Stay Safe this St. Patrick’s Day Weekend!

One of the biggest celebrations of the year is coming up: St. Patrick’s Day. In a sea of green, it can be tough to remember reality. The day can be a lot of fun, especially with the parade and St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but it is important to remember to stay safe.

How did St. Patrick’s Day even come about?

St. Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland. But, he wasn’t even Irish! There are many tales and legends about St. Patrick’s legacy in Ireland, but many of them lack in truth. According to stories, St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland. However, this cannot possibly be accurate because there were no snakes in Ireland in the first place.

Festivities started in Ireland on the anniversary of his death. However, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations became popular in the United States when the Irish immigrated to America. Parades formed and the Irish gathered to party and celebrate their heritage in their new country.

A big part of this holiday is drinking. Unknown to many current partygoers, there is actually a reason behind this. During the original celebrations, Christians would put aside their food and alcohol restrictions for lent just on this specific day. Because this was a one-day pass, the Irish Christians would usually go all out.

Activities in Rochester on St. Patrick’s Day:

Feel like starting the day early? At 9:30am on St. Patrick’s Day, there is a 5-mile run. Johnny’s 20th Runnin’ of the Green starts at the Blue Cross Arena. You’ll be done before the parade starts, so you can still enjoy all the Irish festivities!

Alternatively, there is a Luck of the Irish 5k. The interesting thing about this race is that it is virtual. You can run or walk the race anywhere and anytime before St. Patrick’s Day. All your race materials will be mailed to you.

At 12:30pm on St. Patrick’s Day, Rochester hosts a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade route runs down East Avenue and Main Street. Get there early, the streets fill with people fast. There will even be a Rochester Parade App. You’ll be able to see the parade route, the schedule for the day, and information about the event.

In honor of this special day, check out all of Rochester’s local Irish restaurants, stores, and pubs. Right near RIT, there is Shramrock’s Irish Pub, MicGinny’s on the River, and MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room. After a long day at the parade, these are a few perfect places to grab a great bite to eat close to campus.

Tips on how to Stay Safe this St. Patrick’s Day:

Although it is important to have fun on the big day, it is also important to remember reality. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 1,800 college students die a year from drunk driving and binge drinking. Even if you don’t think you’ve had a lot to drink, don’t drive unless you stay completely sober. Rochester has just recently introduced Uber and Lyft into our area. It is a great and safe alternative to driving on St. Patrick’s Day. Have their apps downloaded onto your phone ahead of time, just in case you need to end up using them. If you’re driving with a designated driver, don’t distract them. There is a lot of driving accidents on St. Patrick’s Day. Even though some are out of your control, it is important to always be aware and prepared on the road.

In the case of an emergency off campus, dial 911. In the case of an emergency or situation that you need help with on campus, you can either dial 911 or call public safety. Here is a list of public safety’s phone numbers. It is a smart idea to save them into the contact list on your phone, so you have them prepared if you need them:


(585) 475-3333


(585) 475-2853


(585) 205-8333

Additionally, public safety now has their own app. Tigersafe is a campus safety app that provides students with instant access to campus safety resources. Download it in the app store today; it may come in handy when you really need it.

Have a great, safe, and (hopefully) warm St. Patrick’s Day Tigers!

National Frozen Food Day

Happy National Frozen Food Day!

Believe it or not, today is a holiday! Wait… what holiday? Today is National Frozen Food day! Yes, it is a real thing. On March 6, 1984, Ronald Reagan proclaimed the day as Frozen Food Day.

The first TV Dinner was created by C.A. Swanson & Sons in 1953. TV Dinners were revolutionary for the time. They are individual meals; for the first time, people could eat on their own instead of gathering around a table with their family. These frozen, packaged meals usually contain meat, a vegetable, and a dessert.

Today, frozen food has been improved in nutrition and taste. A lot of people prepare and freeze their own food, and there are a lot of options for packaged frozen food now. Why is freezing your food so smart? Freezing food allows for slowing decomposition and stopping bacterial growth: which is why you can keep frozen food good for so long. You don’t have to worry much about the food going bad and making it is quick and easy. After you prepare the food and pop it in the freezer, all you have to do is heat it up. There are nutritional options that won’t take a lot of time out of your day to make.

In college, it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet due to the amount of free time you have. However, freezing food is a good solution to this problem, especially if you don’t have a meal plan or don’t have time to get to Gracie’s. A lot of frozen meals are available in the on campus markets. Additionally, you can take the RIT Retail Bus to Wegmans to stock up on different options.

We’ve asked different students here at RIT what their best hacks are for frozen food, and even tried a couple of them out for ourselves:

Freeze Your Bread

This hack is my personal favorite. Putting your loaf of sandwich bread in the freezer prevents it from getting stale. Instead of rushing to use your bread in time, you can take as long as you want to use the loaf when you’re ready.

