You could ask students around campus what Missed Encounters is. You’ll get quite a few answers, though none of them are incorrect. For some, it’s just Rice’s iteration of the usual college crush pages. For others, it’s a nice bit of entertainment when they’re not studying. For me, it’s an extension of my daily life. Having owned the page for a year, I’ve started going through the motions in operating the page. So, I haven’t gotten the chance to consider its impact.
Finding a perspective might be difficult since I’ve never read RME as others do. Just a few days after orientation week, I just happened to see a post requesting an underclassman’s help on the moderating team. As a page perused by such a large portion of the undergraduates, I expected an intricate system for getting submissions onto the page. Soon, I realized how simple the whole process was.
As for moderation, the team consisted of only the then-owner and myself (as the rest of the team had graduated or became inactive). Picking which anonymous submissions to post generally included removing verbally abusive messages, and directly pasting all the clean submissions straight to the page (which leads to the easy to follow yet minimally formatted encounters).
Despite how simple overseeing the page is, there’s quite a bit one can draw from its existence. After reviewing hundreds of submissions, I’ve noticed that most posters are often just a greeting away from accomplishing their encounters, but why go through the stress of a potentially award situation? I find this tendency to be common across campus. Instead of greeting and possibly coming off too forward, perhaps meting through mutual friends would remove some anxiety. Even further in the case of RME, a post acknowledging something about someone works two-fold. Not only do you get your point across, but you also maintain the utmost security.
This is one of my favorite things about Miss Encounters and Rice in general. Anyone feeling social anxiety or reluctance can find solace in the number of their peers overcoming or finished dealing with the issue. Without RME, those with these problems might never get the chance to compliment or catch the name of someone who caught their eye.
I’m glad the previous moderating teams put forth the effort to garner a following and good reputation for the page. With that said, I feel honored to have gotten the chance to run Missed Encounters. Hopefully, the page continues long after I walk back through the SallyPort.