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VOLUME 104, ISSUE NO. 1 | STUDENT-RUN SINCE 1916 | RICETHRESHER.ORG | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

THE 8.7%

Rice welcomes most selective class (again)

Tina LIU / THRESHER

SAMMI JOHNSON SENIOR WRITER

Following the announcement of the Rice Investment financial aid plan, the university’s admission rate dipped below 10 percent for the first time in the school’s history. With an acceptance rate of 8.7 percent, the undergraduate class of 2023 is

the most selective class to matriculate into Rice to date. According to Vice President for Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva, the Office of Admission received a total of 27,087 applications for the class of 2023, an increase from the 20,923 applications for the class of 2022. “Prior to the announcement of the Rice

Investment last semester, we had already seen an increasing interest in Rice,” Romero da Silva said. “Following the announcement, the interest in Rice increased even more. This response to the Rice Investment was far greater than we could have ever imagined.” Romero da Silva said the university accepted 2,361 applicants for the class of 2023. Out of the accepted applicants, 967

students enrolled for the fall 2019 semester as of Aug. 16. The yield rate of applicants who chose to matriculate was 41 percent, which is consistent with the yield rate for the class of 2022. “Obviously, our surge in applications significantly increased our selectivity,” President David Leebron said. SEE NEW STUDENTS PAGE 2

Faculty Senate to decide changes to Pass/Fail policy RISHAB RAMAPRIYAN NEWS EDITOR

At the April 17 meeting, the Faculty Senate formed a new Pass/Fail working group to examine the purpose of allowing students to take courses pass/fail. “The working group was formed after a few senators questioned whether the current pass/fail policies really encourage students to use pass/fail for its primary intended purpose — to explore courses outside their major areas without having to worry too much about taking on work in an area the student may not feel as comfortable with,” Christopher Johns-Krull, Faculty Senate speaker said. According to the Faculty Senate minutes, the working group will investigate how pass/fail policies affect the student learning environment and recommend modifications to policies in order to better implement the pass/fail option.

Johns-Krull, a professor of physics and astronomy, said that the working group is currently in the informationgathering portion of their work. Working group chair Scott Solomon emailed an online survey to all faculty members who teach undergraduate courses on Aug. 23 to gather input regarding their experiences and opinions with the pass/fail option. Questions on the survey covered issues such as whether professors would allow students to take classes pass/fail if they could choose, whether faculty should be informed when students take classes pass/fail and whether students should be allowed to take major/minor requirements pass/fail. Sanat Mehta, who is the Student Association representative on the working group, said his role is to advocate for the student body with respect to the pass/fail option. However, Mehta said he is unsure about how the

working group will solicit student feedback. “My personal view is that [pass/fail is] a good policy overall because it not only makes students feel safer about taking courses outside their comfort zone, but also reduces academic stress for students generally, which is important because Rice is an academically challenging environment,” Mehta, a McMurtry College junior, said. Johns-Krull said that the pass/fail option will not go away as a result of the working group, as the goal is to only update the policy based on the working group recommendations. “Whatever the working group recommends though, the entire senate will have to vote to approve it or not, so it is always possible nothing will change,” Johns-Krull said. According to Johns-Krull, the working group has no specific deadline but he hopes they will finish their work and deliver a report to the Faculty Senate this Fall.


THE RICE THRESHER

2 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

NEWS

Courtesy David Tenney

The new registration system combines a visualization feature, course search, and class registration into a single interface.

New registration system replaces Schedule Planner AMY QIN NEWS EDITOR

An upgraded registration system was rolled out during Orientation Week and faced several glitches, according to a joint statement by the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Academic Advising and the Office of Information Technology. The system includes a visualization feature, assuming the function of the Schedule Planner website currently used by students to organize their schedule before official registration. Schedule Planner was temporarily disabled during O-Week to minimize confusion. “The plan will be to retire Schedule Planner as we push into Spring 2020 registration,”

the statement read. “The new system will essentially collapse the registration screen, course search features and Schedule Planner functions all into one.” Scott Cutler, the creator of the Schedule Planner website and a professor in the computer science department, said he believes Schedule Planner is a “faster, more intuitive” means of schedule planning. “More importantly for me, Schedule Planner can be used by faculty,” Cutler, a computer science major advisor and former engineering major advisor at Duncan College, said. “The new registration system is only available to students and not faculty.” Cutler said he supports the creation of a new system but suggests that Schedule Planner be integrated into the program. According to the statement, all students

will use the new system to register for their Spring 2020 classes. Incoming freshmen and transfer students have already used the new system to register for their fall semester classes during O-Week. The OTR and the OAA met with peer academic advisors in the spring to obtain feedback about the new registration system, according to the statement. “Students communicated the importance of being able to plan out their schedule, search by [various parameters],” the statement said. “In addition, students wanted a visual representation of their schedule, links to course and instructor evaluations and other miscellaneous details about courses, all within one window.” Joshua Anil, an O-Week PAA at Baker College, said that in addition to testing out

the new registration system in the spring semester and providing feedback, the O-Week PAAs received a thorough training on the new system during advisor training. Ethan Schweissing and Michelle Nguyen, the student directors of the PAA program, said that overall they believe the new registration system is an improvement from its predecessor, especially with its feature of combining Schedule Planner and course registration into one program. A drawback of the new system, according to Anil, is that the new system does not support backup class registration. In addition, he said a “decent number” of glitches arose with the system during O-Week. “Since the new system was so much faster than its predecessor, the new students’ schedules were released at around 5 p.m. on Thursday, while the OAA and O-Week PAAs were not expecting schedules to be released until Friday morning at 7:00 [a.m.],” Anil said. Anil said another glitch, which the OIT quickly resolved, allowed new students to waitlist classes during O-Week before the add/drop period had started. According to Nguyen and Schweissing, a few more issues with logging into Esther and waitlisting classes arose during add/drop. According to David Tenney (Sid Richardson College ’87), the University Registrar, the OAA held a debrief session on the Friday morning of O-Week with the PAAs in order to solicit feedback. The OAA is working on addressing glitches and items of confusion for Spring 2020 registration, including the new system’s restriction on registering for classes for which students had equivalent Advanced Placement credit.


NEWS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019 • 3

Channing Wang/ THRESHER

Construction of the new Sid Richardson College building took up 50 more parking spots in South Lot than formerly projected, leading to a lastminute reallocation of the remaining parking spots between South colleges in the last weeks of the summer.

Parking spots sacrificed for New Sid RISHAB RAMAPRIYAN NEWS EDITOR

Residents of the South colleges are scrambling to find parking on campus after the sale of permits for South Colleges Residents Lot was suspended, following the decision to sacrifice more parking spots for the new Sid Richardson College project. Only 45 student permits will be offered for the 2019-20 year, while 150 permits were sold for last academic year, according to parking manager Mike Morgan. According to Morgan, the new Sid Rich project needed more space than was initially requested before the summer, so the parking office temporarily suspended South Lot permit sales and notified college presidents on July 30. Colleges then were asked to reallocate the reduced number of spots to students before permits could be sold again. “Like many campus [construction] projects, and not just exclusive at Rice, parking is a top location taken for new projects,” Morgan said. According to Morgan, parking jacks at the South colleges at the end of last semester were based on the initial

parking availability and the South college presidents had to submit new parking lists prior to the start of this semester. According to Morgan, permits for Lot 6 cost $656, and permits for the South Lot and Entrance 3 Garage cost $789 per year. The parking office worked with the South college presidents, who met during the summer to divide the available parking between the colleges. Will Rice College President Juliette Richert said that the South Lot parking situation has created additional work and stress for student leadership at the South colleges. “This is the second time this year that the South college presidents have had to reallocate parking spots due to the construction of New Sid — a job typically performed by the parking office,” Richert, a senior, said. “It’s unclear whether this may become a responsibility for presidents in the future, but I hope we can come up with a more sustainable decision making process before that happen[s].” Morgan said that 50 more student permits for Entrance 3 Garage and 55 more student permits for Lot 6 were offered this year to accommodate the

lost spots. Richert said that the South college presidents decided to share the available spots in Entrance 3 Garage, Lot 6 and South Lot based on proximity. Lovett College and Baker College took the majority of spots in Entrance 3 Garage, while Wiess College and Hanszen College took the majority of spots in Lot 6. Hanszen President Landon Mabe and Richert both said that they sent out a parking preference survey to all affected students in their respective colleges. Mabe, a senior, said seniority and whether students lived off campus were taken into account when assigning parking locations for Hanszen. Affected students also had the option of buying a permit for West Lot or Greenbriar Lot. According to Will Rice Orientation Week coordinator Colin Chan, New Student move-in day was also affected by the construction project in the South Colleges Lot. Chan said that the South college O-Week coordinators worked with the Rice University Police Department to plan traffic flow and designated advisors to manage traffic control. RUPD also assigned police officers to South Lot to

help manage traffic flow on both O-Week move-in day and returning student movein day. “South Lot was very unorganized with the extra construction, [Sid Rich’s mobile air conditioning units] and misplaced PODS, which blocked spaces and mobility for everyone,” Chan, a junior said. “While this year wasn’t ideal, a lot of the South colleges worked together well to make move-in successful.” Richert said she believes information regarding the loss of parking could have been communicated better and earlier by South college presidents. “Although I commend the parking office for engaging the college presidents, there’s a need for clearer communication between us, parking and [Housing and Dining],” Richert said. “We were told very late in the game that New Sid would be taking up 50 more South Lot spots than expected, which added another level of stress to the reallocation process.” However, Morgan said that the parking office only became informed about the extra space needed for construction during the summer. Mabe said he was ultimately satisfied with the outcome of the parking reallocation. “It’s a frustrating situation but I don’t place blame on admin or parking,” Mabe said. “Ultimately, at Hanszen we were able to get all of our [off-campus] seniors either the [Entrance 3] garage or South Lot and I’m satisfied with it given the circumstances.” Richert also said that the trend of parking loss on campus beckons a larger discussion regarding parking accessibility. In the last two years, multiple portions of West Lot have been allocated for the construction of the Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center, resulting in significant parking shortage and student concerns. “As we continue to lose parking to construction, there needs to be a critical conversation about parking,” Richert said. “The theory seems to be that if the university continues to remove parking spaces and steadily increase the price of parking, fewer people will bring their cars to campus. I have my doubts about the effectiveness of this policy and am worried about how this may impact students with fewer financial resources.”

