Richland Honors Program opens new student center

The Richland Honors Program, held an open house for the new student center on Oct. 31. The facility is designed to cater to the needs of its membership and members of its sister organizations, Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society and the National Society of Collegiate scholars. Located next to Subway in El Paso, it’s a space where students can relax, do their work and conduct meetings. The facility includes a computer lab, kitchen, quiet study area and a student area.

Than Võ uses the computer lab in the new Honors Lounge.

Than Võ uses the computer lab in the new Honors Lounge.

“The purpose of the student center is to provide a space for honors students to be productive in their honors classes specifically. Most honors classes require more collaboration compared to regular classes, so it provides them a space for that,” said Kathleen Stephens, Ph.D., coordinator of the honors program.

“We want to tell honors students that the honors program is a program designed specifically for them. We want to have a separate space for them and not be congested around campus,” said Fahad Ahmed, president of the Richland College Honors Program.

According to Stephens, the student center will be monitored in several ways to ensure that only honors students use the facility.

“When students come in, we’re going to log them in with their ID, which will show us whether or not they’re honors students. We also have an agreement for the honors student center, so the students will review the rules and sign the agreement to follow the rules. There will also eventually be a keypad on the computer lab door which accesses the honors student areas,” Stephens said.

The rules are quite extensive about what’s appropriate use of this areas. If students violate the rules, their access to the student portion of this area may be eliminated for the remainder of the semester. It’s a privilege.”

The open house was an opportunity for everyone, especially non-members, to admire the new facilities. Representatives from all three organizations provided information about their respective organizations.

“The requirements necessary to access the student spaces at the center are that the student must be enrolled in Richland for that semester, be a member of the Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa or the National Society of Collegiate Scholars,” Stephens said.

For more information about the Honors program, visit or stop by the Honors office in Room E055 during regular business hours.