Living at the RIT Inn

Have you been assigned to the RIT Inn next academic year? There’s probably a lot of thoughts running through your mind. What exactly will living at the Inn be like? I met with students who currently live at the RIT Inn to get answers and to get a feel for what it’s like. There are so many rumors and comments out there about what the Inn is like— some from students who have never even been there—so we wanted to get details from students who actually live there to hopefully give you a better idea of what to expect.


A typical response about being assigned to the Inn is: “The Inn? I don’t want to live there!” But don’t make quick judgements yet! Cooper Hanson, a third year student at RIT, told me this was his exact reaction to his housing assignment. Now that he’s been living there for almost two semesters he feels quite differently. “Just like everywhere else, it has its pros and cons, but it’s really not that bad” says Hanson. Jessica Bowen, a transfer student, renewed her contract to stay at the RIT Inn for next semester—which may be a surprise for some reading this. She said that she wasn’t thrilled at first by her assignment, but there are things that make the Inn a good place to stay. We talked about all of the amenities and perks of living at the Inn— things you probably haven’t heard through the grapevine, which may change your mind about being “stuck” at the RIT Inn.




When Bowen first heard she was assigned to the RIT Inn, her response was, “Where is it? How am I going to get to campus?” The RIT Inn is located at 5257 West Henrietta Road, about 10 minutes off campus. It seems far, and I don’t suggest biking it, but thankfully RIT has it covered. RIT provides a bus and online schedule, plus extra information and tracking through the RIT app. Recently RIT switched bus providers to First Transit, which Bowen thinks was extremely helpful, “The old buses were so small; getting out of a 6:00 p.m. class the bus would be cramped for the ride back to the Inn. It’s better now with the new larger buses.” During the day, the bus runs every 15 minutes with stops at Gleason Circle, John Street, the residence halls and Barnes & Noble. Bowen suggests tracking buses through the app, but be wary of early leavers- always be early for your bus. If you have a car, there is parking available at the Inn with services to clear the lots of snow and put down salt. Parking and Transportation Services gives you a parking pass for one on-campus lot- a lot of your choice too. “I prefer using my own car,” says Hanson. “I went on the bus at first, but with a free reserved parking pass, it was worth it.” If you have a car and live at the RIT Inn, Housing Operations will purchase you an on-campus reserved parking pass to the lot of your choice.

RIT wants to ensure safety for all students, and people ask questions about what RIT does to establish safety and security at the Inn. Similarly to on campus, Public Safety plays a role in keeping the RIT Inn a safe environment for students. I’ve been told that officers patrol around the Inn in 3 shifts and check with the lobby about activities. The RIT Inn is also gender inclusive housing. This is one of RIT’s attempts to make things easier for non-gendered people, aiming to create living situations where every person can feel comfortable. People of any gender can share rooms, avoiding the possible confusion and frustration of living situations in non-gender neutral places.


What does your room look like? The Inn has doubles, meaning two students sharing a room as they do in the dorms. In the spring semester, there’s an option to have a double as a single, after talking with Housing Operations. Unlike most on or off campus apartments, furniture is provided for you. Each room has: a full sized bed, lights, a desk and computer chair, and a dresser (per student). When I asked Bowen the best part about living at the Inn, with no hesitation, she answered, “The bigger bed! The ones in the dorms are so much smaller and I like having the full-sized.” Hanson reiterated, “There’s a full-sized bed that’s comfier than the dorm beds, and I put a memory foam topper on so it’s even better.”

There’s also a nightstand, a landline phone, an alarm clock, an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer, an arm chair and a TV to share with your roommate. Standard cable and phone service are available in each room. You’ll also have a closet to share with your roommate, and best of all- you and your roommate will have your own bathroom! “You’re not sharing a bathroom with a whole floor like in the dorms,” says Hanson. Lastly, you have an air conditioner/heater unit in the room- very helpful during the school year, especially with fickle Rochester weather. “It’ll be -10 degrees out and my heater is super good,” said Hanson, “I’ll be inside sweating because it’s so hot.”   That A/C is the object of intense jealousy from other apartment dwellers!


