RVC strives to be friendly, but effective. Our goals have traditionally been to expose people to vegetarianism and to show that it can be a perfectly enjoyable lifestyle. As part of that goal, we aim to emphasize the positives of vegetarianism, rather than stressing the negative aspects of meat consumption. The ideal goal is to get people comfortable with vegetarian cooking, and to have them try to do so themselves. We are not militant in any sense of the word, and as a result, we have a fairly broad appeal. We are viewed favorably on campus, but our goal is not to win any sort of popularity contest, so in one sense, we are very militant in not compromising our philosophy. We have worked with other organizations in the past, but we have always made sure that the RVC goals are represented (and definitely not compromised) when doing so. For example, we are not a social service organization, nor are we a cheap source of catering for other people's events, and this should be kept in mind, since RVC has been approached in the past for both. Finally, we should state that we don't attempt to do any political activism not related to the club. If RVC were under attack in some way on campus, it's perfectly valid to tangle with the political system. However, we're not an animal-rights concern, even though many of our members may lean that direction. So, while we don't mock their involvement, we also don't lend the RVC name to more polarized viewpoints.
On a practical level, we aim to be self-sustaining in every sense of the word. We are a source of cheap meals on campus, and some would like to take advantage of that. That's fine, and it's unavoidable, and there shouldn't be any attempt, in general, to screen out people who just show up for food. However, since all of veggie club is a volunteer effort, too many people contributing nothing (in any sense) can be a drain on the club, and there are several ways of discouraging this. Obviously, we strive to be financially self-sustaining, which takes quite a bit of work. We also aim to be self-sustaining from a labor standpoint, which is also something of a juggling act. Krishna Kripa obviously does all of the cooking, but RVC requires a lot more work, and if this were to all fall to the officers, they would burn out quickly. Furthermore, without the members having a sense of involvement, they would not feel any loyalty to the club, and more of them would see it as a convenient meal. So, in a very practical sense, it's important to make the members work for the club. The ultimate goal of doing so is to make sure that the club continues from year to year, since members who are active in the club's working will volunteer to be officers.
Despite the serious nature of this section, it should be emphasized that we're self-deprecatory by design. This decision works to our benefit in a variety of ways. Many people feel threatened by vegetarianism, and for that reason alone, they will be hostile to the RVC. Returning hostility is a waste of time, so being self-deprecatory in nature essentially confuses the enemy, and gives them very little with which to attack the RVC. More importantly, most people at Rice don't care for groups that have any sort of "holier-than-thou" attitude, and if we actively show that we don't, we get more people. There is, however, a fine line between being self-deprecatory and being spineless, and we try to stand our ground when necessary. There are always people with opinions, and they will often try to force them upon you, but if it's not in the interests of the RVC, they should be ignored. We aim for quality, not quantity, so even decisions which might cause a few people to leave the organization are not devastating. In fact, when RVC has been in the center of controversy in the past, our membership has actually increased, probably due to more people noticing us.