Projects

Past Projects

This list is by no means inclusive of all past SA projects; rather, it is just a small sampling of highlights from recent projects. Please email saivp@rice.edu to add additional projects to the past projects list.

2019-2020 Projects


Learn about the SA's 2019-2020 projects by going over to this spreadsheet which details all proposed projects.

To learn more about the SA's External Objectives for this year, please go to this page. For a more detailed overview, this presentation given at the first Senate of the 2019-2020 breaks down our initiatives and focus areas.

Wellbeing

  • "Rice You’re Not Alone" Campaign
    • For the past 3 years, the Wellbeing Committee has hosted a photo campaign, whether by setting up a booth in the RMC or during RPC’s President & Dean’s study break. This photo campaign has encouraged Rice students to share their struggles on a whiteboard and take an anonymous photo to be shared on social media and show other Rice students that they are not alone in their struggles.
  • Wellbeing App
    • The Wellbeing Contact has been working with the CS Club and Rice apps to develop an app that points students towards wellbeing resources at Rice.
  • Sexual Health Survey
    • Included questions on a campus-wide survey about contraception access in order to better inform the committee’s projects and direction.
  • Destigmatize failure/rejection through:
    • Failure Talks with leaders in the administration
  • Increasing wellbeing support during O-Week - looking into creating a freshman RHA position to encourage other new students to talk to them
  • Working with the administration on getting students trained in Mental Health First Aid
  • Advertising the National Health Assessment Survey
  • SAy Yes to You Week
    • Starting in 2016, the SA has hosted “SAy Yes to You” week during the Fall semester in order to provide support to the student body. SAy Yes to You Week involves mental and physical health-focused events sponsored by the SA during the span of a week. Events have ranged from healthy food study breaks, to dance workshops, to preventing sexual assault pledges.

Athletics Sustainability Committee

  • LED Lights
  • Hold monthly meetings with Richard Johnson, Rob Griffin, Athletic Department Staff
  • Researched peer institutions to get ideas for future projects for the committee
  • Worked to make athletics’ laundry facilities more sustainable
  • Assisted Rice in joining the Green Sports Alliance
  • Led discussions around getting LED lights in Athletic facilities
  • Improving access to recycling receptacles at games
  • Improving the sustainability of drinking water during practices

Environmental

  • LED Lights
    • Obtained RES $1,000 grant to replace light bulbs in Sid Richardson rooms with over 400 energy-efficient LEDs; worked with H&D for implementation.
  • Green First Look Book
    • Worked with administration to reduce wasteful printing of the First Look book by 15% by reducing the number of students who receive the book (advisors no longer receive the book - just new students) and ensuring future editions are printed on recycled paper and with eco-friendly inks
  • Athletics & Sustainability
    • Held a sustainability themed baseball weekend in Spring 2017 with the help of athletics. Working now to set up an Athletics Sustainability Council.
  • PLAN Membership
    • The Environmental Committee joined the Post Landfill Action Network in Fall 2017 - a collection of universities looking to reduce campus waste. Through this network, Rice students now have a number of resources available to help them fight waste on campus. http://www.postlandfill.org/
  • PowerShift Network
    • The Environmental Committee joined the PowerShift Network in Fall 2017 - a collection of universities looking to reduce campus waste. Through this network, Rice students now have a number of resources available to help them fight climate change and promote clean energy. https://powershift.org/
  • Composting Support Legislation
    • The Environmental Committee passed SA legislation in Fall 2017 to show campus-wide support for composting at Rice. This legislation will be used to show student support and help convince administration to support student initiatives in regards to composting.
  • Green Jobs Series
    • In Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, a series of panels and workshops were held as a collaboration between the SA, RES, and the CCD in order to provide more resources to students interested in “green” careers as this is an under-resourced student group at Rice.
  • Researching the possibility of bringing Rain Gardens to Rice's campus
  • Increasing awareness of what can be recycled through videos and a sticker campaign
  • Created posters for the colleges for what can/can’t be flushed down drains
  • Worked with the Harvey Registry to college data on impacts of Harvey on local Houston community
  • Generated student support for campus-wide composting
  • Developed a “Houston Scavenger Hunt” with Rice Urbanists and the Beyond the Hedges Committee
  • Creating data trends for Rice’s progress towards sustainability

