VOLUME 102, ISSUE NO. 24 | STUDENT-RUN SINCE 1916 | RICETHRESHER.ORG | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018
MY DEAR WATSON Fellowships send seniors around the globe
LO-FI CHILL BEATS KTRU Outdoor Show to feature eclectic local music and art
BRING OUT THE BROOMS Baseball executes their first C-USA series sweep of the season
SEE SPOTLIGHT P. 6
SEE A&E P. 7
SEE SPORTS P. 10
Athletics introducing new mental health initiative ANDREW GROTTKAU SPORTS EDITOR / ABG4@RICE.EDU
Rice Young Democrats President Franz Brotzen delivers the opening remarks at an April 7 town hall on gun violence. The event featured seven political candidates. charlene pan / thresher
Gun control panel lacks bipartisan speakers AMY QIN THRESHER STAFF / AQ5@RICE.EDU
Two weeks after the March for Our Lives, the Rice Young Republicans and Rice Young Democrats hosted an on-campus town hall addressing gun violence, though no Republican Party candidates attended. The Facebook page for the April 7 event stated a goal of hosting both Democratic and Republican elected oﬃcials to discuss solutions to gun violence, but among the panel of seven political candidates were six Democrats and one independent. Franz Brotzen and Hannah Meeks, who helped host the event, both said they were disappointed by lack of Republican attendance at the town hall, despite invitations extended to politicians from both parties, according to Meeks. Oﬃcers of the Rice Young Republicans did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but former Student Association President Justin Onwenu, who
also organized the event, said both the Democratic and Republican campus clubs helped reach out to candidates.
The other side of the aisle is too caught up trying to earn that A+ on the NRA report card. Carol Alvarado Texas State Representive Meeks, a Hanszen College freshman, organized a Rice Call to Action event against gun violence on March 24 that she said was only attended by a little over a dozen people. She said the Rice student turnout to this weekend’s town hall remained poor, possibly as a result of student apathy, heavy end-of-semester workloads and the presence of only one political party in the panel.
“I can’t particularly blame Rice students for not showing up since we only had Democratic candidates who are running for oﬃce, so the event probably wasn’t super appealing,” Meeks said. “Not a single Republican [panelist] came to our event, which I think is the attendance problem we should be talking about.” The panel was comprised of Democrats Laura Moser, Carol Alvarado, Steven David, Todd Litton, Lina Hidalgo and Rita Lucido, and independent Benjamin Hernandez. After opening statements from Brotzen, the president of Rice Young Democrats, the panel answered questions that were submitted online or prepared by the student organizers. Quiet chuckles filled the hall when the panelists were asked via online submission how they would increase bipartisanship. “On our side of the aisle, we look for bipartisanship,” Alvarado, the sitting representative of Texas’
GUN CONTROL CONT. ON PAGE 2
Over 80 percent of male Rice student-athletes and nearly 70 percent of female studentathletes reported stress levels of six or higher on a 10-point scale, according to a research study conducted by senior Julie Litver and juniors Mike Otoo and Molly Tilbrook. The study, which included 96 female student-athletes and 54 male student-athletes, addressed topics including stress levels, eating disorders, depression and overall happiness. As a result of the findings, the research team is creating a new system of Peer Wellbeing Athletic Advisors to address the mental health needs of student-athletes at Rice. According to Litver, the group identified student-athlete mental
health as a pressing issue from both experience and outside research and wanted to approach the issue in a scientific manner.
[Student-athletes] have such diﬀerent demands placed on them. Julie Litver Senior Swimmer “We noticed that in a lot of the literature, there was concern for student-athletes because they have such diﬀerent demands placed on them,” Litver said. “Their mental health needs might be diﬀerent than regular students. We wanted to tap into that to see if there was a problem with that at Rice.”
MENTAL HEALTH CONT. ON PAGE 10
UNCOVERING ATHLETE STRESS A study of 150 Rice athletes found that feelings of stress and lack of support are common. PERCENT THAT FEELS UNSUPPORTED BY STUDENT BODY
PERCENT REPORTING STRESS LEVELS ABOVE 6/10
83 69 56 32 female
Physical stresses were the biggest contributor to stress levels, followed by academic stress infographic by christina tan
Rommel Espinola, RUPD oﬃcer of 9 years, passes away in accident JAECEY PARHAM
years old; he is survived by his 9-year-old son, Cullen, according to news reports. Espinola was a graduate of Klein High School and Sam Houston State University; he worked as a teacher before joining the police force. He served as an RUPD oﬃcer for nine years. According to RUPD Chief of Police, James Tate, Espinola is the department’s first oﬃcer to have passed away while a current RUPD employee. “We are completely heartbroken over the loss of Detective Rommel Espinola,” Tate said. “He was loved and courtesy rupd respected by everyone at RUPD. Oﬃcer Rommel Espinola, Our department won’t be the of the Rice University Police same without him. May he rest Department, passed away on in peace.” Espinola’s work earned him April 9 after being involved in a car accident. Espinola was 48 respect from all his fellow oﬃcers, THRESHER STAFF / JLP9@RICE.EDU
according to Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby.
The only thing he loved more than police work was his family. Clemente Rodriguez RUPD oﬃcer “[He] was the consummate professional — excellent in his role as an investigator, highly respected by his law enforcement colleagues, and loved by all,” Kirby said. “The Rice community is deeply saddened and our hearts go out to his family.”
President David Leebron said both the police department and the entire Rice community have experienced a great loss in Espinola’s death. “[Oﬃcer Espinola] served the university with enormous dedication for a decade,” Leebron said. “He was beloved by all who worked with him, and will be forever grateful for his contribution to the safety and security of all in our community as a tireless investigator. We will miss him greatly.” Former Interim Chief of Police Clemente Rodriguez said that while Oﬃcer Espinola was one of the most dedicated and compassionate oﬃcers in the department, he was just as committed to being the best possible husband and father. “He loved being a police
oﬃcer and serving the Rice community,” Rodriguez said. “Rommel always came to work with a positive attitude and would lend a hand to anyone who needed help. The only thing he loved more than police work was his family. [He] stood by his wife who unfortunately passed away less than [six] months ago after a protracted illness. This is a tremendous loss for the Espinola family, RUPD and the entire Rice community.” A wake will be held on April 11, 5-8 p.m. and a memorial service will take place on April 14 at 10 a.m. Both events will hosted at the Klein Funeral Home. To support his 9-year-old son, donations can be made by purchasing a ticket or sponsorship to a memorial golf tournament at bit.ly/2EhRXqt.
