The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Page 1


Provost Reginald DesRoches to become first Black president of Rice PRAYAG GORDY

Terrence Gee, a member of the Board of Trustees, said that DesRoches’ status as Rice’s first Black president Reginald DesRoches, Rice’s current is important but was not the search provost, will be the next president of committee’s goal. Rice University, Chair of the Board of “I would be disingenuous if I told you Trustees Robert Ladd announced at a that I didn’t think that had importance, press conference Thursday afternoon. because I think that it does, it’s DesRoches will become Rice’s eighth symbolic, but it’s also consequential,” president and the first person of color Gee, who is Black, said. “We set out to to hold the role, succeeding current find the absolute best president for Rice, president David Leebron who will step and it just so happens that person was down on June 30, 2022. also the provost at Rice and ascended DesRoches, who was born in Haiti, to a role that allowed him to become said he finds it the first Black meaningful to be president.” Rice’s first Black Leebron said president, following We have found a leader DesRoches has seven white men. the characteristics who is inspirational and needed to fit into his “It’s historical, in many ways, and universally respected, a new role. I think it speaks leader who is visionary, “I’ve worked to the power of strategic and kind. closely with him universities in for four and a half terms of changing Robert Ladd years,” Leebron lives,” DesRoches CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF said. “I think you said. “If you think TRUSTEES want somebody about the fact that with great ability, I’m first-generation, born in the poorest but also incredible integrity.” country in the Western Hemisphere, Shelby DesRoches, the provost’s I’ve had the ability to work at some of daughter and a Sid Richardson College the best institutions, and it just speaks junior, said being a university president to how universities can affect our lives. has long been one of DesRoches’ career We want to make sure we bring that to goals. all students.” “I think that his kindness as a person The Board of Trustees unanimously shows in all of his work, and I think selected DesRoches, according to Ladd. that will make him a great president,” “We embarked on a search she said. for a proven leader who will be DesRoches said he is eager to assume transformational, who will lead Rice command of the university come July. to even greater stature and national “I’m really excited about every recognition,” Ladd said at the press aspect, to be able to lead such an conference. “We have found a leader amazing university … [with] such a who is inspirational and universally great city of Houston and great alumni respected, a leader who is visionary, support,” DesRoches said. strategic and kind.” DesRoches arrived at Rice in 2017 as Rice’s presidential search committee, the William and Stephanie Sick dean which ran the search alongside a of engineering. Leebron appointed management firm, included some DesRoches to the provost position in current and former trustees, professors, 2020. the former Student Association president and the former Black Graduate SEE NEW PRESIDENT Student Association president. PAGE 2 NEWS EDITOR

CHANNING WANG / THRESHER Reginald DesRoches, born in Haiti, will be Rice’s eighth president and the first Black person in the position.

Forbes wins regionals, WXC qualifies for NCAAs DANIEL SCHRAGER


Sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes followed up her conference title with a first-place finish at the NCAA SouthCentral Cross Country Regional on Friday in Waco, TX, helping the Rice women’s team to a second place finish. The result earned them a spot in this Saturday’s NCAA championships for just the seventh time in program history. According to head coach Jim Bevan, the Owls’ top-two finish was especially gratifying since the Owls entered the competition unranked. “It’s incredibly hard to make the NCAA Championships because only 31 teams in the country make it,” Bevan said. “This time it was extra special because nobody outside of our group believed we had a chance. But our team believed. In the ’80s, Rice had a saying ‘yes, Rice can,’ and that’s what we were yelling pre-race. Rice can and we did.”

Forbes finished 16 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, and 52 seconds ahead of fourth place, helping the team edge out the third-place University of Texas, Austin by just five points. The Owls finished with 96 points, 69 behind the University of Arkansas for first place out of the 22 teams at the event. According to Bevan, Forbes set out to take first place with the team in mind. “Grace asked me before the race, ‘If I win, does that give us a chance? My dream would be for the team to make it,’” Bevan said. “That just goes to show you how special a person and teammate she is.” The win is Forbes’ fifth of the season in just six races. Forbes said that she took the lead halfway through the race, and never looked back. “I made my move at 3k and there was no response from the pack,” Forbes said. “I led the race from there and was able to come home with the win.” In addition to Forbes’ first place finish, Rice placed four runners in the top 25, with

sophomore Caitlin Wosika taking 13th, senior Lourdes Vivas di Lorenzi taking 20th, and sophomore Taigen HunterGalvan placing 21st. According to Bevan, he was proud of each of their showings. “Caitlin was unbelievable and Lourdes had her best performance in three years fighting back from injuries and illnesses,” Bevan said. “Taigen has put it all together and [sophomore] Rachel [Shoemaker, who took 49th place], was passing people late when it mattered.” The team now heads to Tallahassee, FL on Saturday for the NCAA Championships, which will be broadcast on ESPNU. On the men’s side, meanwhile, the Owls finished in fifth place, one point behind fourth-place Lamar University and 35 points behind third place Arkansas State University. The result brings their season to a close. Senior Hociel Landa led the Owls with a 15th place finish. He was followed by senior Alex Topini in 26th and sophomore Travis Dowd in 37th.

Review: Red PAGE 8




Policy 440 provides eligible staff with flexible work accommodations



FOR THE THRESHER Eligible staff employees will now be able to receive further work schedule accommodations with the passing of Policy 440, signed by President Leebron on Nov. 8. The flexible work options outlined in Policy 440 include remote work, alternative work schedules, compressed workweeks and reduced weekly or yearly work hours. Leebron wrote in an email to some of the Rice community that Policy 440 guidelines will be primarily implemented by heads of administrative departments and broader academic units. “Requests for alternative work arrangements will first be discussed and agreed on by the unit supervisor, and will then be approved by the responsible unit head, whether a dean, vice president, vice provost or other head of an administrative unit,” Leebron wrote. Staff eligible for Policy 440 accommodations will be determined based on job responsibilities and employee suitability, according to the policy. Leebron said that he expects that the policy will not lead to a large number of staffers working fully remote but instead allow for individuals to have more flexible work arrangements or alternative work schedules. “The number of people who are in the office three days and maybe remote two days … is going to be a much more significant number and that just gives people a chance to be, we hope, as productive as possible, as happy as possible, as able to manage their entire lives as possible,” Leebron said. The overall goal of the policy was to redefine the structure of a work schedule for eligible employees, according to Leebron. Specifically, Leebron said the staff’s desire for flexibility and the University’s desire to retain their employees lead to the signing of Policy 440. “One [reason] is to be responsive to what we learned [about] both administrator and staff desires regarding how to work in the future,” Leebron said. “The second was being realistic about the competitive environment that we’re facing, where other universities [and other organizations] may be recruiting employees from across the country to do tasks that don’t require any presence on a campus.” Gloria Bean, department administrator and program manager in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion,

said she approved of the signing of mechanism and process work to maintain a sense of community. Policy 440. “The mechanism for implementing ... “I was happy to learn of the new policy,” Bean said. “I think it is a step in the right considers both the collective interests and direction and will be beneficial overall for the individual interests together,” Leebron Rice and eligible employees. The policy fits said. “Part of the implementation process includes some measure of coordinating into current trends in the workplace.” The disruption to in-person activity across campus … that rests with deans and caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has vice presidents. But the authority ultimately changed the fundamental way in which doesn’t exist solely within the unit, and we expect people to articulate what their needs individuals work, according to Leebron. “Two things have changed,” Leebron [are] … we need to do that collectively.” Nancy Adler, an academic program said. “One, the technologies that we use have changed. But also, people’s administrator in the Department of confidence in those technologies, and their Chemistry, said that she does not think that expectations have also changed to some Policy 440 will disrupt culture at Rice. “I don’t think there will be a major extent ... At the same time, people found that new [virtual] ways of working could effect to the Rice community at large at this be at least equally productive. They found time because we’ve had almost two years that it might help them accommodate the of operating in a hybrid work model and we’ve learned what type of work is best conflicting demands on their time.” Bean said that she found that working suitable for in-person and what type of work is completely from home allowed transferable for her to be productive home,” Adler said. and better balance Outside of the her schedule. policy, Leebron “ S p e a k i n g Many of us have families said he hopes from experience, and other responsibilities students, staff and I seemed to be at home and this flexibility faculty alike will be more productive has enabled us to better more visible when when working on campus. from home,” Bean fulfill those responsibilities “When you’re said. “I knew while maintaining work at on campus [make a my assignments a high level. little more effort] to and could work say hello to people, u n i n t e r r u p t e d Carl Apple [to] appreciate during the DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS their work and to work day. I set AT THE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING interact with them,” boundaries that allowed for taking two 15-minute breaks Leebron said. “Because if your unit and you and a lunch break as I would when in the decide you’re going to do three days remotely office to avoid Zoom fatigue. Working from and two days on campus, I think you owe it home also allows more time for life-work to the campus ... to be maybe more visible, more interactive, making sure you touch balance.” Carl Apple, the director of base with people and express some of your communications at the School of appreciation for them. And it falls on all of us Engineering, said that the enactment of to ensure the collectivity of what we do.” Going forward, Leebron said the Policy 440 will be beneficial to his team. “My team has been working mostly university plans to focus on balancing the [remotely] since the start of the pandemic. incorporation of new technologies with the Many of us have families and other importance of in-person interaction. “But I hope [Zoom] won’t replace meeting responsibilities at home and this flexibility has enabled us to better fulfill those somebody for coffee or saying, ‘Let’s meet at responsibilities while maintaining work at the Pavilion’ or ‘let’s take a walk across the campus and talk about this issue,’” Leebron a high level,” Apple said. Although Policy 440 provides staff said. “Because people, I think, when they members with greater flexibility, Leebron get to know each other in a perfect personal said that the preservation of community at space, often they’re more responsive and [in Rice is vital, and that the implementation a] more open frame of mind.”


