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What are the best residential colleges at Rice and why?

anicole45anicole45 59 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Does anyone have any info/opinions on the different residential colleges that would be useful to know? (i.e. stereotypes, traditions, best, worst, etc)
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Replies to: What are the best residential colleges at Rice and why?

  • Faulkner1897Faulkner1897 511 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited March 2017
    Most students feel that their own college is the best college at Rice, and love whatever college they have been assigned to. Assignment is random, so it is not worthwhile to stress about which college you will be assigned to - they are all great in their own ways. There is a tremendous amount of residential college pride, and definitely a lot of friendly competition between and among the colleges. Whatever college you get assigned to will be comprised of an amazing group of students who bring incredibly diverse talents, perspectives, and backgrounds to Rice. Ultimately, it is the people that make a college great, and having the college system strengthens the development of multi-year community (since you are a member of your college all four years).

    So the bottom line is that there is no "best" or "worst" residential college.
    edited March 2017
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  • ThatIrishKidThatIrishKid 21 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    LOL not everyone will think they're college is the best at all. I think the general consensuses is that Baker is the best. I know that I personally do not like my college or the college system. It makes the already small pool of people to know and hangout with even smaller as most student tend to just clique within their college. So while you may make friends outside of your college and you're not really vibing with the people within it can be hard and awkward to hang with people of other colleges socially just cause everything is so tight knit and closed off to outsiders. So yeah in some cases people love the system and in other cases people can find it isolating and will look to move off campus as a result.

    there's some old rice standard poll to check out, but its kinda of "outdated" according to the dean of undergrad
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  • ChiGuy123ChiGuy123 148 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Just to show you that there really is no best. I have a friend at Baker who can't stand it there but still loves the residential college system.

    I think a lot of it has to do with luck. The people you meet when you matriculate, the friends you make, etc. So best depends on your fit. In terms of best facilities, generally Duncan and McMurtry are considered the best because they're newer. Best at intramurals is usually Will Rice. But as far as best experiences go, it's not fair for any of us to say, as most of us only experience it from one college.

    Also Wiess' Ubangi tradition is straight up odd
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  • NashvilletoTexasNashvilletoTexas 158 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Baker. WE ARE THE COLLEGE FROM H*LL! Sorry -- just an ingrained kneejerk reaction.

    Sid Rich has a unique culture due to being the only high-rise. Strong college spirit, but more interior life and less "quad-life" than the others.

    Weiss is a little crazy, but definitely fun. They tore it down and rebuilt it, and it still looks like a 60s motel. Only now it's retro instead of falling apart.

    Lovett is ugly and dark and sad. Just be glad you only have a 1/11 chance of being assigned there.

    Will Rice and Hanzen are pretty much carbon copies of each other. Can't go wrong with either, but not great personalities either.

    Duncan, Martel, and McMurtry are newer and supposedly nicer. Believe the hype. Also some great room configuration choices for later years. This leads to a lot of loyalty and spirit for them, even though they are newer colleges without a lot of tradition.

    Jones and Brown used to be the sad colleges off by themselves. Now the campus has expanded to include them, but they are in the shadow of Duncan and Martel, and still sad, just for a new reason

    Seriously, though, Baker is by far the best.
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  • MaximiliasMaximilias 92 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Baker is definitely a very fine college, especially their dining hall and their fun traditions. But Will Rice College is a real nice college and, let's not forget, home to the gods and goddesses of Rice. I highly recommend it. But I couldn't agree more with everything else NashvilletoTexas has to say. I would add, however, that Sid Rich is quite annoying and nearly as ugly as Lovett, but nothing on campus is as ugly as Lovett with it's brutalist architecture, truly dark and sad like some nasty dystopian novel. Nearly everyone refers to Lovett as "the toaster," when in fact it looks like a mini-prison or a really huge air-conditioning unit, perhaps a tacky metaphor for life in Houston. Like old Weiss, it should be torn down. Yes, indeed, be glad you have a 1/11 chance of a Lovett assignment. In the meantime you might pray that you're not so unlucky to end up there.
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  • ChiGuy123ChiGuy123 148 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Wow poor Wiess and Hanszen for never getting their names spelled correctly.

    The rooms of Duncan and McMurtry are huge but look more prison-like than room-like without decorations. Some of their suites are also odd, as their "open suites" are just a bunch of rooms next to each other with an open, larger room (common room) that's also there to share. That being said, their doubles have their own bathrooms which is fantastic.
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  • MaximiliasMaximilias 92 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks ChiGuy123 for pointing out my misspelling of Wiess. It's all those years of German contributing to the misspelling. In German Wiess is pronounced "Vees" and because Wiess College is pronounced "Wice" that "long i" pronunciation in German is spelled "ei." I promise not to misspell Wiess again, especially during NOD.
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  • kmrcollegekmrcollege 160 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Since I have two daughters in McMurtry I am going with MCMURTRY!
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  • allerretourallerretour 12 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    As has been pointed out, it's all random, so you've got the same chance at getting into any of them ... which makes it all-the-more remarkable that, consistently for decades, Lovett has received the lion's share of talent and charm of students at Rice. Must be something akin to magic. Don't despair if you’re not fortunate enough to be placed there; Lovett students have been performing humanitarian missions to colleges across the campus - as far away as Jones - to brighten the existence of the misfortunate residents of those gloomy buildings (except for Sid Rich; even Lovett students aren’t caring enough to go there).
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  • Faulkner1897Faulkner1897 511 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited April 2017
    @allerretour - You are dating yourself! Jones is now in the center of the North Colleges area, surrounded by the three newer colleges and Brown, and is mere steps away from health services and the Center for Career Development (formerly known as Career Services, located in the old President's house).

