The Rice Thresher | Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Brochstein Pavilion’s new art reckons with ugly history via an idyllic view MICHELLE GACHELIN


Sometimes, obscured messages come billboard-sized. Brochstein Pavilion’s newest wall art debuted last Friday for the Moody Center for the Arts’ fourth iteration of their Off the Wall series, a partnership between Moody and the Glassell School of Art’s Core Residency Program. “Death Drive” was created by interdisciplinary artist Danielle Dean to critique capitalistic greed and its exploitation of environmental and labor resources. Specifically, Dean examines the case study of Fordlandia, a utopian city conceptualized by automobile maker Henry Ford and built in the Amazon Rainforest in the late 1920s. A now-derelict rubber factory, Fordlandia’s failure had devastating consequences for the natural environment and indigenous Brazilian populations. Dean was inspired by the aesthetics of advertisements throughout history in creating the piece, which resembles roadway advertisements.

SA resolutions introduced on reproductive health, disability accommodations MARIA MORKAS

ASST. NEWS EDITOR At the Sept. 26 senate meeting, students presented two resolutions: one for the creation of a student reproductive health coalition and one for improving the accessibility of disability accommodations. Senators Ally Godsil, Siddhi Narayan, Ariah Richards and Olivia Roark drafted and presented this legislation in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson and the Women’s Health Organization repealing protections on reproductive healthcare and rights. The group’s intent is to identify the most critical areas of reproductive healthcare needs and address them through resource and information distribution. Richards, a McMurtry College sophomore, said that the proposed

“It kind of looks like a very large billboard stuck inside the wall,” Dean said. “It’s a watercolor that’s based on the history of advertising that utilizes watercolor or brush painting. It’s thinking about our relationship between landscape and the representation of landscape within advertising, in particular in relation to Ford cars. The adverts that are mashed together in this illustration are from Ford car ads: one from the early 2000s and one from the ‘40s. Our relationship to both landscape and the American Dream is also depicted within these adverts, which use the vast space of the American landscape as if it’s a place of freedom.” Frauke Josenhans, the Moody’s curator, said that she selected Dean because of her previous work with large-scale installations, as well as her performances with banners and visuals. According to Josenhans, this work engages viewers to think critically about their surroundings.

student task force would remain active indefinitely to address ongoing student concerns. “This coalition is important to me because every student has a right to have access to reproductive health resources,” Richards said. “As it stands right now a lot of these resources exist, but they are inaccessible because our students don’t know how or where to access them.” Additionally, Tyler Kinzy, a Wiess College sophomore, presented a resolution to improve the accessibility of disability accommodations. He said the resolution was in response to him realizing that Rice students with disabilities are responsible for initiating the conversation with professors about accommodations and arranging for them within the first few weeks of class. The resolution proposes allowing students to send letters of accommodation to the instructors directly from the Disability Resource Center online portal.


It’s interesting because the audience will be lured in, because it feels a bit like a Disneylike landscape. But then by reading and looking closely, there hopefully will be more of an understanding of the dark side of capitalism. Danielle Dean ‘DEATH DRIVE’ ARTIST


“The genesis of this resolution was conversations I had with people I care deeply about at Wiess who’ve struggled with the imbalance [of] power dynamics in [communicating their] accommodations and a desire to streamline that process,” Kinzy said. According to Kinzy, even though the resolution doesn’t solve the issue of destigmatizing disability, it helps students who are struggling in the short term. “I think [in the] long-term, accommodations are a very important part of attempting to provide equal access to education for students with disabilities,” Kinzy said. “But even on a broader societal level, we have a long way to go in terms of truly creating a societal infrastructure that is inclusive of all, not just in regards to disability, but a variety of different identities.” This article has been condensed for print. Read the full article at

Close but no Bucket: Owls lose backand-forth battle with UH PAVITHR GOLI

ASST. SPORTS EDITOR Rice football lost their seventh-straight Bayou Bucket Classic to the University of Houston on Saturday night by a score of 34-27. The back-and-forth affair with the Cougars dropped the Owls to 2-2 on the year. Head coach Mike Bloomgren said that regardless of the result, he is very happy with the effort his staff and players put into the game. “I am really proud of these guys,” Bloomgren said. “The way that these coaches put plans together and the way these kids fought and the way that these guys stuck together when things were getting tough out there. You gotta love it, and we are going to find ways to win these kinds of games.” Losing a heartbreaker to their crosstown rivals, Bloomgren emphasized that his team was saddened by the end result of the game. “It is no secret how bad they are hurting right now,” Bloomgren said. “They put a lot into this game, and when you sell out for something and it doesn’t go the way that you want it to, it hurts.” The game started slowly, with both teams’ opening drives ending in punts. After going three-and-out on their second drive of the game, the Owls punted the ball to the Cougars who marched down the field and scored a touchdown to end the first quarter. Although the Owls were unable to respond immediately, a Cougar interception gave the Owls a short field and a four-play drive that culminated with a game-tying two-yard rushing touchdown by redshirt junior Ari Broussard. The Owls’ defense forced a Cougar threeand-out on their very next drive, giving the ball right back to the Owls’ offense, who marched down the field thanks in part to a 34-yard run by sophomore wide receiver Kobie Campbell. A couple of plays later, Broussard scored his second touchdown of the day when he ran two yards into the endzone, giving the Owls a 14-7 lead. On their next possession, the Cougars drove down the field, but settled for a 37-yard field goal, cutting the Owls’ lead down to 14-10 at halftime.




Proofpoint digest implementation brings mixed reactions students last year, resulting in monetary losses. Scarborough said that they began in-depth tracking of email-based phishing Rice expanded Proofpoint Digest, an campaigns this February. “Since then, we have tracked 53 email filtering system that quarantines emails suspected to be spam or bulk into significant campaigns against our campus. one single daily digest, to the undergraduate Approximately 26,500 individual attempts community this fall, leading to mixed were made, with about 30 reporting that they had responded to the scammers,” responses within the student population. Marc Cougle, associate vice president of Scarborough said. “Fortunately, we were IT infrastructure and operations, said that able to warn them before accounts were Proofpoint’s email protection is a cloud- compromised or personal money was lost.” Grant Parajuli, a Baker College senior, based solution that allows organizations such as Rice to easily review all email and said that Proofpoint quarantined an email apply protective security filters to inbound from a journal asking him to approve a paper he was the co-author on. and outbound email. “I think the email might have been “This service can identify and protect users from spam, malware and other threats delayed by about [three to four] days since both known and unknown,” Cougle wrote I didn’t know where it was,” Parajuli said. in an email to the Thresher. “This includes “I couldn’t find it anywhere in my email imposter or look-a-like emails or spoofed since the only notification for it was in the email domains, which aim to trick people digest. If I didn’t find it by luck, it would’ve been a much bigger into sending money, headache.” sensitive information Parajuli said or could lead to that Proofpoint has e m a i l / a c c o u n t This service can identify brought him more compromise.” and protect users from inconvenience than Cougle said that convenience. Proofpoint has been spam, malware and other on campus since 2014 threats both known and “Technically, the to protect private data unknown. paper will need to be and provide a way in review for quite a to send encrypted Marc Cougle long time, so it doesn’t emails for those that ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT really matter, but needed it on campus; OF IT INFRASTRUCTURE AND [it] shows that really its anti-spam and OPERATIONS important emails anti-malware might get flagged by solutions were later added in 2017 for faculty this service. It’s probably much worse for and staff. professors or grad students who do things According to Cougle, Proofpoint is now like this more,” Parajuli said. “Most of the implemented for all Rice email users to add emails [Proofpoint] flags are Rice athletics an extra layer of protection and provide a promotions.” consistent experience regardless of which Cougle said that Rice email accounts can email system their account resides on. sometimes be quarantined by Proofpoint “While Google’s Gmail has basic spam and because Rice has three email environments. malware protections, they are not as robust “Two of these, Google and Microsoft, or effective as Proofpoint’s, and continual are operated in the cloud by different attacks against those individuals on Google, service providers. While each system has a primarily students but also an increasing Rice email address, emails delivered from number of faculty and staff, seemed to easily one to the other may appear as external to bypass the Google protections,” Cougle said. Proofpoint, since they come from different Chief Information Security Officer Marc Internet-based email systems,” Cougle said. Scarborough said that expanding Proofpoint “In those cases, Proofpoint may evaluate an to the undergraduate community is partly email as spam, malicious or a low priority because of increased scam emails targeting email and filter it accordingly.”



