Recent Alumnus 2010-08-22T22:53:50Z
Every demographic is represented at Rice, but without fail, social and racial cliques develop. It feels very much like high school all over again. It's possible to branch out, but the opportunities don't present themselves. You have to go out of your way to meet new people.
Recent Alumnus 2010-08-01T17:17:35Z
Guys & Girls:
Still a Bit Awkward – Considering most of us weren't the most sought-after kids in high school, Rice kids tend to be a bit "deer in headlights" about the whole courtship matter, and have been for years. Dress is very laid back; you don't have to worry about impressing anyone, but if you dress nicely people will appreciate it. You'll get urban kids, small town kids, farm kids, almost everything save rednecks. Nevertheless, since we're all nerds, even the "cool kids" are dorks at heart, and will nerd out with you when you want.
Recent Alumnus 2010-08-01T17:14:16Z
Rice is known in Houston as being one of the best schools in the city, if not the best; most people in the city are impressed to know that you attend it. You get free admission into a large portion of the enormous museum district, and discounts to many of the shows and performances downtown. You can take the metrorail downtown and easily go watch a concert or visit the rodeo; if you have a car, you have even more access to the city around you. And if you like to eat, Houston is perfect for you.
Recent Alumnus 2010-08-01T16:41:06Z
It's extremely hot, so the short walk to class might feel like it takes longer than it actually does; a bike helps with that. The campus deals with hurricanes extremely well. No snow! Winters are usually in the 50s here.
Recent Alumnus 2010-08-01T16:38:45Z
Stay on Campus – Residential college parties are the most frequented, largely due to transportation issues (it's hard to get anywhere in Houston without a car). Nevertheless, they're usually free, themed, and well-loved by the campus population.
Recent Alumnus 2010-08-01T16:36:36Z
Health & Safety:
I always feel safe on this campus. The police are friendly and have an escort service; the EMT are trained peers, so you don't have to worry about getting in trouble for drinking. Doors lock automatically as well. Every now and then there's a problem - we are in one of the nation's largest cities - but for the most part it is extremely safe, both in daily life and during emergencies like hurricanes.
Recent Alumnus 2010-07-02T03:54:42Z
It's like living with family, in a sentence. It's very familiar and everyone is willing to help you, including staff and faculty.
Recent Alumnus 2010-07-02T03:50:07Z
Wiess College – It depends on the residential college, but Wiess, where I am at, is very nice. It's cleaned by a crew every morning, and bathroom is kept clean every week. It's also very spacious with a suite-style living and a nice "living room" type common area per room. A large yard is also available as well as recording rooms, movie rooms, dance rooms, etc and a large common area for social reasons. There is also a computer lab on each college.
Recent Alumnus 2010-07-02T03:46:27Z
All the restaurants we need, including fast food, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, American, Italian, Indian, etc. is all collected in Rice Village, and in the surrounding areas along Main and Holcombe where we can drive, walk, or take the bus to, so it's very convenient. Price is average.
Recent Alumnus 2010-07-01T21:19:40Z
Really Relaxed – Rice is a wet campus, and underage drinking happens all the time, even in public. The police seem to understand and accept this bit of Rice culture, and while they certainly will crack down on it if it's happening under their noses, they are usually quite lax about going out of their way to stop it.
Recent Alumnus 2010-07-01T21:17:22Z
Greek Life simply doesn't exist at Rice, although there have been attempts to recreate the feeling. The college system provides students with a social base that they don't have to be hazed into.
Recent Alumnus 2010-07-01T21:16:10Z
Not Such a Big Deal – Although there is moderate interest in IM sports, few people care about varsity sports. The student section at football games is just laughable, while basketball games aren't much better. Baseball gets the most attention, but is still not a hugely significant event for most students. However, Rice athletes are ranked highly academically; Rice prides itself on putting the "student" first in "student athlete", and this is something to be commended, I feel.
Recent Alumnus 2010-06-16T13:44:33Z
In respects, Rice is totally laid back. The police won't bust a party unless it's loud and disruptive of others. There is a "closed door" policy, meaning that the cops won't go into your room and get you in trouble for possession of alcohol. The only time they can do that is if the door is open, thereby making whatever drinking is going on inside a "public party", in which case they can fine you for being a minor in possession of alcohol.
One thing to keep in mind, is that the cops at Rice don't want to get you in trouble, they want to keep you safe. There are only certain instances where they will intervene, and that's usually when you are either jeopardizing safety for yourself or for others.
The only thing that Rice is really strict about, is the Honor Code. If you are reported as to be cheating, you can be tried in front of the Honor Council (this includes any kind of plagiarism, working on assigments/tests with unapproved sources of aid (either books, internet or other people), or even not properly citing quotes and ideas in essays). Consequences can include academic probation, expulsion, or you may be faced with the choice of leaving rice for a year, and then nothing would go on your record. However, with the existance of this honor code, students are allowed to do about all of their tests as take home, which makes taking exams a lot easier, and a lot less stressful.
Recent Alumnus 2010-06-16T13:38:42Z
No Pressure – There are some drugs on campus, but I'd say it's mostly pot. Harder Drugs are frowned upon, and if one were to use them, it'd be in the safety of their own room, it's not public.
There's lot's of alcohol available (Rice is a "wet" campus, with 2 bars and several alcohol stores nearby), but there's no pressure to drink or not to drink, it's just there if you want it. About 1/3 of students don't drink at all.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-27T14:53:33Z
Rice is a wet campus, and the administration are very lenient with it's students... that being said, campus parties are LAME. I think its more a reflection of the student's than the university itself, but public parties usually consist of a big dark room, with lots of akward nerds trying to hook-up, and a couple of way overcrowded, extremely hot and sweaty dorm rooms with alchohol for those underage who can't get served at the public parties. These "private parties" consist of those same (more sober) akward nerdy kids desperately trying to get to the keg so they can work up the nerve to dance with someone.
