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Friday, May 29, 2020 — Houston, TX °

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End unethical voluntourism at Rice

(04/08/20 2:45am)

Recently, Rice University announced that all undergraduate international travel has been canceled until the start of the fall semester.  I can imagine that this decision has been challenging for many undergrads who were looking forward to expanding their horizons by practicing a new language or immersing themselves in a new culture over the summer. At the risk of sounding cliche, I can say that international travel opportunities I received through Rice have been some of the most transformative experiences of my life. These cancellations come with a heavy sense of loss, and I hope that someday soon every student who was looking forward to international travel will get to spread their wings. Yet, I think that in this pause, we have the opportunity to reflect upon and stop a particular kind of predatory tourism pervasive at Rice: voluntourism. 


A Vision for Tomorrow: Refugee Support at Rice

(01/23/19 3:49am)

Jan. 3, 2019 was a historic moment for the United States.  The tired eyes of a frantic but hopeful nation were on the newly elected congressional representatives, one of whom was the first Muslim refugee ever elected to Congress: Ilhan Omar. The night before, Omar tweeted, “23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington, D.C. Today, we return to that same airport on the eve of my swearing in as the first Somali-American in Congress.”