HAI-VAN HOANG / THRESHER Lawrence Zhao, a fifth-year Ph.D. student from the finance department, said that he has received Proofpoint’s daily digests since 2020. “I think overall it’s brought convenience to me,” Zhao said. “The main benefit is that less important emails are grouped into a single email every day, so what’s left are usually more important emails. That said, I don’t have many spam messages to begin with, and there were a few occasions where important emails were blocked.” According to Zhao, some of the important emails he missed over the years include prospective students inquiring about his Ph.D. program. But his biggest complaint has been the format of Proofpoint’s daily digests. “It really isn’t mobile friendly — the font is really small and the alignment is often messed up, making it super hard to read,” Zhao said. “And I might be mistaken, but I don’t think [the system] has changed at all over the years. So it’s been like that forever.” Vince Wang, a Brown College senior, said that he doesn’t like how Proofpoint quarantines his emails because he prefers

to filter them on his own, and it also delays important information for him. “[Advertisements], for example, are not important academic emails, but I still like to open some of them for information. I know I technically can still receive them by clicking ‘allow sender,’ but it’s just extra work,” Wang said. “Let’s say Venmo. I used to receive emails of transactions immediately, but now I have to go into the app to confirm.” Jordan Killinger, a Will Rice College senior, said that she finds Proofpoint convenient. “I really like it. it keeps me from having to click an email just to unread it. And one less email can be helpful,” Killinger said. Cougle said that Proofpoint continues to improve their security offerings, and the office of IT continuously evaluates those features or services to better protect the Rice community. “Furthermore, OIT is moving towards a full cloud-based modernization of our email environment for everyone, which will allow for a more secure and better user experience,” Cougle said.

Rice breaks ground on Cannady Hall VIOLA HSIA

SENIOR WRITER Construction broke ground earlier this month for the new School of Architecture building, a 22,000 square foot structure that will sit adjacent to the current architecture hall. In 2019, Rice announced the building would be named after Professor William Cannady, who has been a faculty member at Rice since 1964. Cannady, lead donor, served for 55 years as a professor at the School of Architecture before retiring in 2019, only to become an adjunct professor at the Jones School of Business soon thereafter. Cannady said he is excited for the new addition to the school. “We have an excellent school, great students, great faculty [and a] great campus,” Cannady said. “There’s some things that we need more of in [the architecture school] spaces. We’re trying to expand the school a little bit. If we do all that, we may have the opportunity to do things we haven’t thought about doing better and also do things better.” Amber Wang, a junior from McMurtry College and a current architecture student, said the expansion will benefit the growing body of students at the school of architecture.

“The school has already been admitting more underclassmen as of 2021, so the expansion is ... a relief for upperclassman that have experienced shortages of space and resources,” Wang said, “The new building is a reminder to current architecture students like me that Rice architecture is continuing to evolve.” According to Dean of the School of Architecture Igor Marjanović, the new building will connect to the current existing architecture building and house new facilities that include a fabrication space, new teaching spaces and exhibition spaces for students to display their work. “We haven’t had a new building or a new addition since 1981,” Marjanović said. “Times have changed a lot since [then]. So the fact that we are having a new facility now, I think, is very transformational.” President Reginald DesRoches said that the new Cannady Hall will pose new opportunities for architecture students. “I think Cannady Hall is an aspirational building designed for architects and how they work,” DesRoches said. “Instead of office and classroom space, there’s open, collaborative space for faculty and students, as well as space to make the work

of the school more visible to the wider community.” The building, designed by Swiss architecture firm Karamuk Kuo, will present different possibilities for students exploring different fields within architecture, according to Marjanović. “People come to architecture from many different backgrounds. Because of that, I think the building will be a great engine for architecture students, in a sense, that allows them to do many different kinds of work,” Marjanović said. Jeannette Kuo, of Karamuk Kuo, said that she has enjoyed working with the students and the faculty of the school in designing the building. “To think about the future of architectural education and what that means and how we can provide for that at Rice, which is, of course, within the U.S., a very respected undergraduate and graduate program for architecture … was actually quite special,” Kuo said. Marjanović said that naming the building after Cannady reflects his

KATHERINE HUI / THRESHER Rice breaks ground on new architecture building on Sept. 15. legacy and generosity within the architecture school. “His legacy is significant in two ways.” Marjanović said. “He gave us the resources to actually build this building. [Also], he’s been teaching our students for more than five or six decades. I think there is nothing more rewarding than to name a building after your colleague and a faculty member who has influenced generations of students.”



Rice community celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month EMILY LONDON


The Office of Multicultural Affairs and student groups like the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice have come together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, a national acknowledgment of Hispanic culture which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. There will be cultural events across campus to commemorate the month. Events this month include a game night, a documentary screening, a display at one of the football games, a concert and more. The planning committee for Hispanic Heritage Month tried to encompass a wide variety of events throughout the month, according to Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alexander Byrd. “Some [events] are cultural and celebratory [and others] focus on intellectual issues and discussions,” Byrd said. HACER, the largest Hispanic cultural organization on campus, will host one event each week throughout the month. One such event will be a “Passport to Latin America,” where attendees can visit booths representing different countries to try their food and learn about their cultures. HACER co-President Jaime Fuentes Salgado said this event will showcase the diversity within the Hispanic community and spotlight cultures that are often under-represented. “Our main mission this year is to be more inclusive of cultures that are not wellrepresented, so this event is a good way to do that,” Salgado, a Sid Richardson College senior, said.

FRANCESCA NEMATI / THRESHER Flags from various Hispanic countries were hung up in the RMC to celebrate this month. Salgado said he is most excited about Latin Pub Night, an event in collaboration with Pub that historically was a Hispanic Heritage Month tradition but hasn’t been held since 2019. “This is our opportunity to bring it back and bring it back better than it was before,” Salgado said. “I went my freshman year, and I loved it. Now being part of the planning process, I’m trying to make it as big and exciting as I can.” Salgado said that HACER has also tried to incorporate celebrations of Hispanic culture in other parts of daily life on campus. They’ve collaborated with Rice Coffeehouse and East-West Tea to bring Hispanic cultural drinks like the mangonada and horchata to students, and Salgado hung up flags from various Hispanic countries in the RMC. Salgado said there’s also a display in Fondren library commemorating the

Kinder receives $50 million grant

50th anniversary of HACER this year and celebrating its history. “We have a Fondy display that’s like a ‘walk through the decades’ with the past of HACER, the present and the future of what we’re planning to do,” Salgado said. These displays, Salgado said, help Hispanic students to feel represented on campus and expose others to the beauty of Hispanic culture. “We’re really trying to emphasize the cultural enrichment part of our mission, to show that we should be proud of who we are and show other people why we’re proud and show them the beauty of Hispanic culture,” Salgado said. For another event this month, Luis DunoGottberg, the Baker College magister and an associate professor of Caribbean and Film Studies, worked with the Baker Diversity Council and the Spanish Consulate’s Office

to bring famous flamenco-jazz composer Jorge Pardo to perform on campus. The free concert will be held in the RMC Grand Hall on Oct. 7. “It’s not the traditional flamenco thing that you would imagine from Southern Spain, dancing on a table with a rose in their mouth,” Duno-Gottberg said. “That’s some of it, but it’s more experimental. It should be very exciting.” Byrd said that this year’s event planning faced complications when the staff member in charge of coordinating the month left midway through the process. The planning committee relied on other members’ previous experiences in planning Hispanic Heritage Month events at Rice to make the planning go as smoothly as possible. “That created a little bit of a scramble, but he had gotten things off to a good start, and the committee worked really hard to finish things up,” Byrd said. Duno-Gottberg said he encourages every student to attend Hispanic Heritage Month events, because they not only will be fun and enriching for the students who come, but they will also help to acknowledge and appreciate the large Hispanic community here at Rice. “The Hispanic population is here in Houston, but [it] is also here at Rice,” Duno-Gottberg said. “They’re doing things, making the university work, making life for the students better. Acknowledging their presence and their contributions is a thing we have to do out of decency and out of consideration for others.”

HackRice returns in-person for year 12 HAJERA NAVEED



ASST. NEWS EDITOR The Kinder Foundation announced a $50 million grant to Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research on Sept. 23. According to Director of the Kinder Institute Ruth López Turley, the institute focuses on five main areas of research — housing and neighborhoods, economic mobility, community health, education and population research — and utilizes a holistic approach to solve societal challenges. “The Kinder Institute aims to support Rice’s mission and strategic priorities, including expanding our research infrastructure, securing more research funding, recruiting and retaining topnotch students, faculty and staff and engaging and serving our community through research that improves lives,” Turley wrote in an email to the Thresher. Rich Kinder, chairman of the Kinder Foundation, said in a Rice news article that the Kinder Institute has done important work in shaping Houston. “However, we can do more to inform and more directly address the challenges our communities face, particularly in the areas of housing,” Kinder said. Turley said that since this grant serves as an endowment to the institution, it ensures the longevity of the institution’s work. “Endowment funds cannot be spent. But rather [they] are allowed to grow so that they generate revenue, which is spent,” Turley said. “We plan to use these revenue funds to expand the institute’s team so that we can take on more work on behalf of our community.”

COURTESY JEFF FITLOW Nancy and Rich Kinder shake hands with President Reginald DesRoches at the Kinder Institute’s Sept. 22 advisory board meeting. The Kinder Institute uses a partnership research model, working closely with community partners who use the institute’s research to reform their efforts in making Houston better. According to Turley, this is one of the reasons why she believes the Kinder Institute is special. “In addition, we aim to work with community partners regardless of whether they can afford to pay for research — this is why this recent gift is crucial,” Turley said. “There are many organizations in Houston that are working hard to make Houston better, but most of them have very limited — or zero — research capacity. We want Rice to be known for [its] research excellence in service to our community.” Provost Amy Dittmar said she is grateful for the Kinder Institute serving as a pillar of the university’s outreach and engagement within the community. “This gift ensures that their important work will have a lasting and deeply engaging impact on many of the most pressing issues in Houston … and serve as an [example] for other urban research,” Dittmar said. Along with plans to expand the structure and staff of the Kinder Institute, Turley said that the institute’s overarching plan is to focus on a vision of inclusive prosperity. “There are huge economic disparities that must be addressed to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to build and share in Houston’s prosperity,” Turley said.

