive mid-major recruiting destination in under five years. In an abbreviated recruiting season this spring, Pera managed to add threestar recruit Najja Hunter, who projects to contribute immediately. Then he signed Josh Parrish, a sophomore transfer from Texas Christian University. Parrish was rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports and at one point ranked among the top-150 recruits in the nation according to Rivals. The momentum did not stop there. Last Wednesday was national signing day, and Rice inked two three-star recruits to its 2018 class in guards Chris Mullins and Payton Moore. It also added two-star recruits Trey Murphy and Quentin Millora-Brown. The class currently ranks No. 2 in Conference USA and No. 68 nationally. Pera has shrugged off the sting of losing all-time program greats and put together the future of Rice basketball in under a year. I don’t want to look too far ahead as this season tips off, but next season’s team could again be competitive in conference play. Nobody from this year’s starting lineup will graduate except for senior Bishop Mency. With two three-star recruits and Parrish coming in, the 2018-19 Owls will have a healthy mix of talented young players and experienced veterans. There may be times this season when fans look at Rice’s record and long for the highs of last year. Remember, though, that team finished fifth in Conference USA. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but Rice Rising was never about finishing fifth. It was about making the NCAA tournament. So yeah, last year’s team was fun. But it wasn’t the end goal. Pera has taken the reins, and he’s kept the program on the trajectory toward its ultimate objective.


Thresher Sports Editor McMurtry College Junior




Recap: A busy weekend of sports 1





raymond tjhia/thresher

courtesy rice athletics


frankie huang/thresher



Eastern Kentucky 73, Rice 72

With 5.9 seconds left in the Rice men’s basketball season opener, the Owls trailed Eastern Kentucky University 73-72. After a timeout, Rice sophomore guard Ako Adams received the ball off the inbound and sprinted down the court. He drove all the way to the basket and got a layup off. No good. Sophomore Tim Harrison grabbed the offensive rebound and tried a putback attempt. Again, no good. The buzzer sounded. Game over. The Owls were 0-1. Moments before Adams’ last-ditch effort, Eastern Kentucky had taken its first lead of the game. EKU’s Dedric Boyd was fouled on a 3-point attempt with the Colonels trailing 72-70, and he made all three free-throws to give them a one-point lead. After the game, head coach Scott Pera said he was frustrated with the result. “The game shouldn’t have come down to that,” Pera said. “I thought we played well enough to win.”

jiayi lyu/thresher




Baylor 3, Rice 2

The Rice soccer team’s season came to an end on Friday night with a loss against Baylor University in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. The Owls started off strong. In the 17th minute, junior forward Marissa Topolski crossed the ball to senior midfielder Aliza Wolfe and then scored with a shot into the right side of the goal. Wolfe’s goal was the first in the Owls’ NCAA tournament history. In Rice’s three previous appearances, they had been shut out. The Bears immediately responded. They scored two goals, one in the 24th minute and another in the 25th. Rice tied the game in the 56th minute on a goal by sophomore midfielder Erin Mikeska. It would not be enough, however, as the Bears broke the tie with a goal in the 76th minute to take home the win and send the Owls home.



Rice 69, Grand Canyon 59 | Rice 88, Northern Arizona 83

Rice women’s basketball got its season off to a strong start this weekend by winning its first two games on the road in Arizona. In the season opener at Grand Canyon University, the Owls used a 24-6 run in the third quarter to erase a 15-point halftime deficit. Junior forward Olivia Ogwumike led the way for the Owls in her Rice debut with 19 points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes. Junior guard Gabrielle Stanton added 17 points for the Owls. Sunday at Northern Arizona University, three Owls scored over 20 points. Junior forward Nicole Iademarco led the way with 28 points, senior guard Wendy Knight added five 3-pointers on her way to 20 points and sophomore guard Erica Ogwumike put up 22 points and nine rebounds. The Owls now come back to Rice to take on Houston Baptist University in the home opener on Saturday.


Southern Miss 43, Rice 34

The University of Southern Mississippi led 10-0 in the first quarter of Rice football’s homecoming game. Then chaos ensued. The Rice and Southern Miss offenses combined to score on the next 11 possessions before a Rice turnover on downs effectively ended the game. The Golden Eagles came away with a 43-34 win to drop Rice to 1-9 on the season and 1-5 in Conference USA play. Southern Miss running back Ito Smith led the way for the Golden Eagles with 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Kwadra Griggs added 311 passing yards and three touchdowns. USM’s offense scored on every possession except for the kneel downs at the end of the game. Offensively, Rice relied on the run. The Owls totaled 254 yards rushing including 155 from sophomore running back Nahshon Ellerbe. Ellerbe also added four rushing touchdowns, the highest mark for an Owls back since 2013.

