Letters to the editor
To the editor,
As a member of Rice Program Council for the past year and as a current member of Executive Council, I could not help but feel both disappointed and frustrated with some of the unfounded grievances that were listed about the Welcome Back Concert in the Staff Ed for the August 24th issue of the Thresher. While we at RPC do admit that the Welcome Back Concert and Festival had its flaws and could be improved in the future, we also made giant leaps in creating a widely attended campus-wide festival.
Although many underclassmen and probably many of the upperclassmen may not be aware, the administration has always supported a Welcome Back Festival on the day of Dis-O to provide alternate activities to daytime drinking as not all of our students participate in drinking alcohol. The Big Owl Bash and Owlpalooza from my freshman year had extremely low attendance. Two years ago, the administration approached RPC with the task of improving the annual Welcome Back Day, and thus the RPC Welcome Back Concert was born.
The Welcome Back Concert is heavily supported by the administration for the specific purpose of improving student life and curbing some of the dangerous consequences of binge drinking on move-in day. If RPC were to move the concert to another day it would lose nearly all of the necessary resources provided by the administration, making a campus wide concert and festival impossible. Since the Welcome Back Concert started two years ago, EMS transports on campus have decreased to zero. Even if the concert does not seem well attended, its presence provides the opportunity for students to stop drinking, see live music and eat dinner, making our community a safer place. This is why Welcome Back Day has to be a longer event. We want students to come, relax and take a break for a few hours to recuperate, have fun and stay safe.
We, as RPC members, do truly appreciate student feedback whether in the form of articles in the Thresher and student interviews or emails to our account at email@example.com. We want to let the students know that as an organization we have our limitations and are working our hardest to provide campus-wide events that appeal to everyone. This letter is written solely as a clarification for some of the questions and grievances raised in the Thresher article and to explain more fully the thought and hard work that went into the Welcome Back Concert. We hope that this has provided some insight into what we do as an organization, and we look forward to hearing more student input as we put on more events.
Risa Dieken is the RPC Internal Vice President and a senior at McMurtry College.
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