The twelfth annual HackRice was held in-person this past weekend for the first time since 2019. Anthony Yan, one of three student directors, said that while engagement was slightly lower than previous years, the event ran successfully. The 36-hour hackathon involved teams of up to four students creating a software, or hardware, project designed to solve a problem specific to an event category. Eisha Hemchand, a McMurtry College sophomore, said she participated in the hackathon to gain more project experience. “In college, it’s harder to have a larger chunk of time to really dedicate yourself to a bigger project, so having this built in time where you can actually work [collaboratively] and be in an environment with other people who are also interested is really cool,” Hemchand said. While sign ups for the event were comparable to last year, the submissions were less than expected, according to Yan. He said he believes competing with other events, such as the Baker Christmas public, led to lower hackathon engagement. “With a lot more in person events, there is a lot more competition with [other] events now so it is hard to keep the attendance as it was last year,” Yan, a junior from Will Rice College, said. Rosendo Pill, customer success manager at Major League Hacking, which sponsored the event, said that he thinks participating in the event allows students to build invaluable skills. “A lot of students feel like they are learning skills at hackathons that they can’t necessarily learn within the classroom setting, things like collaboration, learning specific technologies that they aren’t going to learn from a formal CS class,” Pill said.

COURTESY ANTHONY YAN Yan said that the opportunity to network face-to-face was a benefit this year. “We have a lot of different sponsors and companies come in person to us, [so] it is kind of like a mini career fair before the hackathon,” Yan said. “As we all know, in person networking and meeting is a lot more valuable than virtual. Manning Unger, a McMurtry sophomore, said he appreciated the opportunity to talk to recruiters in his field of interest. “You get to talk to a lot of people who are in technology that are in industry and obviously the main goal of college is to get a job, so that is the hope there,” Unger said. Isabel Wang, a Duncan College freshman, said that though she isn’t planning for a computer science career, the hackathon provided an opportunity to learn important skills. “It’s definitely kind of a launch pad where it teaches you a lot of the fundamentals and how to use certain platforms so that you can create projects later on,” Wang said. Scotty Shaw, founder of Tech Tree Root, another event sponsor, said that, as someone who has been to many hackathons across the country, he thinks HackRice can serve as an example for other schools’ hackathons. “I would say that out of the ones I have seen, if you are talking [about] all the events that aren’t on the [east or west] coasts, so far HackRice has been the best one in terms of hospitality [and] quality.”




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Backpage is satire, not journalism Every week, the Thresher’s Backpage staff spend their Monday nights in a corner of our office coming up with a satirical take on the week’s news. Their goal is simple: to bring some levity to what might otherwise be a dreary week of problem sets, essays and exams. Their works of comedy also serve as a delightful ending to much of our more serious journalistic content; and for this reason, the Backpage is a consistent favorite for many of our readers. But despite the Backpage being a central part of every issue, we’ve realized that it’s important to clarify that, with its own group of staff members, the Backpage is a separate section from the rest of the Thresher. While we demand unbiased, thorough reporting in our other sections, the Backpage is not journalism, and we do not treat it as such. The quips and banter poking fun at current campus affairs are made with the sole purpose of entertaining, not informing the Rice community. That’s what the rest of the paper is for. We understand that the Backpage content sometimes offends people. Satire does offend. We strive to ensure that the Backpage does not stereotype or capitalize on marginalized communities. But other than keeping common-sense

decency, we encourage the Backpage staff to come up with ingenious jokes, practice their free speech and, most importantly, to have as much fun as possible while doing their jobs. The Backpage has relentlessly mocked both Rice University administration and the undergraduate student population for years. It is also not uncommon to see the Backpage content seemingly “contradict” itself, as they’ve made fun of the frequency of COVID testing and the lack of COVID testing at Rice in almost consecutive weeks. The Backpage is not written with a fixed agenda in mind, as comedy often isn’t. In today’s world, it can sometimes be hard to tell just where the jokes end and earnest beliefs begin. Therein lies the beauty of the Backpage — it’s a joke! All of their content, every single week, cannot be taken out of context or misconstrued. We should celebrate the fact that such a space exists. We hope, moving forward, that our readership will not conflate our satire section with the totality of our paper’s content. However, if you really want to voice your complaints, refer to the disclaimer at the bottom of the page and email


Universities should support the public good Betterment of the world, that is, contributing to the public good, must be the ultimate mission of Rice. ... Improving the world is the goal; unconventional wisdom is the means. Moshe Vardi


Rice is not your average school. We don’t want an average band. responded with admiration: “You’re the accordionist? I’ve seen you! That’s so cool!” Athletics doesn’t grasp what would be ruined by excising this instrumentation. Alumni and community members are excluded, purportedly because it would be too complicated to pay them, but this easily remedied obstacle is a poor excuse.

To us, this means the MOB, and the quirky side of Rice that we represent better than anything else, is unwelcome in Rice’s cold, corporate public image as it seems to reject the “unconventional wisdom” it uses as a selling point. To Kaitlyn, a clarinetist, the MOB has been an accessible alternative to the traditional college marching band experience — a way to unwind a few times a week with friends, and without the pressure of mandatory rehearsals or games. Rice students are perpetually busy, because even outside of heavy course loads, so many of us devote our free time to more than just one passion. In the fifty years since Rice’s marching band was reborn as the MOB, it has scattered instead of marched, and welcomed members regardless of their musical prowess or ability to show up consistently. This structure acknowledges the reality of life at Rice, and for decades has given Rice a more comprehensive band than it may have had otherwise. We’re skeptical that the Owl Pep Band can fill its roster from the talent pool to which it’s restricted. MOBsters devote countless hours throughout basketball season because they get to do it with their friends amid an invigorating atmosphere. The offer of money can’t get

* Indicates Editorial Board member Ben Baker-Katz* Editor-in-Chief Morgan Gage* Editor-in-Chief Bonnie Zhao* Managing Editor NEWS Hajera Naveed* Editor Maria Morkas Asst. Editor Keegan Leibrock Asst. Editor OPINION Nayeli Shad* Editor FEATURES Riya Misra* Editor ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Michelle Gachelin* Editor SPORTS Daniel Schrager* Editor Pavithr Goli Asst. Editor SPECIAL PROJECTS Prayag Gordy* Editor BACKPAGE Timmy Mansfield Editor Ndidi Nwosu Editor Andrew Kim Editor COPY Jonathan Cheng Editor Annika Bhananker Editor


Starting this season, Rice’s Marching Owl Band, longtime instigators of musical shenanigans at various Rice sporting events, will no longer play at basketball games — a role the university intends to fill with the traditional-instruments-only, student-only, audition-only, near-perfect attendancerequired Owl Pep Band. To the three of us, this is a slap in the face to everything the MOB, and indeed Rice, stand for. According to Rice Athletics, our removal and replacement is an improvement as Rice moves to a better conference, and they say a conventional band will attract and animate crowds to improve the home advantage our basketball teams enjoy at Tudor Fieldhouse. To us, this means the MOB, and the quirky side of Rice that we represent better than anything else, is unwelcome in Rice’s cold, corporate public image as it seems to reject the “unconventional wisdom” it uses as a selling point. For decades, the MOB’s incarnation as the Basketball Owl Band has performed at dozens of basketball games each season, lead crowd chants, and put on comedic half-time shows. If waving our cutouts of memes while wearing Aloha shirts can’t attract the crowds Athletics is looking for, then a run-of-the-mill pep band, with no energy to give outside of their stand tunes, will fail. String and miscellaneous instruments obviously don’t fit that insipid sameness of nearly every other basketball band that Athletics wants to copy. Violins are hardly even audible over percussion and wind instruments, so Athletics must think the mere sight of unexpected instruments risks frightening off attendees. But James, the MOB’s accordionist, can readily affirm the opposite: He and fellow members of the Stringatronics section, like our cellist and ukulelist, bring a wow factor that nothing can come close to replicating. Upon introducing himself and mentioning he plays accordion in the MOB, people have frequently


students to audition and commit to 30 games in that same way. Ryan would have conducted the BOB as its drum minor but is eligible to audition for the new pep band as a trombonist. To him, being stripped of such a privilege while being asked to join this new band is insulting. The stated motivations behind this band don’t come close to justifying the disregard and ungratefulness shown to so many MOBsters, who sacrificed their time for no compensation. Rather than lend the MOB a modicum of support, Athletics would demolish a vibrant instance of campus life and spend thousands of dollars per week on a substitute with embarrassingly little thought put into it. We doubt throwing money in such a manner at what is ultimately a sideshow attraction will earn them back that investment. This decision disturbingly echoes Rice’s sale of KTRU in 2010, which also happened without consulting its members. Both undermine student autonomy and Rice’s connection to its alumni and wider community. Despite the assurances we’ve been given, we can see a simple answer to the inevitable next question: If the BOB doesn’t fit the university’s image for its new conference, how does the MOB at all? We call on Rice Athletics to reinstate the Basketball Owl Band — and to motivate this, for student musicians to join us in boycotting the Owl Pep Band.

