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Senior Gala leadership changes

By Miles Kruppa     4/9/14 12:41pm

This year’s Senior Gala will be held Monday, May 12, from 7 p.m. - 1 a.m. at Proof Rooftop Lounge and Reef. Additionally, a constitutional amendment delegating the planning of Senior Gala to the Student Association Future Alumni Committee and Senior Committee will be proposed at the SA Senate Meeting today, Wednesday, April 9. 

This year’s Senior Gala will be held Monday, May 12, from 7 p.m. - 1 a.m. at Proof Rooftop Lounge and Reef. Additionally, a constitutional amendment delegating the planning of Senior Gala to the Student Association Future Alumni Committee and Senior Committee will be proposed at the SA Senate Meeting today, Wednesday, April 9. The formation of the Future Alumni Committee and the Senior Committee will also be proposed as legislation at the meeting.

In past years, the Senior Committee, run through the Office of Alumni Affairs, planned senior events such as the Senior Gala with sponsorship and funding from the administration, according to SA Future Alumni Committee Chair Nina Bhatia. As a consequence of the event not being officially Rice-sponsored this year, Bhatia said she hopes to fundraise exclusively through ticket sales — $30 for seniors and $35 for guests — and a Senior Pub Night.



“It’s a little different this year, because it’s not an official Rice event,” Bhatia, a Will Rice College senior, said. “We decided to choose a place that was off the light rail so we wouldn’t have the extra cost of transportation, so we started looking at places off the light rail, and Proof and Reef offered us a really good deal. One of the big differences is that all of the things are going to [be] paid for by students themselves.”

According to SA President Ravi Sheth, the constitutional amendments should ensure that events like Senior Gala consistently happen each year. 

“The great thing about both of these [committees] is that they will be constitutional amendments,” Sheth, a Martel College junior, said. “Moving forward, these will be parts of our constitution. We’re creating these structures for Rice traditions to happen in the future, and that’s what I’m really excited about. This is a vehicle to promote [and enhance] tradition.”

Sheth said the vision of the to-be-formed Future Alumni Committee is to promote current student and alumni interaction through event planning and outreach.

“What we wanted to do this year was reexamine and see how we can make both senior traditions and the new Future Alumni Committee be more sustainable and be more well-placed,” Sheth said. “The vision now is that the Future Alumni Committee will be a place for more programming and promoting alumni engagement, promoting the fact that students are alumni from being here for a small amount of time.”

Sheth said the Senior Committee will function as a sub-committee of the Future Alumni Committee.

“[The Senior Committee]’s vision is to do events that currently are traditions and enhance programming from a senior point of view, find new traditions and look for different sources of funding, so we really want them to be creative,” Sheth said.

According to Bhatia, the organizers of Senior Gala have worked closely with Rice Alumni Affairs to plan this year’s Senior Gala. She said she expects Senior Gala to become even more of a tradition than it is now. 

“I think Senior Gala is going to happen every year,” Bhatia said. “I think it’s something that, even though it may not be an official Rice event, we’ve gotten a lot of support from the Rice administration. Alumni Affairs, even though we’re not directly working with them, [has] been helpful with raising money and what to do with the money. Though it may not be an official Rice event like it used to be, [the administration] understands that it’s important to students. It might change, it might not be as big, but it will never go away.”

SA Internal Vice President Abby Gordon said that, though Bhatia and others have made great efforts to plan this year’s Senior Gala, she hopes the amendments will make the planning more regular.

“The goal this year was to create something that would be sustainable for future years, because what we have currently isn’t,” Gordon, a Baker College junior, said.

Brown College senior Teresa Lin said she has high hopes for this year’s Senior Gala and expects it to remain a tradition.

“The fact that we’re having Senior Gala to begin with is exciting, because I know it was up in the air,” Lin said. “I feel like there’s a lot of different things that bring Rice students together, like being a senior. It doesn’t matter what college you’re from; it’s about being in your last year and celebrating it with everyone. I think that [future] senior classes will step up and plan [an event] that can’t be replicated in any other year of college.”



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