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Parent PrioRITies

Raising the bar for health and fitness

Greetings for Fall 2004!

It’s the start of another academic year, and this one is very special for RIT. It is our 175th Anniversary, celebrating the founding of the Rochester Athenaeum, which grew into Rochester Institute of Technology.

One of the most exciting parts of our anniversary year is that our students will be getting full use of the Gordon Field House and Activities Center (see story, page 12). We expect that students and visitors to campus will be thrilled with what’s now available – great new recreational sports facilities (to help out all those students in the Body Positive Health Challenge that you can read about on this page), space for group meetings and a huge new arena for which I know our Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board have great plans. We hope that RIT parents take some time to tour the Gordon Field House when you bring students back to campus, or during Brick City Festival and Alumni Weekend, Oct. 21-24.

You are also invited to join RIT students, faculty and staff, and alumni for a special 175th Anniversary event, RIT ROCS Day on Sept.18. ROCS stands for Reaching Out for Community Service, and it’s a global day of volunteerism. Projects are scheduled for Rochester and alumni chapter cities throughout the country and at RIT’s campuses in Croatia and Prague. We’d love to include our RIT parents in this effort. If you can lend a hand to your nearest project, or want to host a project in your own city, please contact events@rit.edu, or call 585-475-4987. Get a group of RIT parents together to make a difference, and make sure you take lots of pictures to share with us!

Mary-Beth Cooper
Vice President for Student Affairs

There is a full year’s calendar of events supporting this special anniversary year. We invite you to take part in our celebration and help spread the Tiger spirit! For information on RIT’s 175th Anniversary, visit www.rit.edu/175. I hope to greet many of you during the exciting events this year.



Mary-Beth Cooper
Vice President
for Student Affairs



Students win in fitness challenge

Spending 12 weeks looking after yourself – what you put in your body and how much you exercise it – might make you think you can do anything – even run a marathon. And you’d be right.

During the last school year, 40 students living in campus residence halls and one vice president of student affairs competed (against themselves and their own will power) in a student health challenge run by RIT’s Body Positive Team and Residence Hall Association.

At the beginning of winter quarter, students set goals for themselves in wellness, nutrition and fitness. They met weekly with a mentor to help achieve those goals. Mentors were RIT faculty and staff members who exemplify living the life of wellness: They exercise regularly, watch what they eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

From cutting out caffeine and eating more fruits and vegetables to learning how to design a safe weight-training program, students were encouraged to learn new healthy habits and stop making excuses. Students who reached their goals were entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of the 12-week challenge. A large part of the program is Web-based with an online exercise and food journal.

David Blonski, third-year industrial engineering student, vice-president of Student Government and president of the Residential Housing Association, came up with the idea. His initial goals were to increase his strength and fitness. But after several weeks of the program, he was inspired to compete in the Buffalo Marathon last May.

“The health challenge broadened my goals and helped me look at other areas of fitness wellness and nutrition aside from just weightlifting,” he says.

Results were equally positive for a group of 100 students who joined the program in spring quarter. This fall, the health challenge is being expanded further. For more information, visit www.rithealthchallenge.com.