12 Things to get excited about in the new Gene Polisseni Center

If you’ve been anywhere near the center of campus, you’ve probably noticed the construction of the Gene Polisseni Center that will serve as the new ice hockey arena at RIT. Previously, we discussed many details about the construction of the arena and the development of the project, but this time we wanted to update you with the new features that the Polisseni Center will have. We talked to Luke Mekker, Director of the Gene Polisseni Center and Gordon Field House, to learn more about what the arena will look like when it’s finished, and created a list of 12 things to get excited about in the new Gene Polisseni Center:

  1. Larger ice surface:
    The ice surface will be a regular National Hockey League standard, bigger than the current Ritter Arena ice surface.
  2. The Corner Crew Student Section was expanded:
    The arena will have individual seats, but on the south end there will be bench seating for students who want to be able to stand and cheer on the team. This area will also serve for the Pep Band and our favorite fans: The Corner Crew.
  3. Video boards:
    There will be two large video boards at either end to improve visibility for the fans, to show instant replays during the game, and to improve the overall fan experience.
  4. You can have your name in a seat:
    When a donor makes a $1,000 gift to the Tiger Power Play, they will have a personal plaque mounted to a seat of choice in the arena. This will not guarantee that the person will have that specific seat when they attend a game, but it is a nice way to be recognized.
  5. The Hall of Fame:
    The lower level concourse will showcase memorabilia from previous RIT hockey teams.
  6. Retail store:
    There will be a Barnes and Noble merchandise store where visitors can buy RIT Hockey related gear and souvenirs.
  7. Club lounge:
    There will be a club lounge located on the second level for people who purchase Club Seats or one of the Club Suites, where they can enjoy a free dinner buffet and the opportunity to mingle with others at the Club Bar. This will be the only area of the arena that will serve beer and wine.
  8. Box office:
    You won’t have to go all the way to the Ritter Arena or Gordon Field House box office to get your tickets. There will be box office at the northwest entrance of the arena.
  9.  Food Options:
    The lower and upper level will both have fixed concession stands that will serve pizzas, hot dogs, popcorn, sodas, fries and so on. Additionally, mobile food carts, possibly from external vendors, will be located throughout the arena.

10. Media mezzanine:
There will be a third level with media stands for broadcasting crews and coaches. Access to this area will be restricted.

11. Main entrances at the Arena:
There will be three main entrances for public and fans and one main entrance for arena staff. The grand entrance will be next to the box office, facing Gleason Circle.

12.  Eco-friendly Arena:
The arena will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Mr. Mekker said that the feature what will make the Polisseni Center different from the Ritter Arena is the “fan experience”. Hockey fans will be able to enjoy games in a much more comfortable environment; better seating, sight lines, food options, and restrooms. For those of you wondering what will happen with the Ritter Arena, Mr. Mekker told us that will be used for student recreation such as classes and open skate, and for learn-to-skate, club sports, intramurals, high school games, etc.

Ticket pricing will be announced in February 2014, while the new Gene Polisseni Center is scheduled to open in September 2014.

Written by: Ivonna Cabrera.

Contributing reporting by: Margaret Linandjaja.

Photo Credit: Luke Auburn via RIT Construction Webcam.


Making Yourself at Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day has always been a highlight during the annual fall harvest, and is widely celebrated with a turkey feast, in North America on  the fourth Thursday in November. Having lived in the United States for two years, I learned to embrace this special tradition as I continue to give thanks for all the wonderful people I’ve met and things I have accomplished.

If you have never celebrated Thanksgiving or planning to stay on campus, here’s a list of what you can do for the Turkey week:

1) Home Away From Home Dinner

When: Nov. 24, 2013 (3 to 6 p.m.)
Location: CIMS 2210/2220 – Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies.

If you need a break from classes, come down to CIMS and enjoy the home-cooked meals. This is a great way to start the Thanksgiving week and lighten the semester blues.

2) Commuter Thanksgiving Potluck
When: Nov 25, 2013 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Location: ACE office (Room A650) – Center for Campus Life.

The Association for Commuter Engagement (ACE) will host a Commuter Potluck at its office and also introduce its new executive board. If you are a commuter and living off-campus, come down to the Campus Center and make new friends with other student commuters.

3) OCASA Thanksgiving Dinner
When: Nov. 26, 2013 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Location: Bamboo Room (2650) – Center for Campus Life.

RIT’s OCASA (On-Campus Apartment Student Association) will be providing catered food in the Bamboo Room.  If you can’t be home for Thanksgiving this year, take this opportunity to bond with other students through games and other interactive activities.

4) Grace Watson Thanksgiving Dinner
When: Nov. 28, 2013 (4.30 to 7 p.m.)
Location: Gracie’s at Grace Watson Hall.

Students living on campus can still have a chance to experience traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Gracie’s. During this time, only food debit, cash, Tiger Bucks and credit cards are accepted as the mode of payment. Keep in mind that all meal plans will last until Tuesday, Nov. 26, and resume on Sunday, Dec. 1.

For more information on the campus dining locations’ opening hours during Thanksgiving, visit the Dining Services site.