NEW PRESIDENT A structural engineer and earthquake resilience expert, DesRoches studied at the University of California, Berkeley. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, DesRoches served as the key technical leader in the United States’ response, according to his Rice biography. He now chairs the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Construction Safety Team, which is investigating the June collapse of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida. At Rice, DesRoches’ responsibilities as president will include overseeing the continued construction of the new engineering building and a planned expansion of the student body, according to a press release. DesRoches said he will continue to focus on his job as provost while soliciting faculty feedback on Rice’s future. “Right now my main goal is finishing out as provost,” DesRoches said. “I’ll have time to meet the faculty in the spring, and one of the things I look forward to is connecting with the faculty and just hearing them and what their ambitions are and where they want to take the university moving forward.” The Board of Trustees wants DesRoches to focus on Rice’s research while also strengthening humanities and social sciences, Gee said. “One of the things that I believe the board and others have been pretty clear about is the idea that we need to increase the research profile of the university,” Gee said. “But we have to do that in a way that is still sensitive to and properly acknowledges that there’s a balance between the research that is oftentimes focused on sciences and engineering, along with the social sciences, humanities, etc. That is really what will allow Rice to continue to have this signature profile in the academic world.” DesRoches said increasing research will be among his priorities. “We will continue to raise the reputation, to grow the research enterprise, to build top rank graduate programs while we remain committed to undergraduate education,” DesRoches said. Gorman said she believes DesRoches is the right person for the job. “One of the things that I really like about Reggie is just his earnest energy with regard to everything,” Gorman said. “He’s a really collaborative person, he’s a really creative thinker, and so I think he’s going to be an amazing president for us.” Allison Thacker, Rice’s chief investment officer and the president of the Rice Management Company, said DesRoches’ familiarity with Rice will help him immediately enter his term as president. Thacker said she had expected to have to introduce the new president to Rice’s finances and its external developments, such as the Ion. “One of the great advantages of Reggie being here at Rice and knowing many of us is that he’ll be able to hit the ground running,” Thacker said. DesRoches said he looks forward to continuing to interact with the Rice student body. “I think the students are amazing,” he said. “The students are smart. They’re incredible. They’re truly talented. My favorite part is when I get a chance to interact with the students.” DesRoches’ love of the Rice community was part of the reason he was selected as president, according to Ladd. “The committee and the board wanted a leader, but who also treated everyone well, students, the people mowing the front court, just everyone,” Ladd said. “Reggie stood out in both.”



KATHERINE HUI / THRESHER A vaccination clinic will be provided on Dec. 3 in the East Gym of Tudor Fieldhouse.

Rice to provide vaccine clinic for community members on Dec. 3 PAULINA LESZCZUK


Rice will be providing one final vaccine clinic on Dec. 3, partnering with the Houston Health Department to have 400 vaccine slots available for the Rice community. Three previous clinics were held on Nov. 4, Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. Faculty, students and staff members who have already received Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson will have the option to mix and match options, regardless of which one they initially obtained. Jerusha Kasch, the director of Institutional Crisis Management, said that vaccination data is uploaded into ImmTrac2, the Texas Immunization Registry. Students, faculty and staff are also requested to modify the vaccine survey form in Veoci when they get the booster shot. However, Kasch said obtaining a booster will not necessarily change requirements for testing. “Typically our testing requirements depend directly on the infections rates for our campus and our city,” Kasch said. “If they remain low, yes, I expect you could see a change in testing requirements as we move into spring semester.” The Crisis Management Team also mentioned conflicting vaccine requirements in the email sent on Nov. 8, citing that the federal government and the State of Texas issued conflicting stipulations about vaccine mandates, and the Rice administration is currently consulting with the General Counsel on how to navigate this situation. Marina Klein, a McMurtry College freshman, said she is planning to obtain

and our staff who may have conditions the booster shot as soon as possible. “Knowing that my two shots aren’t we don’t know about or [who] go home to enough is convincing enough for me,” their families,” Torres said. Jackie Wu, a sophomore at Hanszen Klein said. “It’s definitely important so that we don’t have such a high risk of College, received her booster shot on Nov. spreading illness to each other, and we 5 in an on-campus clinic after deciding to can have more personal peace of mind get it at the last minute. “At first I thought that booster that we’re not going to get sick so easily.” were available only for Sid Richardson College freshman shots Jenny Liu said she plans to get the immunocompromised or elderly people. Then I saw my friends getting booster booster shot this week. “I want to be done with my work before shots, which is why I got it too,” Wu said. “It’s not like you’re that, because I’ve taking away that heard people had booster shot from a pretty strong someone else, reaction to their because they are booster shots, so We live in a high-risk not that limited I’ll just wait until area and I feel like as this time, and by I have less work Rice students we have the getting a booster to get it,” Liu shot you’re helping said. “Most of my responsibility to protect everyone else.” friends either have the community, not only Brown College gotten the booster those outside of Rice s o p h o m o r e shot or they’re campus but our faculty and H e a t h e r intending to do Szczesniak said so before going our staff who may have she experienced home.” conditions we don’t know a somewhat long Angela Torres, about or [who] go home to wait while waiting a sophomore from to receive the Wiess College, their families. vaccine on Nov. 12. said she views Angela Torres “Definitely obtaining the WIESS COLLEGE SOPHOMORE Pfizer was going booster shot of faster than the vaccine as her Moderna, so we were waiting a little responsibility as a citizen. “I think, most importantly, it would longer, but in general it was a pretty good be really important for Rice students to process,” Szczesniak said. Klein said she is comfortable with get the booster shot because we live in a high-risk area and I feel like as Rice how students are taking COVID-related students we have the responsibility to precautions. “People are a lot more relaxed about protect the community, not only those outside of Rice campus but our faculty wearing a mask, which I think is good

within a residential college, considering that those are the same people seeing each other over and over again, so there’s not much transfer to spread,” Klein said. “But I also think that wearing a mask is very harmless and also very effective, so we shouldn’t be in such a big hurry to get rid of that requirement either.” Bikrant Das Sharma, a Brown sophomore who received his booster shot on Nov. 12, said he thinks Rice students in general tend to follow most of the policies. “I would say since the restrictions are looser this year, we respect them more, definitely more than last year when we had a lot of restrictions and that was tough for college students to follow.” Sharma said. “Obviously here and there people don’t follow them as much, but overall I think everyone is doing a great job following the rules.” According to their website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is confident in the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are working well in preventing severe cases of the illness, hospitalization and death, and it recommends obtaining the booster shot of the vaccine. Public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease, according to the CDC. Individuals interested in getting vaccinated at the final clinic on Dec. 3 can register for the clinic appointment through the Houston Health Department Patient Portal. Since this is the last oncampus clinic, no first doses will be available, according to the COVID-19 response weekly update from Nov. 8.

