International Students Day at RIT

Did you know that today is International Students Day? With students from over 100 different countries all over the world, Rochester Institute of Technology is proud to be a part of the celebration! Held annually on November 17th, International Students Day was created to commemorate the cultural diversity present in universities across the globe. With about 2,500 international students at RIT’s Rochester, New York campus, it’s pretty clear that RIT places a strong emphasis on diversity, and proudly embraces multiculturalism.

With a variety of different countries represented here at RIT’s home campus, it’s sometimes easy to forget how many other students attend RIT in other areas of the world. With campuses in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Pristina, UAE, and Beijing, countless students are gaining a cultural experience from our university, while receiving an education that can’t be matched. For students studying abroad here in Rochester, New York, RIT provides multiple areas of support to ensure all international students have a smooth transition to life here in the United States. Well-being is a top priority, of course, both inside and outside of the classroom. With an intensive English language center, and advisors eager to ensure you have a great and memorable experience, studying abroad at RIT is made easy.

International Student Services  is an office designated to the overall success of international students here on campus. They not only provide support and answer any questions students have about immigration and adaptation, they also assist with any personal matters that may arise during students’ experiences abroad. Global Union is another resource available for international students to feel more at home whilst in Rochester. The Center for Religious Life (located in the Student Alumni Union) offers a safe area for prayer and services of all of the world’s major faiths.

If you are interested in becoming an international student yourself, studying abroad is the perfect experience for you. While students can study at any of RIT’s international locations, our university holds many partnerships with universities all over the world. With language barriers and credit transfers made easy, a stop in RIT’s Study Abroad Office can help with any questions you may have. Located above Salsarita’s in Global Village, stop on in!

5 Ways to Stay Healthy at RIT

With the holidays coming up, RIT students and faculty returning home for Thanksgiving are ready for some home-cooked meals and relaxing before the few weeks before finals. The last few weeks can be quite hectic! Sometimes students who are surrounded by constant classes, studying, homework, meetings, and maintaining a relative social life, can forget to retain a healthy lifestyle. Some students don’t believe in the need to develop healthy living styles now – but eating ramen and microwavable mac and cheese while pulling all nighters may have severe consequences to your health. Developing healthy habits in your life as a college student will only make it easier to stay healthy throughout your life. Here are five tips to stay healthy at RIT!

1. Exercise – There are plenty of ways to get exercise on campus and walking the quarter mile every day is a good start. However, the Wiedman Fitness Center in Hale-Andrews Student Life Center offers a seven day schedule to all RIT students. Even just working out for half an hour a day could improve your overall health! Hale-Andrews also offers a five multi-purpose courts, a dance and aerobics studio, an elevated 1/8 mile running track, conference and classroom space – you can even go for a swim in the Judson/Hale Aquatics Center! Check here for the hours to all the facilities provided around campus including Wiedman Fitness Center, the Judson/Hale Aquatics Center, the Red Barn, and more!

2. Eat right – Probably one of the easiest ways to stay healthy and yet a bit difficult in the life of a busy college student. You might not realize your intake of food and how it’s affecting you! A lot of college students fail to eat right – why else would everyone know the definition of the “freshman 15”? Even after freshman year, some students still struggle with maintaining a healthy diet and RIT has many healthy options at every corner of its food and dining services.

Though there is always a large availability of food here on campus – Gracie’s, The Commons, and more –  with the help of RIT’s Dining Services’ website, students can see the vast majority of healthy options that their college has to offer – with even more guidance on nutrition labelling!

3. Get on a good sleep schedule – All nighters are quite common on a college campus. Seeing students walking to class half-asleep is no fun, and teachers don’t want you to fall asleep in their classes (but some of us have done it!) All nighters are tempting when cramming for a test when the stress and anxiety levels are running high. That weekend to celebrate, you might just go stay out late until the early morning hours having fun with your friends. The goal here is to try to not make that a habit. Sure we all have like to have fun and we all sometimes have to cram for a test, but trying to make a decent sleep schedule is hard for a lot of college students. Students aresaid to need at least seven to nine hours of sleep at night. You might be thinking that there is no way you’d ever get that much sleep based on your homework and cram sessions, but sleep deprivation can lead to decreased brain function, fatigue, headaches and weight loss or gain. Losing out on a good night’s sleep is never the right answer! Instead, try to stay on a schedule by avoiding caffeinated drinks before bed. Keep track of the hours you sleep with an app on your phone which can help you regulate your nightly routines. Best of all, even if you’re feeling tired during the day – check out RIT’s own Nap Map to find out the best place on campus to take a short power nap to help you get through the day!

