5 clubs to check out at the Student Activities Fair
Illustrated by Katherine Chui
Extracurricular activities make up a major part of student life at Rice: there’s a large variety of clubs to choose from, a good number of which students may not have even heard about. Did you know that you can sign up to volunteer to teach English as a Second Language to adults or get involved in a fashion show? Many of these campus organizations will be at the virtual Student Activities Fair this Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Rice All-Stars hosts basketball practices for children and adults with special needs in the Houston community, who are paired with Rice student volunteers. According to President Hayden Mast, Rice All-Stars aims to provide both exercise and socialization to the special needs community in ways that they might not be able to get elsewhere.
“My favorite part is getting to work with the same players over the course of all the practices … and really getting to form those longer-lasting relationships,” Mast said. “We’re also giving the kids the opportunity to develop that connection bond with someone who wants to be there for them.”
Rice All-Stars is low-commitment and high-value, according to Mast.
“It’s something really meaningful you can get a lot out of and make a big difference [through] in a very short amount of time,” Mast said.
The motto of the 4words adult literacy organization is to empower through connection, education and discovery.
“We want to help the people we work with feel more connected and more in-place with the world around them,” Alonso Medina, the vice president of outreach for 4words, said. “We’re trying to help people feel comfortable and help people feel heard.”
4words members work with a wide variety of individuals, including immigrants and other ESL learners, to encourage culture and language proficiency and achievement of personal and professional goals. According to Medina, flexibility and creativity are important in 4words members’ approaches to their ESL tutoring sessions.
“If your goal is to work with the Houston community on a one-on-one basis, I think 4words offers one of the best opportunities to really see the impact bloom throughout a semester, week by week. The feeling of the impact you’re making is incredibly tangible,” Medina said.
Rice Escape aims to bring escape rooms to campus and make them more accessible and affordable to Rice students. The club develops entirely student-run escape rooms open to the campus community. According to Co-Presidents Isabella Avilez and Emiliano Mora, Rice Escape brings together a wide variety of disciplines and skills to build a complete escape room experience.
Mora, a senior at Wiess College, said his favorite part of Rice Escape is seeing everything come together at the opening of each escape room they create.
“It’s really awesome to see our bare room in the basement of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen go to this elaborate room that can be solved [and] reset and [that] will bring enjoyment to many other people,” Mora said.
Avilez, a sophomore at Sid Richardson College, said her favorite part of Rice Escape is seeing players the different ways players go about solving the room and the fun they have with their friends.
“It’s fun to see people enjoy themselves and get really immersed in this different world,” Avilez said. “They can get a break from academics, a break from reality and just experience something new and enjoy themselves.”
According to Mora and Avilez, Rice Escape encourages members to meet new people, learn new skills, and work towards something that will give a great sense of achievement at the end of the day.
Tunes for Life
Tunes for Life is a music service organization that leads trauma-informed music discussion classes for underserved populations. According to President Jiwon Park, the goal of Tunes for Life is to create a safe, comfortable, culturally sensitive and trauma-informed environment for people from underserved backgrounds, such as homelessness, addiction recovery [and] criminal justice involvement.
“We want to create this environment where people can narrate their own experience and share their perspectives with classes that intertwine narrative [expression] with music,” Park, a Sid Richardson senior, said.
Park said that the work of Tunes for Life is very personal and relational, and it calls for flexibility, responsibility, commitment and creative direction. Park said her favorite part of her involvement is her interactions with the clients – especially the heartfelt and insightful conversations she has had.
“A lot of these populations are often highly stigmatized and really misunderstood. And through these anecdotes I realized that they are more than a statistic … they’re really individual stories of resilience and strength,” Park said. “It's a very unique experience that I learned from, not only as a volunteer, but also as a human being.”
6100 Main, Fashion of Rice University
The main mission of 6100 Main is to give Rice students a way to express themselves, particularly through fashion, but through other forms of art and media as well, according to President Keerthi Bhoda. 6100 Main encourages artistic freedom, creative inspiration and growth in a community of individuals who appreciate fashion.
“I think having an opportunity like [this] on campus lets students explore a more artistic side of themselves as well as gives them a break from their regular school stuff,” Bhoda, a Wiess sophomore, said.
The club’s environment is encouraging and uplifting, and there is a strong sense of community, according to Bhoda.
“Especially if you’re interested in fashion, being able to talk to other people about it and generating ideas… is the biggest thing,” Bhoda said. “Being a member, you get a more hands-on approach into events and projects like [the Lunar New Year Fashion Show].”
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