Title IX office relocates, begins to offer forensic exams AMY QIN NEWS EDITOR

The SAFE Office, formerly the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Title IX Support, moved to a new location next to Student Health Services this semester and now offers on-campus forensic examinations for students who have been sexually or physically assaulted, according to Deputy Title IX Coordinator Allison Vogt and Director of the SAFE Office Cathryn Councill. Sexual assault examination kits, which are part of forensic examinations to collect and preserve evidence following a sexual assault, are usually performed at a hospital by a forensic nurse, according to Vogt and Councill. “Waiting for a rape kit examination at a hospital can be a lengthy, exhausting and upsetting process for a student,” Vogt and Councill wrote in an email. “And while the kit examination itself is covered by the State of Texas, other bills incurred at the hospital may not be.” Forensic examinations by a forensic nurse are now available 24/7 on site at Student Health Services and can be requested by a student or support person, according

to Vogt and Councill. Staff from the SAFE Office will be on hand to accompany the student until the nurse has arrived. The new service is the result of a partnership between Rice University and Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners, according to Vogt and Councill. Karen Qi, a Students Transforming Rice Into a ViolenceFree Environment liaison at Hanszen College, said that she has concerns about the efficiency with which the kits would be processed, especially in the context of the national issue of backlogged kits. According to Vogt, who is also the associate dean of students, following the completion of a forensic examination, the Rice University Police Department would pick up the kit and send it to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to be processed through the county. As part of a pilot program started in April 2019, victims of sexual assault in Harris County are able to track the progress of their kits electronically from its collection to the prosecution, according to the Houston Chronicle. Formerly, the city of Houston had faced a backlog of more than 6,600 untested kits, some decades old. In addition to its introduction of on-campus rape kits, the Title IX Office has assumed a new name, The SAFE

Office: Interpersonal Misconduct Prevention and Support, according to Vogt and Councill. “We provide services to students who have experienced one of many forms of interpersonal abuse, so expanding our name better reflects what we do,” Vogt and Councill said. The SAFE Office has also moved to a new location in the Rich Building next to Student Health Services from its old location in the Gibbs Wellness Center according to Vogt and Councill. As a result of the move, all Rice Counseling staff, who had previously been split between two locations, have moved into the Gibbs Wellness Center. Qi said she hopes the new location of the SAFE office will increase accessibility to the services provided by the SAFE office and the Student Health Center. “Coping with trauma alone is already extremely taxing for survivors; ideally, all of these resources should be as transparent and straightforward as possible so that survivors do not feel discouraged by the difficulty navigating these resources,” Qi, a senior, said. Students can contact the SAFE Office by calling through RUPD at 713-348-6000 or the Rice Counseling Center by calling 713-348-3311.

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NEWS

4 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

New alcohol education module replaces BASICS RYND MORGAN ASST NEWS EDITOR

New students were required to complete a new alcohol education module, AlcoholEdu, instead of the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students, which had been used for over ten years, according to emails from the Wellbeing and Counseling Center. According to the email sent to new students, the first part of the new AlcoholEdu course takes about two hours to complete, compared to the old BASICS course, which took about 20 minutes total to complete. “Like BASICS, AlcoholEdu provides reflective inventory and customized feedback on drinking behaviors, mental and physical effects of alcohol and bystander intervention,” Agnes Ho, director of the Wellbeing Center, said. The first part of the module, which new students were asked to complete by Aug. 15, is broken down into 11 smaller sections, including an anonymous survey. At the end of the module, students are expected to pass a cumulative exam with a score

of at least 70 percent. New students are encouraged but not required to complete the second half of the AlcoholEdu module by Sept. 15. The course is also open to returning students via a link provided by the Wellbeing Center. The survey asks for information to calculate hypothetical Blood Alcohol Content, such as biological sex, height and weight, as well as demographic information, such as race, gender and sexual orientation, and information about personal experiences with alcohol. Most of the personal experience and demographicrelated questions are optional. Ho said that the Wellbeing Center hopes new students will find the information be helpful to better reflect their alcohol use and prepare them to make responsible, reasonable and respectful choices at Rice. “Through the AlcoholEdu module, students will find more interactive information and realistic scenarios that we believe will keep them more engaged throughout the course,” Ho said. Nellie Chen, who is a head caregiver at Hanszen College, said that while new

students in the past have been educated well about alcohol, head caregivers have consistently been working to improve the training materials to reflect each new class. “Educating all new students about alcohol in the same manner allows everyone to be on the same page about [Rice’s culture of care], which leads to a safer and more compassionate campus,” Chen, a junior, said. The new alcohol training module follows a year of administrative crackdowns on alcohol, including a temporary ban on private gatherings

with alcohol at Duncan College and new campus-wide regulations on crawls. Jennifer Truitt, the head caregiver at Brown College, said she thinks Rice students would benefit from better alcohol safety education. “Many of us are under a lot of stress and it can be tempting to cope by drinking,” Truitt, a senior, said. “Drinking is an adult decision, which is why we try to let students make it themselves, but it also requires an adult level of maturity to recognize when one’s drinking has become self-harm.”

New Module • AlcoholEdu • 2 hours • 70% on exam to pass

Previous Module • BASICS • 20 minutes • no exam

Campus construction continues over summer SAVANNAH KUCHAR ASST NEWS EDITOR

Students returning to campus this week saw a variety of construction projects underway throughout campus, from larger buildings like the Will Rice College Magister House and Kraft Hall, to general repairs on existing infrastructure.

Will Rice Magister House

The Will Rice Magister House began construction in fall 2018, but construction is still underway. Once the new Will Rice Magister House is completed, the previous Magister House will be demolished to make space for the new Sid Richardson College building.

Kraft Hall

The new Social Sciences building, Kraft Hall, broke ground in September 2018. The building is located between Tudor Fieldhouse and Hanszen College on the former Recreation Field 6. Larry Vossler, the construction manager for Kraft Hall, said that after completion, the building will both house offices previously located in Sewall Hall and be used for classroom space. “Kraft Hall includes space for [five] classrooms on the first floor,” Vossler said. “The first floor will also include a multipurpose space for events. The upper floors will be primarily office space and conference rooms for the School of Social Sciences Dean’s Suite, sociology department, economics department, [the] Kinder Institute, [the Houston Education Research Consortium], [the] Boniuk Institute and [the] Texas Policy Lab.” According to Rice’s Housing and Dining website, construction on Kraft Hall is expected to be completed by December 2019. NEW STUDENTS

Music and Performing Arts Center

Construction on the Music and Performing Arts Center began in September 2017. Once completed, the Arts Center will be a three-story opera theater located between West Lot and Alice Pratt Brown Hall. The building will include a 600-seat auditorium and a 70-seat orchestra pit, along with backstage spaces like dressing and conductor’s rooms, a musician’s lounge and a green room. To make space for the construction of the Arts Center, Laboratory Road has been closed and the front row of parking in West Lot 4 was removed. According to H&D’s website, the Arts Center is expected to be open by July 2020.

The Ion

Construction on Rice’s Innovation Hub in midtown began on July 19. According to Rice News, once built, this off-campus space is intended to combine industry and academics, in order to increase research and development and benefit the Houston economy. The building will include areas for training, classes and innovation spaces, along with entertainment and dining amenities. According to Rice News, construction on this building is expected to finish at the end of 2020.

Other Renovations Across Campus

Additional smaller renovation projects took place over the summer to upgrade campus facilities. According to Rice News, sidewalks around the academic and engineering quads were repaired, along with curbs, drains and sidewalks along in order to prevent flooding. Other improvements include the replaced roof of Tudor Fieldhouse and new landscaping in the Baker College quad and

FROM PAGE 1

“This enabled us to admit an incredibly talented, accomplished and diverse class.” About 11 percent of the class of 2023 are international students. Of the 24 countries represented in the freshmen student body, the highest number of international students came respectively from China, India, the United Kingdom, Thailand and Australia. Of the remainder of the class, 40 percent are from Texas. “We have experienced in recent years fairly strong growth which we attribute both to increased national and international visibility and more effective outreach,” Leebron said. “The distinctive quality of the Rice experience has also been recognized in a number of publications.” Romero da Silva said that about half of the increase in applications can be attributed to Rice’s new financial aid policy to support students who are low, middle and upper middle-income. According to Leebron, of the students in the

channing wang / thresher

Construction of the Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center, a three story opera theater located between West Lot and Alice Pratt Brown Hall, made noticeable progress over the summer. The project was begun in September 2017 and is expected to be completed by July 2020.

