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Commuter Life

 

What

Information for Commuter Students in the University Exploration program

Who

All Commuter Students

More Info

Commuter Life Website

 

Ever wonder what life is like as a commuter student at RIT? Read on to learn more from former University Exploration students that lived as commuter students their first year:

Ciara Lutz

Ciara Lutz

Psychology major

Andrew Murtaugh

Andrew Murtaugh

Mechanical Engineering
Technology major

Christina Burnett

Christina Burnett

Psychology-Criminal
Justice double major

Q A
How do I get involved in on-campus activities?

Andrew: RIT has fantastic social media pages to advertise all sorts of events. The RIT Events page is also a great resource.

Christina: As a commuter student there is an organization called ACE (Association for Commuter Engagement). They coordinate tons of events on campus specifically for commuter students to help you get to know other commuters. They also coordinate events to help commuters become more involved in other on-campus activities. They have a commuter lounge area in the campus center as well as a Facebook page. Also there is the get involved fair that happens a couple times a year in the field house. This is where you can find all of RIT’s clubs and organizations in one place and find out what you are most interested in becoming a part of.

Ciara: To be honest, this was a tough one for me. As far as I know, a great way to get involved at the beginning of the year was at the clubs/activities fair at the beginning of the fall semester. I, unfortunately, was unable to make this event, so that made it a little difficult for me. However, what I ended up doing was looking up different clubs I thought I might be interested in through RIT's The Link website and emailing the organizations directly to express my interest. Another way to go about doing this might be to make friends in your classes and ask them what they are involved in. If you have shared interests, you may be interested in joining clubs they are involved in. There is also a club specifically for commuters that holds events quite frequently.

Q A
What do you do/where do you go between your 9am and 3pm class?

Andrew: I'm usually in the Student Alumni Union (SAU) between classes.

Christina: Some people work at their on campus jobs when they don’t have classes. This is really nice as a commuter student because you get your work and classes done in a nice fluid day without having to travel back and forth to campus. Another option is to go to the library and work on your homework. This way when you get home at the end of the day you are free to do whatever you like. Another option is to meet up with friends who don’t have class and hang out, maybe grab lunch.

Ciara: Personally, I spent most of my time between classes at the library. (I think this is what led to my 4.0 during my first two years!) I will admit, though, that this can get rather lonely. If study groups are your thing, you can form one with people from class. When I wasn't busy doing homework, I would often hang out at WITR, the radio station I'm involved in on campus. Also, the friends I did make during my first year would often invite me to their dorm rooms to hang out when I wasn't doing homework.

Q A
How do I find a job on campus?

Christina: There are a ton of jobs on campus, just ask around! If you want to work somewhere on campus you can usually walk in and ask for an application. There is also a website that lists on campus jobs (http://www.rit.edu/emcs/seo/). This is the Student Employment Office (SEO) website; they have an office located in the Innovation Center nearest Global Village. You can go to their office to get help finding an on campus job as well.

Ciara: Finding a job on campus actually isn't very difficult, so long as you are willing to work in food service (they are nearly always hiring). There are other opportunities as well, in clerical work, working at the gym, etc. A good place to look this up is RIT's student employment office website.

Q A
Is there a place I can go to meet other commuter students?

Andrew: You can go to the Commuter Lounge, located in the lower level or A level of the Student Alumni Union. You can hang out with other commuters, work on assignments/projects, get some free snacks and drinks, play videogames, and get commuter-only discounts at locations across RIT (food, gear, utensils, etc.)

Christina: Commuter Lounge! The lounge is in the Campus Center and it is run by ACE (Association for Commuter Engagement). They also hold commuter events throughout the year with free food and prizes.

Ciara: There is! The Association for Commuter Engagement (ACE) has their office located in the campus center in room A650. You can sign up to get emails about upcoming events where you will have the opportunity to meet other commuters.

Q A
Do I have to walk everywhere?

Andrew: RIT has designated trails where students can ride their bikes, rollerblades, long-boards, or scooters to get around campus. There's also a bus system to ferry students anywhere on RIT campus.

Christina: No. There are plenty of ways to get around. You can bike, skateboard, longboard, rollerblade etc. Also there are free buses that go to all of the surrounding apartments as well as Barnes and Nobles in Park Point. If you have a car you can park in a parking lot nearest to the building you need to be in, but you will have to walk from the parking lot to the building.

Ciara: You don't necessarily have to walk everywhere on campus, but I find that this is usually the easiest way to get around (unless you prefer to longboard, bike, or scoot places, but there are designated paths for this). There are buses from all the RIT associated apartment complexes, as well as from the stop by the dorms that will drop you off at Gleason Circle (near the Polisseni center and the back entrance of the library). There are also buses that will take you from Gleason circle to Marketplace mall or Wegmans.

Q A
Where can I eat on campus?

Andrew: On the RIT website, search "Dining Services". Check under "Hours and Location" for more information.

Christina: There are many places to eat on campus. Some places are pricier than others so keep that in mind. There are vending machines in all of the buildings as well that take Tiger Bucks through your student account.

Ciara: There are lots of places to eat on campus! There's the Commons located near the dorms, and Sol's underground located in the tunnels near the dorms (I never really ate at either of these places much because I tended to stay on the academic side of campus most of the time). There's also Brick City cafe (which serves grilled foods, subs, wraps, and food from visiting chefs, as well as a salad bar) which is located in the SAU, along with Ben & Jerry's and Nathan's. I ate at these places most because they were the closest to most of my classes. There are several different options in Global Village as well, like Salsarita's (generally a student favorite, but perhaps I am biased because I worked there for 2 years), Crossroads, and the Market. I think Ctrl Alt Deli is located in Golisano, but I've only eaten there once or twice. There are more places toward that far side of campus as well, but I haven't had very many classes there, so I'm not super knowledgeable about food over there. The bottom line is, there are a TON of options as far as food on campus, and most places have vegetarian/vegan options.

Q A
Is there anywhere to store your belongings?

Andrew: I know that students have the ability to rent lockers, but I don't know any more than that. Lockers can be rented for free at Association for Commuter Engagements (ACE) lounge which is located on the lower level of the Campus Center.

Christina: * this one I am not too sure about. I don’t think so... * I usually store my belongings in my office where I work. Often if you work on campus you can leave your things there but it depends on the job you have.

Ciara: Personally, I have never used any type of storage options on campus. I would usually just carry most of the things I brought, or if I had a lot of stuff I would usually leave some things in my car.

Q A
Any other tidbits you’d like to share!

Andrew: Definitely look into joining a club. You'll be glad you did.

Christina: Just because you live off campus doesn’t mean that you can’t be fully involved. Sometimes there are club meetings that I just can’t make because I live off campus and they are not conducive to my schedule, but clubs understand and they will still allow you to be fully involved and they will keep you informed on what is happening.

Ciara: Commuting is a great option if you're looking to save a few extra bucks and don't love the idea of living in the res halls. I think it was the right option for me for my first year because I was still pretty fearful of the idea of leaving home, and commuting helped me to ease my transition to college life. However, at least for me anyway, I found that I really had to put in the effort to make friends, because a lot of socializing seems to happen outside of the classroom and outside of normal working hours. That being said, I know a lot of people who commute and seem to have pretty active social lives, so it may not be the same for everyone. It also depends on how close you live to campus. If you're only 10 minutes away, you probably won't notice as much of a difference from living on campus than if you're 30 minutes away (like I was).