Food is often a big question for students, especially those who have lived on campus and are accustomed to the multitudes of options to choose from. Hanson said, “Petals is a real restaurant, and I think they have better quality food. There are burgers, pasta, pizza, daily specials- so much to choose from, at a good price.” Petals serves 3 meals a day and has a grab-&-go section, and there’s a Jitters Coffee Shop for those who cannot make it through the day without coffee. They accept debit similar to on-campus dining options. “Petals has very similar food to Commons,” says Bowen. “I eat a lot of their fried shrimp, I love it— and it isn’t an option on campus.”

Now what are free perks of being assigned the Inn? All students have access to an indoor or outdoor pool (depending on the season of course), a Jacuzzi style whirlpool, and a nice hot sauna— these are perfect for relaxing! The students I talked to suggest taking advantage of these and using them often. Similar to the dorms and apartments, there’s free laundry on-site with maintenance provided, and room maintenance should you have a problem with anything. “There are 6 washers and 8 dryers for students,” says Bowen, “but they get busy quick so you have to have good timing and keep up on laundry.” Beware the people who wait to do laundry, and then do five or six loads at once. It’s similar to what happens in the dorms! In addition, unlike on-campus housing, every other week housekeeping will do some basic cleaning. “They clean up the basics around your room every two weeks, it’s nice,” says Hanson, “but you have to take care of it on your own too. I often look around to see Petals take out containers everywhere [in my room], and force myself to take them out to the dumpster.”


As a welcome to both new and returning students, Housing Operations will be throwing a Luau in the fall with free food, favors and pool toys! It’ll be a great chance to relax before the start of the year, and meet other students. If you’re worried about not being able to be active and involved on campus, reaching out and finding activities is your best bet. With the buses, there are opportunities to hang out on campus, meet with your clubs, and stay connected with things on campus. Bowen says, “I compare how much time I spend around campus now to last year in the dorms, and I actually spend more time than I did before.” You may spend less time in your room than you did in the dorms, and actively look for things to stay active. Hanson says Campus Life, club pages, and the Message Center emails are a good resources to have. You can find stuff to do and things to get involved with!



For more information about living in the RIT Inn, check out these other helpful resources:

RIT Housing Operations Facebook:

RIT Housing Operations Twitter: @RIThousing (

RIT Housing Operations Instagram: @RIThousing


Virtual tour tab


Housing Video on the Inn




New RIT Buses Revealed

Last semester, RIT announced we will be switching from our longtime bus provider Regional Transit Service to First Transit. This means good things for the community, including branded buses, more flexibility and lower costs for the university. Director of Parking and Transportation Randy Vercauteren gave us a sneak peek at the just-released design mock-ups, as well as insight into the choice to change service providers.

Parking and Transportation Services found in their research that when you have branded buses, students are more willing to get on them. Seeing their school’s colors or messages gives students a sense of assurance and belonging. Take a look at what our branded buses are going to look like! Way more welcoming than something drab and plastered with irrelevant advertisements, right?

Parking and Transportation Services presented the bus project to Professor Deborah Beardslee’s graduate level Design Theory and Methods Seminar as if they were the class’ clients, asking the students to come up with a system of original designs for consideration that would accommodate different bus sizes and styles. The graphic design concept on the surface of the buses can be attributed to students Rootwa Sagar and Trina Ray and the slogan “Reducing Our Carbon Paw Print” was incorporated from the designs of students Jordan Reading and Rachel Smith. Beardslee acted as a client liaison and design consultant for the design’s implementation.

Vercauteren also sought feedback on the administrative level and it was Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Sandy Johnson who suggested the addition of RIT’s 10 year strategic plan statement, “Greatness through difference.”

On top of branding capabilities, of course cost was a factor. Parking and Transportation could have opted for an in-house busing model, but the need for infrastructure to house the buses, to hire drivers and get new certifications would have made this an extremely costly choice. Public transportation companies like RTS also tend to have high prices due to their large administration costs and need to recover the loss created by straying from their usual routes. Since First Transit is a privately owned company, they were also able to offer a competitive bid for RIT’s business, which will save RIT students money.

“We’re a tuition-driven university so we need to always be circumspective of how we’re spending our money,” said Vercauteren.