on intramural fields. The acoustics in Alice Pratt Brown Hall and Hirsch Orchestra Rehearsal Hall were renovated over the summer as well. According to Kathy Jones, the administration’s associate vice president for Facilities Engineering and Planning, there are multiple measures still being taken in effort to solve issues of bike and traffic safety on campus. “We’re performing tests with several sidewalk coatings to see if we can find a product that will reduce the slipperiness of campus sidewalks when they’re wet,” Jones said. “We’re also taking the lead on installing a device at Entrance 20 at Rice Boulevard and Kent Street that will allow us to gather data that we can use to present

class of 2023 who are permanent residents and citizens of the United States, 29 percent are underrepresented minorities. Additionally, 55 students in the class of 2023 are Questbridge Scholars. “The announcement of the Rice Investment brought both a stronger and more transparent financial aid program and the benefit of nationwide media coverage,” Leebron said. “Over time, we would expect to see more applications from lower income and middle income students. We do expect admission at Rice to remain extremely competitive.” The university also experienced an increase in early decision applications and transfer applications. Duncan College sophomore Amelia Lindell said she applied to Rice and was accepted during her first year of applications. However, the tuition was a few thousand dollars too expensive, so Lindell decided to attend Rhodes College because it was the cheapest option available to her. “I was climbing up the stairs … and I got an alert on my

our case to the City of Houston as part of our request to install a traffic light at that intersection.” Jones said that the administration also has plans to increase disability accessibility on campus. “We [are] also managing projects that will make the campus more friendly to people with mobility challenges, like installing sliding doors at the [Rice Memorial Center] and making improvements to the [BioScience Resesarch Collaborative] bus stop,” Jones said. The pathways around the South colleges were repaved over the summer as well. According to Jones, all current and ongoing projects remain on schedule.

phone saying Rice is now waiving all tuition fees for students who make what my family makes,” Lindell said. “That was when I decided to add that to the list of schools I was going to transfer to. That was the decision. I applied to one other school, just in case I didn’t get into Rice, but it was where I wanted to go and the [Rice] Investment meant I could.” Lindell said she thinks the Rice Investment is going to make Rice a top university because it will attract so many people that, like her, otherwise would end up somewhere they didn’t want to be. The Rice Investment promises to waive fulltuition for families earning less than $130,000 per year, and half-tuition for families earning between $130,001 to $200,000 per year. “[The Rice Investment] gives me the opportunity to be able to graduate debt-free,” Lindell said. “That thought, especially for someone who has siblings, or who has parents who are older .... means there isn’t a giant debt hanging over my head, and a lot of people’s heads, and I think that’s amazing.”


5 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

THE RICE THRESHER

OPINION STAFF EDITORIAL

ASK THE STAFF What would your fake O-Week theme be?

Don’t pass on student opinion

We recognize that this working group Following faculty concerns that students are misusing the pass/fail option, the is still in progress and we respect that the faculty senate formed a working group last process may not always be fully transparent semester to reevaluate the existing policy. to the undergraduate population. However, The working group’s charge is to determine we must as always urge that any decisions if the policy sufficiently fulfills the option’s concerning undergraduates involve the voice purpose and to “examine how these policies of the students. While policy modifications could be affect the learning environment.” Currently, the working group has one undergraduate helpful to instructors, so could a survey representative out of nine members and the of undergraduates to help them better understand how group has so far only students view and surveyed instructors. utilize pass/fail. Some While we recognize questions that could the ways in which be asked are: For pass/fail affects the We must always what purpose have instructor’s classroom urge that any you used the pass/fail environment, we urge decisions concerning option, if any? How the working group to undergraduates involve does having pass/fail consider the ways in as an option affect which that is true for the voice of students. your willingness to students as well. In the survey, faculty respondents were take classes outside of your comfort zone? asked whether or not students should And finally, how does pass/fail affect your be allowed to apply pass/fail to major learning environment? More valuable than our proposed requirements, whether or not they believe instructors should know which students questions would be thorough and honest are taking their course with pass/fail and, to feedback from the student body, as we echo the working group’s charge, how pass/ recognize that we are a very small portion of the undergraduate population and our fail affects their learning environment. These are important questions, in part opinion is far from comprehensive. In the because they may reveal errors in the current coming months, we hope that the working policy implementation, but also because group acknowledges that student opinion they themselves reveal the initial directions can be just as illuminating as instructor input in this process. of this working group.

“Where Did the Time GO-Week for us sad seniors” – Christina Tan, Editor-in-Chief

“TwO-week and it’s two weeks long. Alternatively, ZerO-Week and it doesn’t exist” – Rynd Morgan, Asst. News Editor

“Four LokO-Week”

– Madison Buzzard, Sports Editor

“PistachiO-Week, go nuts” – Channing Wang, Photo Editor

“Pave the GrO(ve)-Week” – Anna Ta, Managing Editor

“LizzO-Week”

– Elizabeth Hergert, Opinion Editor

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

Support the students behind student media Most students know that Rice doesn’t have a business major. What they might not realize is that Rice also doesn’t have a journalism program, a photojournalism major, a visual design program or a public relations major — interests that instead coalesce in the tiny space that is the second floor of the Ley Student Center. Despite the lack of academic infrastructure, the Thresher has existed for 103 years, and this year I have the pleasure of leading it. In an increasingly fragmented world, it’s not an easy time to be a journalist of any kind, and, judging by past Thresher welcome columns, it hasn’t been for a while. Accusations of fake news have entered the Twitter lexicon of prominent politicians, and journalists — sometimes rightfully so — have been forced to adapt and challenge traditional thoughts behind what it means to accurately and fairly cover news. The Thresher has long provided a space for students interested in experiences not available in the academics at Rice. Recently, its second role as a unique journalism experiment has become increasingly evident: thanks to the blanket tax fee leveled upon every student, the Thresher remains unbeholden to external stakeholders and

Thresher staffers lose less (but still some) sleep over our financial situation. Beyond the hedges, however, both local and national journalism is dying, with a third of all large U.S. papers suffering layoffs due to dwindling advertising revenue and mass media consolidation. With the advent of the internet has come an unprecedented expectation: that all content should be free or very cheap, and that content should be accurate and high quality. According to the Pew Research Center, while 71 percent of surveyed Americans think their local news media are doing well financially, only 14 percent have directly paid those services. At Rice, you have the unique opportunity to engage with the Thresher experiment — local, accurate content that is “free” to you in the way that Tetra is “free.” Hold us to high standards, but also understand that behind each story is one (or multiple) students who are juggling academics and life just as you are. In that vein, engage beyond behind-the-door criticisms — as your peers, feel free to ask us questions and talk to us about your critiques or praises. Write opinion pieces if you feel strongly about something on campus or in the paper and continue supporting our mission of being a public

forum for the Rice community. And if you have the time, contribute to the Thresher! As mentioned earlier, there is a space here for interests beyond writing — try on as many hats as you want. If you’re me, you might wear a section designer hat, stack on a photographer hat, upgrade to an art

With the advent of the internet has come an unprecedented expectation: that all content should be free or very cheap, and that content should be accurate and high quality. director hat, change it out for an arts & entertainment editor hat and finish with this nice hat that I’m currently wearing. And don’t stop there — support and join local creative endeavors around you, journalistic or not. While Rice provides you with a free New York Times subscription, know that the New York Times isn’t covering the beef between

Houston Pop-Eyes and Chick-fil-A locations. Spotify provides music ondemand, but its algorithms aren’t handselecting and playing quirky bops 24/7 like your friends at ktru are. And if you still pick up and flip through print magazines, you won’t see familiar bylines in them like you might find in ASTR* magazine. And of course, one last plug for the students who spend over 15 hours a week covering everything from the mundane (phishing emails) to the important, but under-discussed (drug culture at Rice, building removals and the aftermath of sexual assault). It’s thanks to them that the paper you’re holding has continued to persist for over a century. I hope you enjoy this issue, and all the ones to come in the upcoming weeks — your support matters more now than ever.

CHRISTINA TAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DUNCAN COLLEGE SENIOR

STAFF Christina Tan* Editor-in-Chief Anna Ta* Managing Editor NEWS Rishab Ramapriyan* Editor Amy Qin* Editor Rynd Morgan Asst. Editor Savannah Kuchar Asst. Editor FEATURES Ivanka Perez* Editor ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Katelyn Landry* Editor OPINION Elizabeth Hergert* Editor

SPORTS Michael Byrnes Editor Madison Buzzard* Editor Eric Barber Asst. Editor BACKPAGE Simona Matovic Editor & Designer PHOTO Channing Wang Editor COPY Vi Burgess Editor Bhavya Gopinath Editor Phillip Jaffe Senior Editor

ONLINE Ryan Green Web Editor Priyansh Lunia Video Editor DESIGN Tina Liu* Director Dalia Gulca Designer BUSINESS OPERATIONS Mai Ton Social Media/Marketing Manager Jackson Stiles Distribution Manager Karoline Sun Business Manager

*Editorial Board member

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.

First copy is free. Each additional copy is $5. 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: thresher@rice.edu Website: www.ricethresher.org The Thresher is a member of the ACP, TIPA, CMA and CMBAM. © Copyright 2019


OPINION

6 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019 WELCOME LETTER

From the Dean of Undergraduates: Welcome to Rice

Welcome to the start of another year at Rice! This is my favorite time of year. The academic calendar follows a cyclical rhythm — each spring is a bittersweet goodbye as our seniors move on to the next stage of their lives, and then before you know it, the excitement of greeting our New Students is upon us. Despite the constancy of a large changeover in our student population each year, we remain a strong community. Part of this is due to the distinctive way we welcome our new Owls to campus. I had the pleasure of visiting with many new and returning students over the last two weeks. The class of 2023 showed great energy and excitement throughout Orientation Week, and their advisors and coordinators, as well as many faculty and staff, kindly gave their time and attention to ensure another successful transition to campus for our new students. If you think about it, O-Week illustrates why our community remains strong, year after year. We value community, and the benefits to all that a supportive and inclusive

community provides. None of us got to Rice through individual effort alone. Along the way, we were supported in critical ways by our families, friends, teachers and mentors, and while the players in our day-to-day lives shifted when we came to campus, ties to others are a central feature of life at Rice. By embracing our newest class of Owls and guiding them through an orientation week that ranges from the nitty-gritty details of academic rules and course registration to scavenger hunts and late-night food runs, we signal our commitment to each other and our common responsibility in taking ownership of the Rice experience. Indeed, I would challenge each of you in the year ahead to ask yourself how you can pay it forward. In the long scope of your life, the time spent as a Rice student is brief. What can you do to help the Rice experience be equally excellent and transformative? I find that I often ask myself how I can leave a situation better than I found it. In a life full of continual change, it is arguably the most

meaningful mark any of us can hope to leave behind.