Students introduce resolution at SA Senate to relocate WMR statue BONNIE ZHAO

ASST NEWS EDITOR Students demanded that Rice University remove William Marsh Rice’s statue from the Central Academic Quadrangle to a new, non-prominent location by the end of this academic year, during the Nov. 15 Student Association Senate meeting. The SA will vote on the resolution Nov. 29, according to SA President Kendall Vining. The resolution was presented by Down with Willy movement coordinator Shifa Rahman, Duncan New Student Representative Sanya Arora, Duncan Senator Shivani Gollapudi and SA Director of Equity Stephanie Martinez. Rahman said during the meeting that a place of non-prominence is either a location that requires security access code to enter or an open space that attracts as little cross-campus traffic as possible. “People have proposed [moving it] to the outskirts of somewhere in the north colleges,” Rahman said during the meeting. “That’s kind of an example. It’s all about on-campus traffic and exposure … that’s what we mean by not a place of prominence.”

The resolution also demands the statue of William Marsh Rice be properly contextualized in its new location with William Marsh Rice’s full history, including his direct participation and interactions with slavery, segregation and racial injustice. Arora said during the meeting that the resolution is not trying to focus on what will be replacing the Founder’s Memorial in the academic quad. “I feel like that’s a very complicated discussion that doesn’t feel like it’s relevant to the goal of getting rid of the statue,” Arora said. “Getting into the weeds of what specifically we want to replace it with is just going to make it much harder to pass the resolution. We should add guidelines to [the requirements of the replacement], but we don’t want to talk about specific things.” According to Gollapudi, a main goal of the resolution is to make sure that Willy’s statue and the Founder’s Memorial will no longer be used as an image of the university. “I like the idea of including restraints to make sure, if it were to be replaced, [the replacement] isn’t going to be something that can be harmful,” Gollapudi said during the meeting. “But leaving it open ... would make our resolution more specific.”

APPLE LI / THRESHER Students introduced a resolution to relocate the founder’s memorial. The resolution also asks Rice University to conduct the removal of Willy’s statue in a specific timeline that is clearly communicated with the student body. According to the resolution, many of Rice’s peer institutions, including

the University of Texas, Austin, Duke University, Harvard University, Yale University, Amherst College and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have removed symbols of slavery, segregation and racial injustice from their respective campuses.



REFS held on Nov. 12 to discuss financing energy transition VIOLA HSIA

THRESHER STAFF The 13th annual Rice Energy and Finance Summit was held at McNair Hall in the Jones Graduate School of Business on Friday, Nov. 12. The goal of the event was to discuss how to finance the transition to renewable energy resources, according to the school’s website and event information. L.A. Martz, one of the organizers for the event, said that energy and finance have always been a focus in the business school. “We’re a very strong business school in terms of finance, and a lot of people, because we’re in Houston, come from energy or want to go into energy,” Martz said. “It’s pretty important because essentially there’s a lot of ideas around energy, and how are you actually going to fund some of these ideas?” Martz said that the event has evolved over the 13 years since it started, with the recent COP26 event lining up well with it. “[We are in] a transformative era for energy,” Martz said. “It’s become a lot more all-encompassing of all sources of energy, not just oil and gas, which is important.” The event, which ran from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., began with a talk from keynote speaker Bobby Tudor, a Rice alum and member of the Board of Advisors for the Baker Institute for Public Policy, and the eponym for Tudor Fieldhouse. “The whole topic of how to finance the energy transition is a really, really important one right now,” Tudor said. “It’s a part of the energy transition conversation that is not really happening much or not nearly to the degree that it needs to happen if we’re ultimately to make progress here and find solutions in a timely way. I think the REFS [creating a] sort of forum for that is really good.” Tudor, who also serves as chairman of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., spoke about how Houston as a city could finance their transition to increasing the number of jobs in the renewable energy industry.

SHIYU MIAO / THRESHER The Rice Energy and Finance Summit was held at McNair Hall on Nov. 12.

“So much of the talent and understanding and knowledge of our global energy system sit in Houston already, and the transition by necessity will continue to involve the incumbent oil and gas business to a very high degree,” Tudor said. “There’s a lot of promise and hope around hydrogen as a substitute fuel for both transportation and power.” According to Tudor, 60 percent of the nation’s hydrogen pipelines are in the Greater Houston area. “This is why Houston both can and should be really central to the energy transition,” Tudor said. Besides Tudor’s talk, the event also featured five panels of speakers from various important companies and organizations in the energy industry and private equity, such as Chevron and Goldman Sachs.

Robert Ragland, a Sid Richardson College junior who attended the event, said it was beneficial to learn about the amount of capital needed to meet 2050 emission goals. “[The summit] was an incredible opportunity to hear how the CFOs of major oil and gas companies approached issues such as [Environmental, Social and Governance] demands from shareholders, returning cash flow to investors and maintaining credit ratings,” Ragland said. Martz said that she hopes the event, which was virtual last year, will continue to grow in future years and bring the conversation of energy finance to the forefront. “I think that with, hopefully, the respect that we garnered this year from the conference, and how seriously we

take it as a student-led conference, it’s able to build on that,” Martz said. “I think everyone’s very comfortable talking about how it’s going to impact climate change and tie in everything that they’ve learned.” Ragland said he attended the virtual summit last year, which he said was a completely different experience as there was almost no interaction with panelists and questions could only be asked in the Zoom chat. “The highlight of the event [this year] was the networking session at the end, where I had the opportunity to meet industry professionals and hear their perspectives on panel topics,” Ragland said. “I was able to ask questions and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the energy industry while building personal connections.”





It’s time to talk about Willy The opinion section is a space Last week, the Board of Trustees his responsibility to solve one of the announced that Reginald DesRoches, most contentious issues at Rice in recent Rice’s current provost, will be the next memory and simply pass this decision, president of Rice University. DesRoches and the ridicule that will inevitably will be the eighth president in the come with it, on to incoming-President history of the university, and the first DesRoches. To be clear, we are not advocating person of color and foreign-born person to hold the position. We applaud the one way or the other with respect to Board’s selection of DesRoches, and the placement of the statue. Rather, we wish him great success in his new role. are calling for a decision to be made on But because there are seven months the statue in the next few months. Yes, left before the beginning of his tenure, selecting a Black man as the next president we would like to pen one of our final of a university is a step toward addressing editorials to President David Leebron and a fundamental lack of diversity in the the Board of Directors. It’s time to talk leadership of top universities across the country — as about everyone’s Leebron so astutely favorite subject — pointed out in one that has found his Sept. 13, 2020 itself in our news instagram post. section repeatedly We would find it But this selection — the statue of reprehensible if the cannot serve as an one William Marsh Board considered passing excuse to remain Rice. neutral and silent With the this issue off to the first on an issue with i n t r o d u c t i o n president of color this this level of racial before the Student University has ever seen, sensitivity. Association of and we implore them to Fu r t h e r m o r e , a resolution the appointment of advocating for take action, any action, on DesRoches cannot the removal of the statue. be seen as a fix-all Willy’s statue just days ago, the question of what to solution to meeting the demands of Black do with the Founder’s Memorial is as students at Rice. To the Board and other pressing as ever. This issue first came to members of the administration, please do the forefront during Leebron’s tenure in not use the recent news as an excuse not the summer of 2020. Since the president to pursue progress. We would find it reprehensible if the is the figurehead of the university and a member of the board, most of the Board considered passing this issue off to credit or blame for whatever decision is the first president of color this University made about the statue will fall on them. has ever seen, and we implore them to Because of this, we think it’s only fair take action, any action, on the statue of that President Leebron doesn’t ignore William Marsh Rice before June 30, 2022.