PHOTO, VIDEO, & WEB Katherine Hui Photo Editor Cali Liu Asst. Photo Editor Jasmine Liou Video Editor Camille Kao Asst. Video Editor Eli Johns-Krull Asst. Video Editor Brandon Chen* Web Editor DESIGN Robert Heeter Art & Design Director Anna Chung News Siddhi Narayan Opinion Alice Sun Features Ivana Hsyung Arts & Entertainment Olivia Robson Sports Lauren Yu Backpage BUSINESS Edelawit Negash Business Manager Ariana Moshiri Social Media Jazmine Castillo Distribution

ABOUT 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

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© Copyright 2022


CORRECTIONS In “Volleyball upsets No. 17 Creighton, jumps into top-25,” the fifth-year senior middle blocker is Anota, not Anote, Adekunle.



Explore these Houston attractions from new heights has a retractable rooftop, which allows the open space to be covered in case of bad weather. Rise Rooftop hosts a variety of concerts for a wide range of genres, with some upcoming shows including concerts from Matoma to Mom Jeans and events from a Shrek-themed rave to Croptoberfest. Rooftop Cinema Club One of only a handful of rooftop cinema clubs in the world, The Houston Rooftop Cinema Club is truly a unique experience. Using wireless headphones for each person, moviegoers can enjoy films outside without distractions. Standard tickets range from $17.50 to $25.25, depending on ticket type and day of the week, but students can enjoy 10% off with the voucher code UptownStudent2022. From dates to solo outings, the Rooftop Cinema Club, located less than eight miles from campus, is a perfect way to enjoy a movie under the stars.

RENLY LIU / THRESHER A view of the Houston skyline from Skylawn at POST.



Check out Houston from a new perspective by visiting some of the city’s best rooftops scenes. These venues offer varieties of activities to keep their visitors entertained throughout the day, with sunrise yoga at Skylawn, midday swimming at Marriott Marquis or nighttime dancing at one of the many rooftop

bars. Browse through some of the following recommendations to explore Houston from above. Rise Rooftop Looking to escape campus for a night? Rise Rooftop is a music venue less than four miles from campus that hosts a multitude of shows, from concerts to conferences to holiday events. Located in the heart of midtown, this event space

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Skylawn at POST How many things can you put on a roof? The answer is: far too many. The Skylawn rooftop at POST Houston includes seven distinct gardens, a skyline promenade, an event space, a stage, a game space and much more. A never ending source of entertainment, Skylawn hosts events ranging from yoga and Zumba lessons to outdoor concerts. With five acres of rooftop, Skylawn is the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities with friends while witnessing a spectacular 360-degree view of Downtown Houston.



























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Marriott Marquis Texas Pool Too hot outside? Beat the heat by going to The Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston. This hotel is equipped with several amenities, including a spacious sixth-floor rooftop terrace. Called Altitude Rooftop & Pool, this impressive venue has been compared by many visitors to a tropical rooftop park. Including both a heated rooftop infinity pool and an exclusive Texas-shaped lazy river, you can enjoy long hours of relaxation under the Texas sun by staying at the hotel or purchasing a day pass. Z on 23 Rooftop Bar Perched on top of Le Méridien Houston Downtown Hotel, you will find Z on 23 Rooftop Bar, Houston’s highest open rooftop bar. A stylish cocktail bar with a fantastic 360-degree view over Houston, Z on 23 boasts beautiful sunset and skyline views. Looking for a drink while you enjoy the magnificent view? This bar’s menu includes a wide selection of handcrafted signature cocktails, premium spirits and wine. 77 Degrees Rooftop One of the trendiest bars in Houston, 77 Degrees Rooftop is set over four levels. The Caribbean-themed open venue has a mix of cabanas and swings to sit on while you enjoy one of their famous $12 Caribbean-inspired specialty cocktails, such as the “Cayman Account,” or any of their tropical treats. Climb to the top of the venue and treat yourself to panoramic views of the Houston skyline.

Seashore site of seagulls Messages and Chrome Fiery prefix Prefix preceding “-pedics” or “-dontics” Generation of Kerouac and Ginsberg Stink Thunderous, as a crowd Woods of “Legally Blonde” Colored part of the eye _____ the Hedgehog Seasonal work, like a Mall Santa Third Ward, affectionately Possessive pronoun 100 bill makers? Course average? Oft-confused pronoun Upper bound Boundary Khaki-wearing State Farm agent Turkish city known for kebabs Cleopatra’s killer “Not now!” Imperfection Test Delay Podium Rice office that oversees DFs Secretly marries Scary shout Moo ___ pork (dish) “Strike First, Strike Hard, __ _____” Near perfect game, like seven by Nolan Ryan Iridescent gemstone Take a chance Cathode counterpart Zilch Fertilizer ingredient German printmaker Albrecht of “Melencolia I” fame Russian ruler Equal Planetary prefix

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Brag 404, for one Observe Yom Kippur Spiced tea Rice- or seed-based agua fresca Aids and _____ Brazilian soccer legend Subject of many readings? Squashes Infectious misfolded protein Plant used in caffeinated Guarani drink Camping gear chain Approves via SMS Scout’s brother in “To Kill a Mockingbird” Type of retirement account Like some seats Exercise Ice cream or beer unit Tiny traces Aspire Soup server Perfect Fruit smoothie with chamoy and tajin Lyft alternative Publication read by many doctors, for short Limeade, in Brazil Let off the gas Kanga’s kid Rep. opponent, in Nov. Bear with black skin and hollow hair Way to play without sheet music Not tall One who is highly sought-after? In _____, Nirvana’s final album Uncommon Largest First Nations group Burden Taking testosterone, for short Faux ___



Diving into the DEEP with Rice’s Data Science Club



do with it. Data science has been a really popular path, so I wanted to really explore that.” DEEP also helps prepare students for Data Education and Exploration Program is an annual data science showcase future opportunities, both inside and competition put on by Rice’s Data Science outside of the Data Science Club. Grace Club, open to all levels of coding experience. Wang, a Sid Richardson College sophomore, According to Vinay Tummarakota, and McKinney said they both returned as president of the Data Science Club, the mentors this year after having a positive program consists of a semester-long experience last year, and they found their workshop series that alternates between DEEP experiences useful within the context lessons where senior Data Science Club of other data science roles as well. “I had a research position this summer at students teach curriculum, and applicationstyle workshops where mentors help the Rice Neuroscience Institute,” McKinney students apply skills learned the week said. “I really recommend [DEEP], I think before. Over the course of the fall semester, it was applicable to my research role and student teams develop projects on their prepared me well for it.” Wang said she performed data chosen data set, and eventually present in a analysis as an intern for the final showcase. “[Students] start by importing [their] data Wellbeing and Counseling set, transporting it, cleaning it, visualizing Center during the past semester and it, modeling it and communicating results spring to a broader audience,” Tummarakota, a currently analyzes data Hanszen College senior, said. “Each of our in the Warmflash lab at workshops is really designed to target each Rice. “My DEEP of these different skills within the process, and over the course of the process, each of experience interested the students is really building a data science me in the real-world application of data,” project from the ground up.” Melody He, a McMurtry College Wang said. “Data by sophomore, said she initially came to Rice itself is too discrete. I interested in studying math or computer really like to see concrete science, but she decided to participate in results and know that DEEP this year after learning more about there’s something more data science last year and hearing feedback that could come out of my from a friend who previously participated in analysis, which is why I went for a computational biology lab.” the program. Working with DEEP can also “I like that [DEEP gives] you a lot of guidance. They do a lot of workshops that provide guidance for students trying to cover the basics, and then you take the figure out their academic interests. Manasvi workshops and apply them to your own Paturu, a sophomore at Sid Richardson said datasets,” He said. “I feel like that’s a DEEP helped her realize that data science really good step-by-step process of getting was not her passion. “I got to [gain] experience with data exposure to data science.” According to He, her group is studying science and figure out whether or not I liked a data set about thyroid disease, which she [the subject] and got experience presenting hopes will provide her more experience with at the final showcase,” Paturu said. “I also met a great mentor [who] I’m still friends data science analysis and coding. “Learning more about thyroid disease with and ask questions to, not just about and the intersection of data science and data science and DEEP, but computer science and stuff healthcare is that I need help something that’s with.” super fascinating to Notably, DEEP me,” He said. I came into DEEP not does not require B e y o n d knowing any statistics or any prior coding bolstering skills in experience to join. the data analysis data science. Tummarakota field, DEEP can Caleb McKinney said he stresses also serve as a WILL RICE COLLEGE SOPHOMORE the importance useful introduction for students without prior data science of STEM information availability and translates this accessibility into DEEP’s knowledge. Caleb McKinney, a Will Rice College policies. “When you look at a lot of other sophomore, said he didn’t have any prior experience in data science before he joined organizations, particularly in the context of STEM on campus, they do have a lot of the program as a freshman. “A lot of people had taken AP Statistics barriers to entry,” Tummarakota said. “I in high school. My school didn’t have that think it’s a really great benefit that we can [class], so I came into DEEP not knowing any provide this information for free to anyone statistics or data science,” McKinney said. “I who’s interested, because ultimately, that’s knew that I wanted to be a computer science what being in a college environment should major but [didn’t know] what I wanted to be like.” FOR THE THRESHER

