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VOLUME 102, ISSUE NO. 12 | STUDENT-RUN SINCE 1916 | RICETHRESHER.ORG | WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2017

ON IDENTITY POLITICS Don’t dismiss those who are oppressed — listen to them

TURKEY TAKEOUT Students on campus for Thanksgiving turn to each other

LIGHTS, CAMERA ... Security cameras delayed until next semester

SEE OPINION P. 4

SEE SPOTLIGHT P. 5

SEE RICETHRESHER.ORG

NEWS

Senate votes down LEAP

EMILY ABDOW NEWS EDITOR / ESA2@RICE.EDU

BAILING ON BAILIFF ANDREW GROTTKAU SPORTS EDITOR / ABG4@RICE.EDU

Rice Athletics announced Monday afternoon that head coach David Bailiff had been relieved of his duties after 11 years at the helm of the football team. The move comes after the team’s 1-11 regular season, its worst since 1988. Bailiff said he was disappointed but understood the decision. “Every coach knows that, in the end, it comes down to wins and losses,” Bailiff said. “I know every member of our staff and every player on our team came into the season with the highest of expectations, but when those expectations are not met, changes will be made.” Bailiff finished his tenure at Rice with a record of 57-80 including 3-1 in bowl

games. He led the Owls to their first bowl win since 1954, a 38-14 win over Western Michigan University in the 2008 Texas Bowl. In 2013, he led Rice to its first outright conference championship since 1957. Athletic Director Joe Karlgaard said Bailiff’s accomplishments will not soon be forgotten. “I appreciate the dedication, passion and integrity that [Bailiff] has brought to our program during his years at Rice,” Karlgaard said. “His first priority has always been his student-athletes and he has been tireless in his efforts to foster their success.” Unfortunately for Bailiff, the Owls have struggled over the past few seasons. Since appearing in three straight bowl games from 2012 to 2014, Rice has gone 5-7, 3-9 and 1-11 in the past three seasons. Ultimately, Karlgaard said, a change had

COURTESY RICE ATHLETICS

to be made. “Last year, at the end of the season when we brought coach Bailiff back, I made a statement about our expectations for the season,” Karlgaard said. “Today was, in some ways, an inevitability. As the season progressed, it became clearer and clearer that we needed to go in this direction. I’m sure coach Bailiff knew that when he walked into my office today.” After being informed of the decision, Bailiff met with the players in the Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center just after noon. Karlgaard said he heard “thunderous applause” for the head coach before heading in to talk to the team himself. “My message to the players was, ‘This is a difficult moment for me, it’s a difficult moment for you, but it’s most difficult for coach Bailiff,’” Karlgaard said.

BAILIFF CONT. ON PAGE 7

NEWS

Committee to begin dean of undergraduates search RISHAB RAMAPRIYAN THRESHER STAFF / RR41@RICE.EDU

After eight years, Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson will end his tenure as dean and return to full-time teaching and research on July 1, 2018, according to Provost Marie Lynn Miranda. Miranda said that she expects the new dean to be named in spring 2018. “I feel that it is time to move on to other ways that I can make a difference,” Hutchinson said. “An important lesson that I hope my students will take from my decision is that you can love a job and still leave it because you want to have the opportunity to pursue other challenges and interests.” Hutchinson said he was originally appointed for a five-year term in 2010 and in 2015 agreed to a three-year extension. Hutchinson

said the administration asked him to extend his term again, but he is eager to return to the department of chemistry since the demands of serving as dean have limited his time for these activities. “He has advanced our university in so many ways, all the while bringing thoughtfulness and compassion to his important work,” Miranda wrote in an email to faculty. “I am deeply grateful for his countless contributions to our community.” Miranda said she has appointed a search committee for a new dean of undergraduates chaired by Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Seiichi Matsuda. The committee includes faculty members from across campus and two undergraduate representatives. Miranda said she encourages faculty members to nominate individ-

uals who would be strong candidates for the position or consider applying themselves.

Is this search for the dean of undergraduates diverse and inclusive? Madison Buzzard Former Will Rice College Senator According to Matsuda, the committee members were selected by Miranda to gain diverse perspectives and will meet with community representatives. Matsuda said that position announcement has been posted

online with a December 15 deadline and applications have started to come in. The committee will review applications, conduct first round interviews in January and then make recommendations to Provost Miranda, who will make the final decision with President David Leebron. The Student Association Senate discussed important qualities of a new dean on Nov. 27. Wiess College President Tay Jacobe said she hopes the dean has Hutchinson’s realistic attitude towards underage drinking while McMurtry College Senator Albert Nabiullin said he believes it is important to have an internal hire who understands Rice. Former Will Rice College Senator Madison Buzzard said the committee should consider diverse candidates.

