In last week’s edition of the Thresher, the outgoing
First, it is important to understand how the college fines are used. College fines are deposited directly into the RPC Beer Bike account and pay about 10 percent of the current year’s Beer Bike costs, and any rollover goes into a track maintenance fund to cover occasional yet very expensive track repairs, about $12,000-$14,000 every 3-4 years, where the track is an amenity used by every college every year. It is also important to note that the campuswide Beer Bike budget is a completely separate account from the general RPC
Second, the fines satisfy a general safety standard agreed upon by various university departments. Every year the campuswide coordinators work directly with the college coordinators and university departments such as Risk Management and the Rice University Police Department to add fines as concerns arise and edit existing
Third, it is important to understand the role of the student security volunteers, who record fines but do not intervene. The Hanszen College coordinators argued actions that do not warrant intervention do not warrant fines. However, security volunteers are not instructed to intervene due to safety concerns. Physical intervention could put security volunteers, who are simply students, in harm’s way. It would likewise be unreasonable to ask security volunteers, who again are simply students, to try to verbally control the large number of, sometimes belligerent, students who participate in the event. RUPD officers are always stationed and ready to intervene in serious cases. Finally, we simply ask that security volunteers explain the situation in which they do not write any fines because fineable actions have been so commonly observed in the past. By no means do we encourage issuing unwarranted fines.
The Hanszen College coordinators suggest instituting a flat rate in place of a variable fine amount. RPC recognizes the difficulty of working with a variable cost. However, removing the variable fines removes any accountability on the part of the colleges and any incentive for the college coordinators, the liaisons between RPC and the colleges, to effectively disseminate information regarding the rules of the event to those at their colleges. While it is impossible to control the behavior of every single individual, college coordinators can take steps such as requiring attendance at
All that said, RPC is more than willing to engage in conversations with the colleges in an effort to reform the fine system, as in no way do we claim the current system is perfect. Several years ago, RPC noticed fines had started to become a financial burden for the colleges and started giving a 50 percent discount to colleges for cleaning up after the water balloon fight instead of