What can you do to help the Rice experience be equally excellent and transformative? During my first year as dean of undergraduates, I engaged many members of the Rice community in conversation about the student experience. In response, Student Judicial Programs was reorganized and we are implementing recommendations from the SJP Advisory Group. We also focused heavily on access and inclusion and we made substantial progress in identifying and implementing new programs and supports for students who are from lower income backgrounds and the first generation in college. This work will continue in the

year ahead, and I look forward to engaging in conversation with students and student leaders on these and other topics. I also want to acknowledge that these are challenging times. The despicable cruelty and racism displayed in the El Paso shooting, and the hateful posters that appeared on our campus just before the start of O-Week, are recent reminders to us all of the importance of continually reaffirming our commitment to one another. We are more similar than we are different, and the diversity of our community is a strength to be celebrated and promoted. I welcome the opportunity to engage in dialogue with students on how we can best support members of our community and more generally how we can continue to foster an environment that is welcoming and supportive. In closing, let me again welcome you all to campus. Go Owls! Bridget Gorman Dean of Undergraduates

WELCOME LETTER

A new year begins at Rice, with both joy and sorrow The beginning of a new academic year is both a busy and joyous time at Rice. Just over a week ago we formally welcomed 965 new freshmen and 35 transfer students into our community. And over the last week, 1,075 new graduate students arrived on campus, joining disciplines ranging from applied physics to art history and from music to chemical engineering. Our students come from all over the world. They arrive excited about the opportunities here at Rice and beyond. Our returning students are thrilled to get “home” to Rice, reconnect with their friends and make new ones. And we’re thrilled you are back. Many doctoral students worked without interruption over the summer to make progress on their research and dissertations. While some of our faculty have been here the entire summer break, most have taken at least some time for vacation, research or other professional travel outside Houston. One example that garnered international attention was anthropology professors Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe, who played a lead role in installing a plaque in Iceland marking the first demise of a glacier there and calling attention to climate change. This week, students are busy attending their first classes of the year and selecting the courses that will define the next stage of their intellectual journeys. And even after just a summer, changes are visible on our campus. The exterior and structure

of our extraordinary new Rice University anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric Music and Performing Arts Center are we are increasingly hearing, often aimed virtually complete. We eagerly await at Hispanic Americans and immigrants. Kraft Hall for Social Sciences, which will We express our concern, sympathy and be open early next semester. And this solidarity with all who have been affected year will bring not only new students, by this tragedy. Attacks that aim to divide our but new faculty, new programs and new facilities. In sum, welcome back to an communities are sadly becoming more frequent. Just two exciting new year at years ago, my Rice University. August note in the As the new year Thresher was in the begins at Rice, aftermath of the we must also be Our campus is not neo-Nazi march and cognizant of what’s isolated from the hate automobile attack happening in the and xenophobia that in Charlottesville. world around us. We is now manifest far too Three years ago cannot resume our over the summer, work without taking often across our country it was the attack in stock of recent events and around our world. a Florida nightclub and developments. aimed at members of Just three weeks ago in El Paso, a gunman who had traveled the LGBTQ+ community, killing 49. And 10 hours from the Dallas area targeted this past spring we witnessed murderous Mexican Americans and Mexican citizens assaults on a synagogue in Pittsburgh with the intent to kill as many people as and two mosques in Christchurch, New possible based on the color of their skin Zealand. Our campus is not isolated from the and their ethnic origin. He murdered 22 people at a Walmart and injured two hate and xenophobia that is now manifest far too often across our country and dozen more. The heinous attack in El Paso is a stark around our world. Ten days ago, someone reminder that events outside our campus came onto our campus and posted three do not affect all of us equally. This is a flyers with a vile racist message that time when the Hispanic members of our depicted cartoonish figures of the four community — faculty, staff and students congresswomen President Donald Trump — are experiencing both fear and a deep had attacked. The language of the flyers sense of loss. This is amplified by the employed words from the president’s

tweets and heard at his rallies: “Send them back.” As I wrote on Twitter, “It is … heartbreaking that [people posting these flyers] feel empowered to commit such despicable acts.” At Rice, we must both carry on our work of teaching, research and service, and respond to events around us. We must reaffirm our Rice values: responsibility, integrity, community and excellence. We cannot build that community by ignoring issues that ought to concern us, either here at Rice or outside our campus. We must engage with each other in respectful conversation. We must take responsibility for building community by treating each other with civility, empathy and respect. As announced last spring, this fall we are launching a task force on slavery, segregation and racial injustice. The goals of the task force are to learn about and acknowledge Rice’s own history, to engage in conversation with each other around that history and to use the insights gained to work together to build a stronger university into the future. This is vital work a university does, and more details will be announced next week. So welcome back to Rice — to the renewal of our community and to engagement with the challenges that confront our world. David Leebron President of Rice University

EDITORIAL CARTOON

CARTOON BY DALIA GULCA


THE RICE THRESHER

7 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

FEATURES

GRACE WICKERSON: IVANKA PEREZ FEATURES EDITOR

If you didn’t run into Brown College senior Grace Wickerson at Rice’s Student Association Senate, you might run into them at a lab or by their suite. Wickerson is someone who plays video games, obsesses over skincare and openly discusses their struggles with self-confidence.

I think people meet me and I’m not what they expect, but in a good way. They expect me to be very formal and serious. Grace Wickerson BROWN COLLEGE SENIOR But Wickerson is also the kind of person who can lead and drive diversity and sustainability initiatives in a universitywide organization like the SA. Wickerson is both casual and a leader. “I think people meet me and I’m not what they expect, but in a good way,”

Wickerson said. “They expect me to be very formal and serious, [but] then I come in and I’m making jokes and saying dumb things.” Through their term as SA president, Wickerson says they hope to abolish the conventional image of leadership. They said that when they entered their freshman year at Brown, almost all the members of Brown’s college government were male. The homogenous group of leaders made Wickerson realize the importance of diversity. “I wonder[ed] how they would lead differently if they had different voices,” Wickerson said. Informed by these experiences, Wickerson and the SA executive team have listed diversity and inclusion as one of the SA’s main focuses this year. The executive team has listed four other focuses: student health and wellbeing, sustainability, academic excellence and opportunity and engagement with Houston. Wickerson’s interest in sustainability began as a freshman, when they became EcoRep at Brown. As they became more involved in the SA, they noticed that sustainability was a lower priority for many SA members than other issues. Now, Wickerson said sustainability is becoming a more prominent issue. “A lot more students are asking why we

photo courtesy grace wickerson

Unconventional Should Be Conventional

don’t have on-campus composting, [and] asking about why we’re not doing more for mitigating our oil use, ” Wickerson said. Additionally, Wickerson said they hope to include underrepresented groups, specifically international students and student-athletes. After the revelation that the Rice Investment did not apply to international students, Wickerson said they saw more international students call for activism.

I wonder[ed] how they would lead differently if they had different voices. Grace Wickerson BROWN COLLEGE SENIOR Wickerson also said that they hope to help integrate student-athletes into the Rice community through their work at the SA. They point to the controversy of the inflatable dome as the main source for their focus on student-athletes, noting the amount of negative rhetoric aimed toward student-athletes after the

announcement of the inflatable dome. Wickerson said that while they appreciate the efforts Rice has already made to be inclusive to underrepresented groups, there are still obstacles for transgender, genderqueer and nonbinary students. In colleges such as Brown and Jones College, for example, Wickerson said the lack of gender-neutral communal bathrooms poses an obstacle for those questioning their gender identity. Wickerson is making Rice history as the first openly nonbinary SA president, according to Catherine Clack, associate dean of undergraduates and director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. However, Wickerson said it isn’t the title they appreciate — it’s the opportunity to be a resource to new students with a similar identity. Although Wickerson admits that most of their life revolves around the SA, they are also involved in on-campus research, studying two-dimensional polymer materials in the materials science and nanoengineering department. “It’s a nice outlet to get away from classes,” Wickerson said. “I can just kind of chill with my chemicals.” Wickerson, a materials science major, said they plan to continue research in graduate school, and hope to work in research and development or teaching.


FEATURES

8 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

The BOX

incoming freshmen explain what they put in The Box on their Rice application

Grace Kneidel

Aedan Cullen

Christa Westheimer

“I raised a guide dog named Jefferson this past year. A big part of raising guide dogs is getting them comfortable with wearing things, since eventually they’ll spend a lot of time wearing harnesses. So, I put an owl headband on Jefferson and got a picture of him in front of the rice aisle in my local grocery store.”

“The smiley cow made me happy so I sent it. Cuteness appeal got me accepted.”

“As a proud Wasian (50% White, 50% Asian) woman, it used to be a continual struggle to embrace 100% of both of my identities ... I thought it was fitting to submit a piece of artwork (that my sister created) of my Filipino mother embracing her blended lifestyle in The Box submission.”


FEATURES

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019 • 9

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Answers will be posted on ricethresher.org and on the Thresher Facebook page. Bolded clues correspond to the theme.

ACROSS

1) What may precede Jordan or Canada? 4) That boy 7) mild spice 9) Some costumes for the Martel public 10) One in a bloom 11) Modern Mesopotamia 12) Guatemalan good 14) Word repeated in “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” 15) U.K. award of excellence 16) Soccer star Lionel 18) Opposite of bellum 19) water weapon 22) Indian spiced chicken style 24) Descriptor for many music genres 25) Mil. rank (var.) 26) Certain SOs 27) From __: including everything

DOWN

1) Point at which the moon is farthest from Earth 2) Like the first presidential caucuse 3) Supreme Court nickname “Notorious ___” 4) Styles and Truman e.g. 5) Where to find Vientiane 6) small creature, often fear-inducing 8) 52, for Cassius 9) Deli double? 10) letters that denote a substance people are afraid of seeing 13) Former “Apprentice” star and White House aide 17) Good that may be tariffed 18) Summer storage option 19) Compounds oft used in cartoon explosions 20) “By that reasoning” 21) Scatterbrain 22) Sign like Banksy 23) 80s sitcom E.T.