Academics

  • FWIS Fair
    • The Academics Committee hosted the first annual “FWIS Fair”! New students who are taking their FWIS in the second semester have the chance to preview the upcoming FWIS selections. Professors set up booths in the grand hall, and new students were able to come by to learn more about their classes before signing up for a FWIS. Over 200 students attended for the second annual FWIS Fair in Fall 2018.
  • A+ Change Advocacy
    • The Academics Committee worked with the Office of the registrar to add an FAQ section on Rice’s website to answer student concerns about the change of the weight of an A+ grade from 4.33 to 4.00 starting Fall 2018.
  • Senator Suggestion Box
    • Academics Committee NSRs worked with Senators to establish a standardized way for Rice students to interact with the SA. Now, all senators are required to have a google form available to their college where college members can provide feedback and suggestions more effectively to the SA.
  • Improving the transfer credits system, especially for students from two-year colleges
  • Conducting research to support expanding the RESP program
  • Working with the CCD to better connect current students with alumni that majored in similar fields as well as showing fields that students with "x" major go into
  • Improving student-teacher interaction in the classroom starting with ECON100
  • Compiling data from ESTHER evaluations to identify courses with repeat student concerns
  • Collecting student feedback on CLIC Programs
  • Ensuring that professors complete mid-term grades

Diversity & Inclusion

  • Low Income Student Accessibility Project
    • SA-wide project that worked to establish some sort of college by college discretionary fund for low income students to request money from their colleges to participate in college events. Student Life committee got involved in this project because being able to participate in college activities directly impacts student life on campus and the committee fully believes that costs should never be a barrier to participating in college activities. This project is still in the works and is being continued and developed by the Student Association.
  • Shuttle Accessibility
    • The Diversity & Inclusion Committee has been working with the administration to pinpoint problem areas on campus for students with disabilities in order to improve these areas
  • Trigger warnings in classes with sensitive course material
  • Investigating black students and inclusion in residential college life
  • Creating diversity committees at each residential college
  • Accessibility for low income/first generation students
    • Creating video of students that identify with this population
    • Low income/first generation advisor at every college
    • Better connecting individuals with resources
  • Researching course shopping periods at other institutions
  • Speaker Series on Diversity/Inclusion
  • Getting Halal and Kosher Food in the serveries
  • LGBTQ Student Panels at the college

Beyond the Hedges

  • Shuttle Accessibility
  • Collaborating with the Doerr Institute to Host Leadership Excursion in the Houston community
  • Hedgehopper - helping get discounts for Rice students at local businesses
  • Investigating extracurricular opportunities in classes that allow you to engage in community service
  • Working with RSVP to organize more service opportunities starting with the Houston Food Bank
  • Planning ways to include more off-campus engagements during O-Week
  • Collaborating with CCL to organize Service Days during breaks, including Thanksgiving Break
  • Improving advertising of the Houston Action Research Team (HART) program
  • Improving the process of getting transportation for off-campus service events
  • Developing a “Houston Scavenger Hunt” with Rice Urbanists and the Environmental Committee

