Rice University logo

Rice University Student Update:

Spring 2012

Over the past semester the Rice Community Action Network (CAN) has expanded our outreach both outside of the hedges and on campus with our students. Working with student groups across campus, Rice CAN has helped organize several campus events that allowed our students to have direct interaction with public policy leaders. In addition, we have been helping students land internships and hosted our second annual student video competition that provided generous awards for our growing Rice film community. As we continue these efforts, expect more updates about what Rice students are doing on campus and throughout the community as advocates for our university. In addition, we will also take this opportunity to update you on a few other developments from the past semester.

Student Forums

Sarah Davis
In March state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, joined more than 20 Rice students for a lunch forum in the East Servery. Rep. Davis answered questions and discussed many issues ranging from health care and education to handguns on campus. She even took notes so she could bring some of this feedback into her legislative work. Rep. David is an active member of the Rice CAN and provides a strong voice for Rice students and the Texas Medical Center in the Texas Legislature. To read more about her efforts, visit here.

Dave CarneyWe then invited Dave Carney to Rice for another forum with more than 40 students at the Baker Institute. Carney is a nationally recognized political consultant who has worked on many campaigns, including for President George H.W. Bush and for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s numerous successful gubernatorial races. Most recently, Carney was a consultant for the presidential campaign of both Perry and Newt Gingrich. The discussion lasted for nearly two hours as Carney explained how new scientific techniques are used in campaign management. In addition, Carney helped students connect what they are doing in their classes and with the real world of politics. His main message was that all political campaigns need the participation of smart, committed students. More photos from the Carney forum can be found on rice.edu/CAN

Scott HochbergMost recently, state Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, visited campus for a lunch forum with more than 30 students in the East Servery. Hochberg discussed the legislative process in Austin and spoke candidly about the current state of political discourse in the State Capitol. Hochberg, who is an expert on education policy, offered several insights on K-12 and higher education issues. Another member of the Rice CAN, he is the only Rice alumnus in the state legislature, but unfortunately is not running for reelection. Hochberg has been a strong Rice advocate and his expertise and statesmanship will be missed in Austin. To read more about Hochberg, click here.


Student Film and Video Festival

For 100 years, Rice faculty, researchers and students have believed that anything is possible - that drive, devotion and innovative thinking can turn ideas into achievements. We call it unconventional wisdom. During April 11-14 Rice helped celebrate an unconventional century at the UnConvention, a campuswide open house. We kicked off the UnConvention with the Rice Student Film and Video Festival. Winning films from four categories -- documentary, fiction, animation and short film – were shown. To read more about the contest and to the view the great student-created films that won awards, click here.

Student Leadership
Leadership changeover and interaction with the community has dominated student news this semester at Rice. In March, all residential college and Student Association (SA) officer positions came up for election. Candidates for office in the residential colleges debated on issues specific to their communities, while candidates for the SA discussed broader topics such as reforming the Lifetime Physical Fitness Curriculum. Profiles of new SA president Sanjula Jain (Brown 2013) and the rest of the SA officers can be found here. The list of new college presidents can be found here.

Centennial House Project
The Centennial House Project, a student-led initiative to build a home for a local family in honor of Rice’s 100th anniversary, continues to make progress. The home is designed entirely by Rice architecture students and is part of the university’s continued collaboration with Habitat for Humanity in Houston. Take a look at their website for more details.

Student Competitions
Student competitions also made headlines this semester. As part of engineering week, more than 110 students competed in the Rice Global Engineering and Construction Forum’s Sixth Annual Student Competition. The contest took place on Feb. 22 and involved a simulated real world construction problem and gave participants the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to community leaders. Members of area engineering firms served as judges. Take a look at the website to see this year’s winners and sponsors.

During the UnConvention, the Jones Business School hosted the Rice Business Plan Competition, the largest and richest business plan competition in the world, with nine investment prizes, eight of which are $100,000 or more. Forty-two teams from around the world competed in front of 250 judges. The event brings together some of the brightest technical and business minds and develops both Rice’s commitment to leadership and to collaboration beyond the hedges. To read more about the event and to see the winners, click here.

Thank you for your interest in our student activities across campus this year. Please stay tuned for more updates on student activity as the Rice CAN continues to grow.