I hope you all had a chance to read Dr. Kirby’s message that was sent yesterday noting that we are back to regular indoor dining. We are pleased that the Houston data is showing a decline in cases. We hope to continue to roll back COVID restrictions in the coming weeks if things continue on this trajectory, keeping in mind our goals to maintain a healthy campus while encouraging campus vibrancy.
Indoor Alcohol. Effective this week, we are taking indoor drinking back to where we were last semester. Indoor consumption of alcohol is permitted in the residential colleges, provided that students abide by the rules and expectations detailed in Rice’s Alcohol Policy, and undergraduate alcohol event registration timelines. Registered college-level indoor events can begin next week - event risk management support resources can be found here. Campuswide “public” parties and “crawls” remain prohibited.
Public Parties. In conjunction with Magisters and student leadership along with the Crisis Management team, we are working to determine when campuswide public parties will be able to resume. We are still working through what this will look like in terms of timeline, event capacity, and process, but wanted to let you all know that our hope is to work through this over the coming weeks and to share out additional details through student leadership.
Masking. As clarification, we are still masking unless actively eating or drinking. Indoor and outdoor exceptions to this are as follows:
- When you're in your residential dorm suite.
- When alone in your office or space only used by you with the door closed.
- If you are faculty providing classroom instruction while maintaining 10' distance.
- Masks are not required outdoors.
Testing Reminder. As most everyone should have completed return testing now, please remember that the current testing expectation is weekly for unvaccinated students and every other week for vaccinated students. To schedule a test please visit https://coronavirus.rice.edu/schedule-test.
Wellbeing. We want to recognize that this has been a challenging year that has created a lot of stress for all of us and want to remind you that your mental health should be a priority. As a Rice student, many resources remain available to you, and you should never hesitate to reach out. The Student Wellbeing Office and the Rice Counseling Center provide services ranging from case management to confidential counseling for undergraduate and graduate students. Both offices are located at the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center and are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Appointments can be made by calling 713-348-3311 and walk-ins are available. If you are worried about your mental health safety or the safety of another student, please first call RUPD at 713-348-6000 (24/7) and then 713-348-3311 (24/7). As always other offices within the DOU are also available for support and as resources to support your campus experience.
We look forward to the continued transition back to a new normal as COVID shifts into an endemic phase but remain committed to health and safety. Please take care.
Bridget Gorman, Dean of Undergraduates