HUTCH CONT. ON PAGE 2

A Student Association Senate resolution supporting the proposed Lifetime Achievement Enrichment Program failed at the Monday Senate meeting after receiving 13 votes for and 12 against, less than the required two-thirds majority. The Senate has passed every piece of legislation it has voted on since January 2014. SA President Justin Onwenu said he will present the breakdown of the Senate vote and the Survey of All Students student body responses regarding LEAP to the Committee for Undergraduate Curriculum. The proposal, which would expand the Lifetime Physical Activity Program to a one-hour course in one of six categories, would have to be approved by the CUC and passed by the Faculty Senate. Martel College Senator Tanner Reese said he does not support Onwenu’s plan to present to the CUC despite the failure of the vote. “I question the point of even voting on a resolution if this idea will still be brought to them and proposed,” Reese, a sophomore, said. Reese said he is co-writing legislation that he will present early next semester to form a working group that explores alternative ideas to LEAP and finds a solution with more than a narrow margin of student body support. “This whole LEAP process has exposed a lot of what is wrong with the SA government currently,” he said. “There was a lot of miscommunication among other issues.” Onwenu said he had announced two weeks ago that he would present to the CUC regardless of the outcome of the Senate vote. “This has been talked about so much that the administration needs to know how students feel,” Onwenu, a Sid Richardson College senior, said. Seven residential colleges split their votes between the president and senator, while at Sid Richardson College both voted for the resolution and at Lovett and Baker Colleges both voted against. The SAS showed LEAP was least popular at Baker and most popular at Sid Richardson. Overall, 63 percent of respondents supported the proposal. Four members of the SA executive team, excluding Onwenu, who only votes in the event of a tie, voted in favor of the proposal. Onwenu said he believes a vocal minority of students opposed a shift from the status quo while many students he spoke to saw LEAP as offering students more options. “There were colleges that had about 70 percent support [on the SAS] and split their vote,” he said. “That’s not representative leadership, but that’s their decision to make. I think a lot [did so] because that’s the safe thing in terms of no one is going to be upset with you.” This story has been condensed for print. Read more online at ricethresher.org.


NEWS

2

SUMMING UP SENATE

STUDENT ASSOCIATION INTRODUCED 2 PIECES OF LEGISLATION, VOTED ON 3

13 FOR 12 AGAINST

FAILED: LEAP Resolution Recommends expanding current LPAP graduation requirement to Lifetime Enrichment Activities Program, fulfilled by a one-hour course in one of six categories.

25 FOR 0 AGAINST

PASSED: Sexual Health Care Accessibility Task Force Bill Creates task force to reduce cost of comprehensive STI testing and increase student access to sexual health resources.

25 FOR 0 AGAINST

PASSED: Composting Resolution Resolves SA will work towards expanding post-consumer composting on campus by encouraging student-faculty collaboration and forming community partners.

INTRODUCED

DREAM Act Resolution Resolves SA support for passing the DREAM Act in 2017 and for students of color, immigrants, and international and undocumented students. States the SA does not support a political party.

Extending Rice Beyond the Hedges Working Group Bill

NOV. 27 INTRODUCED

NOV. 27

Extends working group on student engagement in Houston, created this fall, to end of 2018 spring semester. infographic by sydney garrett

HUTCH FROM PAGE 1 “Is this search for the dean of undergraduates diverse and inclusive?” Buzzard, a sophomore, said. “Do we have women? Do we have all races and backgrounds and make sure we don’t limit ourselves to what is the inevitable: that white men control education across the United States in a really large capacity?” College presidents will seek input from their colleges this week, according to Brown College President and undergraduate member of the search committee Santiago Avila. “I want to hear what qualities and qualifications students are looking for in their next dean beyond those listed in the job description,” Avila, a senior, said.

“The more students we engage during this process through [Student Association] and college discussions, the better equipped we will be to better represent the student voice in this committee.” Mikki Hebl, professor of psychology and search committee member, said that she hopes to find someone who will be as impactful as Hutchinson. “There is only one John Hutchinson,” Hebl said. Fay Yarbrough, professor of history, said that she is looking for a candidate who possesses the skills to handle the wide variety of responsibilities. “One must be sensitive to student concerns, be able to build consensus

among students and faculty when pursuing curricular change and possess a thick skin because everyone will not always agree with you,” Yarbrough said.

There’s only one John Hutchinson. Mikki Hebl Search Committee Member Hutchinson said highlights of his deanship include the creation of the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar and Critical Thinking in

Sexuality workshop requirements. Hutchinson said while he worked on lowering maximum credit hours per semester and faculty-student mentoring, he would have liked to address the stress and anxiety faced by Rice students to a greater extent. The next dean will continue to serve various roles for the undergraduate experience, especially ensuring that each student is treated in an individualized manner throughout their experience at Rice, Hutchinson said. “I expect the next dean to bring new energy and new creativity to the position, as I hope I have done,” he said. “The next dean will find their own way to address these roles which are important to the entire Rice community.”


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2017

THE RICE THRESHER

FLO Paris to replace Salento at Brochstein DREW KELLER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / AJK10@RICE.EDU

Macarons, crepes and eclairs will be among new offerings at Brochstein Pavilion starting January. FLO Paris, a French bakery and cafe, will replace Salento as the vendor at Brochstein over winter break, according to Housing & Dining Senior Project Manager Beth Leaver. Salento’s contract expires this year, and though H&D considered extending the business’ time in the pavilion, FLO Paris emerged as the top choice for a three-year contract from a competitive comparison and bid process, Leaver said. Leaver said the decision to change vendors was based on a desire for variety and the FLO Paris’ additional menu offerings, not negative feedback about Salento. Salento continues to operate a cafe at the Moody Center for the Arts and provide campus catering. “Salento was with us for seven years, and that says a lot,” Leaver said. “We just felt it was time for a refresh and give another vendor an opportunity to serve the community.” FLO Paris, founded in 2015, has current locations in Uptown and Rice Village. It offers a similar beverage and cafe menu to Salento, as well as a dessert program that Leaver said she was particularly excited for. H&D looked for businesses with liquor licenses, like FLO Paris and Salento, that could cater campus events and work within the Brochstein space. FLO Paris is preparing for a Jan. 3 soft opening with expansion to full service to follow, according to FLO Paris General Manager Jack Bibawie. Bibawie said FLO Paris will hold an opening event in January, such as a wine tasting. He said the cafe is interested in hiring students as part-time employees.

