New semester offers new beginnings for students, admin
Every August, as Orientation Week wraps up and the fall semester begins, it feels as if the campus is rejuvenated with new life. That feeling is especially prevalent for students this time around, as this is the first semester to start with fully in-person classes since January of 2020. But what many students might not realize is that this year is also a fresh start administratively. In addition to welcoming a new president, Rice announced the hiring of five new vice presidents and a new provost.
In many ways, this year is the closest thing to a clean slate this university has seen in many years. Both students and the new administration should take advantage of this clean slate to work together to build the campus community we want in this “post-COVID” era.
Students, be cognizant of the fact that there is a new administration that can and will operate differently than the previous one. Rather than lump them together with the previous administration, take the time to understand their roles and set out to communicate your wants. Take advantage of this transition by reaching out to specific members of the administration to discuss your concerns rather than just stating complaints to your peers; it is through maintaining a direct line of communication that we can have an effective administration.
Likewise, it is important for this new administration to make the effort to get to know the student body and all of their concerns and needs. Many hires came from large public state schools like the University of Michigan and Georgia Institute of Technology, with very different environments and cultures than Rice. It is critical that you connect with the campus in order to understand its community.
As we navigate through a year of changes, students and administrators alike should make efforts to connect with, share concerns with and learn from each other.
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