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‘Radio silent’: STRIVE becomes inactive

Kirthi Chandra / Thresher

By Alyssa Hu     11/28/23 11:27pm

Students Transforming Rice into a Violence-Free Environment, a student organization addressing sexual and domestic violence, is no longer active this semester. Ndidi Nwosu, who had been a STRIVE liaison for two years and reapplied last semester, said the organization has gone “radio silent.” 

“I still haven’t heard back … about the status of STRIVE right now, so effectively, there aren’t really any official STRIVE liaisons,” Nwosu, a Will Rice College senior, said.

Audrey Kim, a junior from Wiess College who was a STRIVE liaison last year, said STRIVE was having difficulty in renewing its club status due to administrative issues. 

“I know there was some difficulty [like] latency with renewing [STRIVE as a student organization],” Kim said. “The [STRIVE] mentor that was part of the SAFE Office is on sabbatical.”

Associate director of the SAFE Office Janie Guerrero said there hasn’t been activity in the club this year, so, instead, the office has been working with other programs to boost referral sources and messages.

“Participation in the club has declined over the past two years, perhaps due to the pandemic and the changeover of leaders not launching,” Guerrero wrote in an email to the Thresher. 

According to Nwosu, STRIVE’s efficacy varied among colleges.

“I personally really love what the STRIVE program was doing at Will Rice. We would host a lot of events,” Nwosu said. “But it seemed like that wasn’t the case at every college … There have been reports of some colleges where liaisons aren’t as involved, [and so] they said they were scaling down.”

Tamaz Young, a former Wiess College liaison for the 2022-23 academic year, said he did not feel there was a large demand for STRIVE from students. According to him, there is redundancy in the topics that liaisons educate about, like interpersonal violence and healthy relationships, as the Critical Thinking in Sexuality course and college chief justices discuss similar subjects.

“Throughout the year, no students contacted me regarding any incidents, [and] the other Wiess liaisons and I only planned one prevention activity in the first semester which did not have a huge turnout,” Young said. “I would say [its influence] has declined since my awareness of the program during my freshman year.” 

Co-director of the Rice Women’s Resource Center Jenny Liu said she hoped STRIVE’s disappearance was temporary.

“Since STRIVE is no longer a presence on campus, the RWRC works very closely with the SAFE Office, the Rice Health Advisors and other organizations to try to fill in [STRIVE’s] responsibility from previous years, including the [Night of Decadence] breathing room and the STD testing walk,” Liu, a Sid Richardson College junior, said. “It is definitely one of the main [organizations] that [was] trying to hold it together here. We really miss having STRIVE.”

Guerrero said the SAFE Office is interested in continuing to sponsor STRIVE in future years, and encouraged interested students to reach out to them.

Editor’s Note: Ndidi Nwosu is a Backpage editor for the Thresher.

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