Welcome back!

The Student Association is excited to welcome our returning students back to campus, and wishes all of our new students a particularly warm welcome. For those of you who aren't familiar with the SA, we are the campus-wide student government organization that collaborates with students, administrators and the colleges to represent your interests to the faculty, administration and external organizations. Our mission is to enrich the undergraduate experience by engaging, inspiring and advocating for all Rice undergraduate students.

We have been busy this summer preparing for the semester, and we are so excited to hit the ground running. This summer, we have worked hard to advocate for students by bringing the New York Times digital subscription to all undergraduate students. We’ve also succeeded in making the meal plan more accessible to all students by working with Housing and Dining to include Saturday dinners as part of the meal plan (at no additional cost). These are examples of very tangible items that the SA has worked to push this summer.

As we enter this year, from making Rice more accessible for all students, to finding innovative ways to encourage engagement outside of the hedges, we’re looking to make even more improvements. Admittedly, at times the SA has garnered a reputation for being reactionary, exclusive and rigid, but as a team we envision an SA that is forward-thinking, ubiquitous and innovative. In order to accomplish this we need students participating, speaking out and engaging with members of the Rice community. We will work tirelessly to make sure the SA is in touch with the wishes of students, present and transparent in all that we do; and in return, I ask that all of you make an effort to have your voices heard. With your help, the possibilities are truly endless.

You can get engaged in a few ways:

  1. Apply to be a New Student Representative or committee member: These two programs feed the majority of the internal committees of the Student Association (comprised of the Wellbeing, Environmental, Student Life, Academic, and the Diversity and Inclusion committees). The application will close on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at midnight.
  2. Come to Senate at 9:30 p.m. in Farnsworth Pavilion (located in the RMC) to stay in the loop and engage with all officers of the SA.
  3. Talk to your SA senator, college president or any SA executive team member for specific requests or ideas you have to move Rice forward.
  4. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with everything the SA is doing. We post regular updates to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

I encourage you to reach out to me if you are ever looking for a sounding board or if you have questions about getting involved. Let’s get ready for an amazing year!

Warm wishes,

Justin Onwenu