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.

What NOT to do at the Career Fair

As the career fair grows closer and closer, many departments and colleges within our university have prepared you with exactly what to do while networking with potential employers. Well our team here at Behind the Bricks has taken a little bit of a different approach to this semester’s career fair prep. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you exactly what NOT to do this Wednesday, February 7!

Don’t stalk
Do you see your favorite company in the distance of the Gordon Field House? Do you see your favorite company’s recruiter heading to the restroom? Don’t follow them and try to give your 30-second elevator pitch over the hand dryer… it won’t work.

Don’t try and talk to every single company
The more companies you talk to, the more likely it is you’ll get a co-op right? No, wrong! Research a select few companies in which you are truly interested in potentially working for, and engage in a natural two-way conversation with the recruiter. The less rushed, the better!

Don’t cut in line
Do you see a sneaky way to get in the middle of a long line? No matter how sure you are that no one will notice, don’t try it!

Don’t wear white socks
Do you want to scream TACKY?

Don’t carry your backpack
You carry your backpack everyday throughout the course of the semester, there’s no need to bring it to the career fair. If you do not have a briefcase, bring a single folder of resumes, and you will be all set! Visit The Hub next to Artesano to get beautiful, inexpensive resumes printed!

via GIPHY

Don’t ask the employer to borrow a pen
No matter how prepared you may seem for a particular co-op position, no recruiter will give you the time of day if you ask to borrow a pen. If you can’t be prepared at the career fair, how can you be prepared in a co-op position at their company?

Don’t force the employer to take your resume
When it’s your turn to speak to the recruiter, do not try to immediately give them your resume. It comes across as forceful, and will probably land in the “No’s” resume pile. Instead, try engaging in a thoughtful conversation, until the recruiter asks for your resume specifically.

Don’t keep your hands in your pockets for too long
Let’s put it this way…No one wants to shake a clammy hand.

Don’t leave a typo in your resume
Did you spend time printing out 30 (what you thought were) beautiful resumes? Well, if you find a minor typo an hour before the career fair, go fix the typo, and reprint! The first thing employers look at is your resume, and a simple typo indicates that you are not detail-oriented.

Don’t forget to believe in yourself!
Lastly, it is extremely important that you don’t forget to believe in yourself. Yes, there will be tons of students looking for co-ops, but remember to show the recruiter why you deserve that position. Keep a positive mindset, and bring your A game!

 

via GIPHY

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:

http://www.rit.edu/venturefund/portfolio-companies

RIT’s Alumni House

We pour so much time into applying for colleges, applying for all the right programs, reaching out to all the right people. After we get to school, we make sure that we do everything in order to get the most of the school we picked. But what about when we leave the the classrooms, labs, and lecture halls? What value can staying connected to the alumni networks really have?

So here are some of our top reasons as to why you should definitely stay connected to RIT, even after you graduate:

Further educational research

Universities are some of your best connections to stay up-to-date with current research in your field. With RIT, you can have the opportunity to take various research and educational trips, designed specific for the alumni. With destinations such as the upcoming trip to the Galapagos, there is sure to be a trip that interests you and works to advance your professional goals.

Alumni personal interest events/regional events

Arguably, one of the most valuable things you will gain in your time at school, are connections. The importance of building a strong network cannot be undermined. LinkedIn researchers claim that a single connection can be as valuable as 50 sent resumes when you are in the midst of job search.

The RIT alumni network has regional and even international chapters that often organize social and networking events.

Whether you have been dying to try the newest restaurant in town or you’re up for a great night of bowling, these events can be a prime opportunity to forge personal and professional connections. The gatherings can be useful for new graduates moving to a completely new area or those simply looking for fellow graduates.

Access to campus resources

Although you might think that after you walk the stage and get your diploma, your days on RIT’s campus are truly over, think again. As an alumni of our school, you can enjoy access to resources such as the research databases and even the recreation facilities.

In fact, the newest addition to our campus is the RIT Alumni House – the first alumni-centric facility on campus designed to meet several community needs. It’s a one-story welcome center that includes intimate spaces for professional development opportunities, class reunions, milestone life or family events like weddings, industry meetings, and mentoring for students. It is an RIT community project funded fully by RIT alumni and friends. Anticipated opening? Summer 2018! The house is built to be a first point of connection for returning alumni, as our campus is constantly changing and evolving and when you come back in 10 years it might look completely different.  

