The Rice Thresher, Vol. 90, No. 2, Ed. 1 Friday, August 30, 2002 Page: 1 of 20
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the Rice Thresher
Vol. XC, Issue No. 2
Friday, August 30, 2002
about meal plan
by Rachel Rustin
THRESHER EDITORIAL STAFF
Students returning to campus and
expecting access to college kitch-
ens between meals were greeted by
closed doors this week.
Students and Housing and Din-
ing administrators alike were con-
fused this week about the specifics
of the mw meal plan. Campus-wide
confusion led to a Wednesday meet-
ing between H&D Director Mark
Ditman, the college presidents and
Student Association President Matt
While many details of the meal
plan have been ironed out, some
specifics remain to be determined.
Ditman said the idea behind the
new meal plan was continuous ac-
cess during operating hours — not
the figurative key-to-the-kitchen, a
term he has been using in reference
to various meal plan ideas for the
past few years. The plan as he pro-
posed it was to include all-you-can-
eat meals during normal operating
hours, generally meaning meal-
Ditman said when talking about
the history of the meal plans with
the Thresher last year he trust have
mistakenly and incorrectly de-
scribed attributes of the current plan.
"I probably did a poor job of com-
municating what I was trying to do
to the reporter," Ditman said.
Ditman said he came across the
confusion over the past week when
students were asking about details
of the supposed "key-to-the-kitchen"
"I realized we had an issue when
the second or third student came up
to me and asked when they got the
key to the kitchen," Ditman said.-
"As soon as I read it, I realized where
it came from. The failure that we're
responsible for is not responding to
it back in February."
See MEALS, Page 7
- ■ •: : "
A few more days of freedom
Final preparations are being made on the gate system before they are
activated sometime next week. See News Feature, Pages 10-11.
H&D employee files bias lawsuit
Gender and age discrimination claimed in pay and promotions
by Mark Berenson
THRESHER EDITORIAL STAFF
Housing Operations Manager
Loretta Pisegna filed a lawsuit Fri-
day against Rice claiming gender
and age discrimination in pay and
In the lawsuit, which was filed
in Federal District Court, Pisegna,
who is 58, requested a trial by jury
and seeks back pay, compensa-
tory damages, punitive damages,
injunctive relief and attorney's
Despite repeated attempts to
contact Pisegna, who still works
for Rice, she could not be reached
Michael Kerensky, Pisegna's
lawyer, said he hoped to show dis-
crimination in pay and promotion
practices by Housing and Dining.
"We've basically got to do
some discovery to collect the
documents that are in Rice's files
to show that she was paid in a
discriminatory pay in comparison
to male workers and that she was
improperly denied the promotion
[that Frank Rodriguez got],"
Rodriguez was promoted from
H&D Business Manager to H&D
Assistant Director of Business and
H&D Director Mark Ditman
referred all questions regarding
Pisegna's lawsuit to the General
Kerensky said he expected the
discovery period—a time in which
the plaintiffs attorneys receive
access to the defendant's docu-
ments — would last about six
months, after which he would be
able to discuss the details of the
"We really feel confident that
her claim is legitimate, but at this
point in time, it is kind of a she-
said. "Until we get about six
months into the litigation, it is
going to stay that way."
Kerensky said he will have no
further comment until the facts of
the case have been determined.
"Our preference is to really not
comment any further on it until
more objective facts are in the
record," Kerensky said. "It is not a
matter of who is telling the truth
— it is a matter of the facts."
Rice Associate General Counsel
Carlos Garcia also declined to com-
ment on the specifics of the case.
"On any particular case, we
don't comment on litigation that is
ongoing, especially with employ-
ment issues," Garcia said. "Judges
don't want us trying their case in
the media, and we will have our
case heard in due time.
Garcia said the university is
confident the claims will be
proven untrue and welcomes the
opportunity to demonstrate this
See LAWSUIT, Page 9
Sept. 11 observances planned
by David Berry
Although classes will be held
Sept. 11. the Rice community is plan-
ning several events to observe the
one-year anniversary of the terrorist
At 7:45 a.m. CDT, the time the
first plane crashed into the World
Trade Center, the Campanile bell in
the Rice Memorial Center will begin
The Campanile will toll for the
duration of the attacks, or until
9:28 a.m., when the second of the
World Trade Center buildings col-
At 8:00 a.m., the Rice Chorale will
sing Mozart's Requiem as part of an
international effort, the Rolling Re-
quiem, to perform the piece in each
of the world's 24 time zones at about
the same time the planes hit the
World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The Rice Chorale will be singing
outside Stude Hall in Alice Pratt
Furthermore, about 2,900
candles — one for each American
killed in the attacks — will be
placed in the Grand Hall of the
RMC. Members of the Rice com-
munity will be invited to light these
candles throughout the day. Sev-
eral religious organizations on cam-
pus are also planning special
A memorial service will be held
at the Grand Hall at 8 p.m. Sched-
uled speakers include President
Malcolm Gillis, Graduate Student
Association President Miles
Scotcher, Student Association Presi-
dent Matt Haynie and Sociology Pro-
fessor Chandler Davidson.
