12 Things to get excited about in the new Gene Polisseni Center

If you’ve been anywhere near the center of campus, you’ve probably noticed the construction of the Gene Polisseni Center that will serve as the new ice hockey arena at RIT. Previously, we discussed many details about the construction of the arena and the development of the project, but this time we wanted to update you with the new features that the Polisseni Center will have. We talked to Luke Mekker, Director of the Gene Polisseni Center and Gordon Field House, to learn more about what the arena will look like when it’s finished, and created a list of 12 things to get excited about in the new Gene Polisseni Center:

  1. Larger ice surface:
    The ice surface will be a regular National Hockey League standard, bigger than the current Ritter Arena ice surface.
  2. The Corner Crew Student Section was expanded:
    The arena will have individual seats, but on the south end there will be bench seating for students who want to be able to stand and cheer on the team. This area will also serve for the Pep Band and our favorite fans: The Corner Crew.
  3. Video boards:
    There will be two large video boards at either end to improve visibility for the fans, to show instant replays during the game, and to improve the overall fan experience.
  4. You can have your name in a seat:
    When a donor makes a $1,000 gift to the Tiger Power Play, they will have a personal plaque mounted to a seat of choice in the arena. This will not guarantee that the person will have that specific seat when they attend a game, but it is a nice way to be recognized.
  5. The Hall of Fame:
    The lower level concourse will showcase memorabilia from previous RIT hockey teams.
  6. Retail store:
    There will be a Barnes and Noble merchandise store where visitors can buy RIT Hockey related gear and souvenirs.
  7. Club lounge:
    There will be a club lounge located on the second level for people who purchase Club Seats or one of the Club Suites, where they can enjoy a free dinner buffet and the opportunity to mingle with others at the Club Bar. This will be the only area of the arena that will serve beer and wine.
  8. Box office:
    You won’t have to go all the way to the Ritter Arena or Gordon Field House box office to get your tickets. There will be box office at the northwest entrance of the arena.
  9.  Food Options:
    The lower and upper level will both have fixed concession stands that will serve pizzas, hot dogs, popcorn, sodas, fries and so on. Additionally, mobile food carts, possibly from external vendors, will be located throughout the arena.

10. Media mezzanine:
There will be a third level with media stands for broadcasting crews and coaches. Access to this area will be restricted.

11. Main entrances at the Arena:
There will be three main entrances for public and fans and one main entrance for arena staff. The grand entrance will be next to the box office, facing Gleason Circle.

12.  Eco-friendly Arena:
The arena will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Mr. Mekker said that the feature what will make the Polisseni Center different from the Ritter Arena is the “fan experience”. Hockey fans will be able to enjoy games in a much more comfortable environment; better seating, sight lines, food options, and restrooms. For those of you wondering what will happen with the Ritter Arena, Mr. Mekker told us that will be used for student recreation such as classes and open skate, and for learn-to-skate, club sports, intramurals, high school games, etc.

Ticket pricing will be announced in February 2014, while the new Gene Polisseni Center is scheduled to open in September 2014.

Written by: Ivonna Cabrera.

Contributing reporting by: Margaret Linandjaja.

Photo Credit: Luke Auburn via RIT Construction Webcam.


Making Yourself at Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day has always been a highlight during the annual fall harvest, and is widely celebrated with a turkey feast, in North America on  the fourth Thursday in November. Having lived in the United States for two years, I learned to embrace this special tradition as I continue to give thanks for all the wonderful people I’ve met and things I have accomplished.

If you have never celebrated Thanksgiving or planning to stay on campus, here’s a list of what you can do for the Turkey week:

1) Home Away From Home Dinner

When: Nov. 24, 2013 (3 to 6 p.m.)
Location: CIMS 2210/2220 – Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies.

If you need a break from classes, come down to CIMS and enjoy the home-cooked meals. This is a great way to start the Thanksgiving week and lighten the semester blues.