    I appreciate your loyalty to Lovett! Made me smile :)

    One thing I have noticed, most of the legacy students that I know (a small sample of less than 10 students) have chosen to go random with their college assignment (legacies can request to be the same college as their parent). Their parents represent every college that existed in the 80s/90s at Rice. There is something appealing about being assigned randomly to your college - letting fate decide - and I think this speaks to the strength of the college system and the fact that the colleges are all great in their own ways (and every one is filled with interesting people).
    edited April 2017
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  • IvytIvyt 3497 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Eh, you'll probably like whichever you get fine. It's completely random so I wouldn't worry about it.
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  • sarangooLsarangooL 158 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Baker is the most conveniently located college


    guess what college I'm at
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  • gowiththeflow123gowiththeflow123 5 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I know I am a bit late to this, but as a Rice student I'd love to add my input! You get randomly assigned to your college, so you naturally grow to love your college and think of it as the best. I made sure I didn't read anything about any of the colleges before finding out my college assignment, just to avoid bias. They pretty much brainwash you during orientation into loving the quirks and uniqueness of your college. Each college is fantastic in its own way, with their own traditions, banners, symbols, etc. That being said, it's really the people who make the college, so it can be hard sometimes if you're put in a college with people you're not very fond of. I wasn't very fond of the people at my college so I often spent time at other colleges - which is what's great about the residential college system because you shouldn't feel confined to your own college, everyone is welcoming and you can easily integrate into whichever college you want. That can be a bit hard to understand at first, you really will feel confined to your college, and it takes some time before you put yourself out there. Facilities, though - that is definitely real. McMurtry and Duncan have the best facilities in my opinion, and Lovett and Sid have the worst I believe (in terms of rooms, aesthetic appeal, broken elevators, chipped walls). But you grow used to it, and to be honest, if you're a busy sparrow, you're rarely in your room anyway so it doesn't matter so much. One thing I will add is that even though the residential college system is sweet, homey, and really helps you feel like you're in a community so you don't feel like you're in a big giant crazy college world, there are some cons. It can feel clique-y and quite a bit like high school, and you can get sick of the people you're with. It depends though - I was unlucky and disliked most of the people at my college, but my friend has great people at his college; they just seemed so much more mature and closer. I also was jealous a lot of McMurtry in particular for its facilities and for the people there who seemed so much better than the people at my college. It sounds childish as a college student saying this, but you really can have those random feelings of jealousy and wondering what it would be like to be at a different college. Also, it can be very easy to give in to the 'residential college hype' meaning lots of students will often boast their pride for their college, or will seem very, very close and patriotic to their college, and you might find yourself feeling bad for not feeling that way about your college. Don't worry though, a lot of that is show and part of the college awkward peer pressures of Rice. And finally, this sounds very weird, but sometimes you might have a crush on someone, and you'll automatically grow attached to that person's college and wish you were in it. (Pretty sure more than one person has been bitten by this love bug.) BUT with all that being said, you WILL grow to love your own college, and you can still love every other college and hang out wherever you want and hang out with whoever you want. Most of my friends are from different colleges. You'll love wherever you are! And if worst comes to worst and you truly hate your college for whatever reasons, you can switch colleges, and if you don't want to go through all that, you can definitely spend the vast majority of your time at whichever college you prefer. It's flexible and free. The colleges are meant to unite groups of students but also all of Rice altogether - in the beginning of the day, we wake up in our college and we're Duncan or Jones or Baker students but at the end of the day, we're all Rice students.
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 1087 replies16 threadsForum Champion Rice Forum Champion
    My Daughter just found out she is in Martel.
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  • rice2021rice2021 2 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    What is Duncan like? What are their traditions?
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  • JAMCAFEJAMCAFE 659 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Houston1021 Congrats to your D. My D really wanted Martel but got Duncan. She is happy.
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  • JAMCAFEJAMCAFE 659 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    Duncan is relatively new with perhaps less traditions. They have the Birthday Duncan - a dunk in the water feature on your B'day.
    The rooms are large with private bath but I think, small closet space. Most rooms are doubles not suites. There is a huge balcony on the 5th floor where they host many of their activities.
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  • Runnergirl1226Runnergirl1226 44 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    What is Baker like in terms of facilities?
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  • JAMCAFEJAMCAFE 659 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    Baker has several different room layouts with the old sections having communal bathrooms and the newer sections having private baths. I think you'll have to wait for room assignments to know which set up you'll get. You can watch YouTube videos of Baker College dorm tours.
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  • SrabookwormSrabookworm 108 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Runnergirl1226 The above post is definitely accurate in describing Baker's facilities, but I do want to add that usually, incoming students are placed in the older wing of Baker or in an area called "Lower Fourth," or "Lo-Fo." (Of course, there's always the possibility of being an exception, but since rooms are chosen by seniority, I think you can comfortably expect old-wing or Lo-Fo). You're more likely to be in Old Wing than Lo-Fo, as there are usually only a few rooms for new students there (and they have a reputation for typically going to more extroverted students who enjoy that building's more spirited atmosphere). If you're in old wing, that means that you and a roommate would share a room attached to the hall, and you would have communal bathrooms. I've also heard from a friend living in old-wing Baker that having a pitcher with a water filter is a good idea. That being said, even though the rooms are older, the communal facilities for the college (like the servery and common areas) are pretty nice - Baker has its own well-located servery open on weekdays! Baker definitely has the most variation in room style of any college, though, so during your time there, your room style might change a lot from year to year. Congrats on getting your college assignment!
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