‘Weed Freed’: Panelists debate best path to marijuana legalization ELLIOT STAHR THRESHER STAFF / ERS9@RICE.EDU
Panelists debated the best course of American marijuana policy as they discussed the eﬀects of legalization on the economy and public health at the Rice Federalist Society’s “Weed Freed” event on April 5. Solicitor General of Oklahoma Mithun Mansinghani (Martel ’08) was the only panelist who declined to comment instead of expressing support for legalization. He said state-level eﬀorts to legalize the drug have violated the balance between state and federal authority as set by the Constitution. “Some of the same people who are so concerned about the fabric of our democracy right now turn a blind eye to how marijuana reform has been taking place just because they like the results, even if those results undermine our most fundamental institutions,” Mansinghani said. Mansinghani asked the audience to imagine potential consequences of states granting licenses to behave contrary to federal law, such as if Texas granted licenses for citizens to buy machine guns or allowed businesses to disregard the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, Dean Becker, a contributing expert in drug policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, said bigotry and racism were used to sway public opinion and pass marijuana prohibition laws. Becker said that he was in part responsible for Harris County’s Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program, which gives certain eligible individuals the option to avoid being charged and arrested for possession of marijuana under four ounces. “To make alcohol illegal, they needed a constitutional amendment,” Becker said. “They got the states to sign on to do it, and
when they repealed it, they had to undo that, get more states to sign on to do away with prohibition. For marijuana, they just threw out a bunch of morals.” Becker said Harry J. Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, was a moralist who “spread his BS around the country,” demanding that prohibition of marijuana move forward. Becker read aloud various anti-marijuana quotations from Anslinger, including one in which Anslinger said, “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.” “There is no real justification for laws against marijuana or any of these other drugs,” Becker said. “This is a means whereby the population can be controlled and frightened into believing these things to be necessary.” Katharine Harris, a fellow in drug policy at the Baker Institute, said legalization of marijuana has had a generally positive impact on state economies, raising hundreds of millions in revenue and creating jobs in areas such as marijuana law and production. Harris also said that although teens are perceiving fewer risks from marijuana use, these perceptions do not translate into higher rates of teen marijuana use. “In Colorado, teen use now is actually lower than it was prior to adult-use legalization,” Harris said. However, Harris said there is a profit incentive for commercial marijuana businesses to encourage frequent use, which poses a public health concern. According to Harris, daily marijuana users account for over half of total marijuana consumption. Harris oﬀered various solutions to these concerns, such as limiting commercial sales to nonprofit organizations or instituting statecontrolled sale of marijuana, which is similar
FIGHT THE BULLET
HANNAH MEEKS Hanszen College Freshman
“Everyone on this stage, all our representatives, they are our employees. They work for us.” On the need to demand gun control reform at an on-campus town hall MITHUN MANSINGHANI Oklahoma Soliciter General
HIGH BROW DEBATE
“Light your joint if you want to, just don’t burn the Constitution to do it. Panelists debated marijuana legalization policy at a Rice Federalist Society event
TANNER REESE Former Martel Senator
“There’s actual great things that [the SA] can do here, and a bill like this really undermines the entire thing.” On behalf of repealing Resolution #11 to ‘Recognize that Martel is not a college’ infographic by sydney garrett
to how certain states only sell liquor through state-owned stores. According to Harris, these methods could mitigate concerns over black market sales while still generating tax revenue through a system that is better for public health. Each of the three panelists had a diﬀerent preference forms of legalization. Mansinghani said legalization should occur in one of three ways: passing legislation through Congress, lowering the classification of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act or overturning Supreme Court rulings on interstate commerce such as the Wickard v. Filburn ruling. Becker advocated for a commercial approach in which no substances are controlled, no matter how poisonous they may be. According to Becker, substances should only be regulated so that their packaging lists the ingredients contained therein and people know what they are buying.
Harris said she doesn’t think all illicit drugs should be legalized and made publicly available. Harris also said she would support a commercial marijuana market over prohibition but would prefer a model that balances public health concerns as well. McMurtry College freshman Sanat Mehta said the panel addressed the issue of marijuana legalization comprehensively and that the dialogue was productive. “My main takeaway is that most rational people agree that current federal laws against marijuana are too strict, but people disagree about what sort of system to move to,” Mehta said. Becker said the key to changing marijuana policy is having the courage to speak out about the issue. “It’s a subject worthy of discussion,” Becker said. “It’s in need of change, worthy of that impetus, worthy of your courage and commitment and action to get it done.”
Solicitor General of Oklahoma Mithun Mansinghani (Martel ’08), contributing expert in drug policy at the Baker Institute Dean Becker and Baker Institute fellow in drug policy Katharine Harris debated paths to marijuana legalization at a panel hosted by the Rice Federalist Society.
tiffany yip / thresher
Gun control town hall follows march GUN CONTROL FROM PAGE 1 145th Congressional District, said. “But unfortunately, I think the other side of the aisle is too caught up with trying to earn that A+ on the [National Rifle Association] report card. And if you have people in office like that, you’ll never have bipartisanship.” Litton, Moser and Alvarado said the fact that most Americans support universal background checks and some level of gun control provides a common ground. The panelists also emphasized the importance of electing responsive oﬃcials. Ariel Hobbs, a student organizer from the University of Houston, asked the panelists what they would do to close a close a loophole allowing those with a history of domestic abuse to own weapons. Moser said 46 percent fewer women get fatally shot by their partners in states requiring background checks for handguns. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have implemented such laws, according to website Everytown for Gun Safety. “We need a federal law,” Moser said. “If you move from [a certain state to another], you could get whatever gun you want, and
you could do whatever you want to your partner. That is not acceptable, and that is something we need to do in Washington to protect women.” Marcel McClinton, a student at Stratford High School, said he was accused of cyberbullying after reporting a student for threatening online posts and asked what they would do to educate administrators on dealing with reports of violence. “There is no excuse for an educator to punish someone for reporting something that is potentially dangerous,” David said. “But I also think it’s really important that we fund schools, to make sure that we get quality educators.” The panelists also addressed the eﬀect of gun violence on low-income, minority and LGBTQ+ populations. “Implicit bias is real. White privilege is real,” Litton said. “We need to deal with it in an open and honest way across our community. This is the most diverse city in the country. We have a responsibility to work together.” This story has been condensed for print. Read the full story online at ricethresher.org.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018
THE RICE THRESHER
Voting opens to raise IM sports fee to expand accessibility, cover costs CAMERON WALLACE ASST. NEWS EDITOR / CFW2@RICE.EDU
Undergraduate voting on a potential $5 blanket tax increase for the Rice University intramural sports program opened Monday night as part of the Student Association second round election. According to SA External Vice President Maurice Frediere, the fee will cover cost increases for the IM sports program including a federally mandated increase in administrator salary, salary increases for
student workers, increased equipment costs, and an expansion program for students with disabilities. According to Frediere, the increase of $5 would raise approximately $20,000 a year total, which Assistant Director for Competitive Sports Chris Watkins has already included in future spending plans. Watkins could not be reached at time of publication. SA President Ariana Engles said the federally mandated salary increase resulted from changes made to the Fair Labor
Standards Act in 2016, and only aﬀected administrators of the program. Referee wages have increased to keep up with rising student wages across campus, Frediere said. “I was a referee for quite a while and had to leave because I just made more money somewhere else on campus,” Frediere said. “So they’ve increased the starting wage, just because Rice pays generally above the minimum wage at least slightly.” Cost increases since the last time the fee was raised in 2007 include a 100 percent IM
sport participation increase, resulting in more games, more student workers and greater wear on sports equipment, Frediere said. According to Engles, the IM program moved into the Gibbs Recreation Center and doubled its sports oﬀerings in 2009, resulting in even more expenses. Additionally, according to Frediere, Watkins has plans to expand the IM program to increase accessibility for students with disabilities, including purchasing wheelchairs.