“We definitely like to have people on campus especially, because they know each other and most of them live on campus,” Bibawie said. “Good for us, good for them.” FLO Paris, like Salento, is independent and family-owned, which H&D Director of Communications Susann Glenn said also played an important role in H&D’s selection. “Whenever we engage with retail dining operations on campus, we typically engage with local businesses,” Glenn said. “You don’t see a chain here. Ambassador Cafe is not a part of a chain. Salento is the same way: They aren’t a chain, they’re a local business. That’s something that’s important to us.” H&D notified Salento about the change in vendor in May, according to Leaver. However, Salento General Manager Jackie Campbell said she was not informed of the change until September. “We are very proud of the work we have done,” Campbell said. “We also made a lot of dear friends who became regular visitors. We hope these friendships will continue.” While H&D will continue to solicit feedback from the Rice community, Glenn and Leaver said periodically renewing vendors is the current long-term plan for Brochstein. They said they have received positive feedback on the choice of FLO Paris so far. Deborah Harter, professor of classical and European studies, said she would miss Salento’s presence on campus. “I think that Salento loved the Rice community as much as we loved them,” Harter said. “I’m sure we’ll soon have an exciting new vendor, with contributions of their own to add to the Brochstein. But I will miss Salento mightily.” This story has been condensed for print. Read the full story online at ricethresher.org.

NEWS

3


4 STAFF EDITORIAL

SA president must represent all student opinions

The resolution supporting the Lifetime Enrichment Achievement Program failed to pass the Student Association Senate on Monday (see p. 1). However, SA President Justin Onwenu will present the results of both the SA and student body votes to the Committee of Undergraduate Curriculum. If the CUC approves, the resolution will be voted on by the Faculty Senate. We are skeptical of Onwenu’s decision to bring the proposal to the CUC after the Senate’s vote; while a simple majority of the Senate, which represents the student body, supported moving forward with LEAP by a narrow margin, the vote fell well below the constitutionally mandated two-thirds threshold. Although most students marked themselves in favor of LEAP in the Survey of all Students, Onwenu cannot discount the qualitative feedback that senators and presidents have received nor the Senate vote.

EDITORIAL CARTOON

Given that almost every other piece of Senate legislation introduced in the last four years has passed, the LEAP resolution’s failure should certainly raise alarms. Onwenu may be right that a vocal minority is holding back the LEAP proposal. Nevertheless, he should ensure that his presentation of the proposal to the CUC is nuanced and representative of the diverse opinions expressed through this process, both for and against. Onwenu should not present the 13-12 vote on the proposal as a consensus that the student body has already decided to favor. By doing so, Onwenu would risk completely disregarding significant concerns among the student body, not to mention ignoring the deliberative process which the Senate is intended to establish. Instead, Onwenu should emphasize the resolution does not have the legislative support of the student government.

Correction

On to new things: Hutch, Bailiff and Salento

In the Nov. 15 print edition, the article “Rice courses available for free on Coursera, EdX” misidentifies Jason Hafner as a professor of chemistry. Hafner is a professor of physics.

Opportunity and power lie in social context, not a vacuum of individual responsibility The opinion piece “Take individual responsibility: Identity politics are not a real solution to social issues” contains a perspective that some Rice students share, but ignores the historical context of the social issues to which the author refers. The author interprets “identity politics” as a buzzword meant to divide. However, the term was meant to bring attention to groups historically ignored in major socio-political movements, in particular black women and other women of color. The op-ed is a reflection on taking advantage of opportunity and working hard, values that we can all agree are important. It’s true that everyone carries their own baggage, and the author is right in that there’s no accurate way to compare hardships. But the piece conveniently omits the fact that opportunity does not exist equally for everyone in this country, and there are certain groups of people who have been and still are systematically denied opportunities to succeed. It is necessary to differentiate between enduring personal hardships in one’s life and experiencing systemic disadvantage based on factors like race and social class, i.e., residential segregation, mass incarceration, differential access to healthcare and education, and gerrymandering and voting policies that continue to disenfranchise certain groups. The author’s idea that “the more ‘oppressed’ you are, the more your voice and interests matter” shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to have a voice. If you are from a group that is systematically oppressed and you are speaking about the injustice you experience, then yes, your voice should matter because you are directly impacted by the issue. No one

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illustration by areli navarro magallón

