The Rice Thresher, Vol. 96, No. 18, Ed. 1 Friday, February 6, 2009 Page: 2 of 20
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the Rice Thresher
Friday, February 6,2009
the Rice (Ihresher
Thanks for listening,
Last year, the Faculty Senate proposed an academic calendar
that would have given students just one week to add classes with-
out a fee, and only five weeks to drop classes. But after meetings
with the SA, the Senate has decided to extend both of those dead-
lines, and we have to thank its members for their willingness to
listen to student concerns (see story, page l).
While the new schedule of two weeks to add a class and
seven weeks to drop is more condensed than the current sched-
ule, we feel that it is a fair compromise for both professors and
students. Registration data shows that the vast majority of stu-
dents already operate within this time frame, so the change is
merely reflecting a trend already in place. And, should a student
face some sort of extenuating circumstance, he or she can still
appeal to the Examinations and Standing Committee for help
escaping an academic hole.
We are also glad that professors will now have to worry less
about students entering or exiting their classes long after the
semester has started — a less stressed professor is good for ev-
erybody. At the same time, though, professors should under-
stand that students need to know as early as possible what the
workload and expectations of the class will be. The professor
should provide a detailed syllabus and candid analysis of his
expectations, thus giving students the chance to fully mull over
their decision to enroll. This way, students will not be waiting
until grades come out in week eight or nine to decide whether
the class is right for them, and frantic late-semester drops will
occur with less frequency.
SA makes good choice
with trayless resolution
As the evidence piles up indicating that the removal of trays
will result in lower water bills and electricity costs for Rice's serv-
ery system, we have to applaud the Student Association's pro-
posed resolution supporting the measure (see story, page l). We
also greatly appreciate that H&D chose not to exercise its right to
act unilaterally in this decision and instead chose to collaborate
with the student body.
Preliminary test-runs of the trayless program — "Wasteless
Wednesdays" at the south servery — have shown upwards of a
30 percent reduction in food waste and an 11 percent reduction in
water usage at each meal, and we firmly believe that any type of
practical cost reduction is a welcome sign, especially in today's
For those who are opposed to the proposal, we urge you to think
about the move as H&D's attempt to keep fiscally sound by any
means possible other than raising meal prices. With the economic
slump and Hurricane Ike both taking a toll on the serveries' coffers
this year, H&D has to do something to reduce costs, and we are glad
they have taken steps to do that without shifting further financial
burden on students.
However, we do wonder whether there is a way to please all stu-
dents affected by the proposed change. Over the past few years,
the serveries have been looking to phase out disposable plates and
cups. Rather than removing those items completely, the servery
staff recognizes that some students still need them and instead
keeps them out of sight, where they can be reached when request-
ed. This has the double benefit of providing disposable items to
students who need them while still cutting down on frivolous use,
and perhaps the same measure can be adopted with trays.
But all in all, we think think this resolution is a great idea.
Wednesday shouldn't have a monopoly on wasteless anymore.
New physics building
will bring prestige
The new Brockman Hall for Physics, slated to be completed
in December 2010, should be heralded as a welcome addition to
the Rice campus (see story, page 4). Although the construction
may hamper our peace and quiet, the resulting building will
create the perfect amount of peace and quiet that our physicists
require to conduct their experiments.
The Physics and Astronomy Department may already com-
mand much of the administration's attention, but Rice should
do everything possible to ensure that its achievements attract
more focus outside the hedges. Rice's physicists have already
garnered praise for their research, and their move to the state-
of-the-art of Brockman Hall will allow them to pursue ever more
ambitious experimental goals . At the very least, Rice will have a
new recruiting tool, since the building will be attractive to both
potential students and potential faculty, and that, of course, is
a very good thing.
VIE'VE BEE hi THOUGH T006H
TttAfcS BEfOfcE, Hokex. VlE'LL
GET THROUGH THIS TOO.
"The SA and Housing and Dining are looking into offering a new 10-meal-a-week plan
for seniors and off-campus students. What do you think of the proposed changes?"
"I like the idea of more
options for off-campus stu-
dents. Bonding is done a lot
at lunch and dinner."
Will Rice College senior
"I like the plan, because I go
home every weekend, so I
lose weekend meals."
Baker College junior
"I was off-campus last year
... [and the proposed meal
plan] would have been more
convenient for me."
Martel College sophomore
Dylan Farmer & Lily Chun
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Chun, Lily & Farmer, Dylan. The Rice Thresher, Vol. 96, No. 18, Ed. 1 Friday, February 6, 2009, newspaper, February 6, 2009; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth443063/m1/2/: accessed December 2, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rice University Woodson Research Center.