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New RPC constitution proposed at Senate

By Isaac Schultz     9/1/15 2:27pm

The Student Association commenced the 2015-16 school year with an introduction to major changes to the Rice Program Council constitution. The SA will vote Sept. 2 on ratification, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass. According to RPC President Dixita Viswanath, the constitution, which was last updated in 2005, outlines organizational restructuring on the executive board and committees.

According to Viswanath, a Will Rice College senior, several of the amendments have been implemented but not officially written into the constitution. The legislation will add a director of college relations and codify the roles of internal and external vice president, which RPC has informally filled for several years. The director of college relations will promote RPC events across campus, manage the college representative system and aid in other publicity-related functions.

“Our goal is to enhance campus community and increase the quality of life,” Viswanath said. “Our events do not achieve our mission and goals if the Rice community is not aware of them.”

Viswanath said further constitutional changes include more stringent repercussions for absences, a structured recommendation and removal process, and the requisite clauses stipulated in SA legislation.

RPC has also provided several bylaws to better govern and restructure their membership. Viswanath said RPC has also added a Publicity Committee, which will allow RPC to better advertise their events on and off campus, as well as a Night Owl Antics Committee, which will provide substance-free late night events such as movie showings to students as alternatives to public parties. RPC also reapportioned Concert Committee funds from putting on concert events to organizing a Welcome Back Day to spend on the widely-attended event as opposed to smaller events.

“When we started pricing out big names that students asked for in the concerts, the costs totaled well over $100,000,” Viswanath said. “With only $54,000 to support an entire year of programming through blanket tax, … we [instead] moved towards a Welcome Back Day festival that was more effective, provided more food, and could be appreciated by a wider range of students.”

The Passport to Houston program, which subsidizes reduced-price and free event tickets for students, is being revitalized through the Vision for the Second Century, which encourages going beyond the hedges. Additionally, a new design team will work with publicity to advertise each event with newly developed graphic designs.

Note: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that RPC eliminated Concert Committee. In fact, that committee still exists and runs Welcome Back Day.

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