RIT tunnels have developed quite the reputation over the years. One RIT user made a subreddit for our tunnel system stating, “They’re infamous, but I’ve never…seen one. As a commuter, do they: A) Serve a purpose for me, B) Are they accessible to me, C) Are they laughing at me from underground”.

Although the concept of tunnels laughing from underneath our campus is quite enjoyable, that seems just a bit far fetched. So instead, we’re here to help dissolve some of the mystery that surrounds the RIT tunnel system and give you practical tips as to why you should take the time to figure it out.

  1. Avoid inclement weather

Though this one might seem like a no-brainer, it turns out that snowisn’t the only weather pattern that RIT students need an escape from. Don’t get us wrong, the tunnels are great when there are three feet of snow on the ground and you don’t want to put on three layers of coats to get to Gracie’s. However, last year, we learned that wind can be just as powerful of an enemy as snow. When last March a windstorm hit Rochester with winds of almost 80 mph, wind tunnels really became a thing on campus. The gusts were so strong that the Quarter Mile had to be closed down between the SAU building and Eastman. So for those student who decided they didn’t want to walk to class halfway bent over due to wind resistance, the tunnels became a great escape.

  1. Protect yourself from HzV

Whether you are a HvZ human who needs asylum from the zombies and a way to get to class, or you are just a normal RIT human who want to hide from the madness that HvZ can become, the tunnels can become your best friends during each semester’s game. Taking the tunnels, you are much less likely to get impaled by a NERF dart or sock, especially if getting up for your 8 a.m. makes you look like zombie, but you don’t actually want to be mistaken for one in the game.

  1. Get your daily dose of nerd humor
Behind the Bricks Map

Let’s be honest, we go to a school where bad puns and nerdy jokes get you major brownie points. So if you’re lacking inspiration or if you just need a funny pick me up, the tunnels can be a great resource to you. In particular, the tunnel that runs between the Liberal Arts Hall and Gleason College of Engineering has some fantastic treasures and nuggets of sarcastic wisdom presented inthe form of clever math puns.

SUPER IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: If you’re really confused as to how to find this glorious tunnel, check out the FMS website where they have maps of all three tunnel systems. And yes, there are THREE, you heard right, two tunnel systems on academic side and one on the dorm side. Despite RIT urban legends, we regret to inform you that a super secret passageway does not exist nor connect dorm and academic side tunnels. If anything, the existence of such clever graffiti sprinkled all throughout our tunnel system is a good reminder to look up from your screens, at least once in awhile, and appreciate the creativity of your peers.

  1. Learn about RIT clubs

You might be confused about why we list this as a reason to take the tunnels. Well, let’s say that you missed the annual RIT club fair during orientation, and now you are just so desperate for friends that you will join any club that is still taking members, but you’re overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start. The tradition of clubs painting murals in the dorm side tunnels began in 1980 and since then, numerous organizations have taken advantage of this PR method. The passageways are filled with countless murals and flyers, to the point that you will be overwhelmed with all your options, which in that case you might just be right back where you started. If you find a mural you like, make sure you take note of the club name and find them in the RIT Clubs website.

  1. Avoid the crowds on the Quarter Mile
RIT Quarter Mile

Sure, taking the tunnels might require you to be slightly more creative than if you resort to the straight path, Quarter Mile approach; however, you might just find that extra effort worth it. If you find a way to get to class using the tunnels, your journey will be a lot less boring and monotonous as you will not have to stare at the hoards of people on either side on you. Who knows, you might even find a new study nook in one of your tunnel adventures. Besides, if there is that one person whom you promised to text and you just never got around to it, it’s almost guaranteed that fate will have you bump into them on the Quarter Mile. So save yourself the awkwardness and take the tunnels instead.


If you want more information on route how-to’s and general tunnel spatial awareness, check out our Ultimate RIT tunnel guide.

To access the full size RIT Tunnel System maps, check out the Facilities Management Services website.

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