As part of Rice University’s O-Week tradition, student groups welcome the new Owls and their parents to campus. Two groups representing students of color recently hosted events to greet the Rice community.
The Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice (HACER) held a celebration in the courtyard outside Valhalla, where they served pupusas, tamales and sweet breads. Afterward, the group gathered in Keck Hall for a welcome from President Reginald DesRoches, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Luziris Pineda Turi and Vice President of Enrollment Yvonne Romero Da Silva. There was also a panel discussion about student life at Rice. At the end of the event, a mariachi group marched into the hall and entertained the audience with a variety of songs.
Established in 1972, HACER strives to be an inclusive space for people of Latinx descent and for people who want to learn about the intricacies of Hispanic culture, connect with others of Latin descent and help move the Hispanic community forward. It offers opportunities throughout the year for all members of the Rice community to enjoy such as cultural, educational, political, service, outreach and social activities.
Later in the day at Duncan Hall, the Black Student Association (BSA) welcomed nearly 200 people, including new students, parents, faculty and staff. President DesRoches greeted the group via a video. President’s Distinguished Fellow Ruth Simmons delivered the keynote speech, encouraging students to be resilient and persistent in their academic endeavors.
Black faculty, staff and alumni served on panels addressing life issues at Rice. The BSA executive board members and volunteers provided sessions for students and family members to ask questions and learn more about how the BSA and Rice community functions.
The BSA is a student organization founded in the 1970s to create a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for Black students. The group offers opportunities for outreach, social and cultural activities.