2) Commuter Thanksgiving Potluck
When: Nov 25, 2013 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Location: ACE office (Room A650) – Center for Campus Life.

The Association for Commuter Engagement (ACE) will host a Commuter Potluck at its office and also introduce its new executive board. If you are a commuter and living off-campus, come down to the Campus Center and make new friends with other student commuters.

3) OCASA Thanksgiving Dinner
When: Nov. 26, 2013 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Location: Bamboo Room (2650) – Center for Campus Life.

RIT’s OCASA (On-Campus Apartment Student Association) will be providing catered food in the Bamboo Room.  If you can’t be home for Thanksgiving this year, take this opportunity to bond with other students through games and other interactive activities.

4) Grace Watson Thanksgiving Dinner
When: Nov. 28, 2013 (4.30 to 7 p.m.)
Location: Gracie’s at Grace Watson Hall.

Students living on campus can still have a chance to experience traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Gracie’s. During this time, only food debit, cash, Tiger Bucks and credit cards are accepted as the mode of payment. Keep in mind that all meal plans will last until Tuesday, Nov. 26, and resume on Sunday, Dec. 1.

For more information on the campus dining locations’ opening hours during Thanksgiving, visit the Dining Services site.

5) Black Friday Sale    When: Nov. 29, 2013

If you are looking to do early Christmas shopping, you can take the RTS Weekend shuttle to go to the Marketplace Mall, Target, and other places around Henrietta.  Remember to check the bus schedule so that you can plan your trip ahead. Additionally, you can also check through RIT Mobile App for bus schedules around RIT.

What are your plans for this Thanksgiving? Feel free to share with us if you have any ideas to recommend.  If you are going home to visit your family and friends, we wish you safe travels.

Written by: Margaret Linandjaja.

Photo Credit: Angie Tarantino via Flickr.


Brace yourselves: Winter is coming!

Last year I moved from a warm place in the Caribbean called Santo Domingo to the cold world of Rochester. Although I had experienced cold weather before moving to Rochester, little did I know that winter here meant waking up to a 14 degree, white morning.

For me, everything started last fall, when the temperature started to drop and it felt like no matter how many layers of clothes I’d put on, it was never enough. It wasn’t until December kicked in that I realized I had to do some serious shopping. If you’ve never lived in a cold place before and have no idea what you’ll need, here’s a list of the clothes that can’t be missing in your wardrobe: 

1. Thermal pants and shirts:

After you start using them, you’ll feel the difference when you leave the house. Coats are great, but thermal underwear will save you from freezing, especially if you walk a lot across campus. They’re usually made from a cotton or cotton-polyester fabric, which makes you feel warm and comfortable even if you’re walking under the snow.

2. Cardigans:

You’ll need something beneath that huge coat to keep you even warmer. Cardigans are a really good option for this.

3. Coats:

A good coat is a necessity because it can protect you from wind, snow or rain. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing underneath, if you put your coat on you’re prepared for anything! That’s usually the winter piece of clothing I rely on the most because I arrive to campus early morning and leave at night, so even if the weather is nice in the morning, you never know how things will be later on! If you want to show your RIT pride, I recommend you to visit Barnes & Noble and check out the clothes section. You’ll find some really warm coats there!


4. Jackets

Depending on how cold it is outside, you can use a jacket instead of a coat if you want to feel lighter.

5. Scarfs

Keep your neck warm! The wind is your worst enemy, so never underestimate the power of scarfs! You can use them to protect your face too while walking against the wind.

6. Gloves

Keeping your arms in your coat isn’t always enough. If you don’t protect your hands from the cold, your skin will get dry and uncomfortable.        

7. Snow Boots

This is one thing you will definitely need! Get a good pair of snow boots so your feet don’t get wet as well protect yourself from slipping on the ice.

8. Beanies and earmuffs


If you don’t like hooded coats or jackets, beanies and earmuffs are a good option for you to protect your head from the cold.