In addition, our school’s alumni have access to Career Services as a resource for life! So when you are out in the workforce and looking to switch career paths or simply looking to update your resume, this will be an invaluable resource to you.

Discounts!

Believe it or not, college students aren’t the only ones who love discounts, and although once you graduate, your student ID might not give you all the great perks in stores that it does today, that doesn’t mean all is lost! RIT alumni not only have access to special insurance rates but they can apply for a my Better Benefits card that offers a variety of discounts on hotels, automobile rental, travel, theatre, museums, amusement parks, just to name a few.

To find out more about all the resources available to you when you graduate, check out the RIT Alumni Relations website.

New Year, New You!

It’s officially 2018, Rochester Institute of Technology! Along with the new year comes new year resolutions. While some of us have set goals to study more and procrastinate less, some of us have set goals to be the healthiest version of ourselves in 2018. Our team here at Behind the Bricks is here to support your health goals, and provide you with a guide to help keep you on track!

Student Life Center

The Hale-Andrews Student Life Center (SLC) is available to all RIT students. The building offers a wide range of facilities, so everyone can find something they enjoy. While the Wiedman Fitness Center is packed with cardio machines, weight training equipment, and friendly staff to help you, going to the gym isn’t the only option for getting healthy. The Judson/Hale Aquatics Center hosts open swim times in which the RIT community is welcome to enjoy the lap pool, hot tub, and whirlpool. The Gordon Field House (attached the the SLC) has three large courts available for student use if prior reservations haven’t been made. You can rent various kinds of equipment from the cage for whatever you want to play! There are also racquetball courts, squash courts, outdoor tennis courts, and an outdoor turf available for use. Is it too cold for you to run the loop of campus outside? Don’t worry. The SLC has an elevated running track above the basketball courts for you to take advantage of! As you can see, there are countless options available to RIT students when it comes to getting active. Make your 2018 New Years Resolution to get up, and get active! For facility hours and more information, please visit the Hale-Andrews Student Life Center website.

Dining Services

When it comes to being healthy, the food you put into your body is just as important as getting active. RIT Dining Services offers healthy alternatives at all dining locations for students who have made being healthy their 2018 New Years resolution. Gracie’s offers “Simply Eats” which is allergen friendly, and gluten free. Aside from the meat, all other options are vegan. Moving onto Brick City Cafe (located in the Student Alumni Union), the salad bar located in the middle is always available to students. In the mornings it is filled with fresh fruit and yogurt options, and in the afternoon it is filled with endless salad toppings. After filling your container, just bring it to the cashier to be weighed. Crossroads (located in Global Village) offers pre-packed salads for students who are on the go, but still want a healthy option. The sub line also offers wheat options for all subs. Across the courtyard from Crossroads in Salsaritas. Now before you think, “How can you eat healthy at Salsaritas?” just remember that anything is possible! When ordering, skip the burrito and tortilla chips and opt for a salad. The base of your meal will be lettuce instead of rice, and you can pass on the cheese and sour cream. Voila! Now you have a healthy burrito bowl alternative. Lastly, many people don’t realize how much added sugar and calories are in many specialty coffee drinks. All coffee shops on campus offer almond milk and soy milk alternatives for those who do not want dairy.

Open Skate

One last way to get active this new year is by attending Public Open Skate and the Frank Ritter Ice Arena. It’s only $2.00 for RIT students to attend, and $3.00 to rent skates. Open Skate is the perfect place to grab some friends (from on or off RIT campus)  and have some fun, while being active! Check out https://www.rit.edu/fa/arenas/ritter-arena/public-skate for more information regarding pricing, hours, and rink location.

RIT offers all of the support you need to be healthy this year. From countless ways to get your body moving, and endless healthy alternatives at dining locations across campus, it’s up to you to make a healthy lifestyle change! Use the new year as an excuse to get back on track, and conquer your 2018 health goals!