Rice is a six billion dollar institution, and when you’re running something that large, you can’t just cut around the financial system. Maurice Frediere SA External Vice President
Will Rice College faces McMurtry College at freshman flag football. To maintain the size of intramural sports programs, the Student Association Senate passed a resolution to support an IM sports fee increase. Voting on whether to increase fees opened Monday night. courtesy helen wei
Niels Nielson, founder of Rice religion department, passes at 97 ANNA TA NEWS EDITOR / AXT1@RICE.EDU
“Sooner or later the superficial arrogance that life or people are problems is refuted by destiny,” Niels C. Nielsen Jr. wrote in an 1961 op-ed to the Rice Thresher addressing humanistic learning. Nielsen passed away on March 27 at age 97. Nielsen founded the department of religion in 1968, and was a member of the Rice faculty from 1951 through 1991. He was a professor emeritus of philosophy and religious thought and an honorary associate of Will Rice College. He served as chair of the department until his retirement. Nielsen’s last book of nine was “God in the Obama Era: Presidents’ Religion and Ethics from George Washington to Barack Obama.” A reviewer of the book, Larry Wayne Roberts, wrote that Nielsen brought outstanding credentials and scholarship to his subject. “He is seen by many friends in the various faith communities as a person who shows understanding and tolerance for religious differences and seeks to be a bridge between them,” Roberts said. “I have read several of his books and have enjoyed them all. I truly enjoyed my first read and I [am] now going back through the book with a highlighter.” In his time as a faculty member, the Thresher reported on Nielsen’s part in the 1958 Senior Follies production, “singing an epic duet about the more subtle philosophical and biological points of of the ‘Follies of History.’” Nielsen, who was diagnosed with dementia, took part in a music and memory program that was documented by a Houston Chronicle article. His iPod shuﬄed through sermons and classical music. “Music promotes insight,” Nielsen
said in the article. “Music promotes harmony, understanding, and it’s a new adventure. It helps me and I get something from it.”
He is seen by many friends as a person who shows understanding and tolerance for religious differences and seeks to be a bridge. Larry Wayne Roberts Book Reviewer Nielsen grew up in Long Beach, California and received a bachelor’s degree in divinity and a doctorate in theology from Yale University. According to Rice News, he is survived by two daughters, Regina and Ali. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on April 25 at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Houston.
Frediere said that if the increase is not passed, the IM sports program would not be able to accomodate students with disabilities. Frediere said most sport oﬀerings would also likely be drastically reduced, and, eventually, major sport oﬀerings would be cut from weekly oﬀerings to short tournaments. According to Frediere, other methods of covering the cost, such as paying to play, would be impossible in the short term because the budget is so large and complex. “Rice is a six billion dollar institution with a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and when you’re running something that large, you can’t just cut around the financial system,” Frediere said.
FRESH & FAST MEET
WE DELIVER! courtesy rice digital scholarship archive
Dr. Niels Nielsen founded the Department of Religion in 1968 and stands second to the left in a photo of the department in 1987.
VISIT JIMMYJOHNS.COM TO FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU
4 STAFF EDITORIAL
Necessary increase in IM sports fees introduced too late for robust student input The Rice University student body will vote on a proposed $5 increase in intramural sports fees this week (p. 3). The increase will pass if at least twothirds of the required 20 percent turnout votes in favor. The legislation was introduced by Student Association President Ariana Engles at Senate on March 19. The fee will fund new equipment, increase the wage paid to IM oﬃcials and support maintenance of all currently available IM sports; should the legislation fail, all IM sports save basketball, soccer and flag football will be cut. The scope of the legislation raises the question of why exactly this major need was addressed so late in the semester. Considering the nature of the student body, it is likely that a large majority of students did not attend Senate or the residential college government meetings that have occurred between the legislation’s initial introduction and voting — yet the increase from $20 to $25 would appear in every student’s bill, regardless of the student’s civic participation or awareness. Those who oversee IM finances, particularly the full-time IM staﬀer that
administers the program, should have begun a public conversation about the need to increase fees significantly earlier in the semester. While we cannot expect full student body participation in making these sorts of decisions, hastily cramming this legislation into student ballots during the second-to-last week of classes is an unproductive way to increase engagement. Moving forward, a larger-scale study should be conducted to gauge the current state of IM sports and what students want from it. The IM sports program is explicitly for the students, and as such students should know where their money is going and have a say in what improvements they would like to see in the future. Despite the late notice, it’s important that this resolution pass. Whether or not one has ever played an IM sport while at Rice, the program is vital to students’ physical and mental well-being. We should encourage friendly competition between colleges, as it is and has been an essential part of college culture. We urge students to rifle through their emails and vote for the legislation. Voting ends on April 12 at 10 p.m.
The IM Sports Bubble
cartoon by areli navarro magallón and esther tang
Not our cup of tea: Consent merits more complex discussions during O-Week BY RANJINI NAGARAJ AND REBECCA FRANCIS “Consent ... should not be a lighthearted part of O-Week when sexual violence on our campus is still a major issue.”
‘Per Owlstra ad Astra’: Why Rice should choose space
BY ALEX AMARI
The article “Number of students kicked oﬀ campus varies by college” should have stated that Sid Richardson College, not Martel College, has the highest number of students choosing to live oﬀ campus by our estimate. In the article “A new era: Lovett Hall awaits new dean Bridget Gorman,” there were approximately 30 applicants for the dean position, not 100.
“Today, I believe our university benefits to an even greater extent from the same factors that made Rice and Houston Kennedy’s choice for the moonshot speech back in the early sixties.”
Administration must reconsider public political stances as representatives of the Rice community Rice University is first and foremost an academic institution. The university exists to prepare young men and women to tackle realworld problems in an objective and impartial manner. By cultivating an environment where ideas are free from prejudice and the facts can stand for themselves, we can grow in our ability to decipher the truth. Indeed, Rice’s mission statement summarizes that “Rice University aspires to [cultivate] a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.” President Leebron wrote in his Aug. 21 email, “We must resolve to engage with others and to be open to the exchange of perspectives and ideas. We cannot resolve disagreements or build bridges by attempting to silence others.” However, the administration’s recent oﬃcial actions have diverged from Leebron’s claims and call into question Rice’s commitment to diversity of learning and discovery. Namely, public positions taken by the administration on contentious political issues such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, although well-intentioned, conflict with the university’s
STAFF Drew Keller & Juan Saldaña* Editors in Chief Jasmine Lin* Managing Editor Shannon Klein Business Director news Emily Abdow* Editor Anna Ta Editor Cameron Wallace Asst. Editor
stated mission. Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson said at the Rice Unites for DACA event, “We demand accountability against those who would divide us and try to separate us into those who belong and those who do not belong because we do not believe it. We do not believe it at Rice and we do not believe it in this country.” This quotation has been published in the Thresher and widely disseminated beyond the hedges. President Leebron also urged the Rice community to advocate for the passing of DACA legislation in his Sept. 5 email.