 As winter approaches, you will realize that when it comes to protecting yourself from the cold, the more the better! Now go and check your wardrobe and make sure you are prepared for winter land!

If have other tips about fighting the cold, make sure to let us know what we missed on the comments section.


RIT Behind the Bricks is a blog run by a social media team in Finance & Administration. We are bringing the latest and greatest aspects of RIT right to your Tumblr feed!

Written by: Ivonna Cabrera

Photo Credits: Ivonna Cabrera


New To-Go Container at Gracie’s

I met with Scott Vadney, ’91, the general manager of Gracie’s, a few weeks ago to talk about the new reusable to-go containers that have been implemented by Gracie’s.

As the largest eatery on campus, Gracie’s can produce a lot of waste. Scott Vadney is leading a project to reduce this waste and make Gracie’s a more environmentally friendly eatery. This coincides with RIT’s general environmentally friendly campus mission, and so far the program has been tremendously successful.

Each year, Gracie’s used to order disposable to-go containers. These containers were compostable, however, no mechanism was in place to process the used disposable containers. When I met with Scott, he gave me a great visual about the actual number of containers that would be thrown away each year.

Picture this: if you were standing in the Gracie’s Dining room, the amount of to-go containers that were ordered would come up to just below your knees. Imagine basically all of Gracie’s filled with these sugar-cane throwaway containers to the point where you could barely walk. That’s how much material Dining Service’s project is projected to save.

The project was conceived and implemented quickly. Scott told me the plan was laid out in February, approved by May, and implemented in August. A turnaround time of that nature is fantastic, because there are things that can create roadblocks for quick finish times within large universities. By completing the project in such a timely manner, Grace Watson Dining is projecting to save tons of solid waste from going to neighboring landfills.

Now, when I talked to students about this project, most people had three main things to say. Above all, people were excited that RIT was taking the initiative to go green. It’s not every day we see large institutions push so heartily to promote environmental awareness, and the students I talked to appreciate the work that was put into making sure their environment was sustainable. However, some students highlighted some inconveniences. The containers were a bit smaller than the old containers, and sometimes when a student received a clean container, it would still be wet.

Scott addressed both of these points. First, the containers are a bit smaller (by less than ½ an inch in height), but he felt the inconvenience was offset by the huge impact they would have on the environment. Secondly, Scott told me that when the #5 Polypropylene material the containers are made of is first washed, there is a film on the surface of the container that grabs water. Because of this property, it takes longer to air dry. Scott has worked in the dishwasher business before coming to RIT, and mentioned how most companies have to deal with this problem, but typically, it goes away after a few dozen washes through the dishwasher.

Scott also mentioned that he wanted to see if this type of project could be applied to other eateries across campus, but there were some difficulties that were not present at Gracie’s. Grace Watson has been able to eliminate disposable to-go containers from their system, but other units might have to include both disposable and reusable to go containers. This is because people from outside RIT come to other eateries, while Gracie’s is mostly visited by RIT students However, he told me they are still looking into green initiatives across other parts of the campus for the upcoming years at RIT.

What is your opinion on RIT’s latest push to become more environmentally friendly? Tweet us @RITBehindBricks or comment below this post to share your thoughts.

RIT Behind the Bricks is a blog run by a social media team in Finance & Administration. We are bringing the latest and greatest aspects of RIT right to your Tumblr feed!


Written by: Dillon Lambe

RIT Brick City Homecoming Weekend

We all know the Brick City Homecoming is this weekend and have heard about the headlining events like the Hockey Game at Blue Cross Arena (GO TIGERS!), but have you checked out the full schedule? There are a variety of activities that will be going on at RIT this weekend. I created a checklist of some of the best events you may not have heard about that I’m planning on attending:

Thursday, October 10:

1. 4th Annual Haunted Trail – Presented by Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority and Sigma Chi Fraternity:
October is here! That means the trails behind Gracie’s becomes the Haunted Trail this Thursday and Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. The tour departs from the lobby of Grace Watson Hall on the side opposite of the vending area. Get ready to scream!

