ALFA money sheds new light on intramural fields
A few minutes past seven on the night of Jan. 18, as students waited on Intramural Fields 2 and 3, the fields' new lights turned on to fanfare, illuminating the area within a few seconds.
The lights were a new addition to IM fields 2 and 3 and were part of a project by the Asset Liquidation Funds Appropriations Committee, which was created to handle and distribute the money received from the sale of the KTRU tower, license and frequency.
To celebrate the installation of the lights, an Olympics-style quadrathlon was held. The four events were a soccer kick, a frisbee toss, a football toss and a softball toss. All 11 undergraduate residential colleges and the graduate students competed, with one male and one female representative assigned to each event. The GSA was declared the eventual victor, with McMurtry College and Duncan College tied for second place. One thousand cupcakes were provided for consumption by the students after the quadrathlon was completed.
Before the intramural competition, the Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson, Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Paula Sanders, GSA President Sumedh Warudkar and Student Association President Georgia Lagoudas spoke to the students, praising the efforts of the ALFA Committee and the new IM field lights.
Hutchinson spoke of his memories of the days when there was only one IM field at Rice and when students were unable to play on the IM fields after 5:30 p.m. in the winter. He congratulated the ALFA Committee for their work and noted the progress that has been made in improving student life.
Sanders said the ALFA Committee has made steps to carry out their plans for distributing the funds, with two projects being completed.
"There are still a lot of things to settle for the allocations of the ALFA fund, but two projects have come to completion," Sanders said. "The first is the new EMS truck, and the second is the installation of the new IM lights."
Warudkar said he hoped the ALFA Committee handled the allocation of funds for student interest projects in a way that could be replicated for future initiatives.
"How the ALFA Committee has functioned is an excellent example of very transparent and fair procedures," Warudkar said.
Lagoudas, a Lovett College senior, said that Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby worked with students involved in the ALFA Committee to ensure that results could be seen by students within the first or second week of the spring semester.
"We wanted a way to celebrate turning the ALFA Committee's plans into reality," Lagoudas said.
Student opinion at the lights ceremony seemed to indicate enthusiasm and anticipation for the opportunities opened up by the installation of the lights.
"I am very impressed," Hanszen College President Coco Owens said. "A year ago, the ALFA Committee was talking about what they want to do with the money and today, they have come full circle. They put their money where their mouth is."
Wiess College freshman Andie Eikenberg said she is pleased with the expansion of lights on the IM fields because she has experienced scheduling conflicts while playing Powderpuff.
"This event is smashing," Eikenberg said. "The students have spoken."
Will Rice College sophomore Kai Sheng said she also looked on the ceremony positively.
"It was amazing to watch the fields light up to maximum brightness in less than a minute," Sheng said. "I think the events are awesome because competition is for the field, and we have 12 colleges hoping to win for the first time on these lit fields."
Duncan College sophomore Allison Garza said Rice students may find it challenging to meet people from other colleges, so she viewed the ceremony as an opportunity for colleges to participate in an intercollegiate activity.
For McMurtry College freshman Spencer Kent, the ceremony was a way to represent his college in a fun campus-wide activity.
"I'm just here for the friendship and the cupcakes," Kent said.
The idea for the Olympics-style ceremony originated from University Relations Director Greg Marshall (Baker '86). Marshall said Kirby and his office wanted an observance for the lights. The thought of twelve teams proceeding onto the field under their flags reminded him of the Olympics, and the IM and club sports staff of the recreation center were charged with designing the activities for the quadrathlon, Marshall noted.
"We originally thought we might use quidditch, but we didn't have enough hoops," Marshall said.
According to Marshall, the four sports chosen for the evening's events all utilize IM fields 2 and 3.
Lagoudas said she was excited to see the ALFA Committee's plans being finalized last semester, and she looks forward to seeing positive student reactions as the projects reach completion.
"With the culmination of this event, it's a great way to start off with a wave of Rice spirit, student involvement, and 1,000 cupcakes," Lagoudas said.
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