ALFA rec's overly specific
The ALFA committee has concluded its survey process and made its recommendations to administration (see story, pg. 6). Unfortunately their recommendations were influenced by a meager 24 proposals. Out of the over 3,500 students at Rice University, a remarkably small proportion of us as a student body contributed to the process.
The ALFA committee has made several solid recommendations such as endowments for EMS expenses, rock wall and improvement of IM field conditions and lighting. The EMS budget not only supports a student organization, but in turn helps all students since EMS is a service available to all students. The rock wall and IM field improvements also enhance and expamd recreational opportunities for all students to enjoy.
However the ALFA committee also included recommendations that benefit only small subsets of the student population. For example, funds for expansion of the Oshman Engineering Kitchen or creation of an Architecture society would only affect certain students on campus. Furthermore, some improvements that are suggested by ALFA are items that administration should pay for in the first place. An allotment is included for sexual harassment and rape education; however, there is no reason that students should pay for this program through funds garnered from its own student organization. The administration, as an institution that cares about its students, should take the initiative to pay for this sort of program. Furthermore, the ALFA proposal includes allotments for RMC and Visial and Dramatic Arts building. It is incontrovertibly the university's responsibilty to ensure that students have proper facilities and buildings on campus.
It is imperative that whatever projects administration ultimately selects affect the greatest possible majority of the campus. It is the Thresher's hope that students will have a final say in which projects are selected, and if so, that we will come together as a student body to voice our opinions in unison.
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As a Students Turning Rice Into a Violence-Free Environment liaison, the organization and its mission are incredibly important to me. I originally joined because, as a survivor myself, I wanted to be a part of facilitating safe spaces on campus through educating my peers and acting as a resource to provide support. STRIVE cares a lot about the student body and puts an extreme number of hours into raising awareness and making themselves accessible, as we have seen with the recent survivor panels, college-specific events throughout the year and their response to an anonymous 2019 Thresher opinion. However, we need to readjust how STRIVE is not only viewed and utilized by the student body but also how it is run. The place the organization holds now oversteps into the lives of liaisons and other students and goes beyond what they set out to do with their mission statement.