RIT Warm Weather Guide

Warm weather has finally arrived here in Rochester, New York. As the semester comes to a close, don’t miss out on the fun things to do on or around campus.


Global Village Plaza

If there’s one place on campus that allows you to take full advantage of the nice weather in Rochester, it’s Global Village. Now that the weather has allowed for it, there are lots of available outdoor seating. You can even access RIT wifi perfectly, allowing you to catch some sun rays while doing homework. Occasionally, Salsaritas will even open its windows, so the indoor and outdoor eating area are combined. There’s also a water fountain and fire pit that will top off any warm, spring day!
Imagine RIT

While Imagine RIT is something fun and exciting to do while the weather is nice, it is also a day dedicated to the creative, innovative work that members of our campus community have accomplished. The festival will be taking place this Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. And don’t worry, Imagine RIT is set to take place rain or shine! It is free and open to the public, so grab some friends and enjoy what Rochester Institute of Technology has to offer!


Rochester Lilac Festival

The Rochester Lilac Festival is an exciting event to visit off campus. The festival runs daily from May 12 to May 21, so pick the day with the best weather forecast and make a trip out of it. Held in Rochester’s beautiful Highland Park, the event includes endless lilac gardens, music, food, rides, and so much more. Like Imagine RIT, the festival is free, and open to the public.
Outdoor Track

While plenty of us dread going to the gym (especially when the weather is beautiful), using the outdoor track is always an option. Located in front of the Student Life Center, the outdoor track goes around the perimeter of the lacrosse field. You’ll get to embrace Rochester’s spring, all while working out!


Seneca Park Zoo

Another off campus option, for those who are hoping to spend some time away from Rochester Institute of Technology, is the Seneca Park Zoo. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the zoo is a perfect spot for a day trip.

Loop around Campus

Much like the outdoor track, the loop around campus is also an option for working out. The loop that spans the perimeter of Rochester Institute of Technology is perfect for those who wish to ride their bike, walk, run, skateboard, etc. It is approximately 3.14 miles, and allows you to embrace the outdoors without straying too far from campus buildings.

Campus Hiking/Running Trails

Many people are not aware of the fact that Rochester Institute of Technology is packed with hiking and running trails. Check out one of our past articles to see where the trails start and end, as well as their distance!

Outdoor Volleyball

Who doesn’t love playing volleyball on a beach, while the sun shines high overhead? Unfortunately, Rochester Institute of Technology doesn’t have a beach, but there is a sand volleyball court available to mimic the experience! Located next to the Global Village apartments, the sand volleyball net is up, and ready to be used!
Grill outside of Gracies

Located on the dorm side of campus, many students do not take full advantage of the grills outside of Gracies. As the weather gets nicer and nicer, gathering some friends for an outdoor barbecue is a fun, inexpensive way to get outside. Located behind Grace Watson Hall, there are benches and picnic tables in the vicinity, making it the perfect place to host an outdoor hangout.

Final Ask Destler Recap

WITR 89.7 has been bringing President Destler in for an interview every few months for years, but this past installment of Ask Destler was a special one. This edition, which aired April 26, marked the last time that Dr. Destler would come on air as President. It was special as well in that it was broadcast live from the Fireside Lounge rather than in the studio.

RIT’s President Destler with interviewer Eric Lee

The broadcast covered a number of topics aimed at capping off Dr. Destler’s tenure at RIT. The interview opened by discussing Imagine RIT, which of course has been one of Dr. Destler’s largest contributions to RIT. Imagine, which turning 10 years old this year, is expected to draw a crowd of nearly thirty thousand. Dr. Destler stated that there will be over 400 exhibits and expects excellent weather for the event, saying there had been “15 minutes” of rain for the event in the past decade. He also spoke about the President’s challenge, which carries the prize of $1000 or a Banjo from Dr. Destler’s private collection. Destler joked it was a particularly good banjo this year, having given away or sold all the “runts” of the collection.