ROPEing Rice into the outdoors

Cortez said that ROPE is unique because it allows students to participate in outdoor activities, even if they lack experience or equipment. “We’re set up to provide [outdoors] experience without students having to bring anything to the program,” Cortez said. “Our explanation for students is ‘you need to show up with clothes, and we’ll provide everything else.’” Sophia Figueroa, a trip leader, said she joined ROPE because she wanted to share her love for the outdoors with others. “I discovered over quarantine that I really enjoy the outdoors – spending time outdoors and doing different activities like hiking and camping,” Figueroa, a Lovett College sophomore, said. “I decided to join [ROPE] as a [trip] leader because I want to explore more of Texas and do different activities, and also to help share that [experience] with other students at Rice.” Despite Figueroa’s enthusiasm about her ROPE peers, she said that ROPE trips could benefit from further undergraduates amongst their participants. “I would love to see more undergraduates doing the trips,” Figueroa said. “[There’s] actually a surprising amount of graduate students that sign up for trips, which is great. But I think after the pandemic there’s been a need for more undergraduate participation.” Evan Dunbar, a Duncan College junior, said he has enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people as a ROPE trip leader. “I plan and lead trips with about one to two other leaders per trip, and then I lead about two or three of those every semester,” Dunbar said. “I’ve really enjoyed the interpersonal connections and being able to teach people about something that I love.” Dunbar said he is particularly excited about a freshmen-only backpacking trip that ROPE will be hosting later this semester. He said he believes the trip will provide a welcome introduction to ROPE. However, Dunbar said the program could be improved with further funding. “[More funding would allow us to] have more leaders and be able to run more trips concurrently,” Dunbar said. “Right now, we’re limited. We have one vehicle to transport people in, so it makes it very difficult to run more than one thing at a time.” According to Figueroa, ROPE is an important program because it allows people to explore outdoor activities that may seem inaccessible otherwise. “I feel like if people aren’t given the opportunity to try new things such as camping for a weekend or going on a kayak trip, then it’ll be harder in the future to find things like that,” Figueroa said. This article has been condensed for print. Read the full article at



Rice’s location in Houston is beneficial in a variety of ways. After all, we have access to entertainment, culture and research in a world-class city. However, we don’t have as much access to nature — a problem Rice Outdoor Programs and Education is trying to solve. ROPE is a program offered by the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center. This program provides students, staff and faculty the opportunity to go on various outdoor trips each semester. ROPE trips range in skill level and duration and are aimed at people with various time commitments and outdoors experience. Students can also apply to be ROPE trip leaders, which entails planning and facilitating their own outdoor excursions. According to Kris Cortez, the assistant director of Outdoor Programs at Rice, ROPE began as an outdoor club, growing into the program it is today when the new Rec building opened in 2009. “Initially there was an outdoors club called [Rice Outdoors Club], and that was when [the Rec] was inside Tudor Gym,” Cortez said. “When the expansion or new building happened here at the Gibbs Recreation Center, ROPE became the primary program.” Cortez said the program is important because it offers nature-related activities in the midst of an urban environment. “We offer a substantial opportunity to get outside of Houston, away VIVIAN LANG / THRESHER

from the city,” Cortez said. “[ROPE trips allow people] to be physical, be active, think about nature and relax – all benefits that aren’t necessarily available on campus or even in Hermann Park.”

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‘R2: The Rice Review’ to host open mic



This Thursday evening, Rice community members will gather in Ray Courtyard to celebrate their peers’ artistic talents and share their own. Performances, some scheduled and some impromptu, will run from 8 to 10:30 p.m. and will include music, poetry, comedy and other ways Owls are spreading their creative wings. The fall Open Mic Night is a key event for “R2: The Rice Review,” Rice’s undergraduate literary journal, which has been hosting the event for over a decade. Initially located in The Pub at Rice, it migrated in 2017 to Lyle’s in the Lovett College basement and joined the rest of the Rice community on Zoom in 2020. Since 2021, the event has found an outdoor home in Ray Courtyard. The increased space has allowed the event to accommodate large crowds — last year, the event attracted a crowd of nearly three hundred people. McKenna Tanner, a Hanszen College junior, is one of the R2 editors-in-chief and an organizer for this year’s Open Mic Night. For her, the event is a way to showcase the often-overlooked artistic talents of the Rice community. “When you talk to people about Rice, so many people are just focused on the STEM aspect, when, realistically, Rice is a place full of a lot of really talented and creative and smart people in all kinds of domains,” Tanner said. Lily Weeks, another R2 editor-inchief and event organizer, said that they see Open Mic Night not only as a way to

talents to the event through a musical theater song. This will be McClung’s first time performing at an open mic, and she said that the familiarity of an allRice setting helps make the event less stressful. “Everyone watching [at a Rice open mic] is kind of in the same part of life as me and there’s less of a pressure to be an upcoming professional. You can just do something you love and share it with people who have something in common with you,” McClung said. “I’m always looking for opportunities to get to participate in music and do something that I enjoy, even though I’m not really pursuing it as a professional career.” Gargi Samarth, a Brown College senior, will be reading a poem on Thursday. Like McClung, Samarth said that they appreciate the informal and welcoming atmosphere of an open mic. “Compared to, say, a formal concert or VIVIAN LANG / THRESHER other readings, I feel like open mics are meant to be casual. They’re meant to be highlight artistic talents outside of STEM, intimate,” Samarth said. “[The audience] but to challenge the dichotomy often can clap, they can snap, they’ll make noises created between the two fields and invite of encouragement or feel the emotions with the Rice community to engage in interests you, and they’re encouraged to show [their reactions] rather than be quiet as a form of outside their usual academic pursuits. “[There are] STEM majors or people respect.” Lopez thinks Mariachi Luna Llena’s unaffiliated with certain [artistic] groups that can use this as a chance performance will be an opportunity for to try something different out or do some of the band’s members to share an aspect of their something that identity with their they wouldn’t peers. normally have “Mariachi the opportunity Art to me is still a form of is such an to showcase,” essential part Weeks, a Jones communication before all of the Mexican College senior, else. Some communications said. are meant to have a response culture,” Lopez said. “It’s very Mariachi and some are just there to beautiful that we Luna Llena, get to share that Rice’s mariachi be put out into the world, culture with the band, will also but either way you’re telling Rice community be performing someone something. You’re … even though on Thursday. [some people] The band draws telling a story. don’t know the its members Gargi Samarth lyrics to the songs from across BROWN COLLEGE SENIOR or they don’t have Rice’s academic departments, including multiple history with Mariachi music or experience engineers. Alan Lopez, an electrical with it, they still receive it well.” For Samarth, this idea of sharing and engineering major and the band’s president, says he also sees this diversity connection connection to others is deeply intertwined with art. reflected in Rice arts as a whole. “One of my favorite parts [of] sharing “[Rice has] pre-meds or business majors that are also artists and my poetry is seeing what it means to other musicians, and that’s awesome because people,” Samarth said. “Art to me is still you wouldn’t expect it,” Lopez, a Martel a form of communication before all else. College senior, said. “That’s what makes Some communications are meant to have a Rice so great and makes our community response and some are just there to be put out into the world, but either way you’re beautiful.” Ava McClung, a Lovett College telling someone something. You’re telling freshman, is planning on bringing her a story.”

Meet the ACL Artist: Izzy Heltai MICHELLE GACHELIN


Izzy Heltai has spent almost a decade working to be heard. From sleeping in parking lots to performing for hundreds of people, he is intentional in finding joy throughout his journey. Now that he’s reached a turning point in his career, the singer-songwriter’s hard work is finally paying off, with multiple tours lined up through the spring and a stint at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. Heltai is currently on tour with Bear’s Den before hitting Zilker Park on Oct. 15. Heltai started writing songs as a teenager, and by the time he was eighteen, he was booking small venues like coffee shops, gallery openings and breweries. “It was seven or eight years from then to my mid-twenties of just playing

wherever I could for $50 and nobody really listening,” said Heltai. He strung these local gigs along in a makeshift tour, which brought him through Texas, Wyoming and Canada, among other places. “It would take me out for two, three months at a time. I would sleep in my car — I built a bed in it. I would just sleep in WalMart parking lots, Planet Fitness parking lots. I had a black card so I could shower … I would go wherever I could.” Heltai’s drive to make a name for himself by any means necessary was fueled by his belief that he needed to perform at a consistently high level in order to succeed, which he says is due to his intersectional identity as a transgender person and the son of European immigrants.

