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My roomie is in the hotseat Campus life

My new home is Room 355, West Tower, RIT Inn & Conference Center.

The RIT Inn is an interesting place. It’s about a third working hotel and two-thirds housing for RIT students (more than 200). The Real RIT Challenge has begun and it has a different vibe than the Dorm Challenge of 2009.

It feels no different than being away on business travel, for now. But that will change when we test RIT transportation and the shuttle service the next few days.

Randy Vercauteren is my roomie. Randy is RIT’s director of parking, transportation and building services. And Randy is in the hot seat! The bulk of this challenge is to test RIT transportation to places like the RIT Inn, Wegmans, the mall and downtown. Thursday night is when we get our biggest transportation “challenges.”  “Good luck getting home,” I’ve been warned.

So RIT Student Government had the wisdom to room the transportation chief with the PR chief. It’s like Randy’s the chef, and I am the food critic.

Randy is taking it in good spirit. He’s all about customer service and has been quizzing students about their experience with the shuttle. He’s passing with solid marks. Many students find the shuttle reliable and several have commented that they have saved a lot of money on fuel bills. Still, some struggle with the service during night hours, and there has been a recent change in bus routes. Randy is taking copious notes and will look for improvements.

Unlike the dorm challenge from two years ago, the Inn is extremely quiet with third- and fourth-year students. Did I mention there is an indoor pool, hot tub, fine dining, fitness center and bar? But it does not have the same “community” as the dorms. Most students have their doors closed. You don’t find many students hanging out in the TV lounges either. Wireless Internet access can only be found in the hotel lobby area (not in Room 355), so most students have routers.  And it is tough to find a microwave. That said, I prefer the RIT Inn to Sol Heumann Hall any day.

Randy continues to quiz students about their experience at the Inn. And I chime in with my favorite question to students: “If you had to do it all over again, would you pick RIT as your college?” …. “Absolutely.”… “Without a doubt”… are the resounding answers.

Off to see if this shuttle service is running on time… My roomie is confident. Stay tuned.


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