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.

Love Yourself this Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day here at Rochester Institute of Technology, and you don’t have a special someone to spend it with. Don’t fret, spend this February 14th loving yourself, and engaging in self care. We’ve put together a list of ways to engage in self-love this Valentine’s Day!

Practice mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is one of the best ways to relax, and put your mind at ease. Practicing mindfulness can be done in a variety of ways. Whether you find a calm and quiet place on campus to sit and reflect, or lay down on your bed and think about life, mindfulness can be achieved by anyone!

Clean out your closet

Cleaning out your closet is an easy way to feel refreshed, and rejuvenated. While people constantly stress the importance about keeping your space clean, many forget that this includes your closet! For most of us, our closets act as a place where we throw stuff that we don’t know what to do with. Take today to clean yours out.

Treat yourself

If there is one day that you can justify treating yourself, it’s Valentine’s Day! Go get a massage, eat some chocolate, or binge-watch one of your favorite shows on Netflix. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to do all of these things, so go ahead, and treat yourself!


Spend time with your friends

If you don’t have a special someone this Valentine’s Day, fill the day with other special people in your life. Friends are a great way to distract yourself from negative thoughts. So this Valentine’s Day, go out to eat or see a movie with some friends!

Bake something

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to bake something! What’re you craving? Brownies? Cupcakes? A cake? There are plenty of places here at RIT where you can buy ingredients. Visit Crossroads, the Corner Store, or the Market at Global Village to find everything you may need.


Light a candle (as long as you’re off campus!)

Lighting candles is perfect for aroma therapy, or for setting a calming ambiance in your immediate environment. Candles are a great way to de-stress, and unwind. Purchase candles at Shop One, located in the Global Village Plaza. Just make sure that if you light candles, you are not in on-campus housing!

Turn off social media

Turning off social media, for at least a day, can be extremely refreshing. It’s amazing how much time you save when you aren’t staring at a screen! Use the time you save reading a book instead.


Visit Henry’s

Henry’s is a dining location located on the fourth floor of Eastman. Many RIT students and faculty don’t even know that this dining location exists! Every Valentine’s Day Henry’s hosts a three-course festive meal, and the best part, they accept dining dollars! Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to indulge in a gourmet meal right here on campus.

Do something nice for another person/people

Doing something nice for another person can be done any day, at any time. Whether you volunteer somewhere on Valentine’s Day, buy a friend a cup of coffee, or compliment a stranger, you’ll immediately feel the gratification from being kind to another!

Get in a good workout

Want to know what will put you in a good mood? Releasing some endorphins at the Student Life Center! The SLC will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, so if you have time, swing by for a quick workout!


As Valentine’s Day approaches, don’t feel like you need a special someone to have an amazing day. Putting some time aside for yourself is extremely important to do everyday, but February 14th is the perfect excuse to try it out! Have a guilt-free day as you engage in your own self-love!

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!


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!



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.


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!

What’s the Deal with Handwriting?

You walk into a new lecture class for the semester. You take out your laptop, open up a brand new Google Doc and you get ready to take notes. Then the professor walks in and tells everyone to put their devices away – in this class all notes have to be handwritten. Yes, it sucks, and we’ve all been there. But are there any actual benefits to handwriting?

In honor of National Handwriting Day we decided to look at two of the most common areas in which college students might be debating whether to use paper or electronics: note-taking and to-do lists, and see whether there is any merit in keeping it “old school” with pen and paper.


Let’s talk about notes first. There are a plethora of studies on the internet about how handwritten (or longhand) notes help students retain more information. In fact, a study of 300 students at Princeton and UCLA suggested that the group of students who took longhand notes, as opposed to those who took notes on their laptops, were better able to answer questions about the lecture. Why, you ask?

The researchers claim that the students who worked on paper scored higher because they were forced to rephrase the information they heard, which required them to undergo a preliminary process of summarizing and comprehension of the material. This put them a step ahead of those who worked on their laptops, as most of them wrote a literal transcript of the lecture.

“But typing is just so much faster.”

Yes, yes, we know – and often students are worried that by handwriting their notes in class, they won’t be able to get down all the information they need (particularly if the professor goes very fast) or that their notes won’t be legible (and then you will have to ask that guy sitting next to you in your lecture for his notes and it will be all awkward because he will think you’re trying to ask him out and it won’t be cute like the movies). Well instead, maybe try to take handwritten notes of your typed notes when you are reviewing, which could illustrate the power and effectiveness of engaging with the material in more than one way.

To-do lists

And what about the beloved to-do list? As college students, we are all too familiar with the seemingly never-ending to-do list. But writing your tasks down can actually make it easier on your memory – rather than thinking about remembering to do something – you can just focus on the task at hand.

It has been found that the act of planning and writing things down makes you turn your thoughts into much more achievable tasks and once you write them down, you’re that much more likely to do them. In fact, numerous studies that show that people who write down their goals and to-dos are almost a third more likely to actually do them than people who do not.

Additionally, writing your to-do lists can allow you to better fill gaps in your time. Sometimes, when you have just finished a task, you might think “Ok, I’m done for now,” and you proceed to log onto Netflix because you don’t know what the next thing you should do is. But – if you have a running list going, you can always reference it and look at what still needs to be done.

But so what? We often find ourselves in situations where it’s just not convenient to carry around another notebook. Yet, indisputably, the very act of writing things down with our hands has been shown to increase retention and comprehension because when we hand write, we engage so many other parts of our brain than when we simply press a button on a keyboard. Additionally, because handwriting for most people is inherently slower, it can be especially useful when you are goal setting, brainstorming, or engaged in the retrieval phase of studying, i.e. when you are trying to remember everything that was said in class when studying for an upcoming exam. All these tasks require more time and greater deliberation.

However, we can’t deny the fact that typed lists and notes can give you more flexibility in terms of deleting, organizing, and searching for exactly what you need. On the other hand, handwriting can give you more flexibility when you create spreads such as mind maps.

Clearly, there is no perfect answer. Maybe the solution lies with new technology that focuses on touch screens and styluses? The tradition of handwriting is not dead just yet.

So let us know – are you a loyal supporter of the fail-safe pen and paper or an advocate for the endless possibilities of e-ink? If you’re looking to venture into the realm of handwriting, check out the RIT bookstore or Shop One for some beautiful notebooks!