Martel battles, Jones goes to war
The Rice Annual Fund Student Initiative's student fundraising effort concluded last Friday with victory in the North when Martel College and Jones College claimed victory in the College Battle and Jar Wars, respectively.
The College Battle is a five-week competition between the 11 colleges in which colleges donate funds to the university. The fundraiser focuses on participation from parents, alumni and seniors, Rice Annual Fund Assistant Director Megan Peet said.
"Gifts of all sizes make a difference in the competition each year," Peet noted. "The percentage of alumni who donate is so important to Rice because it influences the university's rankings in publications, which in turn ensures that degrees awarded by the university retain their reputation."
Martel won the College Battle for the third year in a row, with an average percentage of donating parents, alumni and seniors at 37 percent, according to Peet.
RAFSI Student Representative and Martel junior Andrea Romero said she was proud to see Martel win again because it showed the college's desire to grow and willingness to work for that growth. She added that the college's RAFSI senior representatives motivated students to donate. Romero also said she was glad the battle happened during Willy Week.
"That is the time when Rice students and alumni felt the most spirit toward Rice as a whole rather than toward just their own colleges," Romero noted.
While seniors donated during the Senior Class Gift campaign in the fall, Jar Wars gave underclassmen an opportunity to impact the results of the College Battle, Peet said.
Peet said that RAFSI volunteers from each college collected coins to put in their college's jar for positive points and tried to sabotage other colleges by putting dollar bills in their jars to reduce their points totals.
Peet also said colleges could also win "virtual change" by having students correctly answer the daily question on the RAFSI website.
The victor of Jar Wars won a pizza party and got three percentage points added to its final College Battle average participation. The college that came in second place won two percentage points, and the college in third place received one.
Jones won Jar Wars for the second year in a row, with students contributing $632.10 in coins and dollars - a 17 percent increase from last year, Peet said.
Jones President Julian Castro said they advertised Jar Wars through announcements in the commons, through their listserv and on the Jones Facebook page.
RAFSI Student Representative and Jones freshman Raven Grant added that she and the other volunteers set up laptops during meals so people could answer the daily question and went door-to-door asking for donations.
More from The Rice Thresher
U.S. News & World Report’s Top 20 colleges have adopted varying reopening plans and testing strategies for the fall semester. Rice, which has maintained a low positivity rate on COVID tests, joins only five other Top 20 institutions — the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, Duke University, Vanderbilt University and Cornell University — in offering a hybrid or in-person classroom experience for the fall.
A group of Rice students have continued the summer movement to remove William Marsh Rice’s statue through daily sit-ins in front of the Founder’s Memorial since Aug. 31. Shifa Abdul Rahman, a junior at Lovett College, organized the sit-ins to push for the administration to remove the statue immediately.
Ronald Stebbings, professor emeritus of space physics and astronomy and former dean of undergraduates, passed away on Aug. 27 at age 91. Stebbings is survived by his two sons, Vernon Stebbings (Will Rice College ‘78) and Martin Stebbings (Sid Richardson College ‘83).