Don’t Count Them Out: The HUB

“When we first started to do screen printing, we had shirts that we were doing for a global hockey festival that RIT had one year, which involved all the international campuses and everybody was streaming together. This was our first big screen printing order but we only had a little manual screen printing press at the time. It was a three color shirt with the RIT logo: it had things printed on both sides. We had to do 700 of those shirts; it was all hands on deck. Throughout the department, any time you had a free minute you were in the screen printing room doing it manually. All of us were back there, and how we ever got those done, I’m not sure. Then we got the order for the shirts for Imagine RIT that year. We still had this manual press and every minute of the day we had shirts all over the place: you have to fold them after you’re done printing them and you need them all laid out before you start printing them. We learned trial by fire with screen printing. Thankfully, now we have a big automated press. It has been a real fun area for us as far as growth: we had to all learn together to be able to do it. Any time there is an event on campus that is a big deal, that generally means that The HUB is going to have print work to do. Sometimes it is a scramble, but we are always proud after it is done.”

RIT has a lot of different academic departments, majors, clubs, organizations and events; all of which have large printing and postal needs. Luckily, we have a place right here on campus who can fulfill any of their needs. The HUB director, Mary Ellen Gauntlett, was able to sit down with Behind the Bricks to talk about the services and the projects that The HUB does.

If someone asked you what The HUB was, how would you describe it?  

“I’d say that The HUB is the RIT printing and postal service. We take care of the entire campus. We have six departments that make up The HUB: print production and mail services here in Building 99, the two post offices (both in Global Village and NRH), The HUB Express in Monroe Hall (which is our student-centered facility) and the RIT Photo Store is currently part of The Hub.

Our goal is to provide really good service to faculty staff and students for printing needs, screen printing, and promotional items.”

The HUB has multiple rooms, each doing a different part of the printing process. There are about 80 student employees that work in all the different departments of The HUB, as well as full time employees. Some workers are getting files ready, some are printing, mounting, trimming, cutting, labeling, and some are focused on distributing and mail services. There are items that go out to the post office every day and there is incoming mail that they distribute every day, separate from all the student mail. The HUB does everything from the point they receive the work order to the moment the project goes out the door. For example, when you got accepted to RIT, you mostly likely received a folder or a packet full of admissions items and booklets. All of those materials most likely have been prepared, printed, and distributed by The HUB.

What is the difference between The HUB and The HUB Express?

“We do stuff for student groups here in Building 99. For individual students, generally they want to walk up to the counter, have their piece printed, and walk away with it: that is The HUB Express. Here in Building 99, we are more for bigger jobs and we work with a lot of clubs for projects, where they know it’s not going to be necessarily done the next day. We are not the on-demand part of the operation, that is for The HUB Express.”

What are the daily operations in The HUB like?

“For the production facility, we start with a morning meeting. We look over all the work we have to do in the department which is printing, mailing, bindery, and preparing files to beprinted. We do offset and digital printing, we do wide format printing for banners, signs, and posters, and we do screen printing for t-shirts. If you belong to a club and wanted a t-shirt printed for an event, we would actually print that right here in this department. We open several thousand work orders a year and within a month we do several hundred. Some of them are real simple and others become very complicated; they have a lot of steps to them, such as variable printing with personalized touches. We handle all standardized pieces of printing for RIT: all the business cards, the letterhead, and other material. So we got a lot going on.”

Are there any misconceptions about The HUB?

“A lot of people don’t think The HUB has a certain skillset, which we do. We have the qualification G7, which is a big deal in the printing world. It means we can consistently meet color standards and maintain appearance of color across a wide spectrum of materials and devices.

Also, I think there is a lack of understanding about the variety of our services at The HUB. For example, if you need to order pens, why don’t you talk to The HUB first because we can get the pens that do ten different things or the plain old stick pen. Are you looking for some ideas of things to give away for your organization? Tell us what your price point is and we can put together a little catalog. A lot of times, we don’t have the same minimums on a lot of things. If you go to other places you might need to order a certain number, then you have something you have to hang onto for a while.”

The manager of The HUB Express said almost the same thing: many students who come, don’t realize what they are capable of. The HUB Express can do anything a standard print shop can do. They are able to print up to 12×18”, can print wide format banners up to 26”, mugs, t-shirts, and more. Usually, whatever you need printed can be done instantly or within a few hours, depending on the project. Although you can use cash or credit at The HUB Express, you can also use Tiger Bucks, which is a major benefit. All you need is a flash drive or to email your files to The HUB Express, and you can get your work printed.