Want to know more about a packed week of Rice sports? For more coverage, visit


During Rice football’s home game against the University of Southern Mississippi, the Thresher surveyed the student section to ask why Rice students attend football games. Here are some responses: “Because I was obligated to. I’m the Rally Club president but I hate “I came because I really like watching football football.” and I think it’s important [to] support the school we are at, the athletic programs and the -SERGIO SANTAMARIA, work that our fellow student-athletes put in.” Duncan College Senior -BROOKE EVANS, Will Rice College Freshman

“I came here because one of my friends who is an alumni said, ‘It’s the homecoming game, you have to go,’ so I felt guilt-tripped into coming.” -ETHAN DENSEN, Lovett College Freshman

“I came to the game because I wanted to support Rice athletics. I think if we have more people coming to the games a lot, then it will [have a] snowball effect and we will get more funding for our athletic teams and get better programs in the future.” -ANDREW LEDET, Sid Richardson College Freshman “I came because my friends came.” -DANIELLE KESSLER, Brown College Freshman

“I came because my neighbors are football players.” -PAMELA MCINTURFF, Brown College Freshman

“I came because I like watching football. That’s probably not a popular response. And my roommate is the team manager, so I like to come out and support him.” -JOHN BROWN, Brown College Sophomore






Jack Page here, yet again at your service. I’m happy to say that some time has passed since you last heard from me – my voice need only be heard in the most contentious of times. As the sole investigative journalist employed by the Backpage, my duties encompass all that is dangerous, scandalous and unpleasant. Upon the dawn of the week of Architectronica, I was handed the assignment of infiltrating the Archi Bubble. So, equipped with skin-tight black clothing – down to the dungarees – a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of my shirt, and a pseudonym to protect my true identity, I set out on my task.



On Monday eve, I – Jácques Pagé – slinked into Anderson Hall the way any inside man might – through the back door. Hushed tones echoed through the hallways which were demonstrably not aesthetic. As I proceeded deeper into the annals of Anderson, I made eye contact with someone at a nearby desk designing the Architectronica invitation: a small matte black square with lettering in matte black. My heart leapt – had my short-lived stint as one of the cool kids come to an end? Though I had yet to discover the secrets of minimalism, I hid my ignorance behind a brief ponderous stare at the zoo-style windowsill beside me. Lucky for me, when eye contact was met, a curt nod followed. Perfect. They bought it. I swung open the door at the end of the hall to what could be described as none other than utopia: studio. I could feel the ingenious creativity in the air as the future builders of the world pieced together layer after layer of construction paper with Elmer’s glue. A ghost, I slid to the the room at the end of the hall where a simple sign read “The event discussion is here. Leave Comic Sans at the door.” The meeting turned out to be a pre-party-planning session, taking place between their normal sleeping hours of 4 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. What I witnessed astounded me. “Alright, shape up, you pieces of human garbage,” Supreme Chancellor Whiting bellowed. “The time has come for our obligatory annual open house to show the rest of this campus – which, I need not remind, you all are absolutely forbidden from stepping foot on – that our squadron of weathered warriors against conventionality shall never falter. You will look like you are having fun. You will look like you enjoy your lives. You will look like human beings and not the sleep deprived vegetative sacks of skin that you have allowed yourselves to become.” With that invigorating speech, Her Holiness doled out assignments for Saturday night.


to interact with guests. 9 p.m.: Everyone practice smiling out the door to incentivize line form is Arch year 10 p.m.: Fifth recognize them, and will one more people to get in line. No er the cig-tree every und ks brea rette ciga ed they will be allow 10 minutes, or as needed. Benevetti will vomit behind 10:30 p.m.: Freshman Maureen others that the party is good Anderson. This will convince the your freshman duty, and it g doin are and fun. Maureen, you ute extension on any non-final shall be rewarded with a 30 min as I approve it at least three long so project of your choosing, days in advance. will lead an “impromptu” tour 11 p.m.: Senior Gerard Abelló will not allow them entry to of Anderson for “the others.” You ng, if they find their way to sayi hallway C. And, it goes without

excommunicated. And you a 3-D printer, Gerard, you will be do you? now don’t want to study Art History, degrees, the most 111 to room main in 12 a.m.: Turn heat up ll the near-calamitous civil reca not symmetrical of numbers. We need rs against asymmetrythize mpa y-sy metr sym war of 1983 that pitted it shall remain. thus hed, and aficionados. The verdict was reac s. 12:45 a.m.: Drop the bas ours that the afterparty at the 1:30 a.m.: Start spreading rum Kirby is nuanced, and will off refurbished slaughterhouse night. the of stop t nex certainly be the humanities major for sacrifice ted -res well a ture Cap .: a.m 1:45 to the sleep gods. g rabble. Non-smiling policy 2 a.m.: Forcibly remove remainin suffered epileptic shock, that ies bod all reinstated. Clean up as sacrifice surplus. and put them in the storeroom final projects. on king 2:30 a.m.: Return to wor

And with the Grand Madame’s concise breakdown complete, the archis and I — converted to one of their number — were left to our own devices. Naturally, we returned to studio. Sitting at our respective desks, we plodded away at our projects in a program that I am pretty sure was LEGO Star Wars, eagerly awaiting our annual intermingling with the rest of the Rice student body. But not so eager that we were distracted from our work. I would never survive Charette if I let my mind wander. But that night, I couldn’t help but picture myself in a white T-shirt – so different than the black I’d resigned my life to. Indeed, Saturday was shaping up to be a night to remember. So I hope to see you all there. Please. We really need everyone to come, or else Her Highest the Overlord Whiting will not be pleased. Signed,

Note: This investigative report was published post-haste following the unexpected resignation of Jack Page from the Backpage, Inc.. Jack insi sted we not call him that anymore, and that “Jack Page can’t come to the phone right now. He’s dead.” Stifl ed murmurs of “Charette, Charette” coul d be heard just before the telephone clicked.

The Backpage is satire and written by Joey McGlone and Isaac Schultz. Ben Ruben provided some much-needed comedic space between Joey and Isaac. Elisabeth Karomelis also did a lil’ bit. For comments or questions, please email


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The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, November 15, 2017