THE RICE THRESHER

10 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT Love Affair with It Takes a Village: ATaylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ Rice Village revamps its restaurant scene with latest updates KATELYN LANDRY A&E EDITOR

Rice Village has long attracted a diverse clientele: The fusion of college students with residential populations creates a complex crowd of consumers that all want different things from their stroll down Rice Boulevard. The popular shopping strip has been around since the 1930s and has gotten several facelifts over the years to address the demands of its vibrant and ever-evolving consumer audience. With a major change in property ownership earlier this year, the Village is now experiencing its first flux of major real estate developments intended to reinvigorate the historic strip’s dining scene. If you’ve grown tired of routinely jumping between Torchy’s Tacos and Hopdoddy Burger Bar for your off-campus cravings, prepare for some new and upcoming food destinations in the Village that are sure to surprise and satisfy. New in town — Mendocino Farms Mendocino Farms is bringing a wholesome slice of sunny California to Houston with fresh, upscale twists on classic sandwiches and salads. Wedged between Hopdoddy Burger Bar and D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe on Morningside Drive, Mendocino Farms’ Rice Village location marks the California chain’s first venture outside the Golden State and the first of three Houston storefronts. You certainly won’t find your typical BLT or run-of-the-mill Caesar salad at this modern sandwich market, which prides many of its dishes on their deviance from typical recipes. Expect to find innovations like barbecue-smoked tempeh sandwiches, vegan taco salads with Impossible Chorizo, chimichurri steak on pretzel rolls and much more. With numerous vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, this sandwich shop is sure to have something for everyone in search of something new. New in town — sweetgreen Popular salad bar chain sweetgreen proves that you can have a delicious salad that is equally as good for you, the planet and your Instagram feed. This restaurant boasts a flavorfully diverse menu with dishes like the Chicken Tostada Bowl and Spicy Thai Salad that draw inspiration from a range of cultural palettes. Like Mendocino Farms, sweetgreen’s Rice Village storefront will be the chain’s first Texas location. The salad bar chain

THE WEEKLY SCENE

ETERNAL 30 This Sunday is the first day in a 30-day light and sound art installation at Flatland Gallery. Each week, a different local artist will activate the installation alongside performances from a rotating cast of international artists. Eternal 30 will be free and open every day from 12 - 8 p.m. Flatland Gallery 1709 Westheimer Rd.

operates with a strong ethos surrounding sustainability, placing a high value on building relationships with local small and mid-size growers who farm responsibly. In an effort to make a positive impact on the communities they serve, sweetgreen aims to increase accessibility to authentic, organic food by providing transparency around the ingredients they source. Sweetgreen will not only satisfy devout locavores but will also serve as a beacon for anyone looking to eat more sustainably or healthily. Coming soon — Politan Food Hall If you’re like me and are not familiar with the food hall phenomenon, I advise you to imagine a luxurious cafeteria with accomplished local chefs taking the place of lunch ladies, each doling out a different kind of unique cuisine. Politan Group, a company formerly known as Helpful Hound, is bringing the staggering success of New Orleans food halls St. Roch Market and Auction House to Rice Village with Politan Row Houston. The food hall will sit a block away from Torchy’s Tacos at the corner of Kelvin Street and Times Street and is projected to be completed by October. Politan Row Houston will offer 12 chef-driven dining concepts according to their website, and if it’s anything like its sister location in Chicago, you can expect a spread of local vendors that represent Houston’s diverse food landscape. Already announced chefs include Phillip Kim of local food truck Breaking Bao, Victoria Elizondo of homestyle Mexican restaurant Cochinita & co., Niken and Ecky Prabanto of Indonesian coffee and dessert shop Susu Kopi and Boba. Coming soon — Sixty Vines If you’ve ever thought that the phenomenon of beer-on-tap should be extended to wine, Sixty Vines is going to make your dream come true. This swanky, high-end bar has already earned a reputation in Dallas as “one of the city’s best wine bars,” according to Eater Houston. The bar transports their customers to Napa Valley with an extensive collection of wine labels as well as elevated cafe fare, wood-fired pizza, charcuterie boards and more. Not only does their wine-on-tap perfect the art of enjoying wine by the glass, but it has also eliminated 33,500 bottles from waste, according to their website. Sixty Vines was slated to open in late July; however, according to Eater Houston, the wine bar will open sometime this fall at 2540 University Blvd. near Gap.

IVANKA PEREZ FEATURES EDITOR

LOVER Genre: Pop Album length: 61 minutes Release date: August 23 Where to listen: Spotify, Apple Music

Few artists can master a genre transition. Lady Gaga dabbled in jazz with her Tony Bennett collaboration “Cheek to Cheek” and before she was famous and Katy Perry sang in a Christian rock band. But Taylor Swift’s transition from country to pop is arguably the most successful genre switch of all time. With her seventh studio album “Lover,” her first album released since leaving Scooter Braun’s label, Swift yet again proves her ability to blend current musical style with her enduring tongue-in-cheek personality. “Lover” is different from Swift’s previous projects in that it forays beyond country and mainstream pop. “I Forgot That You Existed” illustrates her keen grasp on writing an upbeat bop, “Paper Rings” borders on pop punk and “Death By A Thousand Cuts” has an electronic twist. In “Soon You’ll Get Better” — the album’s biggest departure from pop — Swift returns to her country roots for the most personal track on the album. A collaboration with the Dixie Chicks, this acoustic country ballad details Swift’s feelings about her mother’s cancer diagnosis. The track’s strength isn’t the simple production, which shows off Swift’s voice, or even the banjo, which harkens to Swift’s musical heritage — it’s the honesty of Swift’s lyrics. Swift is in denial; she sings, “You’ll get better soon / ‘cause you have to.” She makes her mother’s illness about herself sometimes, and she’s flawed. But depicting the imperfect reality of how cancer affects

families adds to the rawness of the track. In comparison to “The Best Day,” which Swift wrote about her favorite memories with her mother, this track is especially poignant. “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” is also a departure for Swift. Foregoing her usual song structure, the haunting track brings Taylor’s “Reputation”-era pop sound to a new level. The saxophone, which she also incorporates into “False God,” blends surprisingly well. Swift’s style on this album is experimental, and in most cases it pays off. But in “Death By A Thousand Cuts,” the risks are too overwhelming. The opening verse is gorgeous, but the song heads downhill from there. The opening and the rest of the track are grossly overproduced, obscuring an otherwise mesmerizing melody. If someone made a remix of this song, I would listen to it. For now, I’ll pass. Swift’s singles are actually the weakest tracks on the record. Both “ME!” and “You Need to Calm Down” are nothing more than surface-level bops with not-that-catchy melodies; “I Forgot That You Existed” and “The Man” have similar rhythms, but with much more substance in melody and subject matter. “The Man” discusses the scrutiny of Swift’s serial monogamy — something male figures in the spotlight never have to face — making it a missed opportunity for a standout promotional single. But overall, the album shows how well Swift has grown into her pop sound. The tracks that sound least like her past albums are the most striking, illustrating Swift’s aptitude for adopting new styles and making them her own. In fact, her singles “Lover” and “The Archer,” which closely resemble past hits more than the rest of the album, are some of the least memorable tracks on the album. More engaging are “Afterglow” and final track “Daylight,” which evoke the nostalgia that “The Archer” attempts but fails to bring. “Lover” has its faults, but is ultimately a success. Like the albums before it, “Lover” illustrates that Swift is a monumental songwriter of her time. “Lover” is available on all major music streaming platforms.

SUMMER SUMMERPLAYLIST PLAYLIST

Missing summer already? Hit rewind on our editors’ playlist picks for a dose of sunny nostalgia.

Nanã by Polo and Pan Ipanema by Still Woozy Hood Rat Shit by Megan Thee Stallion Christina Tan, Editor-in-Chief

Banana Clip by Miguel California Daze by Peace broken by lovelytheband Katelyn Landry, A&E Editor

92 Explorer by Post Malone Good as Hell by Lizzo BROWN SKIN GIRL by Beyoncé Anna Ta, Managing Editor

Water Me by Lizzo 100 Degrees by Rich Brian TWIT by Hwasa Channing Wang, Photo Editor

GINGER by Brockhampton How Long? by Vampire Weekend Simona Matovic, Backpage Editor/Designer

Monte Carlo by Toro y Moi Cashmoney by No Rome Super Natural by Turnover Dalia Gulca, Designer

BLACK ARTISTS AND ASSEMBLAGE

RICE PLAYERS “PLAY IN A DAY”

MUSIC ON THE PLAZA

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is welcoming former Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver to give a talk on assemblage, which involves repurposing ordinary objects to create a piece of artwork. Listen to Cassel Oliver’s lecture this Saturday at 2 p.m. at CAMH.

Join the Rice Players for their Play in a Day competition which challenges students to create and perform an original play in just 24 hours. Signups are online on the Rice Players Facebook page. The competition begins this Friday at 8 p.m. and performances will run starting at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston this Friday for the final installment of their summer “Music on the Plaza” series, which combines live music with artistic performances in the museum’s outdoor plaza. Food vendors and a cash bar will be available on site.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 5216 Montrose blvd.

Duncan Private Dining Room (friday) Hamman Hall (Saturday)

Museum of Fine arts Houston 1001 Bissonnet St.


ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019 • 11

Arts 101: Guide to exhibitions on and off campus KATELYN LANDRY A&E EDITOR

Rice students are fortunate to be located just a stone’s throw from major artistic hubs like the Houston Museum District while also having the opportunity to participate in a flourishing arts culture on campus. With the help of this guide, you can start to explore the rich culture so readily available to you before school gets into full swing. What can you find on campus? Visual and Dramatic Arts Shows The exhibitions put on by the VADA department are great opportunities to marvel at your peers’ work and meet other art lovers on campus. Students can look forward to the Senior Showcase every spring, the semesterly Rice Theatre productions, and the many exhibits from VADA majors and professors throughout the year. You can join their mailing list or follow them on Instagram for regular event updates. Moody Center for The Arts Nestled toward the back of campus is the Moody Center, a piece of architectural beauty in and of itself. The Moody Center generates a vibrant campus arts culture in collaboration with the city and features exhibits by international artists, immersive virtual reality installations, concerts and late-night festivities. Be on the lookout for workshops hosted by the center’s Student Collaborative and visit Gillian Wearing’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll 70” exhibit, showing until Aug. 31. Rice Cinema Rice Cinema is a “[cinematic] experience for both the screening of great films and the opportunity to discuss this work,” according to their website. Operating in the historic halls of the Rice Media Center, Rice

Cinema has an impressive list of big-name directors in their viewing history. Despite administrative plans to soon tear down the 50-year-old building, Rice Cinema will continue offering events in their usual locale this fall including screenings of film series, international classics and “unusual films” from the archive as part of their Lo-Fi series. Inferno Gallery Inferno Gallery, formerly known as Matchbox, is Rice’s student-run gallery and exhibition space. Housed on the second floor of Sewall Hall and opening into the Sculpture Courtyard, Inferno showcases the work of artists both from Rice and the greater Houston community. Past installations have simulated the inside of a womb and invited viewers to throw forks at a magnetic sculpture. Check out Inferno’s Instagram to stay up to date on exhibitions or get involved by applying to become a team member. Rice Coffeehouse Coffee and art go together like peanut butter and jelly at campus’s studentoperated coffee shop, fondly known as Chaüs. As their website states, “Rice students are often hard-pressed to find spaces to display their work.” Thus, the Keepers of Coffee (baristas) created Espresso Yourself to fill this gap. With “EY: Art,” students can apply for Chaüs to hang their 2D work for a semester, while “EY: Performance” encourages performers to pull together a small set one night a week for Chaüs-goers. Don’t think that’s enough to keep you busy for the next year? Try snagging a nap between classes on a hammock installation called The Hangout, or stop by Archi-Arts, an annual multidisciplinary installation hosted by the Rice Architecture Society. You can also join one of the many clubs

Moody Center for the Arts dedicated to bolstering the arts on campus, such as Rice Art Club, 6100 Main, ktru, Cavity, R2: The Rice Review, ASTR* and Rice Left’s Art and Activism initiative. What can you find close to campus? Museum of Fine Arts, Houston The MFAH is just one train stop away from Hermann Park/Rice University station on METRORail’s Red Line and offers free admission to all Rice students who bring their student IDs. The MFAH has a collection of nearly 70,000 artworks, ranging from photography to prints to antiquities. Their expansive campus features their main building and cinema, a sculpture garden with Houston’s “Cloud Column” (affectionately known as the “little bean”), the Hirsch Library and the Glassell School of Art. For an extra fee, you can attend one of the museum’s multiple traveling exhibitions. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston A one-minute walk from the MFAH is the CAMH, an institution that has been hosting groundbreaking exhibitions and programming for over 70 years. With their non-collecting principles and innovative projects such as Art on the Lawn, the CAMH

PHOTO COURTESY RICE PUBLIC AFFAIRS

redefines the traditional idea of the museum, while exhibiting sensational contemporary artwork for visitors to enjoy. Open every day except Monday and always free, the CAMH has two exhibitions running this fall. The Menil Collection This collection is the subject of local and national legend. A “30-acre neighborhood of art,” the Menil offers eclectic and carefully curated exhibitions in all five of their buildings, a dreamy bookstore, outdoor sculptures and gorgeous grounds where Houstonians can collect on weekends for picnics and frisbee games. Half of the collection’s mystique comes from the quirky couple that founded it. In addition to their permanent collections, the Menil hosts a number of exhibitions that you can enjoy for free. There are countless arts-oriented gems to explore throughout the city, from galleries like Insomnia Gallery, BOX 13 ArtSpace and Lawndale Art Center, to coffee shops like Inversion Coffee & Art and Notsuoh. If you find yourself enjoying the warmth of a slow Saturday afternoon, take a short trek to a nearby museum or test your public transportation savvy with a friend to discover your favorite Houston art spot.

Review: Summer slasher ‘Ready or Not’delivers a gruesomely good time MICHAEL VERMEULEN THRESHER STAFF

READY OR NOT Genre: Mystery/Thriller Run time: 94 minutes Find it on: Edwards Greenway Grand Palace

In the glut of horror films that come it each year, it can be difficult to find works that either have noticeable technical effort and prowess behind them or do not rely on jump scares to provide tension. Thankfully, the new horror release “Ready or Not” satisfies both qualifications, as well as excelling in another genre as makes the movie all the more entertaining: comedy. The film follows Grace (Samara Weaving), a young woman who marries into an extravangly wealthy family. On the night of her wedding, Grace is asked to follow her family’s unusual traditions by playing a game of hide-and-seek. To her shock though, this seemingly childish pastime turns into the most terrifying hours of her life as she attempts to avoid getting murdered by her newfound relatives. The film’s greatest strength is macabre sense of humor. Utilizing violence in a comic fashion similar to Sam Raimi and Quentin Tarantino, “Ready or Not” understands the horrific nature of the events unfolding onscreen. When the gore is meant to be horrific, the film maintains the tension beforehand in order to make it so. When it is meant to be funny though, the movie adeptly handles it as such by filtering it through the perspective of the characters experiencing it. For instance, unlike most other villains in horror flicks, the Le Domas family does not fully believe in or understand how to

accomplish what they are attempting to do. Many of them are affluent people with comfortable modern lives, and this affects their actions through the movie. As a result, audience members will find their reactions, even to death, to be amusing. In this way, the film also works as a clever social satire on the detachment that exists between the 1% and 99% as well as the extent to which people will go in order to obtain or maintain their riches. Even with this intelligent writing, the film would not work at all if not for its strong central turn from Weaving as Grace. With her incredibly expressive face, Weaving conveys all the emotions that her character is going through, from the immense joy she feels after getting married to her sheer panic while getting shot with a bow and arrow at by her new mother-in-law. With nearly every scene focusing on her, she carries the film on her shoulders and succeeds while doing it. Further positives include the pacing and production design. At a brisk 94 minutes, the story does not loiter on any unnecessary plot points or character moments. Every minute affects the overall progression of the story, and consequently the movie remains engaging throughout. Assisting in this consistent immersion is the production design of the Le Domas mansion, which wonderfully brings to life what one would assume a creepy mansion looks like. The film is not without its issues. A bit too much of lore behind the family’s beliefs is left unexplained. The camerawork during some of the action scenes is haphazard. Most significantly, a few third-act character beats do not feel earned, as the drastic about-face between how the characters act before and after these shifts seem more manufactured for the sake of the plot than natural progressions. Overall though, “Ready or Not” is a brisk slasher romp held together by a stellar lead performance and wonderful black humor that will keep viewers both biting their nails in suspense and laughing their butts off. “Ready or Not” is now showing in theaters everywhere.


THE RICE THRESHER

12 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

SPORTS

channing wang / THRESHER

Rice soccer players gather in their pre-match huddle before the Owls’ first home contest of the season, against the University of Houston. Rice defeated the Cougars 3-0 thanks to two goals from senior midfielder Erin Mikeska and a goal from senior forward Louise Stephens, who scored on an assist from senior forward Haley Kostyshyn. With the win, the Owls improved to 2-0 on the season, a marked improvement over last year’s slow 0-2 start. Rice defeated Oral Roberts University, 2-1 in the team’s first match of the season last Thursday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Soccer delivers two wins to open season MADISON BUZZARD SPORTS EDITOR

Head soccer coach Brian Lee kickstarted his Rice tenure with two wins in two matches last week. The Owls defeated Oral Roberts University on the road at Case Soccer Complex on Thursday before beating the University of Houston at Holloway Field on Sunday. Despite flying over 400 miles to Tulsa, Oklahoma for its first match of the season, Rice began its contest against Oral Roberts in a flurry. Only four minutes into the match, the Owls pressured the Golden Eagles into surrendering the ball at midfield. Sophomore midfielder Delaney Schultz and freshman midfielder Shiloh Miller played one-touch passing on the left flank, which allowed senior midfielder Lianne Mananquil to sprint between Oral Roberts’ center backs. Miller played a pass in front of Mananquil, who lifted the ball with her right foot above the outstretched arms of diving goalkeeper Allison Austin to secure the Owls’ first goal. According to Lee, tactical use of the high press, which enabled Mananquil’s score, will continue to serve as an essential component of Rice’s game plan. “We’re trying to press,” Lee said. “It’s a different system for the girls than they are probably used to, but they are getting acclimated really well.” Rice shifted into a more defensive approach once it captured a 1-0 lead, which resulted in several long shot attempts by Oral Roberts, each of which