Do you do anything other than just printing?  

“We do have graphic design students that work here and a couple people on staff with a graphic design background. So if you come to us with an idea but you don’t know exactly how to create that, we will definitely try to help you out and work with you on that and make sure it is both printable and to your taste.”

 How do you think advances in technology will affect The HUB in the future?

“On the printing side there is new technology, and high-end production digital presses. We are already looking at what we could get next. One of the challenges at RIT is our orange color. When you are printing it on a digital device, it doesn’t always come out exactly right but there are new devices out that will get us that orange, like our other offset printing devices already can. We are also working on an online store right now for apparel, it will start with FMS. They can order the shirts that they are required to wear for their job. They can order it, come here to pick up their shirt, and it’s all taken care of. Eventually a club could also go on there and order their t-shirts, which will make things very convenient. It’s really exciting.”

What is the biggest benefit to using The HUB for students?

“We are very competitive with any outside source. We are price competitive: if someone says this is my budget, we will try to work with that budget. We are very RIT first; we have an interest in working with clubs and groups. We have other people that have said ‘we don’t want to go to The HUB because they can’t take care of us like other places’, but we have had many converts because they realize we can do the same thing as everyone else and our price is lower. We will deliver anywhere on campus, or even off of campus to help out and our turnaround times are generally pretty quick. You see a proof of what you want, you get to see what it is going to look like. For the most part, people find it pretty easy to work with us. Call us up, send us what you want, email us what you want, and we will work with you from there: it is that simple.”

“We really are here to support the students and the university: that’s our mission, thats our goal and that’s what we want to do.”

Wonder Workers: Our Custodial Staff

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 2.3 million janitors in the U.S. today. Unfortunately, because custodial work is “behind the scenes” it often goes unappreciated. Yet, custodial work is often very difficult and is vital the success of all public buildings. Colleges, stores, and hospitals depend on their custodial staff for their daily operations. Today, October 2nd, is National Custodial Worker Appreciation Day; if you see a custodian around campus, show your appreciation!

Unknown to many, our custodial staff workers are pretty cool. Check out this Q&A with Charles VanMaldeghem, a Building Services Supervisor. Charles is known for implementing robotic equipment into his work and takes great strides to enhance his team’s custodial operations at RIT.

How long have you been the Building Services Supervisor at RIT? 
“I have been at RIT for 13 years. I oversee 13 custodial staff mainly over in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences as well as the Bausch and Lomb Center.”

What is the toughest part about being a custodian?
“It’s very routine, mundane. It’s the same thing day after day. So, we try to develop methods and procedures that alleviate some of the most strenuous portion of the job: automated and in some cases in the robotics. We are able to have machinery doing a lot of that heavy work that is fatiguing to the staff. It eliminates some of the injuries and potential problems with that.”

Do you find this job to be rewarding?
“Absolutely. Last week we hadthe inauguration and the tours that were associated with that. A large number of people came through our building. So having the place look really nice and the floors looking clean and shiny, and restrooms clean and presentable and appealing is important, and we get great rewards off of the feedback we get from those.”

Custodial work is often “behind the scenes.” Do you think people take your work for granted or are very appreciative of the work you do?
“I often see a lot of positive feedback from the faculty staff and from students as well. Our custodians, because we are here during the day, develop those relationships with individuals. A lot of my staff has great connections with RIT staff and our students because they see them everyday.”

Why did you decide to go into the custodial workforce?
“I started very young in high school. Actually, before that I worked for my father cleaning his offices at the age of 12. As asupervisor, I feel my job is to further develop individuals because I know the business and I know the individuals. I get great reward out of enhancing their lives and making them better.”

Why do you think National Custodial Worker Appreciation Day is so important?
“Having been in it for 40 years, I like to make sure I am appreciating my staff everyday. I don’t try to limit it to one day out of the year, but the recognition that the staff get from people appreciating what they do on a daily basis I think is important.”

Be sure to thank the next custoidal worker you see, and share your apprciation on social media by tagging us at Behind the Bricks, along with the hastag #RITBTB. On behalf of Behind the Bricks, thank you to all RIT custodial workers as well as Facilities Management Services, for keeping our campus clean and beautiful. Happy National Custodial Worker Appreciation Day!