Prepare Individual Bags of Fruit

Trying to eat healthy? Here is a perfect and tasty option. Prepare ingredients for a smoothie: wash, cut, and portion and fruits or veggies you want to include. Put them in a bag together, but only include enough for one smoothie. Then each morning, take a Ziploc bag and dump it into your blender:  a tasty, healthy smoothie each morning ready in no time.

Freeze Your Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: you shouldn’t settle on what you eat. A big key to great frozen food is to prepare ahead of time. Then, when you’re in a rush in the morning, it’s almost ready to go. Two delicious options for breakfast are preparing an egg sandwich or a breakfast burrito, wrapping them up individually and putting them in the freezer. All it takes in the morning is a microwave to heat it up and get going.

Marinate Your Chicken

Buy a piece of chicken from the store, and wash it. Marinate the chicken with any sauce or flavors you like- even take time to bread it. Store it in a plastic container and then when you’re ready, heat it up in the microwave. The chicken will be flavorful and delicious.

Freeze Your Yogurt

Everyone loves froyo. Why not make it yourself? Stick your yogurt cups in the freezer and when it’s time for desert, it’s ready to eat. Don’t forget to top it off with some chocolate chips, fruit, and whip cream!

Freezing Your Coffee Grounds

Freezing your bags of coffee leaves grounds fresh. Don’t suffer the quality of your taste of coffee just because you can’t make a trip to the store. Pop your coffee grounds in the fridge or freezer and enjoy delicious coffee until the bag is empty.

Freeze Leftover Brewed Coffee

Got some coffee left in the pot? Don’t dump it out. Make some coffee ice cubes! Fill an ice cube tray up with your leftover coffee and next time you need to cool down your drink, it won’t get watered down.

Make a Meal out of Packaged Frozen Food

Got a bag of frozen chicken tenders? Got Eggo waffles? These two ingredients can allow you to make a delicious classic southern meal. Heat these up and enjoy a cheap, but tasty version of chicken waffles. Don’t forget the syrup.

Which is your favorite new frozen food hack? Do you have any frozen food hacks that we didn’t catch? Let us know in the comments on Facebook! Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay Tigers!

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Some things are hard to talk about, but need to be discussed. A lot of love is in the air post-Valentine’s Day, but it is important to shed some light on abusive relationships. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month: it is important to know what exactly that means and how to handle a situation if it arises.

According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Teen Dating Violence (TDV) is “a pattern of abuse or threat of abuse against teenage dating partners, occurring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital.” There are a lot of cases of TDV that aren’t reported or even recognized. As stated in the definition, TDV can come in many shapes and forms, which is partially why it is sometimes hard to identify. The line of claiming a relationship is abusive can be blurry; however, if it feels wrong, it is wrong.

For clarification, here are only a few amongst many examples of TDV:

  • Hitting, shoving, kicking, or any other form of physical violence
  • Non-consensual sexual activity of any form, including kissing and touching
  • Abusive talking, stalking, controlling behavior, or any other forms of emotional harm

Sadly, TDV can end in self-destructive behavior. It is easy to let a relationship and your feelings spiral out of control, but there are many resources available to help you whether you just want to casually talk about your situation, keep it anonymous, or report a case of TDV.

As part of a statewide “Enough is Enough” law, RIT’s office of Title IX does a Title IX Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey every other year, to “monitor trends and identify issues that may be occurring on campus.” The online survey will only take about 25 minutes. In the survey you will be able to anonymously share your “experiences with gender-based misconduct including sexual harassment and discrimination, sexual violence and more.” Take the survey now, it closes on March 4.

Always remember: the only reason to stay with a partner is because they make you happy. A partner should support you, help you grow, and should be selfless and kind. If you have a gut feeling something isn’t right, you should treat your feelings seriously; no matter the context of the situation or the opinions of others. Although this month is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we should all be considerate of this issue all the time.

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Shopping: The Right Way

The day of romance, kisses, hugs, and most importantly presents is right around the corner: tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, most of us probably still don’t have a present picked out for our loved ones. We are all busy with classes, it’s hard to make time to the mall to find something special. But time hasn’t run out yet! Don’t settle for a quick run to Wegmans to get  boxed chocolate and flowers. We know there is a time crunch and the clock is ticking. Luckily for you, there is a store right in Global Village where you can get unique, cool, and meaningful presents.

I sat down with Wendy to see what Shop One is all about.

What is Shop One?

Shop One is a store for RIT-made arts, crafts and designs. The majority of the work in the store was made by someone affiliated with RIT. Most of the items are made by alum, but there is some student and staff created items as well.