Friday, October 11:

2. Open Swim at Gordon Field House
This Friday you will be able to enjoy the Aquatics Center facilities from 6:45 to 8:45am and then from 12:30 to 1:45p.m. The area will open at other times during the weekend so if you can’t make it this day, make sure to check your calendar and save some space to have some fun at the pool or relax at the hot tub. Don’t worry about the weather because the Aquatics Center is indoors and it’s also heated. This event will also run on Saturday and Sunday, from 2:30 to 4:30p.m. and 7 to 10:30 p.m.

3. Shop One² Open House:
Make sure to stop at Global Village and check out the Fine Art and Craft Gallery Shop One from 10a.m. to 5p.m. If you’re looking for paintings, photography, prints, ceramics, music, furniture, literary publications or any other piece of art, or even if you just simply want to take a look around, stop at this store for their Open House! This event will also happen on Saturday with the same schedule and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, October 12

4. Indoor Rock Climbing at the Red Barn:
Have you ever been interested in trying rock climbing? Or are you already a master in conquering those heights? One way or the other„ make sure to stop at the Red Barn from 9:00 to 11:00a.m. and discover the indoor rock climbing facility. This event will also be happening on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

5. Brick City BBQ:
Go to the Davis Room at the SAU this Friday from 11a.m. to 12p.m and then from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. to enjoy some delicious plates from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and enjoy some flavors of this Rochester traditional restaurant.

6. Art on Campus Walking Tour:
Archivist Becky Simmons will be exploring the artistic heritage at RIT campus on a guided walking tour. Join her to learn about the meaning and history behind the artwork located on campus.

7. Gracie’s Alumni Open House:
Have you been a student worker at Gracie’s? Then join General Manager Scott Vadney from 3 to 4:30p.m. on a tour to see what has changed at the dining facility.

8. Public Ice Skating:
Practice your ice-skating skills at the Ritter Arena from 8 to 10p.m.„ this Saturday! There will be skate rental available and an admission fee will be charged at the door. If you can’t make it on Saturday, doors will also open on Sunday from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m and from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

9. RIT Model Railroad Club Open House:
Are you a fan of model railroading or are you interested in the history of Rochester’s railroads? Then make sure to stop by the Student Alumni Union, room A420 this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to see the new model railroad under construction and get the chance to see some trains running.

Sunday, October 13:

10. Brick City 5K Run & Walk:
Do you like races? Then don’t forget to sign in for this Run and Walk and get the chance to win a prize! This event runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Both starting and finishing points will be at Grace Watson Hall.

RIT Behind the Bricks is a blog run by a social media team in Finance & Administration. We are bringing the latest and greatest aspects of RIT right to your Tumblr feed every Tuesday and Friday!

Written by: Ivonna Cabrera

Credits: https://www.rit.edu/gcr/brickcity/events/

Photo Credits: Ivonna Cabrera


Rochester DeafNation Expo at RIT

RIT has long been known for establishing National Technical Institute of Deaf, the first and largest technological college for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Have you ever wondered how the deaf community lead their daily lives in communicating with other people? Over the weekend, I went to visit the Rochester DeafNation Expo at the Gordon Field House. I discovered the various services and people that contributed to the deaf culture.

Created with flickr slideshow.
If you have any feedback or suggestions, please leave a comment. RIT Behind the Bricks is a blog run by a social media team in Finance & Administration. We are bringing the latest and greatest aspects of RIT right to your Tumblr feed every Tuesday and Friday! Written by: Margaret Linandjaja. Photo Credits: Margaret Linandjaja. Facebook

Is your Bus Ride like a Box of Chocolates?