meant for the Rice community As the semester nears its end, it’s section is the place for you to do that. The range of topics covered in the time to reflect on the state of the opinion section this fall amidst a near return opinion section are broad. Recently opinions span from to normalcy, and to look forward to published another semester of opinions. We’ve had reconsidering the use of the terms a multitude of opinions and editorials Hispanic and Latinx on campus to easing COVID-19 published on a restrictions on wide range of student activities subjects. Still, to bringing back some people coming to campus No matter how big or small the Rice University Farmers Market. for the first time the issue, if you have All opinions or who did not an opinion that you’re are welcome so engage much with our paper while passionate about and want long as they are pertinent to the we were working to share with your peers, Rice community. online last year the opinion section is the To get started may not be all that place for you to do that. writing your familiar with the opinion, all opinion section. I want to reintroduce the possibilities you have to do is follow our opinion that the section offers for all of the Rice submission policy, which includes guidelines on content, format and community. The Thresher accepts guest opinions authorship. When you’re ready, send from any Rice student, faculty, staff or a draft to If you’re alum about topics that are related to apprehensive about writing, don’t worry the Rice community. Additionally, if — we’ll work with you every step of the you want to respond to a piece that the editing process to get your opinion out Thresher has published, you can submit to the community in its clearest form. a letter to the editor to be published in Every edit is approved by you to preserve your voice as much as possible. That is the opinion section. Many community members flock the spirit of the opinion section. to the opinion section to push for big change, and some have been successful. Nayeli Shad But as my predecessor so eloquently OPINION EDITOR wrote, your opinion doesn’t have to BROWN COLLEGE change the world. No matter how big or SOPHOMORE small the issue, if you have an opinion that you’re passionate about and want to share with your peers, the opinion

ask the

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

“Taylor Swift’s new album [‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’]” with the Rice Thresher, in print & online! submit a draft to



“The servery breakfast” DEEMA BERAM


CORRECTIONS In “Faculty discusses rocky ImagineOne rollout during Faculty Senate meeting,” David Messmer is an instructor in the Program in Writing and Communication, not a lecturer in the English department.

EDITORIAL STAFF Savannah Kuchar* Editor-in-Chief Ben Baker-Katz* Managing Editor Ivanka Perez* Senior Editor NEWS Talha Arif* Editor Hajera Naveed Asst. Editor Bonnie Zhao Asst. Editor OPINION Nayeli Shad* Editor FEATURES Nicole Lhuillier Editor ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Morgan Gage* Editor

* Indicates Editorial Board member SPORTS Daniel Schrager* Editor BACKPAGE Timmy Mansfield Editor COPY Bhavya Gopinath Editor Jonathan Cheng Editor WEB & VIDEO Brandon Chen Web Editor Jasmine Liou Video Editor PHOTO Channing Wang Photo Editor Katherine Hui Asst. Photo Editor

“Friends who prioritize our relationship, support and care about me” MORGAN GAGE


DESIGN Robert Heeter Art Director Anna Chung News Siddhi Narayan Opinion Katherine Chui Features Ivana Hsyung Arts & Entertainment Andi Rubero Sports Lauren Yu Backpage ILLUSTRATION Chloe Xu Illustrator Ndidi Nwosu Illustrator Andrea Gomez Illustrator BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Karoline Sun Business Operations Deema Beram Social Media Amanda Mae Ashley Distribution

“Professors who canceled classes the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving break” NAYELI SHAD


“Beautiful fall weather” NICOLE LHUILLIER


“Shooting hoops with the boys” CHANNING WANG


The Rice Thresher, the official student newspaper of 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. on the Friday prior to publication and must be signed, including college and year if the writer is a Rice student. The Thresher reserves the right to edit letters for content and length and to place letters on its website.

Editorial and business offices are located on the second floor of the Ley Student Center: 6100 Main St., MS-524 Houston, TX 77005-1892 Phone: (713) 348 - 4801 Email: Website: The Thresher is a member of the ACP, TIPA, CMA, and CMBAM. © Copyright 2021



A look at governor-elect Youngkin as a student-athlete at Rice TOMÁS RUSSO


Before Glenn Youngkin (Will Rice College ’90) was elected governor of Virginia, he was once a Rice student; double majoring in mechanical engineering and managerial studies, Youngkin also played on the Owls’ basketball team. Former basketball coach Scott Thompson, who coached Youngkin during his junior and senior years, said he remembers Youngkin’s enthusiasm during early morning preseason conditioning. “Glenn was always there with a positive energy, encouraging everyone else on the team,” Thompson said. “Even though I knew he had been studying [for] his engineering courses until probably early in the morning [and] I knew he had been up all night, and here he was coming and just being fired up.” Thompson said that when recruiting season came, Youngkin was one of the players he wanted recruits to be around. “He was very high on being at Rice,” Thompson said. “He was always positive and enthusiastic about being at Rice University and being an Owl. He was the type of guy that really helped our program [grow] into a positive program.” Thompson said Youngkin’s enthusiasm was driven by desire to be a leader. At the award ceremony at the end of Youngkin’s senior season, the other players on the team voted him “most inspirational,” according to Thompson. “He just always wanted to be a good leader for the other guys,” Thompson said. Thompson said balancing academics and athletics at Rice was difficult, especially for the few engineering students on the basketball team like Youngkin. “It’s hard to go through engineering and have time to compete on the basketball court or going to practices and traveling and things like that,” Thompson said. “It’s not easy because you’re competing against the best students around in the classroom ... and you gotta take it seriously or you’re not going to make it at Rice.” Thompson said he finds it rewarding to know that one of his players will be a governor. Youngkin in particular had great

time management skills and was serious about his education and future, according to Thompson. “He’s the type of young man I felt was going to be successful in whatever he did,” Thompson said. “I’m happy for him because he’s a very hard worker and he’s a good leader and he’s given back to Rice. He loved and still loves Rice University.” Youngkin’s leadership at Rice extended beyond the basketball court. According to the Sept. 15, 1989 issue of the Thresher, Youngkin co-coordinated Volunteers for Youth, a program involving approximately thirty to forty Rice athletes. The Big Brother/Big Sister-type organization paired Rice athletes with students from Lanier Middle School to serve as role models for underprivileged children. “The main focus of [Volunteers for Youth] is to sponsor friendships,” Youngkin said at the time. Youngkin also publicly defended Rice’s athletic programs in the Jan. 27, 1989 issue of the Thresher. In the issue, Youngkin wrote an opinion piece in rebuttal to a criticism of Rice athletics by former Rice history professor Gale Stokes. After arguing in favor of the competitiveness of Rice athletics, Youngkin replied to Stokes’ contention that student-athletes distort the “composition of the student body.” “I’m not sure why Dr. Stokes didn’t just come out and say ‘dumb jocks,’” Youngkin wrote. “Athletes are not the only group of students whose SAT scores are omitted from university averages. Athletes’ overall contribution to the university should be considered just as that of a master violinist or skilled artist. In addition to the identical graduation requirements as every other Rice student, athletes must balance a hectic practice, game and travel schedule.” In the opinion piece, Youngkin said that without basketball, he knew he would not have been able to attend a university like Rice — an opportunity for which he was grateful. “As a student first and a varsity basketball player second, I am fully aware of the conflicts that exist between athletics and an academic institution like Rice,” Youngkin wrote. “I cherish all those aspects that make Rice what it is.”

CAMPANILE ARCHIVES Virginia’s governor-elect, Glenn Youngkin (Will Rice College ’90), was a mechanical engineering and managerial studies double major and a member of Rice’s basketball team.

Youngkin ended the opinion by highlighting the positive relationship between athletes and nonathletes at Rice. “The seventy-five percent of the student body that regularly attends home basketball games, painted faces, the MOB at halftime, the social events that surround football games, the drive and spirit to make Rice’s teams winners, and the camaraderie that is not divided by a athlete/non-athlete line,” Youngkin wrote. Youngkin’s ties to Rice remain visible on campus. Youngkin donated funds to renovate the Tudor Fieldhouse in 2008, according to the Rice Facilities

Engineering and Planning website. During this renovation, the one-story administration area was replaced by the two-story Youngkin Center, which includes an academic center for studentathletes, a training center and offices for the coaching staff. Youngkin’s donation reflects the pride for Rice athletics that he conveyed in his opinion piece. “Rice athletics will succeed through continued hard work and support,” Youngkin wrote. “I’m glad to be a part of it.” This article has been condensed for print. Read more at

Live music returning to campus NITHYA SHENOY



Last school year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, musical groups at Rice were forced to adapt. Adjustments included wearing special masks, using horn covers and rehearsing outdoors. As Rice rolls back COVID health measures this semester, musical groups have been able to practice and perform live music with fewer restrictions. The Thresher spoke with three students from different instrument ensembles to find out how playing music has changed. The rollback of certain policies has allowed for a slow return to normalcy. Rachel Lee, a McMurtry College sophomore and a flutist in the Campanile Orchestra, said that the ensemble began to meet a few weeks after classes had started. Campanile Orchestra (MUSI 334)

was not offered last school year due to concerns about COVID. “We started Campanile halfway through the semester. I was happy when I got the message, in late September or early October, saying we’re going to have Campanile,” Lee said. However, Claire Noel, a Brown College senior and a member of the Marching Owl Band, said that practices and performances don’t resemble their pre-pandemic forms. She said that the biggest pandemic change that remains is that the MOB still rehearses outdoors at Rice Stadium. “We started our semester with a lot more policies, and throughout the semester as Rice relaxed their policies [and] as conditions in the Houston area have improved, we’ve relaxed those policies as well,” Noel said. This article has been cut off for print. Read more at



