2008-01-28 • Volume 2 • Issue 4

From the Editor

Well, I hope I’m not the only person who is happy to be back at Rice. Even though Houston has belied its subtropical climate lately, I still cannot express my comfort on our campus. There is something very special about Rice University. I have always felt that the students here represent an extremely unique class of individuals. Yes, we’re smart, and yes, we’re hard workers, but above all, Rice students are thinkers. I like to think that I share traits with my peers. I also like to think that it was because of these attributes that I was drawn to the Rice Standard nearly two semesters ago.

As the Editor of the Rice Standard, I would like to officially greet our magazine’s many readers and supporters. In the past two months, our publication has gone through many changes, and all of them are important steps in realizing the goals set out at the Standard’s inception. If you look at our masthead you will see that there are four new editors on our staff. Megan Scarborough, a Brown junior, is now our Arts and Literature Editor. Catherine Bratic, a Hanszen sophomore, is in charge of our Features section. Lastly, Courtney Ng, a Hanszen freshman, and Brian Reinhart, a Wiess freshman, are the new Associate Editors, whose responsibilities are too numerous to list. But, as you’ll see when you turn the page, the Standard has added more than just a revamped editorial staff.

The production of this issue was undertaken with great care and concern for the quality of the magazine and our publication’s impact on its readers. In the past we have employed a simple, three column layout for all of our written content, in nearly every section. Due to the diligent efforts of Managing Editors Mhair Dekmezian and Sarah Mitchell, Publisher John Stallcup, and Layout Designer Josh Kirlin, we have completely redesigned the look of the magazine. Before, the text was dense, intimidating, and hard to read. Now, with more space and varied designs, I hope that you agree with me when I say that the quality of our aesthetic has finally caught up to the quality of our content. And I must say, that this issue is perhaps the highest quality issue that this magazine has ever produced.

I was appointed Editor in the last week of last semester, and I must admit that it was a challenge to gather and coordinate writers for this issue. And while we looked to familiar faces, I also think we were forced to branch off into new directions, and to revisit concepts that had been abandoned in the past.

For the first time in the Standard we are publishing a piece written by a member of the Rice Faculty. Dr. Michael Gustin of the Bioengineering Department has written a phenomenally insightful piece on the implications of current personal genome analysis. The tremendous talent of new contributor Danielle DuBois can be seen in her short story “Falling,” the first short story to be printed in our magazine since our first issue. Another new contributor, Alma Vescovi, provides us with a candid analysis of the fallacies of true love. And for those looking for the established voices of the Standard, we have pieces by Garrett Schumann and Brian Reinhart, as well as the continuation of Arturo Muñoz’s philosophical discourse. But there is one more piece that is a truly radical departure for the Rice Standard.

We all know that college life has a profound effect on our identities and self-perceptions. It was our goal to find a way to expose the changes that we all undergo during our years at Rice. To accomplish this we asked first-year students to write a short essay about their experiences returning home after a semester at the University. The responses we received were truly amazing. The insight and candor featured in these reflections express the personal evolution that we all undergo in our transformation from adolescence into adulthood. Their writings convey a collective experience: the experience of the Rice community.

I hope you enjoy this issue and the changes that are present throughout it. I hope that this is the first of many issues for which I can claim a small sliver of responsibility.

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