Had my first shift at my new job this week. Terrible hours. Eleven to one-thirty at night. My job is at Rice’s only late-night food provider on campus, The Hoot. At The Hoot, we sell multiple kinds of pizza, chicken sandwiches, and various other cheap snacks. We’re open from 9 pm to 1:30 am, and Rice students will stop by The Hoot when in need of a study break or simply a quick snack. It’s a fantastic place to have on campus; it makes staying up late to study significantly easier and has a solid enough variety of snacks to fill whatever moonlight dietary need you may have. However, my favorite part about The Hoot is not that it’s convenient; my favorite part is that it is an entirely student-run business.
Student Run Businesses (or SRB’s for short) are an important part of Rice’s value on experiential education for students. There are four: Willy’s Pub, Rice Coffeehouse, The Hoot, and the Rice Bike Shop. And when I say a business is an SRB, I don’t just mean the low-level employees are students. Everyone from the cashiers to the general managers are students. We order the food and take inventory and keep track of quarterly profits, just like any other business. Even better, any student can be involved in an SRB. There are SRB employees from all six schools of study at Rice, along with all 11 of the residential colleges. These businesses truly represent the way Rice hopes for students to learn, and it’s a totally unique experience to be a part of one.