Tug of War 1
















20 24


27 32














40 42

41 43




47 52













48 55













1 Puts down harshly 6 Massage and facial locations 10 “Ocean’s 11” actor Pitt 14 Paramecium propellers 15 Angelic string instrument 16 Kentucky Derby or Indy 500 17 Ethnicity of gymnast Suni Lee 18 Guard of King Candy, in “Wreck it Ralph” 19 Fiona, for one 20 Parka or scarf 22 An essential 23 Had enchiladas 24 ___ Angeles 25 “Thanks” in tweet form 27 Tie-___ 28 Comes in bow and zip varieties 29 Taylor Swift’s “All ___ Well” 32 if counterpart, in coding 35 Jump ship? 38 Papyrus, for a painter? 41 Mosquito species that spreads malaria 42 Phoenix suburb 43 Short rest 44 The A in IPA 45 “Straight Outta Compton” grp. 47 Silent comm. method 48 Ni___ 49 #ProtectThe___ 52 Den denizen 55 Packaging places 59 College grad 60 “Wizards of Waverly Place” protagonist 61 Current of air 62 “Sleepless in Seattle” screenwriter Ephron 63 Like the star of Texas 64 Creepy 65 Sorentos and Sonatas 66 Many 67 Thomas and Condé


1 Neutral vowel 2 “Push It to the _____” 3 Without friends :( 4 Best condition, for a collectible 5 Wisely 6 Displays 7 Peel, as a pear’s skin 8 Side squared, for a square 9 Zach compared to Cody, on the court 10 Borough of New York with famous zoo 11 “____ Against the Machine” 12 Farmland unit 13 Action which may garner a boon 21 ___ v. Wade 26 Cannabis cord component 27 Thought-provoking 28 General ____ Chicken 29 Scotch adhesive 30 Unrefined metals 31 Gumbo ingredient 32 “Obi-Wan Kenobi” actor McGregor 33 “Summertime Sadness” singer Del Rey 34 Halt 35 ____ Whip, a Disney dessert 36 ___-de-France 37 Football chant “we want ____” 39 Mental health resources, at a res. college 40 In bacteria, they’re made of peptidoglycan 45 No, on the beach 46 Like a pirate’s leg 47 “No Time to Die” actress Ana de _____ 48 Curses 49 Russian rulers 50 Renovate 51 _____ Park, Colorado: Gateway to the Rockies 52 Side of a river 53 Morlocks’ enemy 54 Mystical glow 56 Potato, in Indian cuisine 57 Lease 58 Fertilizer ingredient

Black at Rice: Ryan Emelle finds community on campus KENNEDI MACKLIN


At Rice, Ryan Emelle has found community in different places. Her residential college is one of them: according to Emelle, the residential college system provides a loving and supportive community. When she was applying to college, Rice’s residential college system stood out, she said. “I really liked the residential college system and how it was set up and the community that it [builds],” Emelle, a Jones College senior, said. Emelle said she has been very involved at Jones since her freshman year. She currently serves as a University Court representative and as one of the college’s Beer Bike coordinators. Emelle said she has been able to explore her interests at Rice both through her coursework and her involvement on campus. A lifelong dancer and music aficionado, Emelle said she is excited to teach a college course for the first time next semester. “I’m very passionate about music and Spotify playlists,” Emelle said. “I will be teaching a college class this spring about albums and music and what makes a really good album.” In high school Emelle discovered that she was interested in the brain, consciousness and human interactions, and she saw herself pursuing careers in user experience or user interface design. Emelle said she has discovered more about herself in courses in her major, cognitive science. “As my time here at Rice has gone by, my interests have developed a little bit and changed a bit,” Emelle said. According to Emelle, Rice has also helped her discover that she loves working in groups with others. As a dancer and choreographer for Rice Dance Theatre, general manager of The Hoot and a student worker at Willy’s Pub, the welcome center and Rice’s Office of Information Technology, Emelle spends

most of her day interacting with peers. “[I’ve discovered that] I’m more interested in working with people in teams specifically, and I’m really interested in product and project management, which is still kind of aligned with my original interests of design and going through the design process,” Emelle said. Hoping to continue working in teams after graduation, she is currently interviewing for jobs in careers that allow her to form relationships, she said. “I’m interested in human resources as well as projects and product management,” Emelle said. “I really like … developing good relationships with people and so those jobs, I think, will allow me to do that.” Emelle didn’t experience much of a culture shock when she first moved to Houston, she said, since she attended a diverse high school in Los Angeles, California. Nonetheless, being Black has negatively affected her Rice experience in some ways, according to Emelle. She said she is the only Black student in many of her classes, for instance. “Half the time, or more than half the time, I am the only Black person in the room, if not the only person of color in the room, and that really can be disheartening sometimes,” Emelle said. “It means you have to really have thicker skin when dealing with certain conversations in class or when people make a joke that they think is funny but

KATHERINE HUI / THRESHER Ryan Emelle said her experiences at Rice have made her realize how much she loves working with others.

really isn’t.” While she believes that diversity facilitators, Critical Dialogue on Diversity and the choice of Rice’s new president are all steps in the right direction, Emelle said the best thing Rice officials can do for the Black community is take down Willy’s Statue. A lot of the time it’s hard for Black students to feel heard in campus discussions about racism, according to Emelle. “[This means] having to know when to pick and choose your battles, to fight for something and really start a conversation.” Emelle said. “Then other times, you just have to let things slide.”

Still, Emelle said she has found a supportive community with other Black women on campus. She said connections she made at the In Living Color retreat during her freshman year have lasted all her four years at Rice. “I think the Black women community here at Rice is very strong and we’re all very connected by the fact that there is such a small number of us here,” Emelle said. “I really am appreciative of [this] community that we have here because it’s very welcoming, very warm, and … very nurturing and caring because we all know that … [we] have a lot of struggles here.”



Review: ‘Red’ breaks records, hearts


Genre: Pop/country-pop Top Track: “All Too Well” (10 min ver)



We witnessed “Red’’ begin again on Nov. 12 as Taylor Swift released “Taylor’s Version,” her second re-recorded album. Swift started re-releasing her music with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” in April of this year in an ongoing effort to reclaim the rights to her music. While Swift has publicly expressed disappointment and frustration with the conflict over the ownership rights of her first six albums as an artist, her re-recordings have opened opportunities for milestones in her career and the music industry as a whole. Despite 20 of the 30 tracks on “Red (Taylor’s Version)” already being released on the original 2014 album, the new record debuted with a record-breaking 90.8 million first-day streams on Spotify and her highest ever album rating of 94 out of 100 on Metacritic — and for good reason. With more mature vocals and an breathtaking array of “from the vault” tracks that were not included in the 2014 version, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” improves on an impressively heart-wrenching album. The 2014 “Red” was already a landmark in Swift’s discography; she herself referred to it as “musically and lyrically … resemb[ling] a heartbroken person … all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end.” As her album with the widest

