Welcome to Harry and DracO-Week


The Sorting Hat has spoken, you’ve been sorted into the best and tallest college: Sid Richardson! 

Despite having the fewest members of any residential college, Sid has a strong presence across campus in university leadership, and is known as a very tight-knit but welcoming community. As the newest members of our community, you will always have a place at Sid, and we will always be there to support you. At the end of the day, just like Hogwarts, Sid will always be there to welcome you home. Welcome to Sid!

From the moment you step foot on Rice’s lovely campus, you’ll be entering into one of the most fun, helpful, and exciting weeks Rice has to offer: O-Week. Orientation Week (O-Week for short) is a week-long program dedicated to getting New Students acclimated to their life at Rice. This includes academic advising, tours of campus, and general introductions to Rice’s culture. O-Week is packed full of events designed to ease your transition, and no matter what activity you’re doing (from scavenger hunts to late-night food runs), you’ll feel like part of the Rice community. 


The Mission of Sid O-Week 2018 is to empower all New Students with the tools they need to thrive at Sid, Rice, and in Houston. We aim to ease the transition into college life and enable New Students to overcome the challenges they will face by creating an environment that acts as a home away from home. We strive to build a diverse community that celebrates and embraces unique qualities and that supports new students individually, academically, and socially — giving them a space in which to grow. We would like to enable the New Students to recognize that their engagement will shape Sid and Rice just as much as Sid and Rice shapes them. 


We believe the story of Harry and Draco ties in with O-Week in many different ways. Harry and Draco arrive at Hogwarts as two drastically different individuals who nonetheless find a support system and a new home, where they grow as individuals, find common ground, and overcome the different challenges they each face. More than a story of magic, this is a story of two students facing the unknown, just like we were when we came into our O-Weeks, and just like you. Though Rice may seem like an intimidating new journey, we have designed O-Week to prepare you for what comes next and to help you thrive. We emphasize that despite dramatic differences in personality, background, and interests, just like Hogwarts, Rice and Sid will be a community where anyone can find their niche and thrive. Most of all, we emphasize that by being part of this community, we all become united.

Meet the Coordinators

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Valerie Kass

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You may think everyone needs CASH in their lives, but in reality, everyone really needs KA$HMONEY, a.k.a. Valerie Kass. Valerie Kass is the junior Civil Engineering major your mom warned you about: passionate, warm-hearted, and unapologetic. She was raised in the heart of Washington D.C., not the suburbs, and is a die-hard Nationals fan. When she’s not on the field playing intramural sports like flag football and softball, you can probably find her cuddled up with either netflix or her kindle. Do you hate the patriarchy? Ever wonder about the 4th dimension? Need a shoulder to cry on? Well look no further! This hot commodity is certified as a deep conversation pro, and can singlehandedly solve all life problems besides her own. Her special talents include napping, whistling, and having an impressively low carbon footprint. The only quality that exceeds her diverse skillfulness is her warm and loving heart, which she demonstrates everyday through the best hugs the world has ever seen. - Fernanda Horillo, Sid ‘20, Samm Smith, Sid ‘20

Jacqueline Edmonds

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Do you find yourself dealing with an artsy diva that’s full of sass? Is she a rising senior and Psychology major who may or may not go to class? If these all sound accurate, you might just be dealing with none other than Jackie Edmonds! Hailing from lovely(?) Arizona, she loves makeup, Buzzfeed mystery shows, Facebook memes, and gossiping with her friends. But don’t expect her to just laze around; Jackie is one of the hardest working people you’ll meet at Rice. She has transformed many parts of Sid, getting us new furniture, drawing art for our chalkboards, and renovating the Sid dining room and library. She’s always quick to drive you somewhere, give advice, or just listen to you rant. Jackie is someone you can always rely on, but she’ll always deny it. However, there’s no denying all she does for Sid, and she’s gonna go above and beyond for O-Week as well. Be ready for an amazing week, because Jackie is going to go all out to make sure it is the most amazing week possible. Make sure you take time to reach out and get to know her, because she makes an amazing friend and resource. - Ashton Thrasher, Sid ‘18