were saved by sophomore goalkeeper Bella Killgore. At halftime, the score remained 1-0. Although Killgore secured a clean sheet for 45 minutes, Lee opted to substitute senior Maya Hoyer in front of goal to begin the second half. Hoyer began her season with little work, however, as Rice reinstituted the high press and controlled possession. In the 49th minute, Schultz recovered the ball at midfield and streaked toward the attacking half. With senior forward Louise Stephens on her left and senior forward Haley Kostyshyn on her right, Schultz opted to pass to Kostyshyn, who drilled the ball into the net from the edge of the penalty area to provide Rice with a 2-0 advantage. Kostyshyn said the score came off a quick decision. “I took a touch forward and didn’t see anyone in front of me, so my instinct was to shoot it across the goal,” Kostyshyn said. “It happened to go in, which was a really good feeling.” With three minutes left in the match, Mananquil, a preseason MAC Hermann Trophy watch list nominee, suffered an injury and required assistance from two trainers to walk off the field. Ultimately, the Owls defeated Oral Roberts, 2-1, with one goal allowed by Rice due to a foul by junior defender Trinity King which resulted in a converted penalty kick. Rice returned home for its second match of the weekend to face crosstown rival University of Houston, which had

also claimed victory in its season opener. Holloway Field saw 543 Rice students file into the stands — a record attendance, according to Rice athletics — to form a lively and raucous crowd. The opening 15 minutes of the match showcased strengths for both teams: Houston played one-touch passes on the flanks and drove their fullbacks up the pitch, while Rice looked comfortable defensively in its 4-4-2 formation. In an effort to spark creativity, Mananquil — who was declared healthy and named to the starting lineup — attempted a skill move to bypass two defenders. Not only was Mananquil unsuccessful in performing the move, but she also collapsed with an injury and needed to be carried off the pitch. According to Lee, Mananquil’s injuries were unrelated. “Well [the first injury] was just really a cramp and she was fully recovered for this game,” Lee said. “[Today] was a totally different injury. This time she just got stepped on.” Nonetheless, freshman Julia Kostecki stepped in to play as the right midfielder, and Rice remained steadfast in the high press. In the 22nd minute of the match, Kostecki guided a pass to Schultz, who performed a stepover move and drew a foul near the penalty area. Junior defender Mijke Roelfsema whipped in a left-footed inswinging ball toward the goal, and senior midfielder Erin Mikeska capitalized on close position by thumping a header into the net to secure the first goal of the contest. Mikeska said practice routines set the stage for her goal.

“I work on the timing of my runs and reading the ball out of the air,” Mikeska said. “That’s mostly what [heading the ball] comes down to.” Rice coaxed its 1-0 lead into halftime by pressuring UH players within the Cougars’ own half. An opportunity arose for the Owls to double their lead early in the second half when Kostyshyn received the ball from sophomore midfielder Madison Kent near the opposition’s penalty area. Surrounded by three Houston defenders, Kostyshyn slipped a pass to Stephens, who slotted a rolling shot across goalkeeper Samantha Cude into the bottom right corner of the net. Kostyshyn said passing vision inspired the goal. “I opened up and I didn’t think I had the best opportunity for a shot,” Kostyshyn said. “It was chaotic and everyone was surrounding the top of the box. I just happened to slip the ball through to [Stephens] because I saw she was open.” The Owls claimed victory in a 3-0 shutout following a successful penalty kick in the 88th minute by Mikeska and solid goalkeeping from Killgore and Hoyer, who split time in goal once again. According to Lee, both Killgore and Hoyer deserve to play. “They’re two very good goalkeepers,” Lee said. “There are a lot of [Southeastern Conference] teams who would like to have either one of them. Right now, we are going to stick with the rotation.” Rice next plays this Thursday, Aug. 29, against the University of Alabama at Holloway Field at 7 p.m.


SPORTS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019 • 13

projected

STARTING LINEUP CARLY GRAHAM setter sophomore TORI WOOGK outside hitter senior NICOLE LENNON outside hitter junior TABITHA BROWN opposite hitter grad transfer GRACE MORGAN middle blocker senior

COURTESY RICE ATHLETICS

ANOTA ADEKUNLE middle blocker sophomore

Junior outside hitter Nicole Lennon delivers a spike across the net during Rice’s exhibition victory over the University of Houston on Aug. 23 at the Fertitta Center. The final score line favored Rice, 4-1 (25-18, 25-14, 19-25, 25-17, 15-13). Lennon was chosen as the Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year and earned a spot on the 12-person Preseason All-Conference Team, alongside teammates Anota Adekunle and Grace Morgan.

VOLLEYBALL RETURNS WITH NEW ENERGY SPENCER MOFFAT SENIOR WRITER

After one of the most successful seasons in program history, the Rice women’s volleyball team faces a challenge that it has faced only four times before and only once since 2009: attempting to return to the NCAA tournament. After losing to Texas State University in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season, the Owls finished with a record of 24-7. After the first home practice of the season, head coach Genny Volpe said last year’s experience in the NCAA tournament will fuel their play going forward. “Once you get a taste of postseason, you never want to let it go and you just want to keep building from there so I think that’s where we are right now,” Volpe said. The Owls have 11 returning players on the roster this upcoming season. The team will look to integrate four freshmen and one graduate transfer. Of the freshmen on the team, outside hitter Ellie Bichelmeyer from Mission Hills, Kansas and middle blocker

Satasha Kostelecky from Decatur, Texas should expect to see a substantial amount of playing time, according to Volpe. In addition, graduate transfer outside hitter Tabitha Brown will join the Owls as she comes to Rice after finishing her undergraduate volleyball career at Wichita State University. During the summer, Rice traveled to Italy to participate in several exhibition matches against local volleyball teams. Volpe said the trip improved her team’s cohesion. “With our trip to Italy, we were able to practice a little early so that was nice to integrate the newcomers into our system,” Volpe said. The Owls will officially begin their season on Aug. 30 when the team heads to Oxford, Mississippi for the Rebel Invitational. Rice opens the invitational by facing the University of Mississippi at 6 p.m. on Aug. 30. The upcoming challenge to win the C-USA title for the second year in a row will begin on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. in Tudor Fieldhouse. However, the first home match in Tudor Fieldhouse comes far earlier as the Owls host the Adidas Invitational from Sept. 6-7, when

they hope to recreate their previous success in the invitational after winning all three matches last year. Returning for her 16th season at Rice, Volpe looks to build upon her impressive resume. Under Volpe, the Owls have finished in the top four of C-USA eight times, including three second-place finishes. Overall, Volpe has the highest winning percentage of all head coaches in Rice volleyball history and owns a 286-178 record. Additionally, Volpe won Conference USA Coach of the Year last year. Before this past season, Volpe last won the C-USA Coach of the Year award in 2008. Despite losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year, the Owls produced a successful season. The 2018 team made program history by winning the C-USA regular season title for the first time. Collaboration and chemistry proved integral to the team’s success, according to Volpe, but specific individuals such as junior outside hitter Nicole Lennon and senior libero Lee Ann Cunningham highlighted box scores on a consistent basis. Lennon led the team

in kills with 482 last season, which helped her become the first Rice volleyball player to win C-USA Player of the Year. Cunningham showed her indefatigable willingness to dive for balls by finishing third in C-USA in total number of digs with 574. On the defensive side, senior middle blocker Grace Morgan finished first on the Owls and second overall in C-USA in total number of blocks with 125. As a team, the Owls led C-USA in total number of digs and opponent hitting percentage. Despite the substantial amount of success that the Owls enjoyed last year, Lennon said the team is trying to maintain a humble attitude. “All the teams in our conference know that we won last year, but we always talk about having an underdog mentality,” Lennon said. Given the return of team leaders in different statistical categories, such as digs and kills, like Lennon and Cunningham, Volpe said we should expect the Owls to continue to be a very athletic team. “Those that come out and watch us play are going to really enjoy watching our team,” Volpe said.


SPORTS

14 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

Football team names quarterback JOSHUA ANIL THRESHER STAFF

While many Rice students spend their summer breaks around the world researching, working or spending time with their families, the Rice Owls football team spent the better part of their summer on campus preparing for the upcoming season. With their Aug. 30 season opener against the Army West Point Black Knights fast approaching, the Owls are now in their final stretch of preseason training camp, now with their newly named starting quarterback, redshirt freshman Wiley Green. During head coach Mike Bloomgren’s first season at the helm in 2018, Rice finished with a 2-11 record. The Owls’ only Football Bowl Subdivision win came at home against 4-8 Old Dominion University in Rice’s last game of the season. Their other victory came on a last-second field goal against Football Championship Subdivision opponent Prairie View A&M University. Rice struggled mightily in the passing game last season, where the Owls averaged almost 100 fewer yards per game than their opponents. Three quarterbacks started for Rice at various points in the season, and five quarterbacks attempted a pass. Nine games into the season, Green emerged from the depth charts as a surprise quarterback option, starting against the University of North Texas. Green proceeded to throw for 313 yards

against the University of Texas, El Paso a wave of new players and talent to the the following week, the most for an Owl team. Bloomgren, formerly the director freshman since 1984. He also led Rice to of offense at Stanford University, added their lone conference victory against Old more than three dozen new players in the offseason, topping the 31 players that he Dominion in the season finale. On Tuesday, Bloomgren put a added prior to his first campaign. “We brought in 40 new [players],” temporary rest to weeks of quarterback uncertainty by officially naming Green Bloomgren said. “Thirty of them were as this week’s starting quarterback. high school seniors last year ... Of [the] Redshirt sophomore Evan Marshman and 10 transfers, they are bringing with them Harvard graduate transfer Tom Stewart 202 games of college football experience to our football team had previously and that is huge.” been competing Last year, for the starting job. Bloomgren played But according to 19 true freshmen. Bloomgren, Green’s It’s the second time But according to improvement this around for me ... I know Bloomgren, those summer earned him who I can trust with freshmen managed the position. to make notable “He’s got elite what so that I can focus progress throughout arm talent in what on things that are truly the season. I’ve seen from him,” important. “What you saw Bloomgren said in was [the freshmen’s] a Tuesday press Mike Bloomgren ability to grow in conference. “His HEAD FOOTBALL COACH the offseason and post-snap [play] in spring ball and the fall was so much better than it was in the spring. If Wiley know what it looks like and what it feels was a freshman coming into this system like in a game,” Bloomgren said. “Some this year, maybe Tom’s experience in of these guys; there’s a couple of them game and moxie as a quarterback would like Wiley Green and Clay Servin who are have beat him out. But, that’s not where [currently] redshirt freshmen, which is we are. Wiley’s pretty comfortable with laughable in a really good way. They don’t hold themselves or carry themselves like what we’re doing.” Though the Owls finished at the that. They have game experience and bottom of the Conference USA standings, they are performing like old vets.” The Owls compete against a string the advent of a new season brings with it