ACL Survival Guide 2022




It’s been a year since my last ACL survival guide of dubious quality, and I’ve returned with another to prepare all wannabee Austinites and music lovers for one of the largest music events Texas has to offer. This music festival spans two weekends, eight stages and features over 100 musical acts and a long list of food options. The 2022 festival dates are set for the weekends of Oct. 7-9 and 14-16, and one-day tickets are still available for purchase. If you’re as annoying about live music as I am, you might be planning on making the trek to Austin, and, to ease your prefestival worries, here is the Thresher’s Unofficial Guide to ACL. When, where and how do I get there? As I mentioned before, ACL spans two weekends. There are some small differences in the festival line-ups. A few artists are only going to be there for one or the other, so it might be worth considering which artists are a must-see for you. However, it’s worth noting that the first weekend coincides with Rice’s midterm break, for better or worse. Maybe you’re planning a road trip for the long weekend! Or, if you’re like me last year, you’re planning to use Monday and Tuesday to recover from the (exhausting) whirlwind of an ACL weekend (and to catch up on work — no Thresher that week, sorry. I get to go camping). Zilker Park, the location for the festival, is in south Austin, so it’s worth keeping your travel plans in mind if you’re looking for somewhere to stay. For those who aren’t making the two-and-a-half-hour drive themselves, round-trip Megabus tickets from Houston to Austin start at approximately $40. Read more online at

COURTESY IZZY HELTAI Singer-songwriter Izzy Heltai will perform at Austin City Limits Music Festival Oct. 15.

“I am a trans person. My mother is a woman in tech, and in the 80’s she was working as a mathematician in a field that was all men, basically. [This work ethic] was always hammered into me — unless we are functioning at 150 percent at all times, we have no chance of getting anywhere. The privileged in our culture get

[there] for being at 80 percent some of the time.” Heltai said that he remained naïve to the fact that he wasn’t initially making progress until he reached a turning point in his career. This article has been cut off for print. Read more online at



rubber trees were planted close together, and they actually suffered from tree blight and died because bugs could jump “I think it is an image that will appeal across from the trees,” Dean said. “So to a lot of people because it has so many the connection [between] this illusion different layers to it,” Josenhans said. of the abundance of nature and the freedom that these “The first thing Ford car adverts you see is this depict of nature really beautiful, is interesting peaceful landscape [because] the scenery … When The connection car production you read more [between] this illusion caused a lot of about the work, of the abundance of environmental you understand destruction and how [corporate nature and the freedom death.” strategies] had that these Ford car Dean’s archival a huge impact adverts depict of nature research on on indigenous is interesting [because] Fordlandia is populations in a major theme other countries — the car production throughout her in this case, Brazil actually caused a lot work. Currently, — and how these of environmental she is teaching a scenes, topics and course about using narratives are destruction and death. historical archives still embedded in Danielle Dean to create researchthe images that ‘DEATH DRIVE’ ARTIST informed art at surround us.” Much like the Ford advertisements the University of California San Diego, themselves, “Death Drive” is deceptively where she is an assistant professor. Dean said that she is particularly motivated to picturesque at first glance. “It’s interesting because the audience explore capitalism’s reliance on racism to will be lured in, because it feels a bit ultimately help people reframe material like a Disney-like landscape,” Dean histories. “The archives are often from the point said. “But then by reading and looking closely, there hopefully will be more of view of the bureaucrats of the managers, of an understanding of the dark side of or the colonialists. They’re never from the point of view of the people who are being capitalism.” This discordance between the natural oppressed,” Dean said of her research. “So environment and capitalist agendas for you really have to dig into the archives mass production is reflected throughout and not take them at face value and find the piece. For instance, Dean’s watercolor ways to read between the lines, and maybe acknowledges the labor of the Amazon even speculate so that you can get closer Mechanical Turk workers by planting to what it might have actually been like for a computer screen in the center of the the people who are being oppressed … The archive itself is mostly only telling a onelandscape. “Nature doesn’t always abide by certain sided point of view, and usually it’s the rationalist ways of being organized. The point of view of power.”


Budget Bites: $4 vs. $15 Spring Roll Goi cuon: a classic, yet overlooked staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Competing with the likes of pho and bánh mì, the spring roll is often underappreciated, commonly served as a shared appetizer or side dish. However, don’t be fooled — if executed poorly, the dish can ruin one’s entire experience, from soggy rice paper wraps to low-quality filling



ingredients. Typically, the spring roll includes some form of meat — think shrimp, pork or tofu — as well as a medley of rice vermicelli noodles, lettuce and other herbs. A fish sauce dip is traditionally served alongside it, but peanut sauce can accompany it as well. This article has been cut off for print. Read more online at

Review: “Industry” takes the leap with a poignant second season WILL COVER

THRESHER STAFF The finale of the stellar second season of “Industry” features a relatively cliché sports metaphor, so it’s only fitting to start this review with one of my own. There are a few universally satisfying moments in sports: the underdog who beats an obnoxious

powerhouse, the aging star who has more left in the tank than we thought or the young talent who puts it all together and goes from promising to a superstar. This season, “Industry” took that leap. This article has been cut off for print. Read more online at

Review: Djo creates a dreamy, psychedelic journey with “DECIDE” JACOB PELLEGRINO


On “DECIDE,” actor and musician Joe Keery expands his solo project Djo’s sound to ambitious new places. Although many people primarily know Keery through the show “Stranger Things,” where he plays Steve Harrington, he’s been involved in music for years and is a former member of Chicago psych rock band Post Animal. “DECIDE” is his sophomore album, a follow

up to 2019’s impeccable “Twenty Twenty.” Keery may wear sunglasses and a shoulder length wig while performing as Djo, originally in an effort to separate his music from his TV character, but “DECIDE” exhibits some of his most personal songwriting to date. This article has been cut off for print. Read more online at

Rice professor’s film explores environmental crises in Bellandur Lake

COURTESY RICE UNIVERSITY Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, Rice assistant professor of film, held a film screening of her documentary, ‘The Lake and the Lake,’ last Thursday, Sept. 22.


FOR THE THRESHER Environmental crises are not typically portrayed as slow in the media, but Sindhu Thirumalaisamy’s award-winning 2019 documentary film, “Kere mattu Kere,” or “The Lake and The Lake,” stands as a counterpoint to the standard environmental activist narrative. Bellandur Lake is the largest kere, or lake, in Bangalore, India, and it acts as the receptor to sewage released from the rapidly urbanizing city. “I used to live around this lake before I moved to the US, which is where I started working on this film,” Thirumalaisamy, a Rice assistant professor of film, said. “I lived not in viewing distance of the lake but in smelling distance, which is a much farther radius. I feel like it’s a part of me in some ways.” Last Thursday, Thirumalaisamy’s film screening marked the first event of the year in the Humanities NOW series. Fay Yarbrough, a Rice professor of history and an associate dean for undergraduate programs in the School of Humanities, began the

series during the pandemic to showcase the relevance of humanities research to contemporary challenges in the world. “People need the humanities to understand what is happening to make sense of what is going on around them,” Yarbrough said. While introducing the film, Thirumalaisamy explained that Bellandur Lake’s toxic foam, fumes and recurring fires have become the center of international media attention. Those who live near the lake face a daily environmental crisis, even as life persists around its foamy waters. But the film takes a slower approach, opening to footage of the foam churning over the lake’s surface. We see people and wildlife coexisting — the lake’s migrant communities continue to use the lake for its natural resources and as a place of worship and gatherings. “I wanted to think about different kinds of beauty, both terrible and socially meaningful,” Thirumalaisamy said. In the post-film discussion, the audience brought up the film’s depiction of Bellandur Lake’s beauty despite its pollution, and the discomfort that this contradiction brings.

“I think we live in a time of aesthetic policy. And they’re very carefully designed confusion when it comes to how we are to protect certain people and render others supposed to relate to some of these things,” disposable.” While environmental activists often Thirumalaisamy said. “When the foam was showing up on the roads for the first time, I depict Bellandur Lake as one that needs read a news article that said that someone urgent saving, Thirumalaisamy asks us to got out of their car to go and play with it critically look at the crisis as inextricably because they were so enamored by this thing tied to social and cultural challenges. She that kind of looks like snow in a place where explained that after the film was completed, many migrant communities were raided and it doesn’t snow.” When asked about the title, destroyed by the police. “There are no clear separations between Thirumalaisamy pointed to China Miéville’s novel “The City and The City,” in which people and environments, [which] I try to there are two cities that share the same teach in my classes,” Thirumalaisamy said. During the filming process, the lake was geographical space. “It’s like the serial of how many different both restricted and unrestricted, according lakes could exist for how many different to Thirumalaisamy. Despite the signs that warn against trespassing, people still went people,” Thirumalaisamy said. This multifaceted view of the lake was to worship there, social workers monitored particularly impactful for Caroline Mascardo, levels of pollution and journalists visited to cover the kere, among others. As a filmmaker, a freshman from Lovett College. “We tend to be very solutions-oriented Thirumalaisamy wanted to honor these social interactions and have this idea of and the persisting what is good, what is life that continues bad [and] what will to exist around fix things,” Mascardo In Houston, like in Bellandur Lake. said. “There is a lot Bangalore, city planning “The funny thing more nuance — there is that when I started are so many layers decides who remains making the film, in terms of who and disposable to floods and people would be like, what is affected.” who remains protected. be careful out there, In particular, Those kinds of decisions it’s really dangerous the film showcases over there, there’s the very visible are ... very carefully one there,” s o c i o - e c o n o m i c designed to protect certain no Thirumalaisamy and caste divides of people and render others said. “But I did not Bangalore through sense that I was the apartment disposable. doing something c o m p l e x e s Sindhu Thirumalaisamy dangerous just by towering over the RICE ASST. PROFESSOR OF FILM being there.” impoverished On the other hand, accessing the sewage settlements closest to the lake. Although the film centers around urbanization in India, treatment plant was far more challenging. “They didn’t have the infrastructure to Thirumalaisamy believes that there are process the quantities of waste that the city resonant parallels with Houston too. “In Houston, like in Bangalore, city was producing, and so they would let it just planning decides who remains disposable pass through,” Thirumalaisamy said. “I to floods and who remains protected,” could never get that shot because they were explained Thirumalaisamy. “Those kinds so paranoid that I would make them look of decisions are designed. They come out of bad.”



