Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, April 15, 2024 — Houston, TX

Greater leadership and initiative needed at Rice University

By Staff Editorial     9/28/11 7:00pm

Apathy is quite the buzzword at Rice; for every comment about rigorous majors and extreme coursework, a reference is made to Rice students' failure to get involved and effect change. Whether discussing voting, college cabinets, environmental consciousness or entrepreneurship, it seems that too many students simply decide to stay out of the fray and not participate. Of course, there are widespread exemptions to all of the claims, but on the whole, Rice students could certainly benefit from less apathy. It is precisely this lack of initiative and leadership that the leadership committee has been established to address (see story, pg. 1).

This committee will have to deal with both mental barriers and information asymmetries that prevent students at Rice from getting more involved in the university, local and broader communities that they are a part of. Mental barriers constitute each internal reason not to participate in an activity: lack of time, lack of confidence, lack of desire, and lack of motivation. While each person can not be persuaded to act on passions and exhibit initiative, the committee can overcome both the mental barriers and information asymmetries by simply promoting the hundreds of opportunites already available on campus. Despite the availability of so many opportunities to get involved at Rice, many of them are unknown or seem excessively distant. By efficiently promoting existing organizations, programs, and grants, students will be much more likely to take advantage of them. The more visible these opportunities are made, the easier they seem to take advantage of; thus, even the portion of the student body more reluctant to get involved may be swayed to do so. This concept is not about coddling the student body, it is simply about making existing opportunities seem more viable and more visible. The fact is that students at Rice are extremely busy with academics; this new committee and the university as a whole need to persuade students to take more chances outside the classroom as well.

More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 4/10/24 2:41pm
Student activism is working – and fear-mongering cannot hold us back

S.RES 02, titled “Student Association Boycott and Divestment from Corporations Complicit in the Ongoing Genocide in Gaza,” was presented to the Student Association on March 25. This resolution proposes the creation of an Ethical Spending Advisory Board designed to ensure that Blanket Tax funds are not dedicated to corporations that are complicit in Israeli colonial violence and apartheid based on guidelines created by the BDS movement. 

OPINION 4/9/24 11:09pm
Honor at Rice is in jeopardy

I decided to go to Rice in part because I was told that this university had a unique culture of honor, trust and freedom. The honor system is one of Rice’s longest-standing traditions, created by the first class in 1912. I joined the Honor Council four years ago because I believed that students, rather than faculty or administration, should keep other students accountable and that their cases be heard by their peers. 


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.