Dean Hutchinson’s and President Leebron’s public positions [on DACA] have grave ramifications for Rice’s promise of impartiality. Dean Hutchinson’s and President Leebron’s public positions have grave
opinions Julianne Wey* Editor arts & entertainment Lenna Mendoza* Editor backpage Joey McGlone Editor Isaac Schultz Editor photo Sirui Zhou Editor Charlene Pan Editor
spotlight Elizabeth Rasich Editor
copy Sarah Smati Editor Catherine Soltero Editor
sports Andrew Grottkau* Editor Michael Byrnes Asst. Editor
online Charlie Paul Web Editor Alice Liu Digital Content Editor
ramifications for Rice’s promise of impartiality. By speaking on behalf of Rice, including its almost 7,000 students and over 2,000 fulltime employees, they have unintentionally crushed the ability for competing ideas to stand on their own merits. Their statements are not representative of the nuanced counterproposals and opinions held by the rest of the Rice community. The diversity of opinion in Rice’s student body regarding DACA could not be more clear in polls conducted prior to the SA Resolution 4 vote on support for the BRIDGE act, which would continue to provide current recipients of DACA temporary pseudo-legal status. The results of Hanszen College’s poll, for example, indicated that individuals in the college were evenly split in their support for the BRIDGE act. Clearly, the student body is not unified behind one singular response regarding DACA. The Hanszen president warned that “the precedent set by representing the opinion of an entire campus … might lead to resentment, and eventually silence, from students in ideological minorities who might disagree with a piece of legislation but whose perspective is necessary in the healthy, robust
design Christina Tan Director Sydney Garrett News Designer Marlena Fleck Sports Designer Ellie Mix A&E Designer Tina Liu Spotlight Designer Areli Navarro Magallón Illustrator Esther Tang Illustrator business operations Sara Lopez Marketing Manager Joey Castro Distribution Manager Greg Campo Distribution Manager Sanvitti Sahdev Business Designer *Editorial Board member
debates that we strive for at Rice.” My issue with the situation is not the DACA executive order, but rather that the university is taking an oﬃcial position on political issues. I applaud the enthusiasm my peers have in engaging in modern political issues. Historically, young adults have been disengaged from politics, and it is refreshing to see this generation challenge that trend. However, political advocacy should be the product of our personal capacities and not of oﬃcial endorsements by the administration. It is my hope that President Leebron and Dean Hutchinson reconsider and reverse their oﬃcial stance on proposed DACA legislation. Doing so would restore the diverse community of learning and discovery that has been the bedrock of Rice’s excellence. ANSON FUNG
Hanszen College Junior firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com Website: www.ricethresher.org The Thresher is a member of the ACP, TIPA, CMA, and CMBAM. © Copyright 2017
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018
THE RICE THRESHER
Lucrecia Aguilar observes a lion in a tree in Tanzania. COURTESY SHANNON O’CONNOR, KARINA AGUILAR, APARNA NARENDRULA, BRANDI RANSOM, RITA NEAGLI
Seniors win prestigious fellowships ELIZABETH RASICH SPOTLIGHT EDITOR / EAR4@RICE.EDU
As graduation approaches, these seniors are looking forward to graduate school and international travel. WATSON FELLOW: LUCRECIA AGUILAR Aguilar, a Baker College senior, will be traveling to Botswana, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Brazil and India to study big cats with the Watson Fellowship, which covers one year of travel with a $30,000 stipend. “I felt that before committing to graduate school, I wanted to explore my passion for big cat conservation further by experiencing how this type of work is done in context,” Aguilar said. “To help save big cats long term, I need to gain a better understanding of how diﬀerent cultures interact with these large predators.” Her travel will focus on understanding interactions between human and big cat populations, including how humans impact big cats and vice versa as well as ways conservationists are attempting to save big cat species. “The main focus of my Watson year is to explore the ways in which conservation is currently succeeding or failing at promoting a human-wildlife coexistence that benefits both groups,” Aguilar said. “Big cats pose a particularly challenging case, as large predators and humans have often clashed over issues like livestock predation or habitat usage.” This won’t be Aguilar’s first time traveling and researching internationally to study big cats. She has studied wildlife conservation in Tanzania and spent last summer in Belize studying jaguars for her senior thesis. The experiences showed her how much she loved field work as well as showing her first-hand the diﬃculty of balancing conservation between human needs and wildlife needs. After her year of travel with the Watson concludes, Aguilar hopes to pursue a doctoral degree. ZEFF FELLOW: COURTNEY WANG Wang, a Will Rice College senior, plans to travel to Taiwan, Malaysia, Jordan, Sweden and Brazil to study multiracialism with the Zeﬀ Fellowship, which covers one year of travel with a $25,000 stipend. “As someone who is half-Chinese and half-Egyptian, I want to learn how multiracial individuals navigate their identities across diﬀerent countries,” she said. The first level is looking at how legal frameworks, societal norms and perceptions shape multiracial experiences. The second level will involve learning about the experiences of multiracial people and how they “conceptualize their identities
and balance their multiple cultures.” The final level will be to look at how her racial identity is perceived by those in the countries she visits. “Part of this experience is how I am perceived in parts of Asia and the Middle East, to gain an understanding of my multiracial identity from those who share my ethnic backgrounds,” Wang said. To those ends, she’ll be meeting with a wide variety of people to learn from their experiences. “While I will seek connections with multiracial individuals and families, there is also much I will learn about how society conceptualizes race and my own identity simply by everyday interactions in these communities, even if they are not with multiracial people,” Wang said. After the Zeﬀ concludes, Wang plans to attend law school in a couple of years and then practice human rights law. KNIGHT-HENNESSY SCHOLAR: BRANDI RANSOM Ransom, a Lovett College senior, is among the first class of Knight-Hennessy Scholars, who each receive a full-funding scholarship for graduate study at Stanford University. She’ll continue from her undergraduate degree in materials science and nanoengineering at Rice to get a doctorate in the same subject. Ransom is particularly interested in stimuli responsive polymers and sensing. “Materials science has to take into account the human interaction aspect when creating new things, and we get to play in all sorts of fields that are necessary to make products,” Ransom said. Ransom can’t pick just one experience during her time at Rice that shaped her into a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. “My friends have great personalities and I have gotten the opportunity to learn from all of them to become the person I want to be,” Ransom said. “They push me to be nice to people. It has been my interactions with every single person over the last four years that has shaped my priorities and my perspective.” MARSHALL SCHOLAR: JACKSON NEAGLI Neagli (Brown ’17) will be pursuing two master’s degrees at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London over the next two years with the Marshall Scholarship. The Marshall funds graduate education in the United Kingdom. Neagli, who spent his Rice career learning Chinese and studying and researching Chinese law, now hopes to gain a more extensive understanding of the language, history and culture of China with one master’s degree in Chinese law and the other in Chinese studies. Neagli finished his undergraduate degree in December 2017. “If I could go to school for the rest of
Upper left: Lucrecia Aguilar, Watson fellow. Lower left: Brandi Ransom, Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Upper right: Courtney Wang, Zeﬀ Fellow. Lower right: Jackson Neagli, Marshall Scholar.
my life, I probably would,” Neagli said. “My career goal is to become a mediator or potential arbitrator between Chinese and Euro-American actors.” For that, SOAS is the perfect play to study, according to Neagli. “Certainly, there are other academic institutions that excel in Chinese studies, and some in Chinese law, but the incredible Chinese studies faculty at SOAS — many of whom’s research interest align with my own— make it a very special place,” Neagli said. Neagli’s application went through
meticulous preparation leading up to the deadline: 12 drafts and multiple mock interviews through the Center for Civic Leadership. It also went through vetting from the CCL’s Danika Burgess and Baker Institute Fellow Steven Lewis, with whom he worked closely as an undergraduate. In the fall, Neagli was planning on attending law school after a semesterlong break, but now he plans to defer his matriculation for two years. This story has been condensed for print. Read the full story online at ricethresher.org.
