When I was in RAPP in 2006-2007, there was no RAPPORT. I vaguely remembered that the group had existed under that name because I'd had friends who were in it in the late 1990s, but the program wasn't around and no one who was there really remembered what it was or what happened to it.
In 2007-2008 my RAPPmates and I decided to get it going again and were able to do so with the guidance of our amazing advisor (and RAPP coordinator) Un Kyong Ho.
It's been up and running since then in various forms and with varied success. This year RAPPORT will be a major focus, with the goal of elevating it much like we elevated RAPP two years ago with RAPP XXIV.
Despite the work we've been doing, still no one could figure out what happened. I took to comparing RAPPORT to the lost colony of Roanoke in that it just disappeared and we didn't know when or why.
Digging through some files in a lost file drawer, I found a print-off of an email thread that finally explained to me what happened. Here's the initial email:
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002
Subject: Goodbye Rapport
After long discussons among staff, it has been decided that RAPPORT has perhaps outlived its usefulness. Due to lack of interest from the majority of rapport members and the sporadic involvement of few, rapport is no longer able to maintain its initial role and participate actively in Diversity education programs.
Those members still interested in helping RAPP are welcome to do so. Many opportunities for involvement are still available. If you are interested in facilitating or doing other forms of outreach please contact the office and speak to either Rema V. or Jody M.
Saved in the file are five responses of RAPPORT members who were upset with the news that RAPPORT was dissolving. The emails clearly demonstrate how valued the program was by those who had previously been very active within it.
I hope that they, and those who might not have replied or whose may have sent emails that weren't printed and saved, are happy to see the direction RAPPORT is taking. We're striving to make it the great outreach program it was previously but in ways that match the current climate.