Get involved with SV2C’s initiative
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 23:09
With the Centennial less than a month away, we are given the unique opportunity as students to reflect on 100 years of history and also to look forward to the future. As President David Leebron laid out in his Vision for the Second Century, Rice has set high goals and standards as we mark this historic junction and move into our next century. His 10-point plan includes increasing recognition of the Rice name internationally, engaging with the city of Houston and fostering partnerships with other institutions for research.
With President Leebron’s V2C as a model, the Student Association hopes to affirm what undergraduate students believe is important as Rice moves forward. One of our primary goals is to create a conversation about the best way to strengthen the university and maintain the unique Rice experience that leads students to choose Rice. The Student Vision for the Second Century committee is gathering the feedback and opinions of the students. This is an important platform that will gather administrators, faculty, alumni and students for a discussion about their thoughts.
Accomplishing a task of this magnitude is difficult. We know that some students will be apathetic about filling out yet another survey, or may not see the value in taking time to give feedback. It may seem that the long-term projects are daunting or impossible, but we are optimistic that the changes we make now will not only better future Owls, but current students as well. We can only benefit with the improvement of our already outstanding university and the Student Vision for the Second Century is an opportunity for students to voice opinions about where we hope Rice will be in our lifetimes. In the midst of meetings and midterms, classes and problem sets, the Centennial is a moment to pause and take a step back. Taking 15 minutes to reflect on your time at Rice, whether you have been here for three months or three years, is important for all of us. We know that seeing the big picture is difficult, but we believe it is imperative.
The SV2C also comes at a definitive moment in the relationship between the student body and the administration. We understand that some students feel a disconnect between student opinions and the goals of the administration. Our priority is to help start to bridge this gap and enter the next hundred years working together to tackle Rice’s largest issues and make it the best university it can be.
This relationship will only be successful if both sides are willing to come to the table, and as students we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to voice our thoughts constructively and purposefully. We hope that through the SV2C, we can advocate for ourselves and highlight the aspects of Rice that we value, such as the residential college system. At the same time, we can begin to consider things we would like to see on campus to further enhance our Rice experience. As the happiest students, sometimes we are all guilty of focusing on small imperfections, like the cups in the servery. Instead we hope to use this conversation to address broader issues ranging from academics and career development to student life and facilities such as the RMC. In return, we expect the Rice administration to continue to respect student insights and work to consider the repercussions on students when big decisions are made.
We hope students will join us in the conversation, as this truly is a defining moment in Rice’s history. Please email SV2C@rice.edu with any thoughts, opinions or ideas, or visit our website or Facebook page for more information. The results of this committee discussion will be presented at the SV2C Townhall, which will be held on Oct. 11 during the Centennial Celebration from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the RMC.
Sanjula Jain is the SA president and a Brown College senior. Kathleen Barker is the SV2C committee chair and a Brown College senior. Samantha Hea is an SA senator and a Martel College sophomore.