Student Life

  • SA Multicultural Fair/International Night
    • The Student Life Committee hosted the first annual Multicultural Fair! Student clubs and organizations held booths in the Grand Hall to showcase the vibrant cultures within the Rice community.
    • Expanded and re-named as International Night and brought in over 500 students and 22 different clubs and organizations
  • Low Income Student Accessibility Project
    • SA-wide project that worked to establish college by college discretionary funds for low-income students to request money from their colleges to participate in college events. Student Life committee got involved in this project because being able to participate in college activities directly impacts student life on campus and the committee fully believes that costs should never be a barrier to participating in college activities. This project is still in the works and is being continued and developed by the Student Association.
  • Fondren Library hours extension
  • Improving student engagement with professors through faculty meals
  • Advocating for more water bottle stations on campus
  • Working to create resources sheet for gender and sexual minorities at Rice
  • Working with Wellbeing to improve the Ally Training program

Student Health

  • Pilot program for menstrual products across campus successfully funded by the Dean of Undergraduates
  • Organized a Sexual Health Awareness event with Free STI Testing provided by the Harris County Public Health Department
  • Working to improve medication access for when the health center is closed
  • Increasing awareness about the risks of binge drinking
  • Advertising the new pre-filed STI Testing service for students with Aetna Insurance as well as the Aetna Insurance Scholarships
  • Working with Wellbeing/Student Health Center to improve mechanisms of student feedback
  • Started creating documentation to help students navigate the process of being EMS’d
  • Had questions go out on the Survey of all Students regarding the accessibility of various health services
  • Instituting caregiving training during O-Week - all new students in the Class of 2023 were Caregiver trained this year

Past Student Initiative Committees

  • Best Practices
    • Worked with the Office of Institutional Effective to run a campus-wide survey on the Survey of All Students about disability accessibility in order to inform future projects on disability accessibility.
  • Increasing African Presence in Academia
    • Advocate for the improvement of the African Studies Minor and advertise it to the Rice population
    • Conducted research on African Studies Minors at other institutions and comparing their programs and engagements with Rice’s
    • Interacted with stakeholders across campus (Professors, Multicultural Center Staff, clubs, etc)
    • Had questions go out on the Survey of all Students regarding the African Studies Minor
    • Conducting focus groups in January about the minor and knowledge of Africa

General SA Projects

  • Critical Thinking in Sexuality
    • The Senate passed legislation to support the creation of Critical Thinking in Sexuality (CTIS) class in order to combat sexual assault and sexual misconduct on campus. After a initial pilot program in Spring 2017, CTIS went into effect as a 5-week required class for new students with the option for students to take a full semester Lifetime Physical Activity Program (LPAP) expanded version of the class.
  • R-HAT
    • During Hurricane Harvey in Fall 2017, the SA worked with GSA, the Doerr Institute, and the CCL to establish Rice Harvey Action Team (R-HAT). R-HAT organized rides and volunteering opportunities in order to allow students to donate to those in need and volunteer during the immediate aftermath of Harvey.
  • New York Times Access
    • In Fall 2017, the SA worked to provide a free online subscription to the New York Times for all Rice students.
  • Newsletter
    • In Fall 2017, the SA established a newsletter that regularly circulates around campus in order to communicate SA news to the student body.
  • 100 Ideas Initiative
    • In response to the Rice administration's Vision for the Second Century Part 2 (V2C2) campaign, the Student Association started a parallel initiative designed to give students a greater voice in the process. This initiative, the 100 Ideas for Rice's Future campaign, has worked to gather innovative ideas from student across campus with the goal of providing direction to the development and investment resulting from V2C2. Through the campaign, the SA 100 Ideas Task Force received over 450 ideas and published a report with all ideas. In Fall 2017, the SA held a showcase of some of the most creative and thoughtful submissions. Student who submitted ideas were able to present to upper level administrators, such as the university president.
  • B-Cycle
    • In Spring 2017, the SA worked to gather feedback from the student body about their preference for placements of 8 B-Cycle stations around campus. This information was communicate back to a committee of Rice administrators, student representatives, and B-Cycle employees and influenced the final placement of B-Cycle stations around Rice. Stations began being installed in Fall 2017.
  • STD Pricing Survey
    • Conducted a campus-wide survey to better understand financial burdens placed on students by sexual health testing.