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: www.facebook.com/RIThousing
RIT Housing Operations Twitter: @RIThousing (www.twitter.com/RIThousing)
RIT Housing Operations Instagram: @RIThousing
Virtual tour tab
Housing Video on the Inn