OP-ED

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

STAFF

OPINION

should be able to say that your experience of oppression is invalid, as the author suggests in his piece. However, if you’re a member of a disadvantaged group and you’re addressing people who can actually combat the injustices you face, oftentimes your voice isn’t heard or is viewed as threatening to those in power. Just look at what happened at Standing Rock with the Dakota Access Pipeline. If the views of the people impacted had actually been considered, construction wouldn’t have even begun. We agree with the author that no one should buy into a victim mentality, but calling out oppression doesn’t necessarily mean victimizing oneself. Arguing that individuals ought to take more responsibility for their success is largely unproductive; this idea has been reinforced in all of us again and again. Perhaps a more constructive question we should be asking is, how do we provide the same opportunities for all members of our society? How do we create a true meritocracy, the world that the author describes? How do we turn what we consider privilege for some into a right for all? We probably won’t agree on the best way to get there, but we can start by talking about where we should be heading. Progress begins by listening to those who are trying to speak up instead of dismissing them as divisive. Ben Herndon-Miller Will Rice College Senior Aparna Narendrula Will Rice College Senior Demetrie Luke Lovett College Senior Helen Wei Will Rice College Senior

U.S. drug law a fabricated excuse for mass incarceration Even as America continues to lose competence on the world stage, one pillar of our society stands uncontested: the skyrocketing number of prisoners. In the U.S., we have the highest incarceration rate in the world — triple the prison population of Russia. These numbers have been on the rise since Nixon’s 1971 declaration of the “War on Drugs.” While America’s crime rate remained stable between 1972 and 2012, our prison population grew from 300,000 to 2 million. This man-made crisis was crafted to treat a nonexistent problem, using the scapegoat of petty drug crimes to disproportionately arrest minorities in order to make a quick buck and create a class of contemporary untouchables we call “criminals.” As Michelle Alexander notes in “The New Jim Crow,” America imprisons a higher percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. According to the 2003 United States Justice Bureau Report, African-Americans and Latinos make up nearly 70 percent of the U.S. prison and jail population, though they account for only a quarter of the U.S. population. Labeled as prisoners, individuals are stripped of their rights and ushered into a lower class. Although prisoners have no voting power, they are counted as residents in the county they’re imprisoned in and used to involuntarily advance the political agenda of the ruling party. Not only are they political bodies, but they are also bodies used for unpaid labor across the United States. The 13th Amendment bans involuntary servitude except when used as punishment for crime. The powerless are again used as chattel in our society, recreating the slavery we so vehemently tried to cease after the Civil War. The implications continue even after prison sentences end, with ex-prisoners facing lasting voting restrictions in many

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states and permanent disenfranchisement in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia. Former convicts are stigmatized and often barred from employment. While many believe that drug use would increase if drug laws were relaxed, countries with more liberal drug laws have shown the opposite to be true. Countries that decriminalize drugs have lower crime rates and lower overdose rates, while HIV diagnoses have exponentially decreased. The U.S. knowingly turns a blind eye to these facts, because to act in the best interest of the people would mean to lose a loss of power, control and income. As Rice students, we have the opportunity to make a change in the world. By staying informed about the history of the War on Drugs, protesting its discriminatory policies and questioning the flimsy justification of criminality, we can help dismantle this system of oppression. Rice has a chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, an international organization of students dedicated to spreading valuable, unbiased information and ending the War on Drugs. This organization, in addition to works like “The New Jim Crow” and the Netflix documentary “13th,” is a powerful resource for staying informed and making a change. Just as Alexander wrote, the current policies are certainly the New Jim Crow, and we should not longer stand for the systematic racism and megalomania the U.S. has practiced for so long.

CHAD WESSELKAMPER & MAGGIE COX

Jones College Sophomore Duncan College Sophomore chw6@rice.edu mdc10@rice.edu

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

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SPOTLIGHT

5

B G E N I H Y I N A T D S a Thanksgiving on campus

ILLUSTRATION BY ESTHER TANG

SANVITTI SAHDEV THRESHER STAFF / SS163@RICE.EDU

Postmates, instant ramen and dinner at the magisters’ house were some of the survival tools for students who stayed on campus for Thanksgiving break. Every year, a number of students remain at Rice during the four-day Thanksgiving recess due to a variety of reasons such as distance, cost or simply preparation for the final week of classes. “I personally stayed just because it’s too far to go back home,” Gayatri Sawant, a Sid Richardson College freshman and international student from India, said. “But I know a couple of people stayed back just because it’s easier to focus here.” Elhadji Diop, a Duncan College freshman, said the cost was a factor. “It’s just not affordable for my family to fly me back to Georgia,” Diop said. “It’s a hassle for two days and we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.”

COOKING FOR THEMSELVES All serveries were closed from Wednesday evening to Sunday dinner. Students fended for themselves by cooking, eating out or ordering takeout. Most colleges also organized at least one meal during the break. “You can send five to 10 emails, Facebook messages, letting students know that the serveries are going to be closed, but still there will be some for whom it is a nasty shock,” Aysha Pollnitz, a resident associate at Baker College, said. Diop found himself trying new food, but at the expense of his wallet. “I did Postmates,” Diop said. “I literally have like three shawarma sandwiches in my fridge right now, and after this I’m going to go eat one. It was good food, but at the same time it was like…my bank account.” Meanwhile, Sawant and her friends managed by cooking meals for

themselves. “For me, there’s a group of three to five people who kind of bond and cook together,” Sawant said. “Just getting together and making a meal together.” Many colleges combated homesickness by organizing a traditional Thanksgiving meal at their respective magisters’ houses. They also provided students with opportunities to bond and entertain themselves. “When [RAs and magisters] didn’t need help [with preparations], we were just doing other stuff like playing Cards Against Humanity, playing with our magisters’ three dogs, just talking in general, and invading their privacy,” Sawant said. “Other than that, we also have nights when it’s just like, play board games, eat pumpkin pie.” According to Pollnitz, the Thanksgiving meals served to bring students in respective residential colleges together. “Food is always a way of bringing people together, and making them feel welcome and at home wherever they are,” she said. “A traditional Thanksgiving meal, as from my understanding, involves family coming together to eat, and so that has typically been at the center of any Baker event during Thanksgiving.”