PARTY PATROL: RONDELET spotlight designer
FOOD & DRINK
MUSIC & DANCING
Look, I just wanna know why people looked like they were dressed for prom.
Tiny cups of whipped cream, no cups for water.
CWhy was it so brightly lit? Saw so many things I wish I hadn’t.
A Bougie and delicious.
B+ Lit atmosphere (both vibe- and light-wise lol). I enjoyed the fun energy in the room but wished it was a ~tad~ darker.
B+ I didn’t look for the food, but I heard it was good!
You know, sometimes I think songs can probably maybe be danced to without being remixed probaby.
Very fun, aside from being elbowed 10,000 times.
Cool music and great dancing made for an awesome time.
@Rice pre-meds, as much as the Health Museum might turn you on, I don’t think it is super necessary to make out on top of a large intestine model.
It was hilarious to watch drunk people playing around in the interactive exhibits, but it also made an already small crowd feel smaller.
I enjoyed some of the other venues more in the past, but it was unique to run on the hamster wheel and take cute insta pics at the photo booth!
For $20, I couldn’t vibe with it.
I wish the theme and the venue jibed a bit better.
Fun night on the town, great job RPC! :)
THE RICE THRESHER
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018
SUSTAINABILITY WEEK Crossword by Isaac Schultz Backpage Editor / firstname.lastname@example.org
Answers will be posted on ricethresher.org and on the Thresher Facebook page. Bolded clues correspond to the theme.
ACROSS 1 Tree-hugging marsupial 6 Metric for measuring carbon dioxide 9 Vulnerable layer 10 Common battery type 11 Carbon, on the periodic table 12 The bane of new statisticians 13 To come back from behind 16 What the Earth is getting (according to science) 18 Rock with extractable materials 19 When doubled, shorthand for a tabletop game 20 H-town hub 22 Institution of 20 and 34 across 24 Chlorine, on the periodic table 25 Of the land 28 Middle Earth minions 29 Larger version of 10 across 30 Tech of the future 31 Americans throw out 500 million every day 34 NYC hub 35 Govt. entity slowing being destroyed by Scott Pruitt DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 14 15 17 21 23 24 26 27 32 33
Right wing bros. A city greener than any on Earth Major artery Log’s cousin Airplane, in Liverpool Phosphorus, on the periodic table In company context, Pay’s best friend? A holiday and a call for help Pokémon GO, for example Political proponents of Obama policies Oﬀshore climate changers Corporation popularized by children’s truck -Choo A contributer to 6-across’ rise This is ___ clunky crossword design How one’s meat might be cooked Above-average curriculum, for short Northwestern state, in a postal code
I’M GRADUATING (BARELY). THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE. INSTA @bren_awesome • SNAP @bren_awesome
27th KTRU Outdoor Show to spotlight student and local art, music CHRISTINA TAN ART DIRECTOR / CT38@RICE.EDU
courtesy genius & mass appeal
Rapper XXXTentacion disappoints with ‘?’ SIMONA MATOVIC THRESHER STAFF /SEM11@RICE.EDU
? Genre: Rap Top Track: ‘$$$’
In the past year, XXXTentacion has expanded beyond his SoundCloud following to become one of the most controversial artists in popular music. Despite (or maybe because of) X’s notoriously violent reputation, his latest album “?” debuted at number one. His disjointed second studio release is aptly titled, as it will leave listeners puzzled. Speaking as someone who has been listening to X since well before his major label releases and has enjoyed his music (while being appalled by his real-world acts of aggression), I’m confident saying that “?” is weak. The album’s popularity may stem from public fascination with X’s assault charges or his overall edgy and reckless brand, but it definitely is not a reflection of its quality. “?” starts off with a spoken introduction, in which XXXTentacion instructs his listener to approach the album “open-minded, feeling [his] insanity, feeling [his] genius, [his] energy.” Ironically, what is lacking in the 18 short tracks is feeling. In his previous work, X has successfully conveyed intensity. Yet when he’s angry on “?,” he’s not enraged like he
was in older songs like “Look at Me” and “SippinTeaInYoHood.” When he expresses sadness, it isn’t the same devastation as on his first studio released album, “17,” or his early SoundCloud work like “Vice City.” There is a palpable air of compensation on the whole album: Maybe he provocatively titles one of the tracks “Schizophrenia” to make up for its mediocrity, or dedicates “Hope” to victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting so that the listener might overlook its uninspired music and unintelligible lyrics. Nevertheless, the album is reminiscent of a botched art project with buzzwords scribbled across it at the last minute — it’s like he’s trying to mislead the audience into believing they’re missing a deeper meaning.
The album is reminiscent of a botched art project with buzzwords scribbled across it at the last minute — it’s like he’s trying to mislead the audience into believing they’re missing a deeper meaning. That said, “?” does have its highlights. A handful of the songs are memorable and mindless in a fun way — a prime example is “$$$.” You can’t help but bop your head to its auto-
tuned enthusiasm about getting money. Aside from that, “The Remedy for a Broken Heart (Why Am I So in Love)” is a melodious display of melancholy. It’s a hit among misses in the sea of half-hearted sadness that defines “?.” Additionally, Joey Bada$$’s feature on “Infinity (888)” contributes to a well-rounded, successful track that is surprisingly laid-back given its lyrical hostility directed toward other rappers’ lack of creativity. A notable, albeit somewhat out-ofplace, addition to the album is the very listenable “I Don’t Even Speak Spanish LOL.” It features three underground Floridian artists, and the end product is a half-English, half-Spanish mélange of cliché lyrics. Still, it’s undeniably catchy. If you’re the kind of person who confidently shouts all the wrong words to “Despacito” or fondly looks back on your enthusiastic off-rhythm dancing at Latin Pub Night, this is a song for you. If you’re a person who actually listens to reggaeton, the song — in all its corny glory — will get stuck in your head regardless. Separating an artist from their work is an often-faced moral dilemma. Conversely, it seems that XXXTentacion’s audacious public image is the driving force behind the commercial success of “?.” The album has some compelling songs, but that seems statistically inevitable given it’s comprised of 18 attempts. The dozen subpar tracks also set the bar low enough that the standalone quality of the better few is questionable. At the end of the day, if X’s defining trait is being high-risk, his work should at least be high-reward, which “?” falls short of.