Chris Yum

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Chris Yum is someone you won’t want to miss getting to know at Rice. Despite living in Memphis, Seoul, Dubai, and Seattle, his geography skills score him a solid 0/10. But you know what they say, “what you lack in one thing, you’ll make up for in other ways,” and he does. From SA Senator to Sid VP, Chris truly looks for ways to help the community. While not studying for his Statistics and Sports Management majors or business minor, you’ll find him air hooping his way to victory or rewatching The Office for the 15th time. His loyalty and genuine desire to get to know people falls short only of his love for everything superhero related. His frame by frame analysis of each trailer could put even Sherlock Homes to the test. If you ever need someone to let loose and “get schwifty” with or sit down and have a meaningful conversation with, he’s your guy. Chris couldn’t be more excited to welcome all the incoming New Students and he hopes to be the person anyone can feel comfortable approaching. - Nicholas Manning, Sid ‘20, and Deepu Karri, Sid ‘20

Advisor Testimonials

This is a small collection of testimonials that our Advising Team wanted to share with you about their O-Week experience. We hope that these give you an idea of what to expect for your first major experience at Rice, as well as ease some of the concerns

"As somebody who does not always adapt well to change, I was nervous about a lot of things when coming to Rice. How would I pick my classes? How would I adapt to living with people I had never even met? How would I make new friends? How would I find my place in the Rice community? I was so nervous before move-in day that I made my parents circle around the campus before dropping me off. However, it soon became clear that all of my worries were unnecessary, as when I stepped out of the car, I was greeted by lots of smiling faces eager to meet me and ensure that I was prepared for school to start. O-Week was a great way to transition into my new environment and I ended the week with a group of people who I knew I could count on and a better sense of what college life would be like."

"Before coming to Rice I was already very familiar with the campus and I thought I knew a lot about what awaited me on campus. I didn´t really worry about it until two days before I had to move in when I started packing and then the last night throwing everything in at the last moment and looking through the first look book and Sid O-Week book. That night I went to bed kind of nervous, just like I always was before my first day of school for the year. However, that really went away as soon as I got on campus. There were so many nice people to meet that already knew my name and just a lot going on those first few hours. Once I said goodbye to my family at lunch, I met up with my group and from then on I felt a lot more at ease. The whole week ended up being a blast and by the end of it I felt like I really belonged to Sid and to Rice, like this was the place I was meant to be at."

"O-Week was exciting and eventful. and it was a fast bonding experience between New Students. I remember we explored late night food together and enjoyed many fun events throughout the week. Moments like cheering, running across the campus and completing tasks as a group made me feel really close to the others. O-Week was overwhelming at first because I felt like an outcast being an international student who experienced language and cultural barriers. However, having Advisors who really spent time getting to know my stories, asking questions about my interests and background and encouraging me to speak up made me feel included."

"When I was coming to college I was REALLY nervous. As I pulled up, though, all of my fears went away because there were over 20 people outside screaming my name and welcoming me. As soon as I got out of the car I was given hugs by people welcoming me to my home. I had never felt that special before and to have that feeling from people I'd never met was incredible. The thing that's even better about that, though, is that they really meant it. I made my college and Rice my home and the people that first welcomed me have continued to love and support me. Coming to college was scary, but you'll find an incredible support system here too."

"When I pulled into the parking lot of O-Week in August 2017, I didn't know what to expect. I rolled my window down to wave at the advisors standing outside of Sid, and I was immediately stunned when they began to shout my name. This was the moment that I knew Rice was going to exceed my expectations; I had never met any of them before but they had taken the time to learn the names of all of the New Students before we even stepped on campus. I quickly learned throughout the week that O-Week was a time where I could be transitioned into life at Rice while being supported by advisors and other new students that eventually became my family. O-Week is a glimpse of the "culture of care" at Rice, and by the time the week is over you will know that we are all here to ensure that your time at Rice reaches its full potential."