The residential college system is a brilliant aspect of Rice University because it takes a large incoming class of intelligent/often socially awkward people and breaks it down into subgroups (residential colleges) giving freshmen an instant social network. During orientation week (O-Week), a group of randomly selected and diverse individuals is given something in common. They go through the same indoctrination process, have the same pranks played on them by upperclassmen, go on the same scavenger hunt, sit through the same boring meetings, and so on. They meet the College Masters (a faculty family that lives in a house adjoining or near their building), and discover that they have a set of parents and (usually) young siblings provided for them.
The dating situation at Rice varies for everyone. You may not find as many traditionally attractive hotties at Rice as you would at another school. Rice tends not to attract many stereotypical frat boys or sorority girls, although there are a few. Indeed, you can find whatever “type” you might be looking for (or not looking for) at Rice: athletic, romantic, poetic, intelligent, flirtatious, theatrical, geeky, genuine, graceful, player, elegant, or the boy/girl-next-door. In fact, "Seventeen" magazine some years back declared Rice the number-one choice school “for girls who want it all.” That diversity makes Rice a special campus full of truly amazing and talented people.