variety of music styles, ranging from the Iver, in her 2020 “folklore.” The original arena rock “State of Grace” as the opening “Red” album therefore showcases the best track to the standard country-pop “Stay of Swift’s songwriting as well as her first Stay Stay,” that “fractured” aspect of ventures outside of her country pop youth. Now in her 30s, Swift’s matured vocals “Red” characterized Swift’s progression as on “Red (Taylor’s Version)” are able to an artist. Not only were tracks such as “22” convey even more of her lyrics’ emotional and “I Knew You Were Trouble” her first vulnerability, especially in songs like experiments in the pop genre ahead of “Treacherous,” “I Almost Do” and “Sad, her Grammy-winning pop album “1989,” Beautiful Tragic,” where heartbreak is but her mature and candidly sentimental front and center. While the re-recordings songwriting also encapsulates the turmoil were generally improved by Swift’s of her transition from teenage country improved singing abilities, some tracks sweetheart to an adult celebrity scrutinized seem a little jarring in her matured voice. “22” and “We Are under the public Never Ever Getting eye. She reflects Back Together” both on her fear of her hinge on a cheeky celebrity status Not only were tracks frivolity and angst and the transience that Swift seems to of fame in “The such as “22” and “I Knew have grown out of — Lucky One” and Your Trouble” her first and, of course, it’s “All Too Well,” experiments in the pop difficult to emulate where she narrates genre ... but her mature “feeling 22” almost a relationship a decade later. Even from the “very first and candidly sentimental so, Swift’s singing week” until after songwriting also has noticeably the breakup, is still encapsulates the turmoil of improved on these regarded by fans her transition from teenage tracks, and the as one of the bestalbum comes off as a written songs of country sweetheart to an more polished work. her career. Some adult celebrity scrutinized The previously of the themes and under the public eye. unheard “from the styles introduced in “Red” would become a precursor to vault” tracks also enhance “Red (Taylor’s her writing on her more recent albums Version)” by adding more nuance to as well. For instance, “The Last Time,” a Swift’s feelings and experiences during duet featuring Gary Lightbody, portrays her early 20s while maintaining the opposite perspectives on the end of a nostalgic, heartfelt writing seen on the rest relationship with almost conversational of the album. In “Nothing New,” featuring overlapping lyrics, a concept that Swift Phoebe Bridgers, Swift laments “how can a doesn’t revisit until “exile,” featuring Bon person know everything at eighteen / but

nothing at twenty-two? / and will you still want me when I’m nothing new?” Mirroring some of the sentiment from “The Lucky One,” Swift delves into her fear of being replaced as an artist in the public psyche but with a simpler music production that allows for her raw lyrics to shine through. Along with Bridgers’ soothing vocals, Swift perfectly captures the anxieties associated with growing up. Her relationship with a loved one struggling with mental health is explored in “Forever Winter,” where she attempts to reassure them, “If I was standing there in your apartment / I’d take that bomb in your head and disarm it / I’d say I’d love you even at your darkest and / Please don’t go.” The lyrics, accompanied by deceptively cheerful background instrumentals, are painful and desperate, and the song itself brings a new and crucial perspective to the album. The original ten-minute version of “All Too Well,” accompanied by a short film that premiered the same day as the album release, was one of the most highly anticipated “vault” songs. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” does not disappoint — the already intensely intimate and descriptive lyrics are interspersed with new verses that both fill in the details of her relationship and contribute to a more cohesive story. Swift depicts moments with her lover “tossing [her] the car keys” and charming her father, all the while emphasizing their age difference to a much greater extent than in the original. For instance, she recalls her lover ending the relationship saying, “If we had been closer in age then maybe it would have been fine,” and in the final verse she quips “I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age.” Her scathing criticism of her ex pursuing a relationship with her at such a young age despite their age gap provides more context to the original lines, such as “your sweet disposition and my wideeyed gaze,” as well, re-characterizing her ex as explicitly predatory rather than just “casually cruel.” With Swift framing their relationship between the seasons, establishing the first scene as a car ride through “autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place” and concluding “in this city’s barren cold / I still remember the first fall of snow,” the song has a clear narrative structure that leaves listeners with discomfort over their age difference along with solidarity and empathy over how the relationship unraveled. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is a masterful recreation of the album that was arguably one of the biggest catalysts for Swift’s long-term success. Her improved vocals better spotlight her songwriting prowess, reaching and connecting with a larger audience than ever before. Swift is currently on an unprecedented trajectory in her career, and as she continues to re-record her previous albums and potentially write new ones, only time will tell what will come next for her.

THANKSGIVING DINING KIN DEE Visit Kin Dee Thai Cuisine for their regular menu options or their “Thanksgiving special” — poached chicken, rice, a dipping sauce made with soy sauce and spices accompanied with chicken soup. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, is a 20-minute drive from campus and an option for when the serveries are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

ROSALIE Rosalie Italian Soul is open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a special three-course Thanksgiving meal offered. The restaurant is about a 12-minute drive from campus. Read the Thresher’s review of the restaurant online.



With the added convenience of a drive through, Pappa’s Bar-B-Q will offer a Thanksgiving plate with turkey, ham and sides for $17.95 in addition to their typical menu. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the closest location of this restaurant is around a 10-minute drive from campus.

Cleburne Cafeteria is open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a special holiday menu available for those dining in. The restaurant is around a 10-minute drive from campus.



Must-watch Indigenous cinema: Films to check out this November Hollywood has a lengthy history of subjecting Indigenous people to negative portrayals and one-dimensional stereotypes. Fortunately, over the last few decades, Indigenous creators have been able to make their own voices heard by showcasing the unique and diverse complexities of their culture through film. Nov. 1 marked the beginning of Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the unique culture of Indigenous people and the perfect time to explore Indigenous cinema, a thriving film genre and a great way to support Indigenous artists.





“Smoke Signals” This film is probably one of the more well-known and mainstream pieces of Indigenous cinema, which makes for a great gateway into the genre. Directed by Chris Eyre, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, this movie is a buddy picture, coming-of-age-story and westerninspired adventure story rolled into one. “Smoke Signals” follows the story of Thomas and Victor, two teenaged residents of an Idaho reservation who spend their time telling stories, playing basketball and arguing about the complexities of being Native American. When trouble calls, the duo set out on a scenic journey across the countryside to find Victor’s absentee father and bring him home. The movie’s long, trailing shots combined with a poignant exploration of familial trauma deliver a somber message to its audience. On the flip side, the dialogue’s wry humor and the undeniable charm of its soundtrack make for an enjoyable viewing. This film is available for rental on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.


“Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner” This 2001 film, directed by Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunut, is a three-hour epic that features dazzling landscapes, incredibly immersive cinematography and is written entirely in the Inuktitut language. If viewers are a die-hard fan of the likes of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” this might be the film to consider — though the film is so unique that comparing it to other films seems unfair. This film marks the first-ever bigscreen dramatization of Inuit oral tradition. The plot retells the centuriesold legend of Atanarjuat and his tightly knit community which, after suffering from a trust-breaking crime, learns to heal and forgive. A simple plot synopsis doesn’t convey the distinctive style of Inuit storytelling to which “Atanarjuat” faithfully adheres. If you’re looking for something bold and different to watch, start here. This movie is available for rental on Apple TV.

Shops poppin’ up in Houston


“Mekko” “Mekko,” despite being a thriller, offers a particularly slow burn that’s almost meditative, even when it gets violent. This movie, directed by Seminole filmmaker Sterlin Harjo and released in 2015, follows the film’s titular Indigenous protagonist as he is released from a lengthy prison sentence for murder and, having nowhere to go, joins a community of unhoused Native Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Understated, quiet and deeply personal, this movie ambitiously tries to depict some of the present-day problems faced by Native Americans while maintaining a proud, strong and nostalgic connection to spiritual tradition. “Mekko” achieves the perfect balance between gritty realism and dignified experience while providing a uniquely modern context to Indigenous spirituality that viewers won’t usually find in box office films. This film is available for free on Tubi or for rental on Amazon Prime Video.

Seasonal food to try this autumn




Pop-up shops seem to be everywhere in Houston in recent years. These temporary installations do everything from highlight local vendors to showcase businesses from out of town. You might have noticed more pop-ups in recent years, as the trend of these temporary shops continues to rise. Everything from food to clothes to art can be explored in the pop-up world. Here are some of the upcoming stores in Houston that are sure to be “poppin’.” Miracle Miracle is a Christmas themed popup coming to Houston later this month and staying through December. With locations around the world, this cocktail bar serves a variety of holiday themed cocktails in a spirited environment. Its insides are decked out in frosted glass, mini decorated holiday scenes, ornaments hanging from the ceiling and string lights throughout; the result is a cozy nook arriving just in time to destress before finals. Brunch & Shop Coming to Houston Nov. 27, Brunch & Shop is a fashion and beauty pop-up that combines shopping with a catered brunch, a best-of-both-worlds experience. Vendors include Sumptuous Lashes, Styles x Ify, JoJo’s Childrens Boutique,

Salimatu African Fashion Design and many others. Catering is by Kona Kuisine, an Afro-Fusion Restaurant. Free to enter, this shopping area is a great chance to get gifts for the holidays such as cosmetics, candles, clothes for children and adults, and good food while you shop. Yo! Hip Hop Yo! Hip Hop pop-up shops are a variety of vendors that meet every third Saturday of the month. With an optional dress code of 80’s and 90’s wear and a wide range of vendors, this pop-up has a range of local clothing, beauty products, jewelry and food vendors, a one-stop shop for everything you might need. Yo! Hip Hop is run out of a barber shop, meaning you can also get your hair cut while shopping. Admission is free, and there are swag bags for the first 40 guests that come out. Fantasma Fantasma is a dance performance popup in Houston that commemorates the closing of Fantasma, the corresponding art pop-up. This dance performance is based on poetic lyrics from the art installation, and the performance is presented in three different “moments:” The Fall, Lament and The Awakening. With the show not only inspired by art but also incorporating lyrical singing and visual arts, the free dance show with around a 35-minute run time is sure to provide a multicultural plethora of entertainment.

