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Sunday, April 14, 2024 — Houston, TX

Vote for me, and I’ll fight for you


By Griffin Thomas     2/10/16 10:00pm

Candidates for Student Association president always write the same things in these op-eds about wanting to find a way to work with the college system, increase communication with the student body and enhance the Rice experience (whatever the hell that means). While these are certainly important and admirable goals, I am not going to pander to you like that or waste your time because the stakes are too high. Communication and collaboration are important, but when it comes to choosing an SA president, you should demand more.

There has never been a more important time to have strong leadership within the SA. Over the past year, issues involving Title IX, Student Judicial Programs and the questions about what constitutes a hostile environment have gripped our campus. Nationally, stories about institutional racism and the epidemic of sexual assault at our nation’s leading universities have become increasingly common. More so than in the past, we need the SA to step up, unite the student body and provide a platform to tackle these pressing issues. As Lovett College president, I have facilitated these difficult discussions at my college and I am ready to promote them for our entire community.

As a campus-wide leader, I have experience both within and outside of the SA. I am uniquely able to recognize its strengths and weaknesses, as well as what challenges the SA should address and which ones it should leave to the college system.

Within the SA, I have collaborated with other student leaders to increase the accessibility of Rice for low income students and have pushed to ensure blanket tax dollars serve student interests by fighting to take the unprecedented action of removing Rice Video Productions as a blanket tax subsidiary organization.

Outside the SA, I have extensive experience working with Dean Hutchinson and other administrators to tackle some of our most complex campus issues, including alcohol use and sexual assault prevention. I have already actively participated in the presidents’ meetings with Dean Hutch and have advocated for student interests. I have already done the job.

As SA President, I will make the SA more proactive, encourage transparency within various campus-wide offices and continue to advocate to make Rice more accessible for all students. The SA will be more proacative in its promotion of critical dialogues about our campus culture and will fight for student interests on issues like student wellbeing, sexual assault prevention, and inclusivity on campus. Additionally, the SA will actively lobby our local and national governments on behalf of student interests and provide students with a platform to engage issues outside the Hedges. As a matter of transparency, I will continue to partner with administrators to make SJP, Title IX, Wellbeing and other campus offices more accessible. Lastly, I will continue to fight to make Rice and the SA more accessible to all students, including athletes, international students and first generation students.

Elect me, and I will bring my SA and college government experience to make the SA more relevant, transparent and proactive in its pursuit of student interests. I never shy away from a fight and am always willing to aggressively represent student interests — your interests.

Vote for me, and I’ll fight for you.

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