The conversation continued with this theme of major campus events, moving on to RIT graduation. A major point of discussion was this year’s commencement speaker. RIT has hosted many esteemed speakers over the years – from the Director of the CIA and the CEO of Xerox to Bills both Clinton and Nye. This year will be Austin McChord, founder of Datto and RIT alumni. At 30 years old he will be, as Dr. Destler pointed out, RIT’s youngest commencement speaker.


One of the most interesting topics covered in the interview was how Dr. Destler came to RIT. As is turns out, and rather unsurprisingly I may add, what first brought him to Rochester was banjos. A few years before he was even under consideration for President of RIT, he came to Rochester with a trunk load of banjos to trade with a collector here in Rochester. He was unfamiliar with the Shortly after this, the RIT Presidential search committee reached out to him, bringing him back to Rochester permanently.


Dr. Destler also discussed his plans after leaving RIT. He plans to help Dr. Munson wherever he can, as Al Simone did back for him back in 2007. He also plans to remain on several startup boards he has become involved in, and hopes to be more active on these boards going forward. He also hopes to devote more time to his music, joking he “has to support himself somehow”.


At the end of this event, WITR presented a “Platinum Record” of Dr. Destler’s first album, September Sky. This record represents all of all the help Dr. Destler gave to the station in constructing their new studio space in the Student Alumni Union, as well as a way for one of RIT’s many student organizations to say farewell to a man who has been a friend to RIT for the last 10 years.

Who’s Really Behind the Bricks?

With many contributors to Rochester Institute of Technology’s vast campus, it is sometimes difficult to sort where the names of our buildings came from. Our team has compiled a list of some of RIT’s most well-known buildings, so we can uncover who’s really behind the bricks!


Nathaniel Roch43_NRHester Hall (NRH)

This residence hall located on the east side of campus, just off of the quarter mile, is named after Colonel Nathaniel Rochester. Nathaniel Rochester was an American Revolutionary War soldier. He is known for his assistance in establishing the settlement of Rochester, New York. Nathaniel Rochester also played a major role in founding the Athenaeum, an association “for the purpose of cultivating and promoting literature, science, and the arts.” The Athenaeum offered various lectures and debates within the Rochester community, and would eventually become Rochester Institute of Technology.


George Eastman HallRIT_building_-_Eastman_Building_and_Kodak_Quad

Housing the offices of the Registrar, Vice President, and President, George Eastman Hall is located in the center of campus, next to the Sentinel statue. George Eastman is the founder of Eastman Kodak Co., and was a benefactor to the Rochester Institute of Technology, until his death in the year 1932.


Carleton Gibson Hall

Located in the North area on the dorm side of campus, Carleton Gibson Hall houses first year students. Carleton Gibson was the first President of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, which later became Rochester Institute of Technology.


George H. Clark GymnasiumIndoor-Clark-Gym-Big

An area of Building 3, George H. Clark Gymnasium was funded by George Clark, a Rochester Institute of Technology trustee. George Clark was also one of the original RIT stockholders of the Eastman Kodak Co., and provided our University with a donation to promote health and recreation through the addition of a new gymnasium.


Frank E. Gannett Hallgannetthall

Formerly known as Frank E. Gannett Building, Gannett Hall was established through the efforts of Frank Gannett, a publisher who founded Gannett Company, Inc., a media conglomerate. Gannett founded a media empire that included 22 newspapers, four radio and three TV stations. He acquired the Empire State School of Printing, which is now known as the School of Print Media.


Grace Watson HallGrace-Watson-Hall

Named after Grace Watson, the hall was born from the decision that Rochester Institute of Technology’s educational programs would remain progressive and unique. A local from Rochester, Grace Watson left a large portion of her estate to our university. This grant is still known as one of the largest bequests ever made to Rochester Institute of Technology. Grace Watson’s generous contribution allowed RIT to buy 1,300 acres of land in Henrietta, and move the campus to where it resides today.


Golisano BuildingRIT_building_-_Golisano_Building

Housing the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, the Golisano Building opened in the spring of 2003. Tom Golisano donated $14 million dollars to Rochester Institute of Technology for the establishment. A philanthropist, Golisano founded Paychex, as well as the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, which provides “grants to organizations dedicated to providing opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families”. Aside from his $14 million dollar donation to RIT in 2001, Thomas Golisano donated an additional $10 million for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability in 2007.