4. Hydrate – Drink your water! It’s a sentence we’ve heard plenty of times yet many choose those caffeinated and sugary drinks to fuel them throughout the day. However, water replenishes your body – keeping you more focused and energized throughout the day. All of that sugar and caffeine can wear your body down, making it more difficult to focus and stay awake as it only gives your short bursts of energy. Drinking water will improve your overall health and keep you moving throughout your day so find a reusable water bottle and take it to class!

5. Relax – Probably the most difficult thing to do as a college student. Relaxing never seems to be an option but the truth is, is that you need to take moments to just breath. Taking breaks and having downtime is essential to staying healthy. If you’re stressed from studying, take a moment to read a book or hang out with your friends, even take a nap! Stress management is like time management – just another thing students learn as they grow. Stress and anxiety is a major problem in young adults and especially college students, which can be detrimental to your health. Take a moment in every day to just step back and breath! Find ways to help yourself relax – it can do wonders for your physical and mental health.

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.”

5 Tips for Dealing with your Roommate

So you’re living away at college now and you have this person living with you. Whether you grew up sharing a room with your siblings or you’re used to having your own room, if you’re like most people, this is the first time you have shared such close quarters with someone who is essentially a stranger. And whether you chose your roommate or had one assigned to you, you’re bound to encounter a roommate issue at some point. Here are our five best tips for managing life with your cohabitors.

  1. Express your needs and expectations.

If you live in on-campus housing then at the beginning of the semester you filled out a contract with your roommates about general expectations you had about your living arrangements. However, it’s important to remember that the contract shouldn’t remain that one thing you did at the beginning of the year that you now forgot about.

Your roommates can’t read your mind. Crazy, right? That means that if you need to study for a big midterm coming up, you shouldn’t expect your roommate to just know that you’re going to be needing quiet time in the room. They might think you’re studying in the library and invite a bunch of friends over. How were they supposed to know?

So as a good starting point, establish a good method of preventative communication. You can have a whiteboard with your schedule for the week, write in when you need time to study, assign chores, etc. Just don’t expect your roommate to be on the same page as you if you don’t lay it out for them.

  1. If conflict arises, first TALK to your roommate.

So you laid out all your expectations. You agreed to have the trash taken out every three days, and yet it’s been a week and now bottles are starting to spill out

of your roommate’s bin and your room is developing a weird smell. Even though it seems like the most obvious thing in the world, most people will really struggle with simply confronting their roommates about issues they may have. The good thing is, if you’ve established those ground rules (see point 1), then you bringing up that your roommate should take out the trash shouldn’t hit them out of left field.

However, even when the issues at hand are more severe than smelly trash and they may be things you never talked about before,

It’s important that you at least make some sort of effort to talk things over with your roommate. The RA’s at RIT are here to support you but they will also encourage you to try to sort out the issue yourself before involving a third party. Dealing with conflict is an important life skill to acquire, so why not start now?

  1. Visit the Ombuds office.

RIT has a plethora of resources available to its student body, one of them being the Ombuds office. If you’ve never heard of it, the Ombuds office provides students and

staff with a confidential, safe, and unbiased space for conflict resolution. You can bring to them any issue that you may be experiencing and they will listen, coach you through conflict resolution tactics, or provide you with any other relevant resources.

It’s important to remember that because the Ombuds office is 100% confidential, if you’re having a very serious conflict that the university needs to made aware of, visiting the Ombuds office does not count as filing a formal notice to the school.

For more information on the Ombuds office, you can visit their website.

  1. Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend.

A lot of people come into college expecting that their roommates are going to be their automatic, built-in best friends, or even yet, they choose to room with their best friends. However, it’s more important that you and your roommate have similar living habits (cleaning, sleeping) and as emphasized in the points above, that the two of you can communicate well.

The dynamics of close friendship can often get in the way of efficient communication, and also – as much as you love your best friend, you might not want to see them 24/7. If your roommate is not your best friend and yet you are able to share a space, you’re on a path to success. Everyone can use their own space and privacy and a place without judgement or clinginess.

  1. Contact your RA.

If you feel like you have tried everything and your conflicts with your roommates persist, your next avenue should be contacting your RA. They will often try to mediate your conflict and if you come to the conclusion that your living situation is not working, as a last resort , they will be able to get you in contact with resources in order to see if alternate housing is a possible option. Keep in mind that these change requests will eventually have to go through RIT Housing and will be honored based on availability of rooms.

 

RIT Halloween Events | Behind the Bricks

Get your costumes on, because Halloween is finally here and there is so much happening! We found a list of things to do on campus today using the Campus Groups events portal, so be sure to check it out for future events.

