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The quokka, an Australian marsupial about the size of a house cat, is serving as a model for many Rice University students. Often described as the world’s happiest animal, this species is the inspiration for the Quokka Challenge, an eight-week program aimed to increase student happiness which the Rice Alliance for Mental Health Awareness launched at Rice last week alongside Body Positivity Week.
Seated behind his desk, Joseph Novak looks like any other professor. But seeing him work soil hand in hand with about 15 undergraduates under the hot sun of a Tuesday afternoon, the unique connection he has with his students becomes clear as day.
Over Torchy’s Tacos, Rice students discussed everything from Tinder to sexual harassment at Women Tell All, an event hosted by the Rice Women’s Resource Center.