Student Association President Ariana Engles outlined her priorities and expectations for her presidential term during her first SA Senate on Monday.
Engles listed increasing diversity and inclusion, improving the SA’s communication with the student body, improving the SA’s internal best practices, focusing on university-wide initiatives, improving health services and supporting student initiatives as her top priorities.
“Our terms are very short, they feel very short,” Engles said. “We have a limited amount of time to do things, so just keep in mind what you want to do, what you want to see. I really think we’ll be successful in this coming year together by having an emphasis on supporting one another.”
Engles said she hoped to encourage greater engagement with the SA by students groups who have historically had lower engagement.
University-wide initiatives Engles said she will focus on include reexamining Critical Thinking in Sexuality coursework, ensuring the implementation of certain ideas gathered from the student body by the SA’s 100 Ideas task force and addressing sexual assault on campus.
Engles also said that she plans to continue developing health projects from the previous term, including legislation to lower the cost of STI testing and influenza vaccinations at the Rice Health Center.
She said she also plans to undertake a broad review of Rice health practices, including examining services provided by the Wellbeing and Counseling Center.
“I want to take a comprehensive look at what’s going on, because a lot of what makes a good initiative is really good background research,” Engles said.
“[That involves] researching what the situation is and getting established on what the student health center is actually like and talking administrators there.”
In supporting students with their own initiatives, Engles said that she would like to see students outside of the SA bring their university improvement projects and ideas in to the SA.
“It’s mostly being open to students from outside of the SA coming in and seeing a problem and saying I want to address it, and I want to work through the avenue of the Student Association,” Engles said.