Rice University is known for its residential college system, a unique feature that sets it apart from other universities in the United States. The residential college system is a community-based model that provides students with a home away from home, where they can live, learn, and grow together. Each residential college has its own unique traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, creating a sense of belonging and community among students.
Traditions are an essential aspect of Rice University’s residential college system. They serve as a way to preserve the history and culture of each college, as well as a means of fostering a sense of community and belonging among students. From food fights to beer bike races, each residential college has its own set of traditions that students eagerly participate in.
The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive guide to Rice University residential college traditions. We will explore the history and significance of the residential college system, the importance of traditions in building community, and showcase some of the most notable traditions found across the various residential colleges. Join me as we delve into the rich world of Rice University residential college traditions.
History of Rice University Residential Colleges
Founding of the Residential College System
Rice University’s residential college system was founded in 1957 by the then-president, William Houston. The system was designed to create a sense of community and belonging among students, providing them with a home away from home.
The original plan was to have six residential colleges, each with its own unique personality and culture. The first two residential colleges, Wiess and Baker, were completed in 1957, and by 1965, the residential college system was fully established with the addition of the remaining four colleges.
Evolution of the Residential College System Over the Years
Over the years, the residential college system has evolved to meet the changing needs of the student population. In the 1980s, the system underwent a major renovation, adding more facilities and increasing the number of students that could be accommodated.
Today, there are eleven residential colleges at Rice University, each with its own unique set of traditions and culture. The residential colleges continue to be a vital part of the Rice University community, providing students with a place to call home and a sense of belonging that lasts long after graduation.
Importance of Traditions in Rice University Residential Colleges
Role of traditions in building community and fostering a sense of belonging
Traditions play a vital role in building a sense of community and belonging among Rice University students. They provide a shared experience that brings students together, creating a sense of unity and camaraderie. Participating in traditions helps students form lasting friendships and connections that extend beyond their time at Rice University. By participating in traditions, students develop a sense of pride and ownership in their residential college, further cementing their sense of belonging.
Significance of tradition in shaping the Rice University culture
Traditions are an essential aspect of Rice University’s culture. They serve as a way to preserve the history and values of the university, as well as a means of shaping its future. The unique traditions found across the various residential colleges help to shape the overall culture of Rice University, creating a sense of identity and pride among students, faculty, and alumnBy upholding and celebrating traditions, Rice University continues to maintain its unique identity and place in the world of higher education.
Examples of traditions in Rice University residential colleges
Each of Rice University’s residential colleges has its own set of traditions, ranging from the quirky to the profound. Here are just a few examples of the traditions that can be found across the residential colleges:
Baker 13 Run: An annual event where students run through each of the residential colleges at midnight, wearing nothing but their underwear and a smile.
Wiess Watermelon Bash: A yearly event where students gather to smash watermelons with mallets, creating a sticky, juicy mess.
Martel Beer Bike: An annual relay race where students race around a track on bikes, stopping at designated points to chug beer.
Lovett College Christmas Revels: A holiday celebration that features caroling, hot cocoa, and an appearance by Santa Claus himself.
Duncan College Disco Inferno: A dance party held each spring that features a live DJ, a light show, and plenty of dancing.
Notable Rice University Residential College Traditions
Rice University is known for its unique traditions, and the residential colleges are no exception. Each college has its own set of traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Here are some of the most notable traditions found across the various residential colleges:
Baker 13 Run
Baker 13 Run is a tradition that involves students running 13 laps around the Baker College quadrangle in their underwear. It takes place at midnight during the week of Baker College’s public party, Rondelet. The run is open to all students, and participants are discouraged from wearing anything other than underwear and shoes.
Will Rice Powderpuff Football
Will Rice Powderpuff Football is a tradition that takes place during Rice University’s homecoming weekend. The event features a flag football game between female students from Will Rice College and other residential colleges. The game is a fun way for students to showcase their school spirit and athletic prowess.
Wiess Watermelon Bash
Wiess Watermelon Bash is a tradition that takes place in the spring. The event involves smashing watermelons with sledgehammers, and participants are encouraged to wear goggles and raincoats to protect themselves from flying debris. The event is open to all Rice University students, and it is a fun way to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Martel Beer Bike
Martel Beer Bike is a tradition that involves a relay race between the residential colleges. Riders cycle around a track while chugging beer and passing batons to their teammates. The event is known for its competitive spirit and rowdy atmosphere.
Lovett College Christmas Revels
Lovett College Christmas Revels is a tradition that takes place during the holiday season. The event features a variety of performances, including skits, songs, and dances. It is a fun way for students to come together and celebrate the holiday season.
Duncan College Disco Inferno
Duncan College Disco Inferno is a tradition that takes place during the spring semester. The event involves transforming the Duncan College quad into a disco party, complete with a DJ, dance floor, and light show. It is a fun way for students to blow off steam and dance the night away.
What are the different residential colleges at Rice University?
Rice University has 11 residential colleges: Baker College, Brown College, Duncan College, Hanszen College, Jones College, Lovett College, Martel College, McMurtry College, Sid Richardson College, Wiess College, and Will Rice College. Each college has its own unique traditions and culture.
What is the Baker 13 Run?
The Baker 13 Run is a tradition that takes place at Baker College, where students run around the college’s central quad 13 times while wearing nothing but shoes and shaving cream. The event is typically held at midnight and is known for its rowdy and festive atmosphere.
How did Beer Bike become a tradition at Rice University?
Beer Bike is a beloved tradition at Rice University that began in 1957 when a group of students decided to combine two events, a bike race and a beer drinking contest, into one event. Since then, the event has grown in popularity and is now a highly anticipated annual event that draws crowds from across the campus.
What is the Wiess Watermelon Bash?
The Wiess Watermelon Bash is an annual event held at Wiess College, where students participate in a variety of watermelon-themed activities, such as watermelon carving, seed spitting contests, and watermelon eating contests. The event is a celebration of the end of the academic year and is a beloved tradition among students.
What is the Lovett College Christmas Revels?
The Lovett College Christmas Revels is a holiday tradition that takes place at Lovett College every December. The event features live music, dancing, and a variety of holiday-themed activities, such as cookie decorating and ornament making. The event is a festive way for students to come together and celebrate the holiday season.
In conclusion, Rice University’s residential college system is a unique feature that sets it apart from other universities in the United States. The residential college system provides students with a home away from home, where they can live, learn, and grow together. Traditions play a crucial role in building a sense of community and belonging among students. They serve as a way to preserve the history and culture of each college and create a shared sense of identity among students.
From the Baker 13 run to the Lovett College Christmas Revels, each residential college has its own set of traditions that students eagerly participate in. These traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, creating a sense of continuity and connection among students.
As we have seen, Rice University residential college traditions are an essential aspect of campus life. They provide students with a unique experience that they will cherish long after graduation. So, whether you are a current student or an alum, make sure to participate in and uphold these traditions. They are an integral part of what makes Rice University such a special place.