PASSING THE TIME Shryans Goyal, a Will Rice College freshman, welcomed the time over the break to explore Houston in a way that his hectic schedule doesn’t otherwise permit. “I went into Houston which was nice because, even on weekends, you have a lot of work to do, and you never get a solid six- [or] seven-hour span of time to just chill,” Goyal said. “But because it was a longer weekend, we went into Houston, cycled downtown, stuff like that.” Meanwhile, Haley Gao, a Baker College sophomore, took advantage of the Black Friday sales.

“I went shopping for Thanksgiving. I went at midnight, from 12 to 5 in the morning,” Gao said. “That was awesome, and we watched the sunrise after that.”

A traditional Thanksgiving meal, as from my understanding, involves family coming together to eat, and so that has typically been at the center of any Baker event during Thanksgiving. Aysha Pollnitz Baker College Resident Associate In contrast, Sawant used the fourday break to rest and get ahead on schoolwork. “Despite what most people think, the library’s actually open for most of [Thanksgiving break], and it gives you the perfect quiet atmosphere to study and focus, especially since exams are coming up,” she said. “On the other hand, if you don’t want to do that, the magisters usually have something going on.” On Saturday, for example, Sid Richardson College held a board game night. Goyal, however, pointed out the downside of a deserted and relatively quieter campus. “The best part was that it was more silent and there was more peace, but that was also sort of the worst part, because you always need to see people around you, and there were not many,” Goyal said. “It was pretty isolating.” Many Rice events took place around campus during the Thanksgiving break, according to Pollnitz, who has held a book club during the break in the past. This included an open campus observatory and the seniors’ game on Saturday.

TIME TO BOND Despite the events happening on campus, Goyal, an international student, was homesick while staying behind on campus for the family-oriented holiday. “Everyone’s going back to their families, posting Snapchats,” Goyal said. “I mean, it is pretty depressing. I would love to go back to my family during any holiday.” Gao, however, was less attached to the idea of returning home for Thanksgiving. “It feels okay, because I, personally, am not a homesick person,” Gao said. “Thanksgiving is not actually a thing in China, so I don’t feel anything really.” According to Pollnitz, the majority of times the Baker College adult team members are contacted during Thanksgiving break is for similar reasons as any other time of the year. “Students’ health concerns and academic concerns don’t go away just because it’s a holiday,” Pollnitz said. “I think there are always students who feel like they are missing someone or missing out on more traditional Thanksgiving by remaining on campus, and sporadically they might reach out to us.” According to Pollnitz, students themselves also contributed in turning their colleges into a family to substitute for the one they left at home. “It always impresses me the extent to which students share in the family spirit by hanging out with each other,” Pollnitz said. Diop had a different perspective on the connections formed among those who remained on campus. “It didn’t feel like oh, we’re going to bond together over this Thanksgiving dinner and be so thankful,” Diop said. “It wasn’t like that at all. It was very much like, you know, we’re homies. We chilled and played basketball.” Sawant thought those who stayed on campus during the break were able to spend more time together. “You bond more with the people that are left behind because you’re ready to have just any human interaction,” Sawant said.


&

ARTS entertainment

6 FILM

‘LADY BIRD’ RESHAPES THE COMING-OF-AGE STORY MADDIE FLAVIN THRESHER STAFF / MF37@RICE.EDU

LADY BIRD courtesy npr

LITERATURE

Julie Maroh’s ‘Body Music’ is a longed-for ode to queerness

LILY WULFEMEYER THRESHER STAFF / LCW2@RICE.EDU

Comic artist and graphic novelist Julie Maroh is back on the market with her fourth book, “Body Music.” Translated from French by David Hormel, the collection of 21 vignettes on love and relationships was published this November. Her illustrated narratives are raw, soothing, familiar and organic all at once as they unfold over pages painted in muted brown and gray tones of linseed oil. But the most refreshing aspect of Maroh’s study of love is her focus on historically erased stories. As the author states in the introduction, “Bow-legged, chubby, ethnic, androgynous, trans, pierced, scarred, ill, disabled, old, hairy, outside all the usual aesthetic criteria … queers, dykes, trans, freaks, the non-monogamous, flighty and spiny hearts [...] we are not a minority; we are the alternatives. There are as many love stories as there are imaginations.” Readers who have found themselves inundated by stories of love between people who are straight, white, monogamous and TV-screen beautiful are given a chance to see their own stories play out on the pages of “Body Music.” The story is knitted together over the course of many months in Montreal, beginning on July 1, a day widely known as Moving Day for the local residents whose leases begin and end. Painted atop this vibrant backdrop is Maroh’s celebration of love and relationships. Maroh reminds us that love isn’t always romance, and sometimes romance doesn’t evolve into love as we wish it would. She depicts the all-toofamiliar anxiety of waiting for a break-up text, or reminiscing about years spent with a partner. Some of the stories carry the energy of emergent relationships, and others a state of comfortable stasis as we see into the lives of long-term couples. By reminding us that love is not a standardized experience but a descriptor used to characterize a vast range of human emotion, Maroh redefines what love and relationships are at their core. While she is mostly successful in tackling a large undertaking, there are still some shortcomings from a craft perspective. Beyond the common theme of love and relationships, there is little consistent structure, leading to vignettes that felt out of place or simply submerged among

