Editorial: V2C2 ideas must represent all Rice students
This should be a call to action for students: Take advantage of this opportunity to make your own ideas heard.
President Leebron is working on Rice's Vision for the Second Century II, which will outline the university's plan for development in the next 100 years. On Monday, the Student Association approved the creation of a committee of students that will work to gather at least 100 ideas from students to include in the V2C2. SA President Justin Onwenu has taken applications and will choose the 10 committee members.
Gathering ideas for V2C2 may not sound exciting, but it's important: The plan has the potential to affect much of the Rice experience in coming years. Its predecessor, the first V2C2, led to initiatives such as the expansion of the student body and a quadrupling of Rice's undergraduate international population. Given its significant role, the SA's new committee must be as inclusive as possible in the brainstorming process and target a wide range of students. There should be multiple channels of gathering feedback. The tried-and-true methods of sending surveys by email and hosting ever-effective free food events are a good start, but we hope the committee will go beyond in its effort to engage those whoa re not usually engaged in student government.
The committee may benefit from reaching out even more specifically to certain populations on campus, such as Internationale students and student-athletes. If the V2C2 aims to collect as many as 100 idea, then it is vital that those 100 ideas encapsulate every population.
It's rare to meet a Rice student who doesn't have ideas – or complaints – about the Rice experience. This should be a call to action for students: Take advantage of this opportunity to make your own ideas heard.
More from The Rice Thresher
Before you attend a counseling session at the Rice counseling center, you will be told that “the RCC maintains strict standards regarding privacy.” You will find statements from the university that your mental health record will not be shared with anyone outside of extreme situations of imminent harm, and only then that your information will be shared with only the necessary officials. This sounds great, except that these assurances bear no teeth whatsoever — no enforcement agency ensures that Rice follows its public confidentiality promises, and there are no penalties for Rice if they break them. The Wellbeing and Counseling Centers should more directly communicate the limits of their confidentiality policies when compared to unaffiliated counseling centers, and students in sensitive situations should take the necessary precautions to protect their information.
This week marks the last issue of the Thresher for the year, and for the seniors like myself, our last issue ever. I have been a part of the Thresher since freshman year. And it would not be an exaggeration to say it has defined my Rice experience. As someone pursuing a career in journalism after graduation, there has been no better place to learn than at this paper.
In January, the Rice Board of Trustees announced plans to move the Founder’s memorial to another area of the academic quad as part of a whole redesign, adding additional context of his “entanglement” with slavery. This comes despite continual calls from the student body to not have the enslaver displayed in the quad regardless of the context provided. It would be just for these calls to action and the majority of the Task Force Committee who voted to not keep it there that the Board of Trustees decide to not keep the memorial prominently displayed in the quad at all.