Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 — Houston, TX 73°

Editorial: Rice must increase transparency on int’l student aid

By Thresher Editorial Staff     10/17/18 12:52am

This week, as promised, Rice officials sat down with representatives from the Rice International Student Association (see p. 1). Unfortunately, the administration’s comments described by RISA members are symptomatic of an overall apathy towards meaningful progress in financial support for international students. This is our second editorial of the year on the topic of international student aid because we feel it is important not to let this issue be swept aside in a private meeting. Once again, we are calling for greater transparency, not only through clear financial goals but also through increased and transparent communication with international students on how Rice can better support them.

RISA’s initial request for a large town hall meeting was downgraded to a smaller meeting in which key stakeholders including President David Leebron and Vice President for Finance Kathy Collins could not attend. Furthermore, RISA students said Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Vice President of Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva lacked familiarity with the specifics of  financial aid, which prevented them from discussing details. Students also said that when they requested regular meetings to continue the conversation, members of the administration were non-committal. Furthermore, Romero da Silva and Gorman responded to the Thresher’s questions with statements that provided little insight into the content of the meeting.

We understand that millions of dollars cannot be raised overnight, and so do the students in RISA. Explanations of why the administration cannot currently offer need-blind admission to all international students or offer aid to those who don’t initially apply for it are appreciated. But what’s more important than what the administration cannot currently do is what they can do. 



Romero da Silva has said Rice is undertaking efforts to increase aid for international students as part of the fundraising campaign that will also support The Rice Investment. Rice has set a concrete goal for increasing aid to international students, though it has not been widely publicized — according to the goals laid out in Rice’s Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade, the university hopes to provide international students with $4 million in aid per year. We worry that because this commitment has received little coverage outside of the Thresher, it will be easily forgotten. To demonstrate Rice’s commitment to international students, we ask that the administration publicly report its progress towards that goal at regular intervals. That way, the Rice community can hold the administration accountable for supporting 13 percent of the undergraduate student body rather than dismissing them. 



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 10/8/19 10:11pm
What Black people hear when you use the N-word

As the semester starts and parties are in full swing, I want to speak out and be clear about one thing: Don’t use the N-word while rapping or singing along to songs. On a broader note, don’t use the N-word in your casual vocabulary. This is a demand, not a request.

OPINION 10/8/19 10:10pm
Call for a balanced narrative on Kashmir

Two weeks ago, I attended the “Howdy, Modi!” event along with over 100 Rice students and 2,000 students from universities across the United States. It was a proud moment as an Indian American, as I saw fellow students dancing in their colorful garb, musicians celebrating all of India’s spiritual traditions and politicians honoring the contributions made and unique place held by Indian Americans in the fabric of the U.S. 

OPINION 10/8/19 10:09pm
Letter to the editor: mindful protesting

Last week, I was dismayed to hear that over the course of protests happening at the university, chalk was used to deface multiple buildings across campus. A desire to strongly express feelings is understandable; however, it seems the vandals paid little attention to the burden their actions placed on those responsible for removing the writing. 


Comments

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