THE WEEKLY SCENE

QFEST PRESENTS ‘BPM’ This Sunday at 3 p.m., watch the French film “BPM,” which centers around a group of activists aiming to bring attention to the AIDS crisis in the ’90s. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 general admission. Rice Media Center Rice Cinema events.rice.edu

their counterparts. Furthermore, some of the stories are so touching that, at times, they become almost saccharine, even in the most agonizing moments. This sort of romanticizing equates anxiety and fear with passion, or leads to characters keying the words “I still love you” into their ex-lover’s car. Perhaps we are meant to get lost in the moments of tragic romance or idealized claims about human nature, but at times they are simply difficult to buy into. Another complaint that Maroh frequently garners from casual readers is in regards to her artistic style. It’s simultaneously shocking and scrupulous, and may admittedly be off-putting to comic fans who could see it as lurid compared to the polished and aggressively colorful pages of a commercial comic book. But Maroh has intentionally skirted idealistic cultural tendencies in which “bodies are luscious, photo-shopped within an inch of their lives” in the portrayal of her characters. Instead, she has characters whose appearances refuse gender stereotyping; lovers lying naked and panting, unselfconscious of their weight; transgender individuals with scars after top surgery; people in wheelchairs on their way to concerts. The art style may not present the streamlined Barbie and Ken doll physiques of the modern comic market, but it is honest and real, just as Maroh intended. “Body Music” asserts there is no need to be embarrassed by one’s body or appearance, and instead chooses to worship what it is capable of and what bursting emotions it contains. This validating portrayal of what is seen as unconventional makes “Body Music” at once so progressive and also so natural. Readers who may feel underrepresented are given stories that are theirs rather than those of the latest box-office rom com or utopian love triangle. Queer families, partners who are disabled, “nontraditional” families and more are normalized, without any expectation of admiration for meeting a diversity quota. Maroh celebrates those whose love “goes against what is expected of them, sometimes risking their lives in the process” and acknowledges that in a global modern society, the body is increasingly political. These are stories of truth and resistance and representation, radical acts in and of themselves interwoven in a beautiful survey of the different modes of love.

Episode length: 93 minutes Rating: R Genre: Drama/Comedy

As teenagers, we often think our parents have no idea what we’re going through when, in reality, they do. Parents don’t usually have as much of a starring role as the youths (usually male) in coming-of-age stories. If teenage girls are present, they’re often ensemble members or supporting players, rarely given the spotlight. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” gives both parents and young women a voice in a fascinating genre that will never run out of tales to tell. In 2002, Christine McPherson begins her senior year of high school. Having recently rechristened herself “Lady Bird,” the 17-year-old aches to leave her hometown, Sacramento, the “Midwest of California,” in the rearview mirror and go to the more cultured East Coast. But because of financial limitations and less-than-stellar grades, she might have to settle for an in-state college education. As Lady Bird indulges in her final high school adventures, her relationship with her mother is equally volatile, constantly switching from common ground to combat ground on a dime. As Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan delivers one of the most nuanced, fleshedout portrayals of a teenage girl ever put on film. Angsty without being melodramatic, confident but awkward, Lady Bird is a risk-taker determined to make her own path. She won’t play nice or bend her will to please people, and that blunt courage is refreshing in a young female character. The lovely

Beanie Feldstein makes Julie, Lady Bird’s best friend, an empowering character with a wonderful sense of autonomy. Laurie Metcalf brings outstanding realism to the role of Lady Bird’s mother, Marion. The family breadwinner working overtime to support the household, Marion wants so much for her daughter, but not to see her heart broken if things don’t work out. While Marion can be quick-tempered, it’s wrong to assume that she ever stops loving Lady Bird. Just like her daughter, Marion sometimes can’t find the right words. Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet as Lady Bird’s boyfriends are more than just love interests. Young men at different stages of finding their identities, Hedges’ theatre nerd Danny and Chalamet’s smoking rocker Kyle are equally complex in their characterizations.

Lady Bird won’t play nice or bend her will to please people, and that blunt courage is refreshing in a young female character. When J.K. Simmons won his Academy Award for “Whiplash,” he ended his acceptance speech with a simple but powerful request to the audience: “Call your mom.” As frenetic adolescents on the cusp of adulthood, we often view our parents as meddling, overbearing nuisances who want to keep us in a box. But when crossing that stage on graduation day, one chapter of our lives ending and a new one brewing on the horizon, there’s no denying that our parents helped us get to that crucial moment. While many films about growing up focus mainly on young protagonists, “Lady Bird” shows the parents’ perspective too, proving that the whole family feels the growing pains of a child leaving home.

courtesy npr

PANCAKES AND BOOZE ART SHOW

FIRST SATURDAY ARTS MARKET

TAKE BACK THE MIC

This weekend check out the work of more than 100 local artists as well as a free pancake bar. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday and tickets are $10 or less. Admission is 18+.

