Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Sunday, October 24, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Editorial: Increase in IM sports fees introduced too late for engaged student input and voter turnout

By Thresher Editorial Board     4/11/18 2:56am

The Rice University student body will vote on a proposed $5 increase in intramural sports fees this week. The increase will pass if at least two- thirds of the required 20 percent turnout votes in favor.

The legislation was introduced by Student Association President Ariana Engles at Senate on March 19. The fee will fund new equipment, increase the wage paid to IM officials and support maintenance of all currently available IM sports; should the legislation fail, all IM sports save basketball, soccer and flag football will be cut.

The scope of the legislation raises the question of why exactly this major need was addressed so late in the semester. Considering the nature of the student body, it is likely that a large majority of students did not attend Senate or the residential college government meetings that have occurred between the legislation’s initial introduction and voting — yet the increase from $20 to $25 would appear in every student’s bill, regardless of the student’s civic participation or awareness.



Those who oversee IM finances, particularly the full-time IM staffer that administers the program, should have begun a public conversation about the need to increase fees significantly earlier in the semester. While we cannot expect full student body participation in making these sorts of decisions, hastily cramming this legislation into student ballots during the second-to-last week of classes is an unproductive way to increase engagement.

Moving forward, a larger-scale study should be conducted to gauge the current state of IM sports and what students want from it. The IM sports program is explicitly for the students, and as such students should know where their money is going and have a say in what improvements they would like to see in the future.

Despite the late notice, it’s important that this resolution pass. Whether or not one has ever played an IM sport while at Rice, the program is vital to students’ physical and mental well-being. We should encourage friendly competition between colleges, as it is and has been an essential part of college culture. We urge students to rifle through their emails and vote for the legislation.

Voting ends on April 12 at 10 p.m.



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 10/19/21 10:26pm
Re-assessing the marketplace of ideas

On Oct. 5, 2021, the Thresher published a guest opinion written by David Getter lamenting the erosion of freedom of expression at Rice. In the interest of embracing Getter’s call for reasoned discourse, I would like to offer a response to the claims made in the piece. 

OPINION 10/19/21 10:24pm
Support Houston, shop local

Within the hedges of Rice University, it is possible — and thanks to online shopping, sometimes easier — not to venture out and explore the city that Rice calls home. However, treating campus as separate from Houston fails to recognize the impact that we have on the larger community that we are a part of. To support the relationship between us and Houston, the Rice community should make a consistent and concerted effort to shop at and support local businesses. 

OPINION 10/13/21 12:30am
​​Reconsider using the terms Hispanic, Latino and Latinx

Before Hispanic Heritage Month officially ends, I would like to take a moment to write about the labels those of us of Latin American heritage use to describe ourselves. At Rice, club names, course titles and survey questions often defer to pan-ethnic labels even though most people tend to use their national origin group as a primary identifier. These pan-ethnic labels are problematic. Although they in some ways unify Latin American communities, they often leave out others, like Afro-Latinos and indigenous Latinos. My goal here is not to dissuade people from using pan-ethnic labels; as history has shown, they can be useful, to some degree. However, my intention is for all of us, Latinos and non-Latinos alike, to use them wisely — with the understanding that the Latino community cannot be condensed into one culturally, ethnically or even linguistically homogeneous group. With that in mind, I hope that we as a Rice community continue to discuss and re-evaluate our language even after Hispanic Heritage Month ends. 


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.