“People often wonder ‘Why is all this stuff here?’, but it is because these artists have an RIT connection.” We try to have some fun choices here that are affordable for students to buy for themselves, their family members or their friends.”

Why do you think it is important to get unique gifts for Valentine’s Day?

“I think the first thing to do is to come in and explore. You might find something you haven’t even thought of. Each thing in here is personal, a lot of items are handmade. It isn’t that commercial mindset that often is a part of this holiday. There is such a wide variety of approaches at Shop One. If you want to give someone a gift, you think about why you like that person and why they are unique and you kind of want to acknowledge that in your present and it is a great way to show them that you appreciate them. If you go to a commercial store, there is a lot of stuff that is manufactured overseas and you might find something that is inexpensive, but doesn’t have the same feeling.”


What do you have in the store that you think could be great presents?

“We have these student made knitted hats, and the price is pretty good. We have these cool little zip pouches that you cankeep your ID in, and they’re hand made! We have a good selection of cards and Valentine’s Day cards. I think these are cool, we have these origami earrings. We have music boxes, those are really cool. We have some interesting stretch bracelets. We have higher end jewelry, of course, but many times student’s are looking for something a bit more affordable. A lot of the jewelry we have lies in a twenty to thirty dollar range, which isn’t too bad. Those are just some of the things student’s could buy, but I encourage everyone to come in an look to see if there is something that fits the person they are looking for!”


Check out this special deal Shop One is offering for Valentines Day:


The best part of buying your Valentine’s Day gifts at Shop One? They’ll wrap it for you. Head over to Shop One ASAP to find the perfect gift for your loved one.

F&A Spotlight: RIT Venture Fund

RIT Venture Fund is a multi-million dollar investment fund that has supported the growth of numerous entrepreneurial ventures over the past three years. Many students and alumni aren’t yet aware of the RIT Venture fund, but its impact is growing.   

Here are five facts that help explain exactly who they are and what they do. The RIT Venture Fund:

  1. Provides investment capital and guidance to innovative start-up companies that have strong ties to RIT. The fund can provide some seed capital to help get your business off the ground or help steer you in the right direction.
  2. Requires strong ties with RIT. Eligibility for funding is restricted to companies that have some affiliation with RIT. Companies that are founded by alumni, faculty, staff, students, and RIT Venture Creation client companies are all eligible to apply for funding.
  3. Invests in a wide variety entrepreneurial ventures, including companies that operate in the financial technology (fin-tech), telecommunications (telecomm), and additive manufacturing industries. All of the fund’s portfolio companies have really unique stories that reflect the depth and breadth of knowledge of RIT’s student and alumni populations. The fund primarily invest in companies that are focused on the creation of new intellectual property in areas that complement RIT’s core academic competencies, such as; imaging, design, sustainability, and technology.
  4. Hopes to enhance Rochester’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. The fund made its first investment just 3 years ago and since that time has invested $2.3 million in support of 12 different companies.
  5. Makes investments in companies in various stages of its life cycle, but primarily focuses on companies that are still in the “startup” stage. Other investment criteria include: having an established leadership team, having a product or service that demonstrates a clear market opportunity, having a sustainable competitive advantage, and the ability to provide investors an attractive return.

I sat down with Gregory Van Laeken, the Business Manager and Analyst for Global Programs and an investment manager for the RIT Venture Fund to ask some essential questions:

Will this fund eventually run out of money?

This specific fund is actually named RIT Venture Fund I, anticipating the need to launch additional funds in the future. RIT Venture Fund I was initially funded several years ago from the operating budget of the university. Once all of the money from this fund has been allocated to the various start-up companies in the portfolio we will look for ways to raise additional money and likely start a new fund. That said, our hope is that RIT Venture Fund I will continue into perpetuity as an “evergreen” fund. Returns on our investments will be put back into the fund and used to support new companies and new ideas long into the future. However, on average, it takes nearly 7 years for investments in start-up companies to start paying dividends and our first investments were made just 3 years ago.

How much do you typically invest in a company?

We currently have 12 companies in our portfolio and the average amount invested in each company is roughly $185,000. The maximum amount that we would invest in any given company is restricted to 10% of the overall fund, or $350,000.  We will oftentimes make multiple investments in a company at different stages or once certain milestones have been achieved. The initial investment into any given company is typically in the range of $100,000 to $150,000.  

Why do you think the RIT Venture Fund is important?

“I just think that it is great for the community, in general, to have thriving small businesses. Supporting these start-up companies will create employment opportunities and contribute to the overall health of the local economy. In this region we’re all too familiar with the tremendous success and then the eventual decline of our area’s largest manufacturing employers. But new jobs in innovative areas of the economy are constantly being created by these start-up companies. We hope that the RIT Venture Fund can play an important, albeit relatively small, role in fostering an environment that values entrepreneurship and creativity.”