This unseasonably warm Saturday enjoy food trucks, live music and browsing art outdoors at the First Saturday Arts Market. Maybe you can even pick up a few unique gifts. The market runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Current Houston Poet Laureate Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton and fellow poets Maria Palacios, Traci Thiebauld, Analicia Sotelo will give readings around the theme of women’s health this Thursday. The performance begins at 4:30 p.m. and a catered reception will follow.

Warehouse Live 813 Saint Emanuel warehouselive.com

548 W. 19th St. firstsaturdayartsmarket.com

RMC Chapel


SPORTS Taking over under turmoil Flashback to early 2007. Rice head coach Todd Graham had just led the Owls to their first bowl since 1961, and things were looking up. But only a few days after signing a contract extension, Graham took a head coaching job at the University of Tulsa, shocking fans and the Owls football program. Rice needed a head coach who would stay with the program. Former Texas State University football coach David Bailiff promised exactly that.

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20 BAILIFF ERA 07 20 08 20 12 20 13 20 14 THE BEST OF THE MICHAEL PRICE

THRESHER STAFF / JMP12@RICE.EDU

First Bowl win since

10-3 1954

After a 3-9 season in 2007 in his first year at the helm, everything changed for Bailiff in 2008. Led by quarterback Chase Clement and wide receiver Jarett Dillard, who set a new NCAA FBS record of most touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver duo with 51, the Owls finished with a 9-3 record. They earned a ticket to the 2008 Texas Bowl against Western Michigan University and took home their first bowl win since 1954 in a 38-14 victory. courtesy mike comer

Armed Forces

BOWL CHAMPS

7-6

courtesy lm otero

Three losing seasons from 2009 to 2011 put Bailiff on the hot seat heading into 2012. The Owls, however, regained their footing that year, finishing the season 6-6. The record was good enough to qualify for a trip to the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl, where Rice defeated the Air Force Academy 33-14. Bailiff improved his record to 2-0 in bowl games at Rice with the win.

10-4

Conference USA

CHAMPIONS

Rice built on its success the next season, finishing with a 9-3 record and earning a spot in the 2013 Conference USA Championship game against Marshall University. The Owls defeated the Thundering Herd 42-24 to win their first C-USA title. Rice was invited to play in the Liberty Bowl, where it lost to Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State University 44-7.

courtesy tommy lavergne

Three straight

BOWL GAMES

8-5

courtesy eugene tanner

BAILIFF FROM PAGE 1 “He loves [the players] and he gave his all to this program … It’s more difficult for [Bailiff] and his family than anyone else.” Bailiff leaves Rice near the top of the school’s all-time ranks in numerous categories. He twice matched the school record for wins in a season with 10 in 2008 and 2013. He ranks second all time in wins. losses, and games coached. In both 2008 and 2013, he was named Conference USA coach of the year. Rice now begins a coaching search. Rice hired Bailiff from then-FCS school Texas State University in 2007. This year, Rice will conduct a nationwide search for candidates. Karlgaard said he is looking for a coach who is ready to radically change the program. “I want somebody who can really look at the way things have been done here and question all of it,” Karlgaard said. “I really want somebody who is going to embrace a different mindset. I think, with the [men’s and women’s] basketball [head] coaching searches, we wanted continuity. I don’t think that’s the case in this instance.”

Despite starting the 2014 season 0-3, the Owls recovered and finished with a 7-5 record. The winning record was good enough for Rice to qualify for its third straight bowl game. Bailiff’s squad defeated Fresno State University in the Hawai’i Bowl, 30-6, to improve his bowl record to 3-1. The Owls have been unable to replicate this success since. infographic by katrina cherk

According to Karlgaard, the head coaching job at Rice should be attractive to potential candidates. “I think it’s a challenging but eminently rewarding opportunity,” Karlgaard said. “If you can make Rice a consistent winner, I think that’s a feather in anybody’s cap. It’s not an impossible job. I think our success in the recent past, from 2012 to 2014 [going to] three straight bowl games with a conference championship sandwiched in between, show[s] that we can do that here.” According to a press release from the athletic department, the school will consult with Turnkey Search, a company based in New Jersey, throughout the process, but Karlgaard will perform interviews and make the final decision on a hire. He said he has already received input on potential candidates from Rice supporters. “Everybody’s got a different opinion,” Karlgaard said. “We’ve built a profile. We’re going to stick to that profile. That’s served us well in our last couple of coaching searches; we look for key characteristics. We’re going to match the candidates up with those charac-

teristics and pick the one that fits the best.” According to Karlgaard, the coaching search should not last long. This is the first year that there is an early signing period for recruits, so Rice will make sure to have a coach in place before the signing period begins on Dec. 20. Because of that and the numerous other openings around college football, Karlgaard said Rice is planning to make a hire soon. “We’re going to have to move fast,” Karlgaard said. “It’s a highly competitive environment out there. I think if you move too slowly, you run the risk of losing plan A, B and C and we don’t want to do that. That being said, I’m not going to hire somebody just to make a fast hire because they have to be the right fit.” Before Rice makes a hire, defensive coordinator Brian Stewart will serve as interim head coach. He will be in contact with recruits leading up to the early signing period and will oversee team activities until a permanent head coach steps in. Karlgaard did not comment on whether Stewart is a candidate for the head coaching job.