5) Black Friday Sale    When: Nov. 29, 2013

If you are looking to do early Christmas shopping, you can take the RTS Weekend shuttle to go to the Marketplace Mall, Target, and other places around Henrietta.  Remember to check the bus schedule so that you can plan your trip ahead. Additionally, you can also check through RIT Mobile App for bus schedules around RIT.

What are your plans for this Thanksgiving? Feel free to share with us if you have any ideas to recommend.  If you are going home to visit your family and friends, we wish you safe travels.

Written by: Margaret Linandjaja.

Photo Credit: Angie Tarantino via Flickr.


Rochester DeafNation Expo at RIT

RIT has long been known for establishing National Technical Institute of Deaf, the first and largest technological college for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Have you ever wondered how the deaf community lead their daily lives in communicating with other people? Over the weekend, I went to visit the Rochester DeafNation Expo at the Gordon Field House. I discovered the various services and people that contributed to the deaf culture.

Created with flickr slideshow.
If you have any feedback or suggestions, please leave a comment. RIT Behind the Bricks is a blog run by a social media team in Finance & Administration. We are bringing the latest and greatest aspects of RIT right to your Tumblr feed every Tuesday and Friday! Written by: Margaret Linandjaja. Photo Credits: Margaret Linandjaja. Facebook

Is your Bus Ride like a Box of Chocolates?

When you arrive at the bus stop do you feel like you don’t know what you’re gonna get?  Like many students, I can’t afford a car and have to commute to RIT from my off-campus apartment using the public bus. Although Forrest Gump was happy to spend the day chatting with people at the bus stop most of us would prefer to avoid that, especially in winter!

Eating a box of chocolates can help to pass the time but I found some other simple methods to reduce the inconvenience.

Where’s My Bus?

A new instant tracking service – “Where’s My Bus?” – was introduced by RGRTA – RTS.  This service lets you track the bus arrival times more accurately from your mobile phones by entering a 4-digit code bus stop ID, found on the top left or bottom right corner of the bus sign.

“I always have problems with the bus times. Sometimes, I have to wait for one hour for the bus to arrive,” said Eman Alruwaili, a graduate student from Saudi Arabia.  “With this messaging service, I think it will give the necessary information of the timing.”


The main benefit of using this messaging service is it provides the bus commuters some flexibility in determining the bus arrival times, instead of having to run to Gleason Circle in the middle of winter to check for the timings at the automated teller.   I would much rather do a quick check while hanging out at Midnight Oil with a hot beverage.  It also helps people who don’t own smartphones because you don’t need to download a mobile app.

If you are planning a trip to places around Henrietta or Downtown Rochester, Google Maps can help you plan your journey and even find out the bus stop ID in each of these places. The images below will give you a step-by-step process to get the necessary information.

1) By entering the initial and final destinations, as well as the tentative timing of your departure, Google Maps will bring out the suggested routes (as shown in the left bar).

2) As you look through the suggested routes, you can continue to scroll down the screen to look at the transit directions of your destination. For instance, if you are travelling from RIT to Rustic Village, you will need to take note of the bus stop IDs near these 2 places. In this case, the Stop ID that’s indicated in the directory, will become the key information when you use “Where’s My Bus” text messaging service.

3) Next, text the 4-digit ID of the bus stop location to RGRTA at: 585-351-2878.  Within a few seconds, an automatic response will show the next arrival times of the bus. Similarly, you can also email to wmb@rgrta.com to get the bus information.

A New Bus Route to RIT

Early this month, the RTS launched route 68, to serve RIT students living in off-campus apartments, such as Westbrooke Commons and Bennington Hills. The new service, which is part of an agreement between RTS and RIT, operates on weekdays with two timings in the morning and afternoon.

According to Randy Vercauteren, director of parking, transportation and building services at RIT, RTS is currently evaluating this service based on the number of ridership by students and feedback on how the service should be run.

“RTS is willing to expand and adjust the timings, but that has to be done in November,” said Vercauteren. “The way RTS works as a public transportation is the drivers will pick the times to drive, based on their seniority. So the routes have to be scheduled.”

Unlike route 24, this particular service is not subsidized by RIT, hence resulting in limited timings. The first phase of the trial run, which lasts until November, will eventually determine the full schedule of the next trial run in January.

For a detailed schedule on Route 68, please visit RTS website. The schedule for this route can also be found at the RIT Mobile App for students who own smartphones.

A Free Ride for Fun Downtown

Having said that, how about getting a ride to somewhere fun for the weekend? Well, the Student Government sponsors the Tiger East End Express – known as TE3 service – a free bus shuttle that runs from RIT campus to downtown Rochester during Saturday nights. This service, which runs from 10.30 p.m. to 2.50 a.m., gives RIT students an opportunity to explore the various cultural and dining areas in Downtown Rochester.

Do any of these things make your life easier? If you have any feedback or suggestions on the bus amenities, please leave a comment.

RIT Behind the Bricks is a blog run by a social media team in Finance & Administration. We are bringing the latest and greatest aspects of RIT right to your Tumblr feed every Tuesday and Friday!


Written by: Margaret Linandjaja

Photo credits:

Forrest Gump – Jaqueline Schiavetti via Flickr

RIT Gleason Circle – Margaret Linandjaja