Halloween Cider and Coco

8am-3pm at the Sentinel Sculpture – Tau Kappa Epsilon

Link: https://campusgroups.rit.edu/tke/rsvp?id=360281

Artesano Halloween Sale

All day at Artesano – RIT Dining

Wear a costume and get 25% off | Spooky treats will be served all day

Link: http://bit.ly/2hqjU6X

Midnight Oil Presents: Casper the Movie

All day at Midnight Oil – RIT Dining

Bring a costume and get a free cookie | Watch the movie Casper all day

Link: http://bit.ly/2lyod4F

Spooky Scary Science Bake Sale

10am-4pm – BioTech Club

Link: https://campusgroups.rit.edu/biotech/rsvp?id=359292

ritGA Horror Drag Show Ticket Sale

11am-2pm in SAU Lobby Tables – ritGA

Event Page: http://bit.ly/2z3fXwv

GCCIS Halloween Party

1pm-3pm in Golisano Hall Main Lobby Atrium – GCCIS

Link: https://campusgroups.rit.edu/sg/rsvp?id=360862

Caffeine Halloween

3:30pm-7:00pm at the Tiger Statue – Club Café

Link: https://campusgroups.rit.edu/cafe/rsvp?id=359302

Gracies Spooky Meal

4:30pm-6pm in Grace Watson – RIT Dining

There will be a costume contest!

Link: http://bit.ly/2gPyCDR

Ellingson Tremendous Ten Tower of Terror

8pm-10pm in Mark Ellingson floors 4-8 – Center for ResLife

Link: https://campusgroups.rit.edu/reslifestaff/rsvp?id=360586

We hope you have a Happy Halloween, filled with treats. Be safe and be respectful of other Tigers around you! Be sure to share your costumes with us by taking a selfie, share it on social media using the hashtag #RITHalloween; you might even be featured on our accounts!

Perks of Digital Den

Digital Den is RIT’s Apple authorized campus store. Looking for a laptop, the latest Apple Watch, earphones, a designer phonecase, a pop socket, a wireless charger, or a hard drive? Digital Den can hook you up with all of these and more. Almost any of your electronic needs can be met at Digital Den. However, Digital Den is no basic tech shop. Behind the Bricks talked with Ryan Gaynor, a Staff Sales Associate, about the Perks of Digital Den.

Does the store sell Apple products only?

“We are mainly an Apple Campus Store but we also sell Dell computers and we also sell other brands, and we can special order other brands especially other Windows computers.”

Because Digital Den is focused on meeting RIT student needs, the employees can recommend specific computers and other technology based on your college and major. Digital Den also has a list of products they sell on their website. Check out your various options before you go!

How would you describe Digital Den if someone asked you what it was?

“I would say that Digital Den is an Apple store and also the RIT digital store. Whether it be Apple products or other electronics, we offer a lot of things at discounted or educational pricing so it is a huge benefit for students or staff to come here rather than going to regular retail stores in the area. We also have promotions and we have a have a presence online. We try to post relevant things: whether it be for our store, or cool news stories and things on social media as well as on our website. Also, within the last year or two, we have been running workshops here. So say someone wants to come by and wants to learn about about the Apple Watch, we have a workshop coming up that is all about the Apple Watch. And one additional thing is that we have an Apple Campus Rep: she comes in and helps with our workshops. We do about an hour or hour and a half small class on how the product works and all the different product features.”

The educational discounts offered at Digital Den are hard to beat. On top of that, Digital Den’s workshops are both interesting and informative. To learn more about your Apple watch, attend the next Apple Watch Workshop on Thursday, October 26 from 5-6 pm.

What kind of events do you generally hold?

“We have events every now and then; we recently had an event for Student Appreciation Night. We have events around various holidays. For the events, sometimes we have free food and we have a giveaway for an Apple Watch or an iPad or something like that. We are trying to spread the word that we are here and get students interested.”

Is Digital Den open to the public or strictly for RIT students and staff?

“The store is generally open to the public but as far as Apple computers and iPads and things, we sell those only to the RIT faculty, staff, students, and retirees. A lot of the Apple products have educational discounts only available to them.”

On the Apple website, you cannot get the same educational deals that you can get at Digital Den. The educational discounts at Digital Den also apply when buying Apple Care. Additionally, Digital Den recently began their Encore Trade-In Service. If you’re looking to update your technology, you can sell your old devices to Digital Den and can use the money towards your next purchase! Check out the Digital Den website for an estimate on how much your electronics are worth.

Besides the store, what services do you offer?

“We work with an authorized Apple Service Provider. If anyone from the RIT community comes by, they can drop off their Apple computer here and someone will come pick it up and will do the work on it at their location. You can pay here, drop it off here, and fill out the paperwork here. We can also answer some questions about Apple products, especially if someone purchases them here, as well.”

Because Digital Den is an Apple authorized campus store, all the workers are Apple certified product specialists and technicians. This means the workers are extremely knowledgeable about all of the products and can recommend what is right for you. Additionally, if you are having issues with your Apple technology, the employees may be able to help you with the problem before you make an appointment with the Genius Bar.

