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Asibbey and Doh run against each other for SA secretary

Francesca Nemati / Thresher

By Viola Hsia     2/13/24 10:32pm

Chelsea Asibbey, a freshman from Baker College, and Calla Doh, a freshman and new student representative from Hanszen College, are running in this year’s race for Student Association secretary. 

Asibbey said that she is running with the hopes of expanding the SA’s presence among the student body and increasing student participation in SA meetings.

“There’s a big disconnect with the rest of the student body of what [SA] actually does,” Asibbey said. “How does the Student Association translate to the student body? How are [students] receiving the information that we’re doing? As secretary, I feel like it’s kind of a middleman position.”

Should she win the secretary race, Asibbey also said she’d expand the SA’s social media use.

Doh expressed a similar sentiment, saying she wants to focus on making the SA more accessible and well-known to the student body.

“I have gotten a glimpse into how the SA functions but outside of that, I’ve talked to so many people who don’t even know what the SA is,” Doh said. “I hope to increase SA’s outreach and connection with the student body … Whether that’s through increased events or changing up the way that we interact with the student body, I’m definitely excited to not only interact with more students but help promote student causes across campus by engaging with a student body.”

Doh said that other causes she’s passionate about are campus sustainability, citing how she recently co-founded Rice’s first Food Recovery Chapter in December, and increasing support for LGBTQ+ students.

“I’ve realized that everyone’s Rice experiences are so different and [they’re] shaped by where we come from, our experiences and our identity,” Doh said. “I want to make sure that everyone is able to have as meaningful an experience here, is able to call this place a home, a safe space for self expression and to have a student administration that supports them.”

Asibbey said that one of her big priorities if elected secretary would be maximizing the SA budget to support more student initiatives. She specifically mentioned increasing the support given to cultural clubs on campus, where she said she’s noticed the most dire need for funding.

“I’m sure there’s other places that are begging for funding [as well],” Asibbey said. “I’m not throwing [money] up in the air, but making sure that we can spot the inefficiencies in our budget and where that’s not being allocated, and return it back to groups that directly affect us on campus.”

Asibbey said that she would want this maximized budget not just to support more student organizations, but to increase their voices and presence on campus as well.

“I chose [Rice] because I came here and I felt like home. I felt like I could find people that related to me, like the African community is so strong here. Even the Questbridge community is so strong here. I know these people and I want to make sure that other people get to know these people,” Asibbey said. “With events like [African Student Association] weekend where we’re competing, I want those things to stay. I don’t want them to go because we didn’t have enough funding to maintain them.”

Doh also said as secretary she would continue to find ways to include the voices of all different communities at Rice.

“Rice is such a diverse place,” Doh said. “I think that there’s still a lot to be done in including the voices of every student on campus and making sure that students feel safe here … I want to make sure that, at the core of everyone’s Rice experience, they feel welcome and they feel safe here and they feel like they belong.”

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