The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 75, No. 26, Ed. 1 Friday, April 15, 1988 Page: 1 of 16
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Volume 75, Number 26
Rice's family newspaper
Friday, April 15, 1988
Willy faces Fondren for first time in 58 years
by Lisa Gray
The campus police have reported
Wiess senior Patrick Dyson to Proc-
tor E.C. Holt in connection with the
T uesday morning rotation of "Willy's
statue," the 2,000-lb. statue atop the
tomb of the university's founder.
Dyson and a group of fellow prank-
sters lifted the bronze statue from its
pedestal using a structure they say
meets uniform building codes, and ro-
tated the statue 180°, allowing the
statue to face Fondren Library for the
first time in its 58-year existence.
Dyson and fellow prankster Jorge
Martin de Nicolas, a Rice alumnus,
are appealing to the Rice community
for donations to help Dyson pay the
related fines. Anyone wishing to help
Dyson defray the cost may send dona-
tions to Wiess Resident Associate
John Bennett, at Wiess College.
Dyson estimates the university's
costs were over $1000, though as of
Wednesday Dyson had not been able
to get a statement of cost from Art
Mechanics, Inc., the subcontractor.
According to Police Chief Mary
Voswinkel, Officer George Lozano
investigated the activity in the quad-
rangle Tuesday morning, after he
noticed that the light on the architec-
ture building was off and that a group
of about 20 people was gathered
around the statue. He pulled over a
pick-up he saw leaving the quad-
rangle and took the name of its driver,
Patrick Dyson. When the officer re-
turned to the quadrangle, the people
on foot had fled.
Proctor Edward Holt summoned
Dyson to his office and gave Dyson
the choice between a University
Court trial and a summary decision by
the proctor. Dyson says the proctor
recommended a summary decision,
since University Court delays might
mean his case would not be judged
until after graduation, too late for him
to receive his diploma during the May
7 commencement ceremony. Dyson
also says the proctor named a prob-
able sentence: disciplinary probation
and a fine to cover the university's
cost in returning the statue to its origi-
Dyson and Martin de Nicolas„say
the statue could not have been harmed
in the prank. The structure's designer,
they said, has a Rice master's degree
in civil engineering. The structure
was designed to lift the statue at three
points, a more stable and less risky
method than the one-point hoist used
by Art Mechanics, Inc.
The structure used to lift the statue
consisted of three chain hoists at-
tached to a beam on top of two A-
frame supports. After the statue had
been lifted off its pedestal, the two
side hoists were detached so the statue
could be rotated. (See diagram, page
Martin de Nicolas says the A-
frames, which were held by pulleys to
the statue's granite base, were far
stronger than needed to lift the statue.
He, Dyson and others tested the struc-
ture by lifting Martin de Nicolas' car,
a Toyota Corolla, and swinging the
car slighdy, to simulate rotating the
Martin de Nicolas says that the
pranksters used eight straps of two-
inch nylon webbing to lift the statue,
each of which had a working strength
of 6000 pounds. The straps, they said,
were chosen because they would not
abrade the statue.
A Rice spokesman had told the
Houston Chronicle that cracks in the
wooden A-frames left by the statue
see Statue, page 6
Brown, Lovett hold TG today
by Megan Dixon
Brown College and Lovett College
will co-sponsor an unusual tyjje ofTG
party today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in
the field between the Jones Graduate
School of Business and the Rice
Memorial Center. Anumber of events
will take place in an effort to raise
money for the Texas Children's
Hospital's Child Life Fund.
Among the events will be a dunk-
ing booth that will be occupied by
Rice vs. Texas, 6-4
John Pope (right) revels in the glory of being the winning pitcher against
number 2—ranked Texas on April 9. (See story, page 13) —L. Cowsar
such notables as head football coach
and athletic director Jerry Bemdt,
Mack of "Gallery Furniture Saves
You Money" fame, former Sid
Richardson College member Ivan
Putzke of the Campus Police, Student
Association President Andy Karsner,
and former S A President Kevin Gass.
Three attempts at sinking the volun-
teers will cost one dollar, with pro-
ceeds going directly to the children's
hospital which donated the booth. If
the celebrity guests are all able to
finish their runs as dunkees, then
random people from the crowd may
be called on to participate.
Chuck Yates, one of the four social
coordinators at Brown College, also
asked Houston Mayor Kathy Whit-
mire and President Rupp to occupy
the dunking booth. The mayor's of-
fice never responded to the request.
Rupp responded negatively when
asked if he would allow himself to be
dunked for a charity organization,
commenting that such an event was
"childish" and that he hadn't done
such things since he was six or seven
at the Strawberry Festivals in the East,
according to Yates. At that time Rupp
was not aware that the charity in-
volved would be the Texas Children' s
"Rupp called it childish, but we're
doing it anyway," said Yates, adding,
"I just thought that Rupp [in the dunk-
ing booth] would generate a lot of
money for the fund."
Other events at the TG include
Boat Races in which teams of five will
participate in a sequential chugging
contest in a single elimination tourna-
ment until one team is declared the
winner. In order to participate in the
Boat Races, each team must register
with Lovett College Social Coordina-
tor Eric Steiner.
There will be a five dollar entry fee
per team with the proceeds again
see TG, page &
Workers from Art Mechanics give Willy back his normal view. —L. Cowsar
by Mary Elliott
President George Rupp denied
Lovett College sophomore Tom
Jackson a repeal of Proctor Edward
Holt's decision. The proctor sus-
pended Jackson for the rest of this
semester and for next semester as of
Jackson, a former Student Associa-
tion senator, had violated his discipli-
nary probation on March 10. He was
arrested for disorderly conduct and
public intoxication. Proctor Holt took
"independent action" on the case a
few days later.
Rupp denied Jackson's appeal after
weighty consideration of the matter.
"My decision involved careful con-
sideration with all of the people in-
volved in the disciplinary process: the
University Review Board Chairman,
the master (of Lovett) and the proctor. «
This issue is not one of simply sus-
taining the proctor," Rupp said.
In response to student concerns
about the possible abuse of independ-
ent action, Rupp said, "I also sus-
tained the decision of the University
Review Board on the question of
Many students believed that the
proctor's use of independent action
was unfair. One of Jackson's friends,
who wishes to remain unidentified for
fear of prosecution, dropped posters
that said "Amnesty for Tom Jackson"
between Baker and Wiess from a
single-engine Cessna plane last Fri-
day. He said, "I did it because I feel
that the administration is being un -
necessarily harsh with Tom. It's way
out of line with precedent and with
Other students protested the
proctor's decision on Jackson's be-
half by sending letters to Rupp, ac-
cording to Jackson. "Apparently they
had a lot of letters in Rupp's office.
Probably about 100 or more. And I
want to thank everyone that helped
me," said Jackson.
Rupp believes that the Thresher
reporting has been one-sided. "So far
the reporting in the Thresher has only
showed one side of the case," Rupp
Rupp believes that disciplinary
cases should be confidential. Because
of this belief, it has been difficult for
Holt and Rupp to discuss the case and
highlight both sides of the issue.
meat joke is real, p 3.
Feature: Page three girl, p. 9.
Fine Arts: Hamlet says 'Hello'
Sports: Win some, lose sijpne
against UT, p. 13. v
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Wucker, Michele. The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 75, No. 26, Ed. 1 Friday, April 15, 1988, newspaper, April 15, 1988; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth245693/m1/1/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rice University Woodson Research Center.