Former SA Presidents Jamie
Lisagor (Hanszen '02) and Gavin
Parks (Martel '02) presented a pro-
posal to the faculty senate to offi-
cially cancel classes. The faculty ap-
proved the proposal, provided that a
suitable make-up day could be found
and sent the issue to be determined
by University Council
Three possible days were con-
sidered by the SA to recommend to
the University Council — holding
class on a Saturday, on having Labor
Day or on one day of Fall Break —
but there was little student support
for having classes on any of those
days, and when no such day could
be agreed on, the proposal gradu-
ally lost support, and the University
Council declined to act on any pos-
Conducting a variety of obser-
vances. while still holding classes,
may be the best way to help mem-
bers of the community to deal with
the anniversary in their own way,
"People can wake up and listen
to the bells if they want, or they
can light candles or attend a ser-
vice," Haynie, a Will Rice College
senior, said. "Or if they are not
ready yet, they can reflect on their
Chemical Engineering graduate
student Patrick Lennon said he
thought it was appropriate for classes
to be held.
"I think that we should move on,
that Sept. 11 was a tragic event, but
at the same time ... I don't think not
having classes would be a tribute,"
Sid Richardson College junior
Todd Tomson also felt class cancel-
lation was not necessary.
"I agree that there shouldn't be a
day off, that we shouldn't let a trag-
edy prevent us from continuing our
life's work, but I agree that there
should also be some remem-
brance," Tomson said. "I think [the
See MEMORIAL. Page 6
Tetras may soon buy take-out
by Mark Berenson
THRESHER EDITORIAL STAFF
Rice and Papa John's have worked out a
framework for paying for purchases at Papa
John's with tetra points, although the program
is still being reviewed by Rice's General Coun-
Associate General Counsel Joseph
Davidson said there was no definite timeline
for finishing the review of the program be-
cause the office is exploring what regulatory
or legal issues would need to be addressed.
"We are hoping to have a resolution to the
issue within a few weeks, though the resolu-
tion could be that we might have to jump
through additional hoops," Davidson said.
Housing and Dining Director Mark Ditman
said the program had wide support, and it was
just a matter of ensuring that the arrangement
would work out.
"Everybody thinks this could be a great
partnership, and so there's no undercurrent
looking for ways to stop it," Ditman said. "It's
just making sure the agreement is made in
Ditman said it was necessary to make sure
the program would work before instituting it.
"I don't want to make a bad decision, ini-
tiate a popular program and then have to shut
it down for some issue that pops up," Ditman
The program would allow students to pay
for orders at Papa John's on Kirbv Drive with
tetra points, Ditman said. To order, students
would give the employee their Rice ID num-
ber. Papa John's would then enter the ID
number and the amount of the purchase would
be deducted from a student's tetra point ac-
count in the same way that a purchase from
Subway is deducted.
The program would apply to delivery, take-
out and eat-in.
Ditman said prices would be the same with
tetra point purchases, but Papa John's would
See TETRAS, Page 8
Labor Free Day
There are no classes on Monday in
honor of I^ibor Day. Never fear, the
Thresher will still be laboring away to
bring you the most up-to-date news next
Enjoy the day, because your next op-
portunity to sleep in during the week
(and not cut ciass) is Fall Break,
With time to do homework on Mon-
day, you have no excuse to not go out and
support your Owls. Football plays UH at
home Saturday night, and freshmen have
their first excuse to go harass Cougars on
their home turf when the women's var-
sity soccer team plays UH Sunday night.
See Weekly Sports Schedule, Page 14.
OPINION Page 3
Uplifting career advice
A&E Page 13
Dahmer film disappoints
Pages 14, 16-17
Quote of the Week
"All budgets are being constrained this year
because this is the third straight year for
negative returns on the endowment."
— Rice President Malcolm Gillis, on the
effect of the Information Technology Fee.
See Story, Page 6.
Sunny. 72-90 degrees
Isolated thunderstorms. 74 93 degrees
Scattered storms, 73-92 degrees
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Rustin, Rachel. The Rice Thresher, Vol. 90, No. 2, Ed. 1 Friday, August 30, 2002, newspaper, August 30, 2002; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth443155/m1/1/?q=%22Student%20publications%20--%20Texas%20--%20Houston.%22: accessed May 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rice University Woodson Research Center.