Students introduce their vision for Rice’s second century

Cultivate academic excellence. Strengthen Rice identity. Preserve financial accessibility. Empower students to be dynamic scholars. Advance the residential college system. Expand student life resources. Promote wellness and balance. Foster collaborative relationships. Engage communities beyond the hedges. Build innovative leaders.

These are the 10 points students introduced as their vision for Rice’s second century during a town hall meeting Oct. 11 at Rice Memorial Center.

Created with input from students through surveys and focus group sessions, the Student Vision for the Second Century (SV2C) follows Rice’s Vision for the Second Century, a 10-point strategic vision for the university unveiled in 2006. The SV2C was crafted by the SV2C committee (part of the Rice Student Association), which was charged with engaging the student body, identifying priorities and gathering feedback about the student experience at Rice.

“When thinking about the centennial, we all agree that it is truly a historic and symbolic moment,” said Sanjula Jain, president of the Rice Student Association and a Brown College senior. “A couple of months ago, we students started thinking about how we could contribute to this momentous occasion.”

After much brainstorming, Jain said, the organization agreed that the centennial was about more than just reflection or celebration; it should be about looking forward, looking into the future and defining what it is that makes the Rice student experience.

“What makes us so unique is that we don’t have traditional barriers on this campus,” she said. “Students, faculty, administrators and staff don’t really have distinctions. We just all work together in a very cohesive and collaborative community. So our decision was that for the centennial, we wanted to come up with a way to leverage that relationship and take it to the next level.”

During an hourlong presentation, members of the SV2C committee elaborated on the student vision and took questions from the audience.

Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson commended the committee for their outreach to the student body.

“This took an enormous amount of hard work to pull this together such that it doesn’t just represent the views of the handful of you who did the presentation but is actually representative of the views of the entire student body, so well done and congratulations,” he said.

Kathleen Barker, head of the SV2C committee and a Brown College senior, said a full report with more specific details will be released before the end of the year. She hopes that the SV2C, though developed by students, encompasses broad issues. She hopes it will complement Rice’s Vision for the Second Century.

“This is, to some degree, student based, but we really want this to be about the entire Rice community,” Barker said.

The Student Vision for the Second Century is available online at https://sa.rice.edu/uploadedFiles/Student_Association_11-12/General/Events/SV2C-Summaries.pdf

About Amy Hodges

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.