Vercauteren mentioned that RIT considered route accommodation in their decision to switch the buses to First Transit as well. Since RTS is public transit, their routes couldn’t change to take trips as far off as the Racquet Club or the RIT Inn. Changes to the schedule could only be made four times a year, while RIT can now change the schedule with a day’s notice using First Transit.

RIT still recognizes the value of public transit and will continue its partnership with RTS for Route 24 trips to campus and the Tiger East End Express (TE3) that runs students into the city and back Saturday nights.


Looking for Summer Adventures? Rent a Bike.

Are you looking for some adventure in Rochester this summer, something that is both exciting and healthy? Here is what we’ve got for you: RIT Bikeshare!

RIT Bikeshare, as the name suggests, is a rental bike initiative created by RIT Student Government with the help of other administrative bodies like Center for Residence Life, Facilities Management and Parking & Transportation. The program maintains and rents bikes (RIT Orange, of course) to students for up to 24 hours at a time for free!

If you plan to rent a bike, you can simply log in to the RIT Bikeshare website where you can find a list of available bikes, their location and the terms of use. Also, if you are anywhere near Gracie’s, you can walk into the Parking and Transportation office at Grace Watson Hall and request a bike. The staff will be happy to help.

Once you rent a bike you should hunt for fun places you can ride to! I rented a bike for myself and my friend Jenny joined me for a ride. Don’t miss the pictures Jenny took on our small but amazing trip.

The little adventure began at Infinity Quad around 10 a.m. July 1, 2015. We were delighted to find some painted turtles in a pond near Perkins apartments even before leaving RIT. The Bike routes on campus connect to the Lehigh Valley Trail that connects to Crittenden Road, East River Rd and finally meets the Erie Canal Heritage Trail. With the destination set to Pittsford, we stopped by Lock 33 on the Erie Canal. We got lucky and could see the lock in action as a private boat was being raised as the water was filled in to match the level on the other side of the lock.

Directions from RIT to Schoen Place Pittsford
Directions from RIT to Schoen Place Pittsford

On such biking trips, you might get hungry and we are no exception. We decided to grab lunch at The Coal Tower in Schoen Place in the town of Pittsford, a brilliant choice by Jenny who, as a local Rochesterian, was an awesome guide throughout the trip. The Coal Tower is a cozy place and has great food options for both meat lovers and vegetarians. After lunch, we met some fishing hobbyists who gladly shared information about the fish that can be found in Erie Canal.

Towards the end of this escapade, we had already seen deer, a rabbit, a vole, a chipmunk and various kinds of birds. Riding the bike with such greenery around was a pleasant experience. Finally, we returned on campus at 2:45 p.m. smiling proudly at our adventure. The best experience about such ventures is getting closer to nature and meeting new people.

There are many more trails and parks in the Monroe County that can be explored on your RIT rental bike. You can get started here.

We look forward to having more visits like these and sharing our experiences with you.


Photography by Jeanette Schramm

Brand Yourself this Summer

Doing well in school is only part of landing a job. In this competitive market, there will always be applicants who did similarly well, and you need to figure out how to communicate what makes you different. Get ahead by building your personal brand.

Define Your Brand

Employers like people who can bring a unique perspective to the table, people who add something to the atmosphere. Be aware of what you have to offer.

In my advertising classes here at RIT, I was taught to think about your brand in terms of which THREE words or phrases best represent you. Of course, pick ones that would appeal to employers in your specific industry. As somebody working in communications, my brand is “bold, culturally conscious and genuine,” but there’d be a more desirable collection of adjectives to use if I were in a different field.

What have you done outside of class? Sometimes that’s what gives you the edge. If you’re a sustainability major with a cool hobby like building furniture out of recycled milk crates, you should find ways to tell people about that. If you’re majoring in game design but you’ve done extensive independent research on color psychology, mention it. These relevant but unexpected knowledge and skill sets are what separate us.

Communicate Your Brand

If you’re not sure how to get your brand across to others, practice! The Office of Career Services & Cooperative Education is here to help us better ourselves professionally, and part of the way they do that is through advisement. Setting up an appointment to discuss developing your brand can be your first bit of practice communicating what you’d like it to be. If you’re already confident in what your brand is, you can get further practice communicating it by setting up a mock interview for constructive critiques.