of Power Five teams in non-conference play this season, including Wake Forest University, the University of Texas and Baylor University in successive weeks — with all three games in Houston and to be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. Rice will face the Demon Deacons and Bears at home at Rice Stadium and will challenge the Longhorns at NRG Stadium. The Owls come out of this stretch and go straight into C-USA play. Undoubtedly, Rice faces some tough matchups in the early stages of the season. In particular, Texas won last year’s Sugar Bowl and finished No. 9 in the final Associated Press and coaches’ polls. But Bloomgren said he feels much more confident in his ability to lead the team this year. “Everything is different,” Bloomgren said. “It’s the second time around for me. Just understanding more about my staff and this team and having the comfort in knowing how great the people around me are and having the trust in them. I probably tried to do too much as a firstyear head coach, especially with the experienced guys that I have around me. I know who I can trust with what so that I can focus on things that are truly important. I know this team better. I know this group of guys, especially the leaders, better. I will sleep well Thursday night.” The Owls’ first game is on Friday, Aug. 30 at 5 p.m., and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. Rice’s home opener will be on Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.

Volleyball tours, competes during trip to Italy MICHAEL BYRNES SPORTS EDITOR

This summer, the Rice volleyball team added an international component to their preseason training: a trip to Italy. During the second week of June, the team embarked on a nine-day voyage overseas, where they trained, toured and competed, winning three of four matches against local Italian teams. The Owls’ plane touched down on Italian soil in the seaside port of Venice on June 8, after a long journey that included a stop in Amsterdam. The team spent the first day immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of the historic city before moving on to the nearby province of Padua — the site of their first match, against club team Legnaro PGS 2000. Rice took four of five sets during the contest, winning 33-31, 25-16, 25-18, 25-21, 16-18. According to head coach Genny Volpe, the Owls didn’t have to adjust their strategies very much to adapt to the style of international play. “We did practice with the international volleyball a few times to try and get used to it,” Volpe said. “It’s a different type of ball so it took some time ... but other than that, we trained normally.” The following morning, the team traveled just over an hour away to tour the city of Verona. Senior libero Lee Ann Cunningham said a highlight of the trip was visiting “Juliet’s House,” which is said to have inspired Shakespeare’s

Romeo and Juliet, set in Verona. The Owls already played five matches.” The next day, Rice traveled to Pisa, also stopped by Castelvecchio — Verona’s 14th-century military castle — before where they stopped to take pictures at continuing west to Lurano, where they the city’s famous leaning tower, and faced off against the Lurano Volleyball Lucca, where the team bicycled around Club in their second match of the trip. the perimeter of the walled RenaissanceAgain the Owls prevailed, winning all era town. Head coach Genny Volpe said the team’s trip to Lucca was a particular four sets. But the next day’s match would see highlight for her. “The quiet town of Lucca was probably Rice face its toughest test yet, playing against the Italian Women’s Junior my personal favorite,” Volpe said. “It was so beautiful and National Team. the people were so The team spent the nice. Just walking morning touring around town and Milan, including watching little kids visits to Sforza We enjoyed seeing the play soccer in the Castle and the Milan sights, trying all the streets midday was Cathedral, which is flavors of gelato, and a nice change of the fourth largest pace from the busy church in the world. attempting to speak In the evening, the Italian ... [The trip] was a life we see mostly day to day.” Owls battled through unique experience. The Owls then a tough match before toured Florence and dropping the fifth set Lee Ann Cunningham the surrounding by only two points. SENIOR LIBERO Tuscan hills for Cunningham said a day before participating in summer matches like this one will help spending the final two days of the trip give the team a leg up going into the in Rome. During their stay in Italy’s capital city, the team visited notable regular season. “We had the chance to train over the locations such as the Sistine Chapel, St. summer in preparation for our foreign Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain and the tour and then put it to the test, competing Pantheon. The Owls even added a second against the Italian national team country to their trip tally by paying a visit and other clubs around the country,” to Vatican City, the smallest sovereign Cunningham said. “This gives us a large state in the world. In Rome, Rice also advantage over our opponents because competed in its fourth and final match the season hasn’t started yet and we’ve of the trip: a 3-1 victory over Fenice

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Pallavolo Roma, pushing their match record during the trip to an identical 3-1. According to Cunningham, visiting Rome was a fantastic experience. “Of course, we had to stay two nights in Rome to see all that it has to offer,” Cunningham said. “Our team loved learning more about the history behind the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. We enjoyed seeing the sights, trying all the flavors of gelato, and attempting to speak Italian … [The trip] was a unique experience and one that we will never forget.” According to Volpe, the trip brought even more benefits to the team than sightseeing and competition. “With an international trip, the NCAA allows teams to practice an extra 10 days in the summer that we normally do not get,” Volpe said. “So it was nice to utilize that time, and also the incoming freshmen got to practice and train before we went on the trip. This was huge for us to be able to work early with them since they usually don’t get to practice until they report in August for preseason camp.” Overall, Cunningham said that the team’s trip to Italy was a huge success, both in competition and camaraderie. “Though we have several newcomers to the program, this team does not feel ‘new,’” Cunningham said. “Our time in Italy helped us develop relationships with each other off the court, and those who come to our matches will see our strong team chemistry. We anticipate another strong season and that our fans will see a lot of wins at Tudor Fieldhouse.”

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SPORTS

BARBER SHOP TALK:

Students: Give Rice athletics a chance New Students: Welcome to Rice! A new Rice Athletics season has begun, and while you all have been introduced to our sports spirit at Rice Rally during Orientation Week, it is important that you give the athletics a chance past just the first week or two of the school year. It’s well known that many Rice students show undue apathy toward the university’s athletic teams. Sometimes, that apathy can even turn into a distaste for the teams and in turn toward the studentathletes. It’s important to remember that if we treat this section of our undergraduate population — a section that makes up roughly 10 percent of all students — with disdain and stereotypes, it poisons our culture of care. It is as important as ever that we support our student-athletes and not put them down, especially as they are our fellow classmates and friends. Additionally, it’s time to dispel the notion that Rice has bad sports teams. In the past two seasons, five different teams have won conference championships, seven different players have won conference player of the year awards or individual tournament titles and four different teams have made NCAA tournament appearances. While football, baseball and men’s basketball have all struggled in recent years, other sports on campus that might not have as much mainstream appeal have clearly been succeeding. The Owls are excelling on the field, on the course, on the court and in the pool, and making an effort to attend at least a portion of the game will make a difference. Even for the teams that are struggling, having supportive fans in

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019 • 15 attendance could inspire them in their pursuit of greatness. Attending Rice home sporting events could not be easier. The vast majority of teams have their home games on campus and student admission to every home game is free. The athletic department has designated student sections at their venues for students to get a great view of the game. The Rice Rally Club often has free food and apparel giveaways. Even if you are not a sports fan, consider attending not just to see the outcome of the sporting event but also to see one of your friends or O-Week siblings do something that they are passionate about, just as you would go see a friend in the orchestra perform even if you don’t like classical music. Showing support for athletics and our student-athletes does not stop at just attending events. Off the field, our student athletes are academic advisors, O-Week advisors, employees at on-campus business, leaders in the classroom and so much more. Often, student-athletes can feel divided from the rest of campus. Let’s do our best to help turn around that trend. Returning students, if you don’t care for athletics at all, I urge you to reconsider and show as much support as you can. Between the new and returning students, when we all support each other in our various pursuits on campus, we are bound to succeed. Don’t just cheer for the Rice Owls during O-Week. As men’s basketball head coach Scott Pera said during Rice Rally, “keep that same energy” during the entire year.

ERIC BARBER

looking ahead:

RICE SPORTING EVENTS Aug 29 Soccer vs. University of Alabama

Sept 6

Football vs. Wake Forest University

Sept 6-7

Volleyball hosting Rice Adidas Invitational

Sept 8

Soccer vs. Cleveland State University

Sept 15

Soccer vs. Oregon State University

ASST SPORTS EDITOR WILL RICE JUNIOR

all games are at Rice University’s campus


BACKPAGE

16 • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019

The Backpage’s Back-to-School Essentials Whether you’re new to Rice or have been here long enough that you’ve almost memorized the lyrics to the alma mater, you may be forgetting some back-to-school essentials. In the true spirit of the culture of care, the Backpage is here to advise you on what you need for the year — we’ll even drive you to Target to pick it all up.

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The Backpage is satire, written by Simona Matovic and designed by the puppy she got from the Rice Farmer’s Market, Simona Matovic. For comments or questions, email JamesJoyceLovesFarts@rice.edu

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Part-time job We are in search of a Rice student (with a car!) to help with school pickups and drop-offs for after school activities. Children are ages, 7, 11, and 15. All the destinations are within a 5 mile radius of the Rice campus. Approximate hours would be Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pay is $17/hr. Father is a software entrepreneur and investor who went to Rice (Sid ‘97). Mother is a part-time student. Kids are delightful ... and occasionally even fun to be around. Email: katie@snapstream.com Home for rent 3815 Sunset Blvd in West U House for rent 2 bdrm/2bath $2200 a month. Available immediately 712-598-7398 Afternoon help needed Part time afternoon help needed in Southwest Houston (Meyerland). Hours: Monday through Friday (3-6/6:30 p.m.) Responsibilities: Picking up kids from school, taking and picking up kids

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