Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Saturday, March 02, 2024 — Houston, TX

Run for SA to make a difference

By Thresher Editorial Board     1/23/24 9:40pm

As this year’s Student Association election cycle officially begins in early February, let’s not forget last year’s uncontested slate of candidates and the “Dilf Hunter” write-in campaign. The student body’s dissatisfaction with the SA has been clear, with many even calling for change in the way the SA operates, or questioning the allocation of their current resources elsewhere. If you’re one of the many jaded about the SA, we pose a question: Why not run for SA yourself?

Despite sometimes common belief, the SA has, in past and recent years, done actual, important work for the student body. Many of the resolutions the SA has passed have been unanimous and contributed greatly to improvement of student life. In November 2023, they allocated $2,000 to the Student Success Initiative’s pantry. In 2020, SA leaders helped initiate the servery meal swipe donation program, which has now grown to provide over 8,000 meal swipes to students. They introduced the munch meal period and expanded dining hours across the serveries. 

The SA has even passed resolutions on more controversial — but pressing — topics. On Dec. 4, 2023, a resolution was passed affirming support for the Rice University Faculty Statement of Solidarity with Palestinians. In March 2022, the SA passed a resolution denouncing the statements of Rice swim coach Seth Huston regarding the participation of transgender students in college-level sports. And, in November 2021, it was SA that lobbied to relocate the Founder’s Memorial in the academic quad, contributing to the statue’s ultimate removal. Regardless of whether you agree with some of these resolutions, their importance is obvious — they give students a voice. Use yours, too. 



We also want to commend Solomon Ni, who announced his resignation as SA president on Jan. 22. During Ni’s time as SA treasurer, he was vital in drafting a resolution to make the 2024 Election Day non-instructional, which was eventually passed by the Faculty Senate. They helped implement changes to the Survey of All Students to gather student feedback on off-campus housing and personal finance and completely rebranded the SA. Despite Ni’s resignation, we believe his tenure is a testament to changes students are capable of making.

There’s also been a significant amount of student activism on campus the past few years. We’ve found that it kind of works. At the core of many of these moves in activism is the SA and the passionate student leaders that participate in the organization. This coming year is a chance to keep that momentum going — but only if the student body cares.

Once upon a time, we did. Elections used to be far more contested than they are now — and contested elections will be key in getting more students attentive to this election cycle. There even used to be drama within SA elections. Maybe it’s time we bring that back. 

While the SA doesn’t always make decisions the entire student body can agree with, they do always make decisions. If you want to be a part of making this difference, or even stop other people from making a difference, consider running for SA this year. 

Editor’s Note: Thresher editorials are collectively written by the members of the Thresher’s editorial board. Current members include Prayag Gordy, Riya Misra, Nayeli Shad, Brandon Chen, Sammy Baek, Sarah Knowlton, Hadley Medlock and Pavithr Goli. ​​Editor-in-Chief Prayag Gordy recused himself from this editorial due to reporting  on the 2024 SA elections in our news section. 



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 2/27/24 10:17pm
Beyond Fondy 24/7: advocating for fairness

An editorial “24/7 Fondy presents more cons than pros” published Jan. 16 raised valid concerns about the potential drawbacks of Fondren Library operating 24/7. However, this argument barely scratches the surface, overlooking a critical aspect — the well-being of the dedicated staff who operate the library. 

OPINION 2/20/24 9:40pm
Jae Kim for SA president

Due to his previous successful initiatives, desire to correct flaws within the Student Association and passion for student advocacy, we, the Thresher Editorial Board, endorse Jae Kim for SA president.


Comments

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