Design Promotional Content

Once you’ve figured out how to communicate your brand, reinforce it.

Never overlook the impact of a smartly designed business card. You don’t want your name to be lost in a stack of 20 others. Play around with fonts, sizing, placement and paper type to get across your brand’s essence. Don’t worry if you’re not a designer; you can use your subscription, which is free to you through RIT, to teach yourself design principles and how to navigate the big world of Adobe.

Once you’ve finished the design, the HUB can help make your creations tangible. For smaller print projects, visit the HUB Express, near Artesano. After printing, they can send your sheets to their main location to be cut into the traditional card shape.

If you’re in a buttoned-up industry, remember to keep things clean and minimalistic (Not to be confused with boring). If you’re in a creative field, don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to your standard business card. The HUB also offers stickers, which are a great way for artists to show off their work.

Launch a Website

You know employers are Googling you, so make sure they find something you’re proud of.

It’s fairly easy to create a simple static/portfolio site. First, you will need to register a domain name. I’d say Google Domain is your best bet because it has fast, free private registration, and you can use your RIT Gmail to do it all. A typical domain will cost you a small sum in the range of $10-$15.

Tip: When picking your domain name, try your best to get an address ending in .com. It’s best to get a .com for Google and other search engines to pick your site up, and everyone is used to .com.

When you have a proper domain, it’s time to get a provider to host your files online. Easy hosting providers that can be trusted are GoDaddy and HostGator. Both offer built in website builders as well as WordPress integration (which this very site uses). Again, has helpful tutorials to guide you through the process of setting up a website.

Check Your Presence

Once your brand is established online, you need to check your presence regularly to gauge whether it needs improvement.

There’s a brand new online product that can aid you greatly. It’s called BrandYourself and it provides you with information like reports of how your site is doing in relation to search engines and how strong your social media presence is.

Spend your summer free time on a project that’s fun and professionally fulfilling. Learning your unique value and mastering how you express it can give you the advantage you need to get job of your dreams.


Co-Author: Mohammad Daraghmeh

Father’s Day Gifts $30 and Under

Father’s Day shopping is a game where the objective is to find one item… but nobody tells you what that item is and you always manage to get yourself stuck on expert mode. Here’s a cheat: no matter what your dad is like, you can go to Shop One^2 and find him a gift he’ll love at $30 or less.

The Geek Dad

Does your dad long for the days History Channel was more about invention and less about ice road trucking?


Shop One^2 carries kits to create miniatures of two of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous machines. In about an hour or two, your dad can build himself an ornithopter ($34) or a catapult ($24) to add to what I imagine is an impressive collection of other quirky devices.



This set of a dozen drone-captured stereo views ($15) shows the campus at gorgeous angles, and owning documentation of what is now activity banned by the Federal Aviation Administration will leave your dad feeling super geek-edgy.


The Hip Dad

Does “Portlandia” resonate with your dad? In, like, a half-ironic but pseudo-reflective kind of way?


These one-of-a-kind wallets by Rochester’s EvenOdd ($28) are upcycled from bike inner tubes. That’s right; one-of-a-kind, local, upcycled and made of bikes. If you’ve planned to get your dad something hipper, I can only assume you’ve somehow managed to get an original pressing of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” on vinyl.



Your hip dad loves coffee, right? Gift him this Bruer mug set ($30) and he’ll be enjoying the note of dried cherry in his Papua New Guinea Kunjin blend from Joe Bean in a stylish design that holds the temp just right.


The Dad Who Never Grew Up

Does your dad express an Andy Dwyer level of enthusiasm for fun?


Cubebots ($15 for small, $20 for large) are a non-traditional take on robots inspired by puzzles. Just imagine your dad’s goofy grin as he puts his robo-dudes in sweet martial art stances meant to ward co-workers away from his desk.



Blackjack? Gin Rummy? Sure, if that’s what your dad is feeling. But since this set of plywood playing cards ($20) has interlocking slots for building, he’ll probably be concentrating on building the best house of cards… ever… in all of history.


Shop One^2 has something for your dad. You just need to stop by and find it before Sunday!