Rice hosts first spring O-Week in 10 years

The online orientation welcomed 34 new students


In order to welcome a big batch of incoming students to Rice this semester, a special spring O-Week was convened for the first time in a decade.

Araceli Lopez is now the associate director of first year programs in Rice’s Office of Student Success Initiatives (SSI) and organized the midyear O-Week. As fate would have it, Lopez organized the last spring O-Week 10 years ago, too — as an SSI intern.

“Funny how the world works,” Lopez said.

This time around, she and her student leaders, Will Rice College junior Jordyn Wainscott and Jones College senior Ishaan Rischie, were tasked with fitting a full week’s worth of activities into a two-day online session due to ongoing pandemic restrictions.

Of the 34 new students, 25 of them are transfers, seven are international students and six are incoming student athletes.

The students completed many of the typical O-Week sessions as modules on Canvas before arriving, so the two days of online O-Week mostly consisted of important community-building activities led by Wainscott and Rischie, diversity discussions, academic advising sessions and fun, college-specific get-togethers via Zoom in the evening.

“We wanted to incorporate some of the main elements in O-Week as much as possible,” Lopez said.