Vignelli Center for Design Studiesvignelli-center-design-studies-RIT-exterior

Named after world renowned designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli, the Vignelli Center for Design Studies is home to an archive of the these legendary artists’ work. The archive holds various forms of art, including furniture design, graphic design, and more. Currently, the archives are used as teaching tools for students. Viewing of the archives is open to all, and it’s definitely worth checking out!


Now that you know where many of Rochester Institute of Technology’s building names came from, take a walk over to a building that you’ve never been to before!


Autism Awareness Month at Rochester Institute of Technology

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. Autism affects 1 in 68 children and prevalence figures have continued to grow every year. On average, autism costs a family $60,000 a year, and there is currently no medical detection for a cure.

While many are aware of autism’s prevalence, showing your support and acceptance is a great way to get involved, especially during the month of April. Rochester Institute of Technology has a large population of students who fall on the autism spectrum, and our team here at Behind the Bricks has compiled a list of ways you can get involved.

Wear Blue

This is one of the simplest ways to get involved in the initiative to increase autism awareness. Throughout the month of April, wearing blue is a good way to not only show your support, but to spark a conversation about autism!

walk for autism

Walk for Autism

There are various walks you can attend, all with the same goal: supporting autism awareness. While Rochester’s walk does not take place during the month of April, it is still an awesome way to show your support. This year, the walk is set to take place on September 23. Sponsored by Autism Speaks, you can register and/or donate here: http://act.autismspeaks.org/site/TR/Walk/NewYorkState?fr_id=3025&pg=entry.

Take Advantage of the Spectrum Support Program

As mentioned, Rochester Institute of Technology has quite a large population of students who fall on the autism spectrum. Because of this, our campus is packed with programs and initiatives to create awareness and make the college transition for students on the spectrum go as smoothly as possible. One of RIT’s most prominent initiatives on campus is the Spectrum Support Program. With the goal and mission of positively impacting students’ college experiences, the program places an emphasis on academic, social, and career success. With countless resources available, the Spectrum Support Program is definitely worth checking out: https://www.rit.edu/~w-ssp/.

Best Buddies

Join RIT Best Buddies

If you are interested in supporting autism on a one-on-one basis, RIT Best Buddies is a good choice for you. Best Buddies is an international, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to establishing friendships, integrating employment, and promoting leadership for individuals with developmental disabilities. RIT’s branch of this international organization meets once a month on Sundays in room 1829 in the Student Alumni Union. Best Buddies at RIT hold various fundraisers and events to engage the student body, and promote one-on-one friendships. Interested in joining or attending a meeting? You can find the organization on The Link: https://thelink.rit.edu/organization/bestbuddies.

Whether you want to walk, donate, join a club, or wear blue, there are endless ways to get involved in supporting autism awareness throughout the month of April. Rochester Institute of Technology is a strong supporter of autism and students who fall on the spectrum, so make sure to check out the endless ways you can get involved!


14 Things To Do Before Your Freshman Year Is Over


If there is one event throughout the course of the academic year that gives a true representation of what Rochester Institute of Technology stands for, it would be Imagine RIT. This day-long event is jam packed with creativity, innovation, and ingenuity. This year, Imagine RIT will be taking place on May 6, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Don’t miss out!

2. FreezeFest

Although FreezeFest for this year has already passed, it is definitely something that new students should not miss. FreezeFest weekend is always packed with events that tailor to all members of the Rochester Institute of Technology community, and helps you escape from the winter blues!

3. SpringFest

Shifting seasons, SpringFest is another event that every freshman student should attend. Much like FreezeFest, there are multiple free events that all members of the Rochester Institute of Technology can enjoy. Every year, College Activities Board (CAB) announces a musical artist that performs in either the Gordon Field House or the Gene Polisseni Center. This year’s SpringFest concert is Andy Grammer!


