Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I would like to applaud the key points that Anthony highlighted in "Student responsibility necessary in 2011" last week, for it is imperative that Rice students step up to the call to uphold our culture, traditions, and rights. However, from my perspective in student leadership, I would like to correct some of the misconceptions about student/administration relationships.
First, the administration did not act unilaterally in instituting the hard alcohol probation, at any point in time. Some students have the belief that "the administration instituted a necessary but unfortunate ban on hard liquor," but not only did they go to lengths to involve college governments, they (Dean Hutch) ASKED college leadership and the SA to help find a solution for this problem. At every point in time, the administration turned to student leaders; they wanted us to find a solution that would work best and could be implemented by our own colleges. The administration has not made any mandates, for they look to colleges to support and implement the new changes. If our culture of care had not deteriorated to the point that we abandon our friends in stairwells, then we would never have reached this point.
The administration knocked on the doors of students, and 11 student presidents responded, strongly advocating for a plan that was entirely student-led. This probation is far from becoming "permanent," for Dean Hutchinson has made it clear to students that he will lift it once there is improvement in three key areas: 1) on-going alcohol education (this was implemented at O-Week), 2) student-led enforcement (re: college courts), and 3) student caregiving programs. Once we establish strong systems in each of the three areas and show that our community culture has improved, then the probation can be lifted.
Yes, it is our responsibility. It is your responsibility, my responsibility, student leaders' responsibility. It is our responsibility to work with the administration, preserve our rights, and maintain our unique Rice culture. Student leaders work ardently to uphold the rights of students and be your voice on campus. But without having a voice of your own, you will never be heard.
Student Association President
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