When you arrive at the bus stop do you feel like you don’t know what you’re gonna get?  Like many students, I can’t afford a car and have to commute to RIT from my off-campus apartment using the public bus. Although Forrest Gump was happy to spend the day chatting with people at the bus stop most of us would prefer to avoid that, especially in winter!

Eating a box of chocolates can help to pass the time but I found some other simple methods to reduce the inconvenience.

Where’s My Bus?

A new instant tracking service – “Where’s My Bus?” – was introduced by RGRTA – RTS.  This service lets you track the bus arrival times more accurately from your mobile phones by entering a 4-digit code bus stop ID, found on the top left or bottom right corner of the bus sign.

“I always have problems with the bus times. Sometimes, I have to wait for one hour for the bus to arrive,” said Eman Alruwaili, a graduate student from Saudi Arabia.  “With this messaging service, I think it will give the necessary information of the timing.”


The main benefit of using this messaging service is it provides the bus commuters some flexibility in determining the bus arrival times, instead of having to run to Gleason Circle in the middle of winter to check for the timings at the automated teller.   I would much rather do a quick check while hanging out at Midnight Oil with a hot beverage.  It also helps people who don’t own smartphones because you don’t need to download a mobile app.

If you are planning a trip to places around Henrietta or Downtown Rochester, Google Maps can help you plan your journey and even find out the bus stop ID in each of these places. The images below will give you a step-by-step process to get the necessary information.

1) By entering the initial and final destinations, as well as the tentative timing of your departure, Google Maps will bring out the suggested routes (as shown in the left bar).

2) As you look through the suggested routes, you can continue to scroll down the screen to look at the transit directions of your destination. For instance, if you are travelling from RIT to Rustic Village, you will need to take note of the bus stop IDs near these 2 places. In this case, the Stop ID that’s indicated in the directory, will become the key information when you use “Where’s My Bus” text messaging service.

3) Next, text the 4-digit ID of the bus stop location to RGRTA at: 585-351-2878.  Within a few seconds, an automatic response will show the next arrival times of the bus. Similarly, you can also email to wmb@rgrta.com to get the bus information.

A New Bus Route to RIT

Early this month, the RTS launched route 68, to serve RIT students living in off-campus apartments, such as Westbrooke Commons and Bennington Hills. The new service, which is part of an agreement between RTS and RIT, operates on weekdays with two timings in the morning and afternoon.

According to Randy Vercauteren, director of parking, transportation and building services at RIT, RTS is currently evaluating this service based on the number of ridership by students and feedback on how the service should be run.

“RTS is willing to expand and adjust the timings, but that has to be done in November,” said Vercauteren. “The way RTS works as a public transportation is the drivers will pick the times to drive, based on their seniority. So the routes have to be scheduled.”

Unlike route 24, this particular service is not subsidized by RIT, hence resulting in limited timings. The first phase of the trial run, which lasts until November, will eventually determine the full schedule of the next trial run in January.

For a detailed schedule on Route 68, please visit RTS website. The schedule for this route can also be found at the RIT Mobile App for students who own smartphones.

A Free Ride for Fun Downtown

Having said that, how about getting a ride to somewhere fun for the weekend? Well, the Student Government sponsors the Tiger East End Express – known as TE3 service – a free bus shuttle that runs from RIT campus to downtown Rochester during Saturday nights. This service, which runs from 10.30 p.m. to 2.50 a.m., gives RIT students an opportunity to explore the various cultural and dining areas in Downtown Rochester.

Do any of these things make your life easier? If you have any feedback or suggestions on the bus amenities, please leave a comment.

RIT Behind the Bricks is a blog run by a social media team in Finance & Administration. We are bringing the latest and greatest aspects of RIT right to your Tumblr feed every Tuesday and Friday!


Written by: Margaret Linandjaja

Photo credits:

Forrest Gump – Jaqueline Schiavetti via Flickr

RIT Gleason Circle – Margaret Linandjaja