The normally empty Central Quad will come alive during KTRU’s 27th annual Outdoor Show by local and student music performances, interactive art projections and food trucks. In line with the radio station’s eclectic streak, the outdoor show will feature a diverse music lineup ranging from indie electronic Kay Weathers to disco pop CAPYAC to rapper Kodie Shane. In addition, the show aims to expand the presence of local art features, an eﬀort they started last year. “We’ve started hosting a lot of events in collaboration with the Matchbox Gallery [and] wanted to use ODS as a platform to promote local art and make it more of an interactive experience, not only with music but with all diﬀerent senses,” coordinator Angelo Ragan said. “A lot of [the art] is playing with light and sound and how the two interact with each other.” Student group Art + Engineering will be among the five artist groups featured. According to Ragan, a Brown College sophomore, the art will be mostly interactive and projected onto large screens around the central quad and on the music tent. This is in trend with interactive exhibits such as those available at the Solar Studios, the Moody Center and Houston music festivals such as Day for Night. “Last year, we had a little bit of art but it wasn’t enough to be a cohesive part of this show. This year, we wanted to scale up and give people more reasons to come out and watch the shows,” art director Kaarthika Thakker said. “Since this is the first year we’ve actually done art to this extent, we hope that in the future years we use the knowledge about what worked and what didn’t.” Thakker, a Lovett College sophomore, added that the constraints of the show made it diﬃcult to find diverse pieces of artwork that were visible during day and nighttime. “We worked with [artists] and looked at pieces that they were working on that would be cohesive with the space, the event and the other pieces,” Thakker said. “My co-art director Grace Earick was essential to this part since she’s an art history major with a lot of curation experience.” Thakker said that she was most excited to see the “Silent Symphony” piece by Julian Nguyen (Will Rice ‘15). The piece is inspired by a study, “The Impact of Visual Stimuli on Music Perception,” which discusses the link between the visuals of a music performance and the perception of the performance. Like previous years, the show will also showcase student, local and national musical talent. Battle of the Bands winner Pickleback will kick oﬀ the show at 3 p.m. “Campus names like Pickleback appeal to
KTRU CONT. ON PAGE 9
THE WEEKLY SCENE
Support student artists on Friday at 9 p.m. during Cavity’s third showcase of visual and performance art. Food and drink will be provided, nice dress is encouraged.
McMurtry College theater will put up The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, an abridged parody of all of the bard’s plays, this weekend. Performance are April 13-15 at 8 p.m. Tickets are free.
Lyle’s (Lovett Basement)
COUNTERCURRENT One of Houston’s strangest art festivals takes place from Tuesday to Sunday. Installations include one composed of 1,000 questions about race and a performance in a Fiesta supermarket. All tickets are free. Various Locations countercurrentfestival.org
JAPAN CINEFEST The Asia Society will present a collection of short films from emerging Japanese and Japanese-American filmmakers starting at 7-10 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets are $12 for non-members. Asia Society Texas Center asiasociety.org
THE RICE THRESHER
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018
The Chainsmokers are washed up on ‘Sick Boy...Everybody Hates Me’ AMELIA CALUATTI THRESHER STAFF / AMC35@RICE.EDU
SICK BOY Genre: Electronic Top Track: ‘Sick Boy’
In response to the scathing reviews of their most recent album, The Chainsmokers have released a jaded rebuttal with their latest EP “Sick Boy...Everybody Hates Me.” Clearly they’re out of touch. Somebody should have told The Chainsmokers “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” two years ago at the peak of their success, during the era of bangers like “Roses,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Until You Were Gone.” College friends turned DJs, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart became known as the “frat bros” of electronic dance music for their love of partying, alcohol and girls. Their beats mixed over female vocal samples could be heard blaring at college ragers all over the country, but all of that crashed when the duo decided to move in a new direction.
The EP is a clear response to the criticism they received in the media for being arrogant and shallow party boys, but the tracks are trying too hard. The first hint of their transition was “Closer,” a pop duet with vocal powerhouse Halsey. The song focused on lyrics over instrumentals, and even featured their very own Taggart’s vocals on the track. Let’s just say there’s a reason Taggart is a DJ and not a singer. Yet, despite some, erm, interesting vocals by Taggart, the song was a smash hit, thanks to the wonders of Halsey’s immense talent and autotune. This taste of success gave Taggart too much self-confidence though, and he has continued to sing on practically every single release since. Big mistake. Their debut album “Memories...Do Not Open” flopped, lacking the energy of previous songs and oﬀering only underwhelming and repetitive pop tracks. Their latest EP “Sick Boy...Everybody Hates Me” consists of just three songs: “Everybody Hates Me,” “You Owe Me” and “Sick Boy.” They have a pop rock influence, replacing their usual synths with head-banging drum beats. The boys leave little oﬀ the table with blunt lyrics
like, “I walk into the club like everybody hates me,” and “You don’t know me/ Don’t you think that I get lonely?/ It gets dark inside my head.” The EP is a clear response to the criticism they received in the media for being arrogant and shallow party boys, but the tracks are trying too hard. Taggart’s nasal voice (which is featured in every song!) clashes with the dark and edgy content and comes oﬀ as a spoiled plea for pity. “Everybody Hates Me” reveals their ever-so-torturing struggles with fame; Taggart complains that he just wants to “drink tequila with his friends,” and claims, “I’m just trying to stay normal now that they know what my name is.” Oh, the poor boys. “You Don’t Know Me” focuses on the washed-out theme of being misunderstood. The Chainsmokers protest that the papers call them “awesome” but their life isn’t so great — they get “lonely.” They remind the media that if they die, it’s all on them. Seems legit. Lastly, “Sick Boy” describes the burden of discovering yourself while living in the age of social media. Taggart asks “How many likes is my life worth?” This song is the most believable on the EP, coming across as less of a plea and more of a genuine and relatable concern; it’s easy to get caught up in a narcissistic bubble when social media takes up most of your life. Yet, the mediocrity of “Sick Boy” isn’t enough to save the EP; overall, it still comes oﬀ as whiny and, truthfully, kind of gives me a headache. Sorry, but The Chainsmokers’ five minutes of fame are over — and I may be the saddest about this. Don’t get me wrong, I was The Chainsmokers’ biggest fan when they developed their EDM/future bass niche. But now that they have swayed away from that with underwhelming vocals and faux punk fusion, the magic (and the hit singles) is gone. The Chainsmokers may think that everybody hates them, but, frankly, in 2018, no one cares about them.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
KTRU FROM PAGE 8 people on campus to come out for specific events that they know they’ll enjoy,” Ragan said. Pickleback will be followed up by Houston-based indie electronic Kay Weathers and avant-pop Pearl Crush. The show will then draw from Austin talent with hip hop artists Magna Carda and disco pop CAPYAC, expand to Atlanta-based R&B singer Alexandria and conclude with nationallyknown indie pop band HOMESHAKE and rapper Kodie Shane. “The taste at KTRU is self-described as ‘eclectic,’ with a feature on local music,” Ragan said. “Our lineup is very eclectic, with anything from electronic to rap to hip hop to bedroom pop, with a little bit of everything.” According to Ragan, the process for choosing artists began in October and was
headed by Ragan and his co-coordinator, Emily Foxman. Foxman had previously coordinated the past two outdoor shows. “We start building our lineup from the top down and secured HOMESHAKE and Kodie Shane in November,” Ragan said. “We take input from our committee about sound distribution and favorite local bands.” Although the show is held on Rice campus, it is historically one open to the entire Houston community. “Ideally, [the show] should be for everyone. For example, HOMESHAKE is highly accessible in terms of getting bigger names that will [bring] people out,” Ragan said. “We’re hoping that by having those acts that people do know, they’ll stay for the local acts that they don’t know.” The show is April 21 from 3-8 p.m. The event is all-ages and free for all attendees.
