Dean's Cup Proposed
Hanszen College Sports Representative Christoph Meyer introduced a proposal for the Dean's Cup at the Student Association meeting on Monday, April 2. According to Meyer, a senior, the new distinction would serve as a complement to the President's Cup. However, while all residential colleges and the Graduate Student Association compete in intramural sports for the President's Cup, the Dean's Cup would only include undergraduates.
Fellow Hanszen Sports Representative Priyanka Duvvuru, who worked with Meyer on the proposal, added that the Dean's Cup would be organized and scored similarly to the President's Cup. However, freshman points would be removed entirely from the point tally for the President's Cup and included in the Dean's Cup.
Meyer said the idea for the Dean's Cup stemmed from a few main issues, most involving the colleges' relationship with the GSA.
"It seems like there has been a lot of negative sentiment towards the GSA over my time at Rice," Meyer said. "People have argued that they play unfairly, are unsportsmanlike or just simply shouldn't be part of the President's Cup."
Meyer added that the negative attention sometimes overpowered the rivalry between the undergraduate colleges.
Duvvuru, a sophomore, said another problem involved differences in membership between undergraduate and GSA sports teams.
She noted that undergraduate teams are not permitted to include varsity athletes on an IM team of the sport they play. However, the GSA can have such ex-varsity athletes on its teams, Duvvuru noted.
The Dean's Cup would aim to solve these problems by providing a strictly undergraduate intercollegiate competition in addition to the President's Cup, Meyer said.
Duvvuru mentioned a few shortcomings of the proposed Dean's Cup.
"It does not directly address the issue of leveling the playing field," Duvvuru said. "Furthermore, two cups could allow two different colleges to win but could be redundant if one college wins both."
Meyer said he and a few other sports representatives have discussed the Dean's Cup at sports representative meetings in the past. After the SA meeting, the college presidents and senators took the issue back to their colleges to gauge student interest.
"This is an important issue for undergraduate life, and students need to be unified in what they want," Meyer said. "The Dean's Cup is the most proactive approach I have seen, but I think we need to modify certain things in order to make it a lasting solution."
GSA President Anna Saikin said she did not think the graduate students would have a problem with the Dean's Cup unless it allowed colleges to stop competing with the GSA.
"Our biggest concern is that it might disincentivize undergraduate colleges from competing with GSA," Saikin said. "The Dean's Cup might decrease the value of the President's Cup and therefore undergrads' participation in sporting events against the GSA. Accordingly, this might affect grad-undergrad relations."
Saikin added that the GSA was concerned that the Dean's Cup proposal was a reaction to the victories of the GSA's intramural sports teams. She noted that before the proposal is finalized, it should reflect whether the Dean's Cup would apply to IM sports, college sports or both.
Baker President Maria Pickett said her college does not agree with the Dean's Cup proposal because it leaves out the graduate students, who are a big part of the university.
"There is a general feeling that we can't create something that the GSA can't compete in simply because we often lose to them," Pickett said. "If we're concerned about the GSA winning all the time, colleges should practice more and work harder to beat them."
Pickett said she did not think the relationship between the GSA and the undergraduates was very different from that among the colleges, so it would not make sense to differentiate the two with the Dean's Cup.
"Though there is a general feeling that grad students have already had their own undergraduate experience and shouldn't be included in ours, Rice is a special place that has special traditions," Pickett noted. "I don't see why we can't allow grad students to join in."
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