If you’ve done some thorough research about Rice, you probably know that when you drive up to your residential college for your first day, you’ll be greeted by anywhere from 30 to 50 advisors who are on campus just to help new students transition into their new homes. This memorable moment is simply the beginning of a week that is sure to be full of them: O-Week.
During O-Week, new students have the luxury of not having to worry about any of their classes. Required for all new students, O-Week takes place the week before the first week of classes and is designed to be 50% academic introduction to Rice and 50% introduction into your residential college.
The week requires a lot of intense work and meticulous planning. To prepare for the week, three students from each residential college (except for Wiess, which has two) are chosen to be O-Week Coordinators. As members of Lovett College, my two fellow coordinators and I have been working tirelessly all of second semester summer with the Office of First Year Programs (FYP) to make sure all of the new Lovetteers have a fantastic introduction into Rice and Lovett. We selected upperclassmen advisors from a competitive pool of applicants, created the book that new students receive in the mail before coming to Rice, paired roommates based on new students’ roommate questionnaires and are now working on planning various events to take place throughout the week. Each residential college also has an O-Week theme; Lovett’s theme this year is O-Week 2014: Pass the Torch. We’ll have all sorts of Olympics-themed events, t-shirts and decorations at Lovett during O-Week.
O-Week is one of the finest examples of the welcoming atmosphere on campus. All eleven residential colleges have a team of 30-50 students who have given up the last two weeks of their summers for the sole purpose of making sure the incoming class feels included and welcome. It’s a fantastic system and one that the O-Week Coordinators and FYP work to improve each year. There’s nothing quite like 50 upperclassmen you’ve never met shouting and cheering your name, and that’s exactly what will happen your first moment on campus as a Rice student.