** WE MOVED! ** STILL IN MON 2901 S. Shepherd Dr. • 713-52TROSE: 3-8701 BUFFALOEXCHANGE.COM • courtesy genius
Baseball sweeps ODU for first C-USA series win SPENCER MOFFAT THRESHER STAFF / SM114@RICE.EDU
Rice’s 18-1 win on Sunday clinched a weekend sweep against Old Dominion University, as the Owls reversed their fortunes after being swept by Old Dominion in last year’s meeting. In the first game of the series, Rice recorded 18 hits for the second game in a row, following its 18 hits in a 14-9 loss to Sam Houston State University on April 3. But this time, the Owls’ pitching and defense held strong, resulting in a 9-0 win. Sophomore pitcher Matt Canterino struck out the side in the top of the second inning, setting the tone for the rest of the game. He went on to record eight more strikeouts in the contest, marking his fourth double-digit strikeout outing of the year. Freshman catcher Justin Collins said Canterino’s fastball was especially eﬀective throughout the game. “I felt like he could have pitched a great outing with only his fastball,” Collins said. “Some of the hitters’ reactions after swings [were] comical.” Friday’s game against ODU also marked the return of junior catcher Dominic DiCaprio, who filled in as the designated hitter. DiCaprio finished his first game back since Feb. 20 with three hits and two runs batted in, which came on a two-run home run. Following another multi-hit game on Saturday, DiCaprio said it was nice to finally get back in action. “It just feels good to be playing baseball,” DiCaprio said. “I missed it a lot. I tried to be as much part of the team as I could, but when you’re not playing you can’t really do much for the team.” According to head coach Wayne Graham, DiCaprio’s return is a major boost to Rice’s oﬀense. “You can’t take a bat like that out of your lineup and expect to be as good,” Graham said. “His bat in the lineup makes a tremendous diﬀerence.” Saturday’s game against ODU was a more competitive matchup than Friday’s game, as the Owls eked out a 4-3 victory. Sophomore pitcher Roel Garcia started for the Owls and gave up only two runs in
martin zhang / thresher
Sophomore third baseman Braden Comeaux finishes his swing during Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Old Dominion University. The Owls swept the Monarchs to win their first Conference USA series of the season and move to 5-7 in conference play. Rice is now in a four-way tie for seventh place in the conference. The top eight teams in the standings qualify for the conference tournament, which Rice will likely have to win to earn a spot in its 24th straight NCAA Tournament.
seven innings, racking up seven strikeouts against only one walk. Graham said he was impressed by Garcia’s poise throughout the contest. “He did a great job,” Graham said. “He caught no breaks when [the defense] made bad plays at the wrong time, but he was unflappable; he was stoic.” Sunday’s game against the Monarchs saw the Owls’ record season highs in hits and runs scored, as every player in the starting lineup joined in the hit parade. Junior shortstop Ford Proctor and sophomore third baseman Braden Comeaux led the charge, both finishing with three hits in the game. The game ended after seven innings on a mercy rule, finishing the Owls’ 18-1 victory.
Sophomore pitcher Addison Moss allowed only one run in the game through his six innings of work to earn his first win of the year, and sophomore pitcher Nick Silber closed the game out with a scoreless inning. Saturday’s starter Roel Garcia said he believes the Owls’ pitching staﬀ is starting to hit its stride. “Our starting rotation is all sophomores, so we’ve been playing together for over a year now,” Garcia said. “We’re definitely getting the rotation going and filling our spots up. Our team chemistry is definitely coming together.” The Owls now have a record of 15-19 on the season and 5-7 in conference play and still have about another month left in the regular season. Graham said he feels
like Rice has a chance to turn its season around in the coming weeks. “All these people that wanted to jump off the bandwagon amidst the [struggles]; you can’t have eight injuries and five of them to impact players; that’s pretty bad,” Graham said. “Right now, if you look at the ballclub, it’s a good ballclub. We’re not as far behind the eight ball as we were for the conference tournament, but we gotta win.” The Owls go on the road this weekend to take on Middle Tennessee State University for a three-game conference series. They are currently in a four-way tie for seventh in the C-USA standings. The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the conference tournament.
Student-athletes to implement well-being initiative MENTAL HEALTH CONT. FROM PAGE 1 Litver, Otoo and Tilbrook conducted the study as an independent sociology research project. All three are studentathletes: Litver is a swimmer, while Otoo and Tilbrook are on the men’s and women’s track teams, respectively. The group’s findings come from surveys sent out to female studentathletes in the spring of 2017 and male student-athletes in the fall of 2017. The 150 athletes surveyed are about half of the total student-athlete population at Rice. Litver, Otoo and Tilbrook also conducted focus groups to get more indepth information on responses. The results indicated that among student-athletes, physical pressures were the largest contributors to stress levels, followed by academic pressures. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of male athletes indicated they “frequently” or “almost always” felt tired or had low energy. Among female athletes, nearly a third said they “almost always” felt tired or had low energy. Over half of males and nearly a third of females said they felt unsupported by the student body. Litver said Rice’s difficulties can create a dangerous
environment for student-athletes. “The physical demands of sport will drain you for the classroom and the mental demands of the classroom will drain you for your sport,” Litver said. “It’s a vicious kind of cycle where studentathletes are being drained physically and that affects their classroom performance and then mental draining affects their physical performance. That came up in our focus groups.” The research team used their results to come up with a plan to combat the issues that came up in their study. One especially jarring statistic to Litver and Otoo was that while over 60 percent of student-athletes reported that they would go to teammates, friends and family for support, only about 12 percent said they would go to therapists or counselors. 57 percent of female athletes and 46 percent of male athletes said they would not go to Rice’s Wellbeing Center; some expressed concern about being asked to leave Rice due to mental health issues. For this reason, the research team said they are planning to establish a system of Peer Wellbeing Athletic Advisors, analogous to Rice Health Advisors in the residential colleges. These PWAAs will be trained to talk to teammates about
any mental health or wellbeing issues. The team has the approval of the athletic department to begin implementing the program in the fall. Otoo said he is hoping to have a group of PWAAs representing the entire athletic department. “We might try to expand the program in the future, but as of right now, our goal is for at least one per team,” Otoo said. “That’s something that’s pretty achievable.”
