The southern state of Texas in the USA has more to it than just cowboys and barbecues. The city of Houston has a small private university known for its spectacular science and engineering programs. Rice University has been around for over a century and it is now one of the best research universities in the world. The students here are strict believers of the motto “work hard, play hard”. Read on to know 8 more interesting facts about Rice University.
Harry Potter housing
One of the most standout features of Rice University is its housing system. Unlike most universities with a fraternity/sorority house system, students here are separated into eleven dorm colleges that have their own dining halls and public rooms. It’s almost like the four houses from Harry Potter. The dorm colleges arrange social events and often have a friendly rivalry with each other. What’s more? Once in, you become a member for life.
On my honor
Another feature that puts Rice University a level apart from most others is the honor code. Rice students have a student-run council called the honor council, it enforces a strict honor code and plays an important role in academic affairs. The exams at Rice University are usually un-proctored and students can sometimes even take them at home.
The more, the merrier
Rice is one of the most internationally diverse universities in the world and it stands at second place among the universities in the US, with Rice’s international admits being a whopping 12.4% of the total.
Tales of traditions
Rice is often praised for its numerous quirky traditions ranging from water balloon fights to elaborate athletic events. Two of them take the prize for being the most famous, Baker 13 and Beer Bike. In the former, students run around the campus with nothing but shaving cream and shoes on certain days every month. The beer bike activity is just as unconventional as the previous one. Here, students form teams of two and compete in a combination bicycle race where one person chugs beer/water and the other cycles as soon as the chugger finishes chugging. The first to reach the finish line wins.
Tanks of pranks
The students at Rice are pranking masterminds, they have a history of elaborate pranks and some are remembered even to this day. The most famous one was when some engineering students managed to rotate the statue of the founder, William Rice by 180 degrees to face their library. In another prank, students replaced the dorm common-room chairs with ones made of popsicle sticks. Work hard, play hard indeed.
Who Who? Sammy
Rice has a long-standing athletic culture, so much so that, they invented the beer bike tradition. Rice University participates competitively in several sports, including the national sport – baseball, and the American favorite – football. The official mascot of the university is an owl that dresses in the school’s famous blue and grey colors. You must’ve guessed by now, the owl’s name is Sammy.
Being a small university in a big state, students at Rice live in their own little bubble. Rice University students have a ton of inside jokes and you wouldn’t get the references unless you’ve been there before. They even coined a term for it and now call it rice-speak!
Here’s a famous fact to end with, the architecture building at Rice University has a row of holes on the door of its entrance that makes the sound of a frog chirping when you run your finger along the length, it’s aptly named as the Frog Wall. Don’t believe it? You can find the proof on YouTube.
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