“Reel Injun” Anyone who loves a good documentary should check out “Reel Injun.” Directed by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond, this film takes a critical look at Hollywood’s usual representation of Indigenous people and explores multiple stereotypes audiences may have seen in popular films. This documentary is also particularly good for anyone who loves Westerns and is willing to take a critical look at the underlying injustices behind what made them so iconic. Interviews with filmmakers and historians, combined with excerpts from some of the most famous films to ever depict Native Americans, paint a nuanced picture of the violent and increasingly complex relationship between Indigenous communities and Hollywood. It also mentions what Diamond refers to as a “Renaissance of Native cinema,” and lists multiple movies someone might consider watching if they find themselves craving more Indigenous cinema after finishing this list. This film is available on Amazon Prime Video.




November is in full swing, armed with the ten-minute release of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” and our fall playlist in your ears, there’s only one thing missing: the perfect fall-themed food. Look no further for a comprehensive list of where to find the best autumnal bites to fall back on. Urban Harvest Farmers Market Swing by one of Texas’ largest farmers markets any Saturday from 8 a.m. through 12 p.m. to support over 100 local Houston farmers and ranchers selling fresh produce, tortillas, rice, dairy products and meat. Use these ingredients to get creative and make a fall cheese platter or apple pie back home. While at the market, enjoy live music while watching cooking demonstrations from their prepared and hot foods section. Make sure to check out Bee2Bee Honey while you’re there; in addition to selling local honey, they also offer a hive hosting program and beekeeping classes through their website. Try their Cinnamon Creamed Honey as a dip for apple slices, stir it into your coffee or tea or cook it in a curry or pot roast. Urban Harvest is also a nonprofit, matching SNAP benefits up to $40 a day at their eight Mobile Markets and hosting gardening and education workshops.

Artisana Bread If you didn’t catch this bakery at Urban Harvest Farmers Market, don’t sweat it. You can visit them in-store Wednesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Try their organic breads and pastries made from scratch using ancient grains like spelt, as well as modern organic wheats that are meant to be easier to digest. Fall in loaf with their cranberry walnut bread or orange pecan sourdough for some fruity fall flavors — or try their crowd favorite gingerbread loaf. Alternatively, place a Thanksgiving preorder to pick up chai-spiced pound cake, pumpkin pie or sweet potato rolls right on time for your Thanksgiving meal. Trader Joe’s Nobody does fall like Trader Joe’s, a cornucopia of all things pumpkin and spice (seriously, try their spiced pumpkin goat cheese). We’re especially grateful for their Spiced Cider, an unfiltered apple juice with autumnal spices and a hint of lemon and orange juice for a citrusy kick. Drink it cold or hot with a cinnamon stick or candy cane, for some extra holiday cheer. For something savory, try their Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce, which also doubles as a dip, or heat up their soup-style Pumpkin Butternut Squash Bisque. Siphon Coffee Only a short bus ride from campus on line 56, Siphon offers a unique twist on fall drinks, in addition to carrying a variety of pastries, breakfast and lunch options. Enjoy their spicy maple or gingerbread lattes on their outside patio, or cozy up inside on their couches — outlets and WiFi included. For a frozen treat, try their pumpkin affogato, an Italian dessert made of two shots of espresso with a splash of pumpkin syrup, poured over two scoops of pumpkin ice cream. As a bonus, Siphon supports local vendors by sourcing their eggs, dairy, bread, meat and some coffee roasts from local businesses and small family farms.



Volleyball looks to reach Conference USA hilltop “We are excited to enter the postseason where everyone’s backs are up against the wall,” Graham said. “The postseason is always super exciting.” According to Volpe, in order for the team to remain successful and competitive in the C-USA tournament, the Owls will have to stick to the basics and play to their strengths. “I believe that we can be successful if we continue to play our game the way we know how to,” Volpe said. “We need to attack our opponent with balance, serve tough, and continue to out defend our opponents, and we will be in good shape.”

KATHERINE HUI / THRESHER After finishing as the C-USA runner-up two years in a row, the Owls hope that this year’s C-USA tournament will bring them their first conference championship since 2018.



After going 17-5 during the regular season, and undefeated in conference play, Rice volleyball enters the Conference USA tournament on Friday as the No. 1 seed in the C-USA West on a 12-game win streak. On Friday, the Owls look to build upon their momentum in the first round, when they play the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. According to head coach Genny Volpe, the Owls have set their sights high. “Our goal for the C-USA tournament is of course to win the championship, but we know that it will take three solid performances, and we cannot look ahead,” Volpe said. “We must take each set one at a

time, and just continue to focus on one play at a time.” A conference title would guarantee the Owls a return to the NCAA tournament, where they were forced to forfeit their first match last season due to COVID-19 protocols. But Volpe said that the Owls cannot afford to start thinking about a return to the NCAAs just yet. “Our biggest opponent is our first opponent,” Volpe said. “You cannot look too far ahead. So all the focus is on Charlotte at the moment. There are a few teams that can make noise in this tournament, but we will definitely take this one point at a time.” Junior setter Carly Graham, who won her sixth career C-USA Setter of the Week last week, said that she finds the postseason one of the most thrilling parts of playing volleyball.

We never focus on revenge. But we definitely want this championship and know we have what it takes to win it all. Genny Volpe HEAD COACH

The Owls began the season with a 5-5 record in their non-conference schedule, which featured four games against teams ranked in the top 15, before rebounding to go undefeated in conference play. According to Volpe, the Owls regular-season experience against top-ranked teams like the No. 2 University of Texas, Austin, No. 3 University of Pittsburgh, and No. 7 Baylor University will prove important since it gave the team a chance to identify their strengths and improve on their weaknesses.

“Entering the postseason we want to use all of our experiences from the preseason as well as conference play to our advantage,” Volpe said. “We have played so many different types of teams that have shown us our strengths, as well as exploited some areas we need to work on.” After finishing as the C-USA runnerup two years in a row, the Owls hope that this year’s C-USA tournament will bring them their first conference championship since 2018. Last year, after going 14-4 in the regular season and ranked No. 24 in the nation prior to the postseason, the Owls swept both of their opening matches, before falling to the Western Kentucky University in the C-USA championship game. The Owls also lost to the Hilltoppers, who enter this year’s tournament ranked No. 18 in the country and as the No. 1 seed in the C-USA East, in the previous season’s conference championship game. Although revenge is not necessarily on the team’s mind this season, according to Volpe, the Owls will want to use their talented roster to finally get past their conference rivals. “From my perspective, we never focus on revenge,” Volpe said. “But we definitely want this championship and know we have what it takes to win it all. This group is really special and I believe we are all on the same page. We want to take things one step at a time and make noise in the NCAA tournament.” To kick off the tournament, the Owls will face off against Charlotte, the 4th seed in the East Division, on Nov. 19 in the quarterfinals of the C-USA tournament in Norfolk, VA.