We’re not asking the studentathletes to be counselors for their teammates. Julie Litver Senior Swimmer All PWAAs will be juniors and seniors, and they will go through both an application and interview process. Otoo said he is hoping to select people who will embrace the chance to be role models for younger athletes. “Our primary plan is to reach out to people we know from personal experience would be good at this sort of
thing, people who would be interested and really passionate about it,” he said. Once selected, they will be trained by the Rice Wellbeing and Counseling Center, according to Otoo. The PWAAs will report to two or three Head PWAAs, who will host meetings with them every couple of weeks. A representative from the Rice Wellbeing and Counseling Center will oversee the Head PWAAs. Litver said while it would be ideal to have a counselor specifically trained to help student-athletes, the PWAA system is the next best option. “We’re not asking student-athletes to be counselors for their teammates,” Litver said. “It’s more bridging the gap between athletes and the resources the university has for them.” Litver said she is happy the research team and the athletic department have taken a proactive approach to studentathlete mental health instead of waiting until it is too late. “It’s happened before, a suicide of a student-athlete,” she said. “We’re trying to not get to that point. We want to have precautionary measures to have every safeguard, every resource available to students so we never get to that point.”
THE RICE THRESHER
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018
Rutledge adjusting well to new leadership role I wasn’t really seeing eye to eye with the coach and some aspects of the team,” Rutledge said. “I chose to transfer to Rice, into a very good tennis program and a stellar academic school. For the past two years, it’s been everything I wanted.” Rutledge finished his first year at Rice with an 18-5 singles record, as well as a 10-6 doubles record with partner Jake Hansen, who has since transferred to Cornell University. His achievements that year included closing an upset against No. 16 University of South Carolina and being named Conference USA athlete of the week. However, a number of players from the men’s team left after the 2016-17 season, and Rutledge was one of the few that stayed.
I have to teach the new guys the ways, what to learn after every match. Sophomore Eric Rutledge is one of the few holdovers from last year’s tennis team. As a cocaptain this year, he has compiled a 19-11 singles record, including an 11-4 record at the No. 1 singles position. Though the team is just 9-15 on the season after winning the conference championship the last two years, Rutledge said the Owls are still aiming to win the C-USA title. sirui zhou / thresher
MICHAEL PRICE THRESHER STAFF / JMP12@RICE.EDU
Despite being a member of the Rice tennis team for just two years, redshirt sophomore Eric Rutledge has proven to be one of the team’s most valuable assets. Currently, he has a 19-11 singles record, including victories against players from powerhouse schools like Louisiana State University and
Florida State University. Rutledge played high school tennis at All Saints’ Episcopal School in Fort Worth, Texas, and was once ranked fifth in the nation by Tennis Recruiting Network. He signed with Wake Forest University and redshirted his freshman year. However, unsatisfied with the program, Rutledge said he started searching for other options. “I enjoyed my first year at Wake, but
Eric Rutledge Sophomore Tennis Player “I stayed because, for my goals, the Rice tennis team is a good fit,” Rutledge said. “I enjoy the coaches and my teammates. And with the academic side of things, I think it will set off with good opportunities after college.” With the majority of the team gone, the Rice men’s tennis program had to start nearly from scratch and recruited five freshmen for the new season. According to Rutledge, working with the young team is almost entirely diﬀerent from any other team he has played for in the past. “It’s a diﬃcult transition when you are
one of the younger guys for almost three years and then suddenly become one of the co-captains of the team,” Rutledge said. “Now, I have to teach the new guys the ways, what to learn after every match and how to get better.” According to Rutledge, despite having such a young group of players and a 9-15 record, the team is looking to win the C-USA tournament. “It looks like we will be seeded in the middle of the pack at conference,” Rutledge said. “Having won the tournament two years in a row, we expect nothing less than to win. We are going to go out and play to win.” According to Rutledge, to accomplish those goals, the team needs to gain more experience. “A lot of the younger guys played in international junior tournaments, so they know how to compete and play tennis. However, the college tennis atmosphere is completely diﬀerent,” Rutledge said. “Everyone is improving, and the freshmen are staying healthy. They are focused and they got the right mindset to keep improving for the next four years.” Despite a few setbacks this season, Rutledge said he still has set plenty of high goals for himself. “This season, I had hopes of being ranked one of the higher guys in Conference USA and earning a bid in the NCAA Singles or Doubles Tournament,” Rutledge said. “Unfortunately, a few injuries have set me back. I have two years left, and my ultimate individual goal is to be an All-American and ranked one of the top-16 in the country.” Up next, the Owls will face Southern Methodist University at the George R. Brown Tennis Center this Sunday. The first match is set to kick oﬀ at 11 a.m.
THE RICE THRESHER
Goofus gives his prospie alcohol, tells him that Owl Days is the best time to get laid, and takes him to Pub.
Goofus wears a wine-red toga commando style, and emphatically defecates while declaring “Brown is shit, shit is Brown.”
Goofus pushes dope on the side to fund his unhealthy addiction to boba.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018
Gallant takes his prospie to the Kinda Sketchy show, gives him a warm glass of milk and tucks him into bed. But not before a bedtime story about how great the residential college system is. Gallant believes the SA can be a vehicle for positive change, and strives to make the body a useful tool for undergraduate representation.
Goofus writes bogus Student Association bill such as “To Declare the 2017-2018 Session of Senate a Marvelous, Awardable, Relevant, and Timely Exercise in Leadership,” furthering the generally-held understanding that SA officials do very little for those who voted for them.*
*Note: this was an actual piece of SA legislation which included lines such as “Whereas, Our ability to work together as a senate and group of friends should be recognized.” This is who is in charge of … well, nothing, I guess. Whatever!
Goofus charges all students $13,750 for room and board, but randomly assigns some students to glorified closets while others get rooms with TempurPedic mattresses and personal bathrooms.
Gallant realizes that the system is not perfect, but makes an effort to provide older and un-renovated colleges with certain perks – I don’t know, price cuts, better WiFi – allowing students to at least pretend that living in Hanszen College is all right.
Gallant wears compression shorts under his bedsheet so as not to offend, and tells the Brown kids they’re nice people.
Gallant works for Testmasters,™ with hourly rates starting at $25/hr, allowing him to help out local students while responsibly funding his addiction to boba.
The Backpage is satire and written by Joey McGlone and Isaac Schultz. For comments or questions, please email email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. RICE ALUM HIRING TUTORS for Middle & High School Math, Natural & Social Science, Foreign Language, Humanities, and SAT/ ACT prep. Reliable transportation required. Pay is based upon a variety of factors. Contact 832-428-8330 and email resume to email@example.com SITTER/DRIVER NEEDED afternoons from around 2-7pm 3/4 days a week to help with driving kids to activities, meal prep and general childcare. Somewhat flexible. Reliable car, safe driving record and references required. Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org CLEAN, QUIET FURNISHED ROOM 1-2 FuWalking distance to Rice Campus. Individ-
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SUMMER AND/OR SCHOOL YEAR: Furnished rooms in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment for $640 per room per student, bills paid. 1 bedroom, 1 bath, separate living room, dining room and kitchen $965 bills
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