The RIT Venture Fund is a truly interesting aspect to RIT. Check out some of the companies that RIT Venture Fund has supported:

Back to School with Barnes and Noble

The spring semester has officially started, and if you’re anything like myself, you aren’t quite prepared to conquer the semester…yet. No fear! Our bookstore at Barnes and Noble has everything we need. Here are the various ways that Barnes and Noble can help you come back to school:

Books: The bookstore has a wide array of textbooks that you may need for your classes. On the RIT Barnes and Noble website, you can type in the class you are taking, and it will tell you what materials you may need for that course. You don’t have to buy textbooks; you can rent them, purchase digital copies, and sell back your old ones to the store. The bookstore also will price match with Amazon,, and other local bookstores.

Winter Apparel: It’s going to be very cold walking to class. Stay warm with some RIT winter apparel. As of now, there is 25% off on all sweats and cold weather gear, so get shopping while this deal still lasts. Additionally if you download the bookstore app, you can get 25% off of one apparel item. Stock up on sweatshirts, jackets, and hats: you’ll be glad you did!

Supplies: There is a wide range of supplies at our campus bookstore. Purchase a mug for your morning coffee, or a water bottle to take to class. Stock up on binders, folders, and calculators in order to have everything you need to be organized in your classes. Get a fresh backpack to hold everything you need when you’re walking to class. Decorate your dorm with some school spirit swag. Or, get any makeup and skincare products you may need at the Clinique bar in the store. Basically, any supply you might need during your semester is probably offered at the bookstore.

Electronics: Located on the second floor of the Barnes and Noble, is our RIT tech store, Digital Den. There, you can find a lot of accessories you may be missing for your technology: cases, chargers, headphones, etc. Or, if you’re in desperate need of a technology upgrade before class starts, you can buy laptops, tablets, Apple Watches, and more. You can trade in your old smartphones, tablets, or MacBook’s to get a discount on your next purchase!

Hidden Homework Spot: Our RIT Barnes and Noble has a café. You’ll especially like it if you like Starbucks. But, if you’re simply looking to get off of our main campus, it is a nice alternative homework spot to sit down and get a head start on all the work you’ll have this semester.

Check out the Barnes and Noble @ RIT Facebook page for updates on the latest store promotions. Stock up on what you need and have a great semester, Tigers!

4 Essential Tips to be Prepared to Come Back to School

With winter break coming to an end, most RIT students are ready to come back from their month off. Some may believe it went by too fast, but ready or not the new semester is here! Whether it’s the second semester of your first year at RIT or possibly your last, preparing for another semester of college can still be a little taxing and time consuming. Here are a few tips on how to best prepare for coming back to campus!

  1. Make sure you’re getting yourself as organized as you possibly can. That doesn’t mean start color coding everything and creating an intensely documented planner, but more so making sure you have everything you need and in order for the next few months of school. When you get back, clean out your room and take inventory on what you still need. Being organized can help lower stress, which affects a large majority of college students. If you happen to get your syllabus before class has started (some professors may post theirs on MyCourses), try to go over what you will need from the class. Barnes and Noble @ RIT has a good way of keeping track of what books may cost, what materials you need, and so on. Many students put off buying or renting books before the first day of class, but by reading the syllabus, you may figure out quicker which textbooks will be utilized.
  2. Start marking your calendar. Also in the syllabus, to stay organized be sure to mark dates of importance to see what projects, exams, or papers may overlap since those are the times when college can be at its most stressful – when you have three papers due on the same day and a midterm the next.  Being able to plan beforehand may help you figure out how to keep track of your work and keep you from getting too stressed.
  3. Adjust to a new schedule and have a plan to stick to. Your classes last semester may be completely different this time around. You may have to suffer from eight o’clock classes or be stuck in a lab until late at night because there was no other way to schedule your courses. This may be a little overwhelming at first, but time management is something all students learn to get better at. Don’t stay up studying all night or drink loads of caffeine to try and balance out your work – rather take time to adjust to the new schedule and try and establish a good routine for juggling your workload and social life. Set some goals for yourself to try to accomplish this semester to help keep yourself focused.
  4. Research ways to get involved. Lastly, whether it’s your first year or last, coming back to RIT is always fun because our campus is full of activities, clubs, events, and so on. There’s always something happening here and it’s never too late to get involved! Whether it’s a club, a sport, something local, and so on – college is your time to do what you want to do! Look into opportunities on campus to be involved at the campus events calendar, check out The Link to find all of RIT’s amazing clubs and organizations, and try to remember that these are your college years – don’t be afraid to get involved and try something new!

Enjoy your last few days of break, you’ll definitely miss it in a couple weeks. However, also start to get excited to come back to school, because spring semester, we are ready for you!