Edmonds starts with split MBB falls in bayou battle REED MYERS

SENIOR WRITER Rice women’s basketball kicked off their season under first-year head coach Lindsay Edmonds last Tuesday night with a win against St. Edward’s University, before dropping their second game of the season to University of Louisiana, Lafayette on Saturday. These were the first games in charge of the Owls for Edmonds, who spent her last eight seasons as an assistant at North Carolina State University. Replacing former head coach Tina Langley, who is now the head coach at the University of Washington, is no easy task. Under Langley’s watch, the Owls became a perennial postseason team and Langley left Rice with the highest winning percentage in program history. The departure of Langley was followed by four starters entering the transfer portal. However, Tuesday night provided an opportunity for both Edmonds and her players to prove that the Owls could still be competitive, even without much of last year’s WNIT championship team. Starting an entirely new five from last year, the Owls got out to an early lead in the first quarter led by freshman forward Malia Fisher. The Owls defense stifled the Hilltoppers, holding them to 2-13 from the field in the opening period. According to Edmonds, Fisher was key to the Owls getting off to their fast start. “Malia is a very special player,” Edmonds said. “She is very athletic and hasn’t even truly tapped into her full potential yet, so she is an exciting player

that does a lot of things that make you go wow, and that first quarter showed it. I thought she came out with great energy, great effort and really got us off to a great start.” Following a commanding 23-4 lead to end the first quarter for the Owls, their defense pavced the way as they continued to give the Hilltoppers fits on offense. The Hilltoppers committed 25 turnovers while shooting only 25.5 percent from the field, which included not making a shot on 11 attempts in the final quarter. The Owls were led by sophomore forward Ashlee Austin, who made her first career start. Austin’s stat line of 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals showed her versatility on both ends of the floor. As the final buzzer sounded, Edmonds had secured a resounding 84-41 win in her debut at the helm of the Owls. The Owls followed up their home opener when they hosted the Ragin’ Cajuns of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette on Saturday night. While the Owls led for nearly the entire game, the Ragin’ Cajuns mounted a furious comeback in the fourth quarter. The Ragin’ Cajuns saved their best for last as they went almost perfect from the field, 10 for 11, in the fourth quarter and put up more points in the final period, 32, than they did in the entire first half. The Owls could not stave off the Ragin’ Cajuns comeback as they lost in their second game 73-69. This story has been condensed for print. Read more at


dig ourselves out of the hole. Against good teams on the road, that’s hard to do. They shot it well, they did what they On Friday, Rice Men’s Basketball do defensively. They really pushed us traveled down the road to the Fertitta out high on the floor. Our shots were Center to face off against No. 15 quick. I thought that would be the game University of Houston. In the first plan and that we would handle it better battle between the Cougars and the … but we didn’t handle it like I hoped.” The Cougars were especially Owls on the court since 2019, Houston emerged victorious 79-46, extending dominant on the defensive end and their winning streak against the Owls to controlled the flow of the game, according to Pera, where they held seven. After starting their season with the Owl’s offense to 28.0 percent from the field and 25.8 a 19-point win percent from three. over Pepperdine “They were able University last to do whatever they Tuesday, the They were able to do wanted to do all Owls started night,” Pera said. the game with a whatever they wanted “We had a lot of dunk courtesy of to do all night ... When resistance and we graduate transfer things snowball like didn’t have a lot of guard Carl Pierre. that against a good attack on offense to From there, the counter it and get game went downhill team, it’s hard to win. what we wanted. with multiple Scott Pera When things unanswered runs HEAD COACH snowball like that for the Cougars. The Owls fell behind early and faced a against a good team, it is hard to win. 29-point halftime deficit. They played We couldn’t answer the punches early a closer second half, thanks to 10 and the knockout came early.” Going into the game, the Cougars second-half points from freshman guard Cameron Scheffield but were unable to were ranked No.15 in the AP Top 25 poll close the gap. After the game, head after making it to the NCAA Final Four coach Scott Pera said that Houston did during the 2020-2021 season. According all the right things needed to dominate to Pera, the Owls knew they needed to step up to pull off the upset, but were the game. “I just want to say all the credit goes unable to rise to the occasion. This story has been cut off for print. to Houston,” Pera said. “They were well prepared, ready to play and we couldn’t Read more at THRESHER STAFF



Rice’s athlete-students SHIYU MIAO

THRESHER STAFF Varsity athletes aren’t the only Rice students who compete in sports at high levels. The Thresher talked to three students who participate in national competitions in sports that Rice doesn’t offer, on how they started their sport, their training and what their sport means to them. Rock Climbing When Brown College freshman Ellie Sepulveda was 12, she fell in love with rock climbing after her first climb with her friend from summer camp. Sepulveda said she has been doing rock climbing for seven years and rock climbing to her is like doing a puzzle. “It’s not just about how strong you are, how powerful you are, a lot of it has to do with how you’re able to come up with a creative solution to climbs problems,” Sepulveda said. “So you’re essentially solving a problem every time you climb. You have to use a mix of technique, balance, strain, flexibility to come up with the way that works best for you to get to the top.” Sepulveda said there are three types of rock climbing: speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing, which consists of one long route and a rope with the climber. Sepulveda said she likes lead climbing the most as it is more endurance based and there is a lot more pressure. “If you make one mistake, you’re done,” Sepulveda said. “So it’s a lot more stressful than bouldering. Because if you mess up on a boulder, you can try it again. I’ll leave out if you mess up. That’s that. And I like the pressure. I think I do well under that type of pressure.” Sepulveda said she has been to a number of national championships,

six world cups and has also climbed for the Puerto Rican national team. As the highlight of her career, Sepulveda said she won the youth Pan American championships in 2019. According to Sepulveda, she got the opportunity to go at the last minute and decided to try to make the most of it. “I wasn’t planning on going and then kind of suddenly, I had this chance to go,” Sepulveda said. “I had a pretty relaxed attitude, I didn’t really expect much for myself.I think it’s why I was able to do really well because I was just focused on climbing to the best of my abilities, instead of focusing on winning the competition.” While at Rice, Sepulveda continues to train when she’s not in class, whether with her coach or on her own. Sepulveda said she aims to qualify for the Olympics in 2024 or 2028.

I’m a junior now, so I’m already starting to prepare for [the 2024 Olympic Trials] ... And hopefully that training will continue onto the next Olympics in 2028. Katherine Wu MCMURTRY COLLEGE JUNIOR

“I work with a remote coach, so she gives me a workout [and] kind of gives me guidance on how to train,” Sepulveda said. “And I do my own training, usually on my own or sometimes with other people, like with friends I have in the area or with the climbing club. I think it’s really nice to climb with other people because you can learn from their techniques, like how they solve the climb. But for the most part, I’m

ILLUSTRATION BY ANDREA GOMEZ doing my own thing. When I’m at the gym, I like to just focus on what I’m doing.” Archery When she was 13, Katherine Wu took up archery after watching The Hunger Games, and now she has been doing archery for eight years now. Wu said she sees archery primarily as a mental sport but is also very physically demanding. “I see it as requiring a lot of mental toughness, because it requires so much focus and the tournament’s are very long,” Wu, a McMurtry College junior said. “They go on for multiple hours and over the course of multiple days, and so you need to be able to focus for very long periods of time.” Wu competed in the Olympics trials for archery this past summer. Wu said that Olympic trials is such a long process that she really gets to bond with the people even though they are all competing against each other. While she didn’t make the Tokyo Olympics, Wu said she continues to train

and hopes to return to the trials for Paris 2024. “I’m a junior now, so I’m already starting to prepare for [2024],” Wu said. “I’ll probably take a gap year before heading to medical school so that I can train full time. And hopefully that training will continue on to the next Olympics 2028.” Wu said when she goes back home for summer break and winter break, she will train with her coach. While at Rice, Wu said she practices archery in the mornings on the intramural fields behind the Rec Center, before heading to class. “I met [associate director, programs Elizabeth Slator and assistant director of competitive sports Chris Watkins] after I came to Rice,” Wu said. “That was when I was trying to figure out how I can continue to continue to train here. And they were able to get me that locker space and they’re able to give me access to fields. Without them, I wouldn’t have that field.” This story has been condensed for print. Read more at



Thank you, Leebron...

We’ve had plenty of fun featuring you on Backpage over the years.

...and welcome, Reggie. Buckle up! We’re just getting started hehe…

The Backpage is the satire section of the Thresher, written this week by Ndidi Nwosu, Andrew Kim, and Timmy Mansfield and designed by Lauren Yu. For questions or comments, please email


ADVERTISING INFORMATION The Thresher accepts display and classified advertisements and reserves the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. Additionally, the Thresher does not take responsibility for the factual content of any advertisement. Printing an advertisement does not consititute an endorsement by the Thresher. Display advertisements must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday prior to publication; see for pricing. Classified advertisements must be received with cash, check or credit card payment by 12 p.m. on the Friday prior to publication; first copy free, second copy $5. P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77005-1892 (713) 348-4801