Clubs and Organizations
Office of Student Activities
The Office of Student Activities, located in the Rice Student Center, oversees the activities of various campus-wide student organizations, student requests for facilities usage, and coordination of various leadership development programs.
In addition to managing the registration process, finances, and general advising for over 300 registered clubs at Rice University, Student Activities provides direct advising to the following organizations:
- Student Association (SA) - Undergraduate student government, including college presidents
- Graduate Student Association (GSA) - Graduate student government
- Impact Rice Retreat (IRR) - A student-led leadership development retreat for freshman and sophomore students
- Summit Leadership Symposium - Advanced student leadership development program
- Rice Program Council - Host campus-wide student events on and off campus
The Rice University clubs are divided into eleven genres: Academic/Honorary, Cultural/International, Environmental and Sustainability, Political, Recreational/Sport, Religious/Spiritual, Service, Social Justice, Social/Special Interest, STEM, and Visual/Performing Arts. The full list of registered clubs can be found OwlNest, Rice's new student engagement platform. Student Activities also provides leadership development opportunities in the form of Lunch and Lead sessions, Base Camp workshops, the Impact Rice Retreat,Summit Leadership Symposium, and additional Club Development programs.
A large number of student organizations address special student interests, such as the Black Student Association, the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice, the Chinese Student Association, Rice Young Democrats, and Rice University College Republicans. There are also numerous sport related clubs such as sailing, rugby, volleyball, and soccer. Some of the special-interest groups include a pre-med society, a pre-law society, and Habitat for Humanity.
Many organizations are associated with academic and professional disciplines, such as foreign language clubs, honor societies, and student affiliate groups such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Student Activities also recognizes a number of religious and spiritual organizations. These include, but are not limited to, Chi Alpha Christian Ministries, the Baptist Student Ministry, Catholic Student Association, Hillel, the Muslim Student Association, and the Boniuk Council for Interfaith. Many of these clubs are assisted by local clergy or staff, and form the Joint Campus Ministries.
The Clubs Office is located in the lower level of the Rice Student Center and provides computers, workspace, storage, and a color copier for club convenience.
For more information on the Office of Student Activities, please visit https://studentactivities.rice.edu/.
Center for Civic Leadership
The Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) fosters engaged citizenship among Rice undergraduates through integrated curricular and experiential learning opportunities. These opportunities help students develop the capacity to exercise civic leadership by better understanding themselves, their responsibilities as citizens, the complexity of social issues, and the mechanisms for creating sustainable change in Houston and communities beyond. By serving as the hub for the university's engagement with off-campus partners in Houston, the United States, and around the world, the CCL assists Rice faculty and staff with creating additional experiential learning opportunities with external partners.
In addition to academic coursework in leadership, the CCL offers research, service, advocacy, philanthropy, and public policy opportunities that enable students to work with a range of off-campus partners in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Programs include Urban Immersion, Alternative Spring Break, Houston Action Research Teams, the Loewenstern Fellowship in Civic Research and Service, and the Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience. While CCL programs are open to all undergraduates, those who seek greater depth and intentionality in their leadership development have the opportunity to pursue the Certificate in Civic Leadership. As home to undergraduate fellowships advising, the CCL also enables students to build upon their academic and leadership experiences to identify undergraduate and post-baccalaureate opportunities that best meet their future goals.
For more information on the Center for Civic Leadership, please visit https://ccl.rice.edu.
Rice Student Volunteer Program
By heightening student awareness of community needs and generally raising social consciousness, the Rice Student Volunteer Program (RSVP) has organized volunteer projects for Rice students, faculty, and staff since 1985. Historically, the most popular event of each semester is Outreach Day, a Saturday when students volunteer with multiple nonprofit agencies throughout the Houston area, learning how to take thoughtful action to build a stronger, more just community. RSVP invites each student’s involvement as an officer, a committee member, a project organizer, or an interested participant in any RSVP event.
For more information on the Rice Student Volunteer Program, visit https://www.rsvp.rice.edu/.
Intercollegiate Speech and Debate
Consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally, the George R. Brown Forensic Society sponsors competition in the categories of Individual Events, Lincoln–Douglas, and Parliamentary Debate. The society provides students with the chance to hone their public speaking skills and to qualify for competition both at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament and at the National Parliamentary Debate Championships. Recognizing the importance of developing strong communication skills, the society has an open admission policy, inviting students with little or no previous experience as well as those with extensive high school backgrounds to become members of one of the most successful teams at Rice.
For more information on speech and debate, please visit: https://debate.rice.edu/.
Office of Multicultural Affairs
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) has, as its primary mission, coordinating and implementing comprehensive educational, cultural, and social programs designed to emphasize inclusiveness, while promoting intercultural dialogue, awareness, and respect for diversity. Through advocacy, cultural programs, and education, OMA also helps students understand and appreciate racial, ethnic, gender, and other differences, while creating opportunities for students to challenge prejudice and expand their cultural knowledge and appreciation.
OMA utilizes its programming and support systems to provide an optimum developmental environment where all members of the University community may develop to the highest level of their potential in an atmosphere free from harassment and bias, thereby ensuring Rice's standing as an intellectually and culturally vibrant community. Cultural student clubs, such as the Black Student Association, the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice, and the South Asian Society meet regularly with OMA to discuss programming logistics and other issues. Another major program for students under OMA is HARAMBE, (Swahili for "working together in unity" or "let's pull together"), a group that seeks to create a unifying event for entering African-American students, allowing them to build social and academic connections with peers, faculty, and staff.
For more information about the Office of Multicultural Affairs, please visit https://oma.rice.edu/.