Extra, extra! Student-athletes grapple with unexpected year of eligibility student forward Alexis Stover were now faced with a decision to make. “I actually had no intentions of playing News of the COVID-19 outbreak is a basketball again,” Stover said. “I was flashbulb memory for many people who can going to go the graduate assistant route at recount the exact moment they first heard a different college. So it was hard … when the news. For senior infielder Benjamin I was trying to decide whether I was going Rosengard, he was incredibly saddened to go to Rice or be a graduate assistant when he first heard the news that the somewhere else, but I made that decision outbreak had canceled his sophomore because I wasn’t ready to hang up the baseball season at the University of Chicago. shoes yet.” The NCAA said that the extra year of “At practice, we heard some rumors that our season was maybe going to be canceled; eligibility was to provide opportunities so it was a very emotional practice, for student-athletes impacted by the especially for our seniors,” Rosengard said. pandemic. But it also caused a logjam “We were all called in, and [our athletic for athletes like Rosengard, who were in the transfer portal director] delivered trying to find a new the news, and it home during the was just instant pandemic. tears from nearly The way that I’ve always “It was very everyone. I’ll never difficult because forget that and that looked at it is that there’s you couldn’t visit feeling of having the a ticking time clock that anywhere in person, rug pulled right from you don’t really know you couldn’t meet underneath you.” when it’s going to end, anyone in person, In a matter they couldn’t come of hours, the and so I’ve always wanted out to watch any NCAA canceled to play baseball as long as summer ball with c h a m p i o n s h i p I could because I love it so COVID, so it was a tournaments and very, very difficult entire seasons much. and frustrating because of the Benjamin Rosengard p r o c e s s , ” COVID-19 pandemic SENIOR INFIELDER Rosengard said. in March of 2020. It took months before games got back up and “On top of that, that was when the COVID running, and while football was able to play backup started, so, for example, I talked to on a relatively normal schedule that fall, Rice out of the University of Chicago, and other seasons — like soccer — were delayed they didn’t have any roster spots or money left, because they had some fifth years until spring 2021. Because of the postponement and coming back from COVID.” While some athletes decided to come cancellation of games and seasons, the NCAA decided to give collegiate athletes back for their extra year of eligibility, who played a spring sport during the 2020 plenty still chose to call it a career after season or a fall or winter sport during the their traditional senior year ended. 2020-2021 school year an extra year of According to former libero Elizabeth eligibility. Given an unexpected opportunity LaBue (‘22), a member of the Owls team to play another year, athletes like graduate that got knocked out of the 2020-21



NCAA volleyball tournament because of COVID-19 protocols, the time was right to enter her life’s next chapter after her senior season. “Wrapping up my senior year, I just got to the point where I felt content being done with the sport, which was really weird because I’ve played it my entire life,” LaBue said. “It’s kind of scary thinking that like ‘oh, you’re not going to do this again,’ but I was at the point where I had accomplished so many of the things that I wanted to do, and the thought of pursuing a life without volleyball was extremely scary, but also really exciting.” During the decision-making process of returning for a fifth year, athletes also took into account their ability to further their education and how it would fit in with their post-graduate plans. For former swimmer Marta Cano-Minarro (‘22), this was a significant factor in her decision not to use her fifth year of eligibility.

“When we started considering it as an option in the fall, we realized it wasn’t feasible to complete an additional major or a minor in the little time I had left at Rice if I decided to stay,” Cano-Minarro said. “Therefore, I chose to use the year following graduation to work and get some good lab experience before I start applying to grad school.” No matter the logistical headaches or life implications of sticking around for another year, for some athletes, Rosengard included, the decision boiled down to maximizing the time spent playing the sport they love. “​​There’s a very short period in your life where you can play the sport that you love, and so one day, if it’s at 23 or if it’s at 40, the jersey is going to come off,” Rosengard said. “The way that I’ve always looked at it is that there’s a ticking time clock that you don’t really know when it’s going to end, and so I’ve always wanted to play baseball as long as I could because I love it so much.”


Anota Adekunle redefines what it means to be a middle blocker CADAN HANSON


The middle blocker position is known for what its name implies: blocking the middle. Middle blockers are usually the first line of defense, quickly reading and blocking up the opposing team’s attacks. But Anota Adekunle, a fifth-year senior from Humble, Texas, transcends the typical middle blocker role by adding a strong offensive presence in addition to her defense. When asked about the position she’s played since middle school, Adekunle said that the middle blockers’ role is usually to act as a distraction on offense. “We’re technically just supposed to be blocking,” Adekunle said. “That’s our job. We focus on a lot of defensive things and act like decoys on offensive. When the defense bites on us, it opens up other people to hit the ball freely. A lot of the time, the middles aren’t the ones getting the big kills like the outside hitters.” But if there is anything that Adekunle is known for, it is her big kills that light up the arena. According to Adekunle, what really sets her game apart is her versatile offensive attack. “Usually middle blockers run quick tempo balls and only hit middle position,” Adekunle said. “But I sometimes hit on the right side or … in the middle which is not very common for a middle blocker.” Adekunle’s head coach, Genny Volpe, referred to her as “one of the most exciting, dynamic attackers in college volleyball,” claiming that “you often

don’t see [these types of performances] from a middle blocker.” Adekunle’s unique style of play has allowed her to etch her name into the school record books. Over her five years as an Owl, she holds Rice records in single-game and season hitting percentages; she also made the Conference USA First Team All-Conference in each of the past three seasons and was named the C-USA Tournament MVP in 2018. In 2021 and 2022, Adekunle earned an honor a bit more patriotic than the rest when she was selected to the U.S. Women’s Collegiate Volleyball National Team. As one of 35 players selected, along with her teammate, fifth-year setter Carly Graham, Adekunle said that suiting up alongside players that she would otherwise be competing against was an amazing experience. “I loved getting an opportunity to play for the U.S. National team,” Adekunle said. “I got to meet so many people from different schools and walks of life. It was amazing to get to connect with those girls and also learn from them. It was also nice to be on the same side of the net as them.” Adekunle said that part of what made the experience so rewarding was being able to work with highly decorated and respected coaches. “I got to work with coach Karch [Kiraly], the [U.S. women’s national volleyball team] head coach, and was able to take away some great tips from the great coaches and Olympians there,” Adekunle said. “I tried to soak it all in and be a sponge, trying to take what they were saying and put it in my back pocket so that I can use it in games.”

Adekunle and the Owls have made the NCAA tournament in four straight seasons, and as her Rice career nears its end, Adekunle said that not only do they intend to make it five in a row, they hope to make a deep tournament run. “Our goals are to win the regular season, win conference, make the NCAA tournament and hopefully go past the Sweet Sixteen,’’ Adekunle said. “They are big goals but we’re ready to chase them. We’ve made it to the NCAA tournament before but making it past the Sweet Sixteen is really a big goal of ours and something we are willing to fight for.”

Currently in the first year of a two-year graduate program in global affairs, Adekunle is unsure of how her career as an Owl will end, but hopes to return to the national stage and represent her country as a professional volleyball player. “I’m hoping to go pro and be able to play for the USA team again,” Adekunle said. “I’m still in the process of seeing how my Rice career will finish out, but it is definitely something I want and something I’m working toward. Being able to play for your country is one of the biggest honors you can get and I hope to continue to do so in the future.”

KATHERINE HUI / THRESHER Typically, a middle blocker mostly plays defense. But Anota Adekunle (middle) has made an impact for the Owls on both sides of the ball.




