Policy requires Beer Bike guests to register, purchase shirts
Guests at Beer Bike this year must register and buy visitor-specific shirts in order to partake in college activities due to a new policy aiming to increase visitor accountability.
Only registered alumni and guests can have access to college areas such as dorms, commons and quads on the day of Beer Bike before noon; afterwards, unregistered guests will be allowed access into college areas except for dorms. Victor Nguyen, a Lovett Beer Bike coordinator, said that the changes come in response to the behavior of some visitors and returning alumni during past Beer Bikes.
“They broke some rules and also some actual physical things within the college were damaged,” Nguyen, a sophomore at Lovett, said. “That led to a campus-wide initiative led by the magisters and the college presidents [who] for the most part supported this.”
Quinn Mathews, outgoing McMurtry College president, said the list of registered guests will be shared with every magister and Beer Bike coordinator and used to hold guests accountable. Guests must register with a host student who has signed a waiver on their behalf.
“The registration allows for a way for visitors and alumni to be held responsible if they do something on Beer Bike,” Mathews said. “For instance, if a visitor breaks something, we have no current way of fining them. This process will mean the host takes responsibility for the guests and will be the one fined.”
Mathews said that the policy change also includes a requirement that all visitors purchase wear specific, recognizable $25 T-shirts, which is in response to outside individuals coming on campus unnoticed.
“The T-shirts also allow the magisters and RUPD to pick out who is supposed to be around the colleges because there have been incidents of people from outside the Rice community sneaking around the colleges uninhibited on Beer Bike,” Mathews said.
According to Rebecca Artall, one of the two campus-wide Beer Bike coordinators, the new system was requested by the magisters and implemented by the college presidents like Mathews.
Nguyen and coordinator Jayson Taylor said that the change does add some difficulty to their jobs as coordinators for Lovett.
According to them, because of Lovett’s mud fight before the races, people would typically buy an extra shirt to change into afterwards so they didn’t have to go to the races dirty, but that this is no longer possible because the change only allows one shirt per individual.
“The whole visitor policy now enforces that we only sell one T-shirt per person regardless of whether they are an alumnus, current student or random visitor,” Nguyen said. “So that really complicates our job due to the fact that college tradition usually has us buying two.”
Mathews said that the $25 for the visitor shirts is used to pay for the guests’ expenses during events.
“All of this money goes back to the college, and considering the visitors are using the college resources like eating our food, this is a way to have the visitors help pay for the event,” Mathews said.
Mathews said that all visitor shirts will have the same design and layout campuswide, but the color of the shirt will match the college of the person that brought the visitor.
Taylor said that the changes now make it more difficult to bring visitors to this event.
“I appreciate [that] the magisters and the college presidents are working toward making Beer Bike a safe event,” Taylor said. “But I think one thing I liked about Beer Bike was us sharing the tradition with people outside of Rice.”
Mathews said that the changes are a “good halfway point” between having no regulations and banning visitors entirely.
“Some sort of visitor registration made sense because the day of Beer Bike, there are hundreds more people on campus than normal and even if just from a population perspective, those types of numbers are good to know,” Matthews said.
This article was last updated March 6, at 10:30 a.m. to clarify who would have to purchase shirts.
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