Potential coaching candidates ANDREW GROTTKAU SPORTS EDITOR / ABG4@RICE.EDU

TONY LEVINE Currently: Purdue University Assistant Coach Levine has been busy this year at Purdue, serving as the special teams coordinator and co-offensive coordinator. He filled the same position at Western Kentucky University, a member of Conference USA, in 2016. Before coming to WKU, he was at the University of Houston for seven years and served as head coach from 2011 to 2014. The search committee will likely value his vast experience recruiting in the Houston area and coaching in C-USA. LANCE ANDERSON Currently: Stanford University Defensive Coordinator Anderson is in his 11th season at Stanford and his fourth as defensive coordinator. Stanford’s defenses have been among the best in the nation during his tenure, ranking 18th in the country in points against in 2016, 33rd in 2015 and second in 2014. He is the program’s liaison to the admissions office, so he has worked to admit qualified athletes at a top academic university. His coaching ability and experience at an elite academic institution should make him attractive to Rice. MIKE BLOOMGREN Currently: Stanford Offensive Coordinator Now in his seventh season at Stanford, Bloomgren is both offensive coordinator and associate head coach alongside head coach David Shaw. He also coaches the offensive line, which has helped clear the way for star running backs Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love over recent years. Like Anderson, his experience at a top academic institution and his coaching success will be his strongest attributes if he chooses to apply for the job. KURT ROPER Currently: University of South Carolina Co-Offensive Coordinator Roper is a Rice alum who played quarterback for the Owls in the 1990s. Since then, he has coached in FBS football for 20 years. Most of his time has been spent as a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator in the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference, both of which are Power 5 conferences. He also had a brief stint as an offensive assistant for the Cleveland Browns in 2015. Although his offenses at South Carolina have struggled over the past two years, he has a great deal of experience in college coaching and has been at Rice before, so he should be a serious candidate. WILD CARD One other possibility would be for Rice to hire a coach who runs the triple option. Army, Navy and Georgia Tech have used this offense for years. The system relies almost exclusively on run plays and seeks to wear a defense down with repeated small gains on the ground. It does not require star quarterbacks because there is little passing. It also keeps the other team’s offense off the field because it runs the clock. The system typically works well at schools like Rice because it relies on speed and decision making rather than sheer athleticism. Employing a triple option system could help Rice compete despite its difficult position in recruiting.


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THE RICE THRESHER

BACKPAGE

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017

The Backpage is satire and written by Joey McGlone and Isaac Schultz. Christina Tan did the design, as always. Let this byline serve as a permanent placeholder so we never have to thank her again. For comments or questions, please email farts@rice.edu.

CLASSIFIEDS WANTED

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 jobs@testmasters.com. 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@ sriacademicservices.com SEEKING RICE STUDENT t0 tutor. 7-year old in piano 30 minutes twice a week in River Oaks. Must be piano proficient and can sightread. Lesson plan provided. $60/week. Must be responsible, punctual. (713) 302-6046. TWO FULLY-FURNISHED ROOMS for rent in 2200 sq. ft. 3-story townhouse in Midtown. Nice, safe place and great location. Small yard with flowers and garden. $895/mo included utilities. No pets, must be neat, nonsmoking. Contact Viet at 713-825-0232.

CONSULTING AND PAID survey opportunity for a new social networking concept. Ideal candidtes do heavy online social networking and have good knowledge of social personalities and statuses. All backgrounds; LGBTQ, alternative and gaming especially needed. Details at www.Credsnap.com, survey@credsnap.com SPACIOUS BELLAIRE DUPLEX. 2 large bedrooms, office nook, dining, large living, garage parking, washer/dryer/stove/ refrigerator, central air. 15 minutes to campus, close to everything. Water paid. 4500 Larch Lane. $995/month, available December 1. 512-773-4655. ROOM FOR RENT in nearby Westwood neighborhood off of Stella Link Rd. About 15 min. from Rice University. Rent is $700. a month, all bills paid. The room is second bedroom/office w/ a desk & sofa that can be slept on if needed. A shared bathroom. Use of Washer & Dryer. Street Parking only. A Very Safe & Mostly Quiet neighborhood w/ the exception of an occasional party at neighbor’s. Friendly neighbors who keep

a watch out for each other, too. Very Clean, Vintage home that works well w/ a little TLC. Please contact Michelle at 281-686-5805. UPSTAIRS ROOM FOR RENT in great house built by a former Rice bursar, 1 mi from Rice. Tenant would share a bathroom, but have their own huge bedroom with lots of closet space. $695/mo, non-smokers only. Contact Tom at 713-874-1387.

ADVERTISING

We accept display and classified advertisements. The Thresher reserves the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. Additionally, the Thresher does not take responsibility for the factual content of any ad. Printing an advertisement does not constitute an endorsement by the Thresher. Display advertisements must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday prior to publication. First copy free, second copy $5.

P/T, F/T WORKER FOR SPECIAL NEEDS behavior/learning program. Private behavior/ academic learning program for children ages 2-12 yr, primarily those with autism, in Museum District seek University students to learn our unique program combining behavior & social skills training with Montessori methods. Call 713-528-2343 or send resume to Director at marys.mcclure2@ gmail.com

Cash, check or credit card payment must accompany your classified advertisement, which must be received by 12 p.m. on the Friday prior to publication. Tom Wang Advertising Manager thresher-ads@rice.edu P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77005-1892 (713) 348-4801

The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, November 29, 2017  
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