What are the Single Incident, Gold, and Platinum plans?

“Those are the computer repair service plans. Enrolled students already have the Gold Plan, as part of their tuition. For the faculty and staff, they can come here and they can purchase the Gold Plan, they can purchase a Single Incident Service, or they can upgrade even further and can buy one that has other features. The Platinum Plan, for instance, has additional features such as advanced hardware replacement, more intensive diagnostics and trouble shooting and things like that.”

Check out the computer repair service plans on Digital Den’s website to discover the exact services you can take advantage of with the Gold Plan, as well as the advantages of upgrading to the Platinum Plan. To learn more, check out their breakdown here.

What do you believe are the biggest perks of digital den?

“We have really good pricing and we have the option to go through us for repair services.” Gaynor also encouraged us to check out Digital Den’s list, “10 Great Reasons to Buy From the RIT Digital Den”.

You don’t want to miss out on the amazing deals and perks Digital Den can offer RIT students, faculty and staff. Don’t forget, Digital Den is not directly on campus. Stop by the second floor of Barnes and Noble for any of your electronic needs. Follow Digital Den on Facebook for interesting technology focused news stories and updates about their new products, workshops, and events!

Breaking your routine | Writer’s Cut

I love planning. No, really – nothing makes me feel more accomplished, more safe, than the feeling of having my schedule completely filled out, so that I know what to do every hour of every day. Does that make me a bit of a control freak? Yes, it probably does.

Now if all of that is true, you might be confused as to why you’re reading an article on taking a break from your planned routine. Well, just stick with me here.

The weeks leading up to college move-in were grueling for me. Though I suppose it’s not uncommon for upcoming freshmen to be worried about this new chapter of their lives (some will show it more than others), I was utterly terrified. I was moving halfway across the country (22 hours by car to be exact) to a school that none of my friends had even heard of, and to make matters even worse, move-in day was going to be the very first time I set foot on campus. Although I had been away from home for significant periods of time before, nothing was never quite as permanent as this move.

After unpacking and setting up my room, it was almost as if someone had pressed a “GO” button on my life. Throughout orientation, I was only in my room when I needed sleep, and it’s safe to say that this pattern continued well into the beginning of that semester. Now before you jump to conclusions here – no, I was not out partying every night, and no, I was not trying to drink away my worries. Instead, I began to fall in a strict routine of school, work, and friends that I helped myself to and upheld to a T. I had found my own way to forget, my own way to not allow myself to stop for long enough to think about just how far out of my comfort zone I really was.

My routine engulfed me. I was so focused on always doing something that I didn’t even notice. For a solid three months, I was constantly doing, doing, and going. I did everything to establish RIT as my home and my environment, and I didn’t think twice about it. Unknowingly, keeping myself busy became my method of not allowing myself the time to feel homesick, to cope with how big of a life-change college was. I was always looking forward to my next assignment, club meeting, or dinner with new friends.  

The problem was that none of these things alone were inherently bad in nature. I was doing very well in school, I had a solid group of new friends, and I was involved in clubs. As far as I knew, this was the perfect execution of the perfect recipe of the perfect college experience. Sense the sarcasm yet?

I was so in love with the routine I created for myself that it became even more important than the individual tasks and events within it.

Then Thanksgiving week rolled around.

Everything around me was slowing down as professors and students looked forward to the promise of three blissful days off work with their friends and family. My world was not getting any slower though. I pushed on with my tight schedule and added even more tasks for myself. Soon enough, my brain was making plans faster than my body could even begin to complete them.

So, I crashed. Now, I know what you’re thinking, this must be the great climax that I have been building up to, and using the word “crash,” you will think I’m referring to some unfortunate car accident on my way home. Well, that’s just the thing, I didn’t get to go home and take that break, and that realization was precisely what brought me into a flood of tears.

Our bodies have a unique ability to tell us to stop and slow down. This was my body telling me precisely that. I spent the whole semester making myself so busy that I wouldn’t have time to internalize the huge life-change that college really is. I tried my very best to follow everything I had read about what makes a successful college student. Yet somehow, that wasn’t enough.

No self-help article could actually prepare me for the unique challenges that college had for me. As I sat down to write this, I realized that I, too, could never successfully address all the struggles a college student could face, but that’s just it. College will hit each individual person with a personalized set of challenges that can all be equally overwhelming and all feel equally isolating. So my advice here is simple.  

Take a break.

For me, that meant changing my environment by taking a trip to Highland Park and for just a day, being away from RIT. It meant allowing myself the headspace to process my new reality of life in college. Whatever taking a break means to you, do it. Get coffee at the cafe you have been meaning to visit or maybe just take a walk around campus to process and take in everything that is happening around you.

Facing your reality will work much better than trying to run from it.