Have you ever experienced something so strange, so humorous or so unique to RIT that you just had to tell someone about it? There is a place on the social network website Twitter just for you. “Only At RIT” is a Twitter account where people in the RIT community can share experiences, photos and humorous tales that they feel can only be found at RIT.
The account is run by a second-year female student who started it after she saw similar Twitter accounts for other area universities. Users can connect their tweets to the account by labeling them with #OnlyAtRIT or @OnlyAtRIT. The account will “retweet,” or redistribute, the tweets that it receives to its followers.
“I often hear stereotypes about how weird and nerdy RIT can be, and I will be the first to admit they are true, but I choose to embrace it as something to unify us and something to laugh at,” says the student, who wishes to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the humor.
The topics of the tweets vary from complaints about Rochester’s weather, to technological musings, to bizarre anecdotes.
“I take pride in the fact that I go to a unique school, and I know a lot of people who follow the account feel the same way,” the student says. “These are things that we deal with on a daily basis and mostly only people at RIT would understand.”
The Only At RIT account was started in October and has already amassed a following of more than 800.
“It allows students here to engage in a bit of upside-down pride,” says Hinda Mandell, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at RIT. “Only At RIT allows students to let their hair down, in a metaphorical social media sense, and poke fun at themselves and their peers during the stress of college.”
So what are people tweeting about their unique RIT experiences?
#OnlyatRIT would I have a debate with a professor about the building of the second Death Star in #StarWars.
It’s concerning how many people are completely unphased by the hundreds of fantasy characters on campus today. #onlyatRIT
RIT’s social media presence doesn’t stop at one humorous Twitter account, however. There are official accounts on Facebook and Twitter run by the university, as well as hundreds of other accounts representing most of the departments, organizations and clubs at RIT.
“Social networks let students meet new people and engage more fully in classroom discussions outside the bounds of a brick-and-mortar classroom,” says Mandell, who regularly uses Twitter as an integral part of the classes that she teaches. “Students can craft an online persona that is—hopefully—a professional reflection of their offline selves, communicate with friends and peers about the nuts and bolts of life and network with those in their chosen fields.”
RIT also won the Grow A College Subreddit competition on the website Reddit in 2011. Reddit is a social news and entertainment website where users can share content related to a vast array of subjects. The site is broken into “subreddits,” or online bulletin boards, that are each devoted to a specific topic. RIT’s subreddit, which is moderated mainly by students and alumni, won the competition for gaining the most subscribers out of any college, and it remains one of the most active college subreddits today, with almost 5,000 subscribers.