Attending a performance put on by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf is a must. With such a large deaf and hard-of-hearing population here on campus, an NTID performance is something every freshman should check out. The majority of NTID performances take place in Robert F. Panara theatre, located near the dorms on campus. Past performances include; Shakespeare’s “The King,” and “We the Deaf People.” Upcoming shows include “Fairy Tale Courtroom” and “The Love of Three Oranges.” Check out the NTID Performing Arts Event Calendar here!

5. Lilac Festival

It is always nice to get off campus every once in a while. One of the best times of the year to do this is mid to late May, when the Lilac Festival is on display in Highland Park. This year, the festival will occur from May 12 to May 21. Jam packed with endless gardens, food, music, and special events, there is something at the festival for everyone.

CORNER CREW6. Hockey Game

No matter what year level you are at Rochester Institute of Technology, attending a hockey game is an absolute must. If there is one thing that truly captures the school spirit of RIT, it’s a game at the Gene Polisseni Center. You may even catch a glimpse of the President in the crowd!

7. Ice Skating in Ritter

Ice skating at RIT’s Frank Ritter arena is a great past time when you want to take a break from studying. With various hours of operation throughout the course of the week, Frank Ritter arena is a very short walk from the dorms. Check out prices and hours of open skate here!

8. Lighting the WayLIGHTING THE WAY

Lighting the Way is one of Rochester Institute of Technology’s most prominent welcoming ceremonies for the new women here on our campus. The event is sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender, and takes place during new student orientation. All members of the community are invited to attend the

9. Eat at Henry’s on Campus

One of the hidden gems on campus is a fully functional restaurant located on the fourth floor of the Eastman building. Henry’s is a part of the Hospitality department’s classes, to provide the best possible learning experience to their students, however it is only open a few times per semester. For general information, check out: http://www.rit.edu/cast/henrys/webpages/frameset.htm!

10. Learn how to finger spell

Being exposed to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community on a daily basis here at Rochester Institute of Technology, learning how to finger spell by the end of your freshman year is an achievable goal. Whether you decide to watch Youtube videos or attend No Voice Zone on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. in the Student Development Center, it’s worth a try!

VIGNELLI11. Vignelli Center

Checking out the Vignelli Center for Design Studios should be at the top of every freshman’s bucket list. Started in 2010, the Center has housed various kinds of art and design work.

12. Attend a CAB event

College Activities Board (CAB) is an extremely prominent student-lead organization here on campus. CAB holds events on a weekly basis, that range from movie screenings in Ingle Auditorium (located in the Student Alumni Union) to discounted excursions off campus. Check out their website (https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/cab/), or stop by their office located in the basement of the Campus Center.

13. Eat a Garbage Plate

One of the most debated topics in the Rochester community is where to eat the absolute best garbage plate. While some swear by Nick Tahou Hots who originated the iconic menu item, others swear by Henrietta Hots located very close to campus. Prior to end of your freshman year, try one, and decide for yourself!

14. Study Outside

As spring arrives, studying outside becomes more and more of a realistic idea. Luckily, our campus is packed with benches, tables, and chairs all dedicated to outdoor seating. The Global Village plaza area has multiple outdoor areas where you can find a seat, enjoy the weather, and get your study grind on!

Global Village Construction Update

The construction of Global Village 405 has been well underway all winter long, and our team here at Behind the Bricks has been keeping you updated every step of the way! RIT broke ground on the new Global Village apartment complex, a building that will house more than 140 Rochester Institute of Technology students, in April of 2016. While Global Village currently houses around 400 students, RIT’s growing popularity has necessitated a new building to house more members of our campus community. With construction remaining on schedule, Global Village 405 is set to begin housing students this fall.


The four-story building is located to the right of Building 404, if viewed from the Global Village plaza. Like the other Global Village apartment buildings, there will be two resident advisors housed in the apartment complex who will act as immediate resources for students in the building. Building 405’s outermost structure is, for the most part, complete, and construction of the interior is well underway.2

There will be no alterations to the pre-existing student parking lots in the surrounding vicinity. While certain areas of the Global Village apartment complexes are dedicated to commercial space, Building 405 will be used for the sole purpose of housing Rochester Institute of Technology students. Housing contracts in the Global Village apartment complexes are for one full academic calendar. If you find yourself near Midnight Oil or Salsaritas, stop by and check out Global Village 405’s progress!