Thankfully, once you turn 21 that all changes. There are so many bars and clubs in Houston that you will never get bored. Be careful though because drinks and taxis are expensive and you pretty much need to drive to anyplace you want to get drunk.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-27T14:47:51Z
Unlimited Food – Houston has restaraunts EVERYWHERE. If you have a car, you can find pretty much any type of food in any price range in a half-hour radius. If you don't have a car, Rice Village is easily within walking distance or you could ride the shuttle on weekends. Rice Village has a good mix of food, although it may be a little pricier since it is in a really nice shopping neigborhood. There is also easy access to the metro which goes downtown where there aren't that many affordable restaraunts, but there are lots of bars/clubs/ other entertainment.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-27T14:40:54Z
College System – The way it works is, as a freshman you are assigned to a particular college which has its own dining hall, student government, faculty 'masters' that live on campus near the dorms... basically it's set up liek the houses in Harry Potter. So as far as meal plans go, you can choose to go to any of the 6 or so dining halls. The halls that feed more than one college usually have more variety and they always have edible food liek pizza, hamburgers, chicken fingers, and a full salad bar, but the smaller serveries usually try to make something a little less ordinary, which either turns out great or horrible. The larger serveries are also more crowded. The TERRIBLE part about dining at Rice is that if you are on campus you have to buy the full meal plan (3 meals a day, 6 days a week) which is expensive and you don't get Saturday dinner. The didning halls are also only open for short times around meals. Theres pretty much no late-night dining options. If you don't live on campus, the partial meal plans are also not very good. You have the choice of buying either 5 meals a week or breasfast and lunch 5 times a week. These plans are basically the same price as buying each meal seperately that day, so they are really pointless. We don't have anything that you can buy say 20 meals a semester and use them whenever you want, so if you have a variable schedule or are only on campus for lunch and/or dinner a few times a week (or semester) you should bring your own food.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-17T00:19:28Z
Unique and Fantastic – There's no where else I can imagine going to school. I can spend a week pulling all-nighters designing heart valves and reviewing biomechanics with some of my best friends, and the next week filling water balloons in the gorgeous March weather, drinking with some of the most brilliant people I know in preparation for Beer Bike. There's such a thrilling combination of stimulation here: Houston has a ton of experiences to offer, but my peers here are what make Rice special.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-17T00:13:43Z
Benefits of Texas – There's something to be said for b eing able to walk around in shorts and a tank top in October...or November...or December. August and May can be drearily humid, but this is a small price to pay for the beautiful remainder of the year.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-17T00:08:11Z
Parking here is a little overpriced - we have plenty of room on campus for everyone who wants parking and it's not difficult to get it as a freshman, so supply definitely exceeds demand, making $500 a year excessive. The main parking area is around a fifteen minute walk from most of the colleges (though a bus ride usually cuts this time down considerably), but faculty lots open up on the weekends.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-10T22:25:57Z
Baseball Team Is Consistently Nationally Ranked – Our baseball team is nationally-renowned. We beat Stanford in the 2003 College World Series, the only NCAA championship Rice has ever won. Our track and field sports are also quite strong too. Other than that, the D1 sports at Rice are mediocre. Our football team won only two games this past year, and our men's basketball team had a losing record (although it is better than last year). Nevertheless, for a top 20 university that is the second-smallest D1 school in the country, it is impressive that we have any nationally ranked sports at all.
Although football, men's basketball, and baseball have some student attendance, NCAA athletics, with the exception of the baseball team, are not really popular with Rice students.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-10T22:18:03Z
Very Integrated Campus and Not Many Rich Kids – Diversity at Rice is very strong. Asians are somewhat over-represented, but I feel Hispanics and Blacks are well-represented. The majority of students come from a middle-class or lower middle-class background since Rice is comparatively cheaper than its peer institutions and offers really good financial aid (we are always ranked in the top 10 for Best Value by all the major publications). Luckily, we have very few spoiled rich kids. Unlike most universities that tout diversity, students from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds tend to interact a lot due to the residential college system. However, since more international students are beginning to come to Rice, a lot of the internationals, especially from China and Korea, tend to form their own cliques (although this is not true of all Chinese and Korean students). Athletes, especially the football and basketball players, tend to form their own cliques as well. Other than that, cliques at Rice aren't as common as at other universities.
Recent Alumnus 2010-05-10T22:12:28Z
The facilities tend to vary. For the most part, they are quite nice. The nicest facilities are the student recreational center (opened in late 2009) and the new residential colleges (Duncan, McMurtry, Martel, and Wiess). The library is decent. Fondren Library's 6th floor Reading Room has an AMAZING view of the Houston cityscape. The 1st and 2nd floor study areas are nice too. However, it is often difficult to find study space during midterm and final exam periods, but that's probably the case at any university library. However, while I have grown to appreciate the small feel of the student center (RMC), it is in serious need of expansion. The bookstore and convenience store in the RMC need to be much larger.
Recent Alumnus 2010-04-11T00:22:59Z
Guys & Girls:
There's One for Everyone – You'll find a variety of nice, good looking educated guys. The girls are hot and educated too. Everyone has something unique about them and you will meet your soulmate here.
Recent Alumnus 2010-04-03T04:23:30Z
Decent Bus Service – Buses around campus during the day are pretty reliable. They usually come every couple of minutes and have a lot of stops around campus. The buses to some of the farther aways spots on campus aren't as reliable. There are convenient weekend buses to popular shopping places to facilitate those who don't have a car.
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