The real root of the Owls’ improvement The idea that losing a key player can make a team better – often called this year has been their defense. They’re “addition by subtraction” – has been at averaging 1.2 more digs per set than last the center of many a hot take over the year, while they’re holding opponents to years. At first glance, the Rice volleyball 1.2 fewer kills per set than last year – and team would appear to have a case of all of those figures should only improve addition by subtraction on their hands as they play more conference games. this season. After losing their all-time Leading the charge has been junior libero kills leader, outside hitter Nicole Lennon, Nia McCardell, who’s averaging nearly the team has somehow gotten better this two more digs per set than last season’s season. Two games into their conference team high at 5.35, and opened the year schedule, they’re 12-1 on the year and with three straight Conference USA ranked No. 22 in the NCAA after beating defensive player of the week awards. However that isn’t the entire story then-No. 17 Creighton University. At this point last season, they were 8-5 — albeit behind their improvement. While their against a slightly stronger non-conference new offensive approach isn’t quite as schedule. In the past, head coach Genny potent on a per-set basis, it’s given them Volpe’s teams have struggled against flexibility that they didn’t have a year ago. difficult non-conference schedules before Last season, the Owls’ first choice was to fixing their flaws against overmatched get the ball to Lennon, and their second conference opponents and hitting their choice was to use her as a decoy for one stride at the end of the year. If this team of their other attackers, with the ultraefficient Adekunle is still a ways off of contributing their peak, which kills as well but is a big if, it would on relatively few be the best team While their new offensive attempts. If teams Volpe has had in approach isn’t quite as were able to stifle years. that, Rice had The strange potent on a per-set basis, little else to turn part about the it’s given them flexibility to. When they lost Owls’ success this that they didn’t have a the first set last year is that they’re year ago year, they went on doing it without a clear replacement for Lennon. Where to win just two of eight matches. This year, Lennon contributed 4.44 kills per set last they’re 3-0 in those games, including year, no Owl on this year’s team has a comebacks against Louisiana State figure above three. Instead, they’ve taken University and Texas Tech University a collective approach at replacing her where their offense looked completely production. While last year’s team had overmatched in the first set, and a reverse only two players above the 2.5 kills per sweep of Kansas State University. They set threshold, four players have reached it can’t be expected to keep that 100% rate this year. Fifth-year senior middle blocker up over the course of an entire season, Anota Adekunle has taken on some extra but so far their versatility on offense has responsibility, chipping in an extra 0.3 allowed them to seamlessly pivot when kills per set compared to last year, while Plan A isn’t working. That’s not a result outside hitters Ellie Bichelmeyer, Danyle of losing Lennon — if she was still around Courtley and Sahara Maruska are all on it would give them yet another option pace for career highs in kills. This has in attack and make the offense even made the Owls offense far less predictable more versatile — it’s the result of three and keeps opposing defenses constantly Owl outside hitters enjoying breakout guessing — their four primary attack seasons at the same time. But when the options have almost identical kills-per-set postseason comes around and they have numbers and no Owl had led the team in to play tougher opponents, their ability to kills in consecutive games until Adekunle pivot might prove to be a secret weapon. accomplished the feat just over a week Just don’t call it addition by subtraction. ago. That unpredictability has helped the Owls limit the damage of losing one of the best players in program history, Daniel Schrager but it hasn’t completely replaced her SPORTS EDITOR production. Their 13.67 kills per set as a team is almost but not quite on par with their 13.85 figure from non-conference play last year.

Although Rice soccer is coming off three his statement. Graduate transfers Grace straight wins to start conference play, their Collins and Madi Allen and freshmen Kallie struggles early in the season are notable McKinney, Jules Johnston, Jessica Molina enough to cast doubts. While the Owls went and Carsyn Martz have all been featured and up against and lost to some of the best teams played prominently in nearly every game. in the NCAA, such as No. 8 Florida State Collins, forward and right midfielder in University and No. 23 Southern Methodist the current formation, has had impressive University, they also struggled against much performances throughout the season, setting weaker opponents such as Samford University the Rice and C-USA record for most assists in and Loyola University Maryland. Formation a game and currently has the seventh-most changes and familiarity with the system seem assists in the NCAA this year. Martz, a centerto be having a positive impact on the quality of back, has also turned in solid performances play at the start of conference play, but will it while spearheading a back line of three that be enough to guide them past the Conference- features two former attacking players on either USA and toward the NCAA Tournament glory side of her. Along with a strong set of returning players, the team has the skill necessary to seen less than two years ago? After starting the season 2-5, the Owls compete against the strongest sides in the nation, but only time were matched up will tell if their against the defending current system can be national champions perfected enough to FSU. Head coach Along with a strong set generate results. Brian Lee featured a of returning players, Two seasons ago, new 3-2-4-1 formation the Owls began an that emphasizes the team has the skill unprecedented run rotation throughout necessary to compete that saw them at the the field to overload against the strongest heart of the NCAA both the offense and tournament. An the defense while sides in the nation, but upset win against a c c o m m o d a t i n g only time will tell if their No. 5 West Virginia for gaps left on the current system can be University carried the opposite side of the perfected enough to squad to the Sweet field. Lee was also Sixteen of the NCAA encouraging the generate results. tournament, just central attacking midfielders to put pressure on the opposing three games away from championship glory. center-backs, inciting either defensive An important part of that season was being mistakes or clearances where the Owls could tested and overcoming high-performing teams before the NCAA tournament. If the team win back possession and quickly counter. The squad has stuck with this formation and wants to replicate that success this season, found success against conference opponents, those types of games must be taken advantage winning their first three conference games by of, especially taking the new system into a combined score of nine to two. The Owls account. Despite dropping games against showed improvement over those games as SMU and FSU, there are still opportunities left well, creating only three against the University to showcase where the trajectory of the season of Texas at San Antonio, but bringing their might go. Facing Texas A&M University and production up to 17 shots in their most recent the University of Alabama at Birmingham on game against Louisiana Tech University. The the road and hosting the University of North issue with this formation, however, is that Texas will all be tough games for the Owls it was exploited by an FSU side that scored and crucial for the team’s development and five goals against a Rice team that struggled confidence. Under Lee, the Owls have shown to maintain possession. The Owls’ defensive in flashes that they can compete with the midfielders, key components to this specific best teams in the nation. But only time and formation, were picked apart by FSU attackers, experience in their new system will tell if this creating enough gaps to outnumber the three year will bring back that NCAA success or Owls defenders. The current system may lead another year of unfulfilled potential. the Owls to a solid conference record, but it’s hard to see how it’ll fare up against faster and Diego Palos more aggressive opponents. Rodriguez Lee professed at the beginning of the THRESHER STAFF season that the newcomers, both transfers

New approach might make Soccer’s new system might volleyball more dangerous be key to a tournament run



The Cougars, who received the secondhalf kickoff, scored a touchdown in four plays and less than two minutes into the half. The Owls’ offense responded with a touchdown of their own after McMahon connected with McCaffrey on a deep 52-yard pass. This backand-forth continued as the Cougars scored a touchdown on their next drive, giving them a 24-21 lead halfway through the third quarter. The Owls tied the game at 24 with a 42-yard field goal on their next possession. The Owls’ defense came up big at the start of the fourth quarter, stopping the Cougars on a 4th and one. With the ball back, the offense converted their good field position into a 43yard field goal and a 27-24 lead. The Cougars responded with a field goal of their own, tying the game at 27-27 with five minutes left to play in the game. The Cougars’ defense forced a McMahon fumble a few plays later and took the ball in for a touchdown, giving the Cougars a 34-27 lead with just over three and a half minutes remaining. On their next possession, the Owls’ offense gave the ball right back to the Cougars when McMahon threw his first interception of the day.

The Owls’ defense forced a Cougar three-and-out, giving their offense one last opportunity with 24 seconds left. McMahon made several big throws, including a 51-yard Hail Mary pass to Bradley Rozner, putting the ball at the Cougars’ nine-yard line with just one second left. However, McMahon failed to connect with McCaffrey on the final play of the game, sealing the Cougars’ victory. Bloomgren said that a handful of big plays by the Cougars at the end of the game made the ultimate difference. “[They] made a couple more plays than we did in the fourth quarter,” Bloomgren said. “They had a couple of big third-down conversions, [pressured] the quarterback and found a way to win the game.” The Owls start conference play next weekend when they host the University of Alabama at Birmingham Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. Despite the loss, junior linebacker Chris Conti, who racked up a team-high 11 total tackles against the Cougars, is keeping his head up and focusing on the next game. “Next week is a new week. We are going to watch the film and let it go,” Conti said. “In college football, we can’t reflect on the past too much. We are going to come in … and work for the UAB game.”

and freshmen, would play a huge role in the success of the team, and a quick look at the minutes played in each game confirms

COURTESY RICE ATHLETICS Luke McCaffrey runs with the ball last Saturday against the University of Houston. He finished the game with seven catches, 121 yards and a touchdown, but the Owls fell to the Cougars 34-27.



HackRice: A Rich History

A look back at some of the most impressive winning HackRice projects Find My CIA Agent Reverse engineers your webcam to allow you to talk to your assigned CIA agent; shut down by the National Guard before release

iFinish Helmets that use facial recognition to determine if your sexual partner reacts positively or cringes at your dirty talk and provides a performance report upon climax (Note: results may be unreliable for data collection < 20 sec.)

The Electric Chair



Doomsday Counter Carefully researched algorithm predicting the end of the world—drops 23 years every time Eminem releases an album; drops 106 years every time SCOTUS releases a ruling

2005 2007 BeO’Neal Smartphone app that displays a Shaq highlight at a random time every day

Tooth Talks Repurposes existing Tooth Tunes technology to open a voice channel between you and another person brushing their teeth around the world

2009 2010

2011 2013

Worm Translator

Duo Authenticator

Initially meant as international cybersecurity weapon; accidentally unleashed as unremovable virus across all Rice-affiliated devices

2016 Sensory Activation Tank






Bitches Calculator

AI that accepts image inputs and puts a little propeller hat on them

Mathematically determines whether you have no bitches (R2 = .92)

Delivers a small shock when user begins thinking about Harry Styles

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

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