What to do around Rochester for spring break


So you are staying in Rochester for spring break. Maybe you need to do homework and stay at school. Maybe you blew all your money on Chipotle instead of saving for that trip to Mexico like you wanted. Whatever the reason, staying in Rochester does not have to be dull. There’s tons to do around town all week, it’s just a matter of knowing what’s out there. There’s a whole world of music, food, museums and entertainment for the discerning RIT student to enjoy.


If you are looking to enrich yourself, Rochester has a number of museums that are always showing something new. For example, the George Eastman Museum will be holding a tintype photography workshop, where participants have their portraits done using an early camera. The Eastman Museum also has several special exhibitions on display right now.

If you’re looking more in the realm of the sciences, Rochester Museum and Science Center always has some interesting exhibits and events. This weekend, March 11, the Cumming Nature Center will be having a demonstration of how to tap a maple tree for sap. For something a little more out of this world, the Strasenburgh Planetarium has various shows going on all week. It’s not all educational material, either. On Saturdays in March, the planetarium runs laser shows based around the music of Radiohead and the Dave Matthews Band.

The Strong Museum of Play is great for those who want to indulge the inner child. Their collections include all sorts of exhibits totally devoted to play, and are entertaining whether you are 2 or 22. Especially interesting for many of us here at RIT is the simply massive collection of video games from every era.

There are plenty of other historical landmarks and museums around Rochester. Some good spots to check out are Mount Hope Cemetery, the Susan B. Anthony house, Memorial Art Gallery, and Gallery R. These are all open throughout break, and often have special exhibits depending on the time of year.


While it is supposed to be cold this weekend, a thick coat and some hot coffee can get you through a walk in one of the many City and State Parks in the area. There are over 3,500 acres of parks in Rochester. There are also a number of beautiful New York State Parks in the region, such as Watkins Glen, Letchworth, or Stony Brook. These are all open this time of year and offer some great hiking opportunities, no matter what the temperature is.


Even though RIT will be mostly closing down for the week, this is far from the case for the City of Rochester. A number of events will be happening over the course of the week. One major event is the Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is happening Saturday, March 11. This will run along East Ave throughout the morning. Other events in the area include Amerks games and concerts, if parades aren’t your thing.

Night Life

Rochester has plenty to offer if you’re looking for entertainment after dark. Areas like East and Alexander and the South Wedge have a number of restaurants, bars and clubs to go to. Popular spots include Murphy’s Law, Butapub, or The Daily Refresher. Even closer to campus in places like Lovin Cup, Shramrocks, Texas BBQ in Park Point offer some fun within walking distance to campus. Many places will be doing St Patrick’s Day specials that Friday as well, offering food and drink specials. Just remember, you should always designate a driver or take a cab if you plan on participating in the festivities. The luck of the Irish will only get you so far, but certainly not out of a DUI charge. 


Rochester has a lively music scene, with a number of concerts happening around town every single night. These range from huge acts at the Blue Cross Arena to small bands playing venues like the Bug Jar. Even Lovin’ Cup in Park Point hosts regular shows, hosting both local and national bands. The hard part is sifting through the dozens of concerts to find the one you want to go to, and trust me you will find one. Great resources for finding concerts are sites like bandsintown.com, which has a pretty exhaustive list of all the bands coming to Rochester and the surrounding areas. As you can see, the period between March 11 and 19 takes up quite a bit of space. On top of sites like this, it’s always a good idea to keep your ears open online as well, regularly checking band social media pages and the events pages of local venues. You never know when your favorite band might be coming to town. On top of popular music acts, you can never go wrong with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs regularly in downtown Rochester.

This makes up only a fraction of what is going on over the break. Make sure to keep an eye out for more events, concerts, museums, and more. Rochester has a lot to offer no matter what you want to do. Whether you want to quietly reflect on a piece of art or dance the night away, the only thing you need to do is get out there and find it.