A Guide to Finding Free Stuff on Campus

students posing

My bank account has seen it’s better days. As a college student, I’m always on the lookout to find free things! Here are the typical spots to get freebies on campus and tips on how to watch out for special occasion giveaways:

Typical Spots

Gumballs at Campus Center

I think this might be everyone’s favorite freebie on campus. The infamous gumball machine in the SAU is always stocked. No need to bring your change, the gumball machine is free and open for everyone to use.

Free SG Popcorn at Campus Center

Also at Campus Center, there is free popcorn in the Student Government office. The popcorn is available on the weekdays only. When the popcorn is ready to go, there is usually a sign displayed outside of the office. All you have to do is pop your head in, say hi, and collect your free snack!

The Cage at the Hale-Andrews Student Life Center

No need to pay for recreation equipment! Although the equipment in the cage isn’t free to take, it is free to use! You can rent anything from gym towels, to locks for the locker room, to sporting equipment to play with. Just bring your Student ID to check it out and return it when you’re done.

Free Food at the FoodShare Center

The RIT FoodShare program was created in 2014. They have an active Facebook Page that posts frequently about free food around campus. More importantly, according to their website, FoodShare “exists to address food insecurity amongst students, faculty or staff.” It is open Monday-Friday at 10am-3pm and 5-7pm and Saturdays from 10am-5pm. You can head into the office at 113 Riverknoll to donate non-perishable food items, swap items you have for those you want, and/or take items you need. To ensure there is enough food for everyone, you are limited to five food items per visit. No proof of need is required.

Free Condoms at the Student Health Center

If you are in need of free sexual protection, there are free male external condoms in the lobby of the Student Health Center. Don’t feel ashamed to grab them if you need them, they are a really good resource to the student community. Additionally, there are free male external condoms and free female internal condoms that can be given to patients during an appointment upon request.

Random Freebies at Tables in the SAU

This is one of the typical hotspots for free stuff on campus. Although there are retailers that occupy the space who are selling items, other clubs and organizations often have small things to giveaway. I’ve gotten water bottles, candy, laptop stickers, and pens just walking through the SAU!

Random Freebies in Dorm Lounges

Depending where you live, dorm lounges are typically common spots for free giveaways. Just don’t get them confused with things people accidently leave there! However, leftover free food from activities is often left in lounges. Lookout for a sign that says it’s up for grabs! Freshmen – keep an eye out as you’re passing by!

Special Occasion Giveaways

A Variety of Freebies at FreezeFest and SpringFest

These are two of the biggest events on campus throughout the year. There are performers, games, and plenty of giveaways. Typically if you attend either of these, you’ll walk away stuffed from snacks and with a bag full of goodies. I’ve gotten hats, gloves, t-shirts, sunglasses, stuffed animals, and much more!

Free RIT Apparel at Hockey Games

While not all hockey games at RIT are free, there is a handful throughout the year that are! The best free games are the ones give out t-shirts or other free apparel! You may even come across some specialty groups that are tabling at the hockey games that give away small things such as pens and knick-knacks. Additionally, if you get lucky you may be selected to win something big. One of my friends was asked to compete for an Apple Watch on the ice!

A Variety of Freebies at Tiger Den Events

SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) and the Center for Campus Life has created a program for free giveaways at a variety of home sporting events. According to their website, the goal of Tiger Den events are to “support RIT Athletics and build school spirit.” To reward students for watching their school athletes at Tiger Den games, they give away seriously cool freebies and free food. The giveaways include sweatshirts, sweatpants, fanny packs, hats, mobile phone chargers, and much more. Check out the 2019 Spring Tiger Den schedule here (https://www.facebook.com/RITTigerDen/photos/a.235773579817609/218277214…).

Free Activities with CAB Events

CAB events are extremely fun! A lot of their events are the give out within itself, offering free, unique, and fun things to do. Sometimes you’ll even get more giveaways within the event, like goodies or snacks. Don’t miss out on these!

Free Coffee and Snacks during Midterm and Finals Weeks

Two of the most stressful weeks of the semester are often made better by free coffee and snacks. Many facilities on campus offer pick-me-ups during midterm or finals weeks to lessen the stress load.

Tips on Finding Freebies

Hang Out in the Popular Spots

Just a few of the most popular spots to find free giveaways include the SAU, Campus Center, dorm lounges, and the library. If you hang around these spots often, you might get lucky and find a freebie!

Let Your Friends Know

If you find free stuff on campus, share the wealth! Tell your friends about the opportunity. If you do, the chances of them thinking of you the next time they find something will rise. More freebies for everyone!

Search Posts on Reddit

Reddit, one of the student community’s favorite way to share information, can be extremely useful when it comes to finding free stuff. Students and organizations will often post about the opportunities on Reddit for others to take advantage of! 

Follow the FoodShare Facebook Page

As mentioned before, the RIT FoodShare Facebook page often shares information about random free food on campus, as well as updates about the FoodShare office! FoodShare is a great resource for students struggling with food insecurity.

Join the Free Stuff on Campus Facebook Group

With over 21,000 members, this Facebook Group that is non-affiliated with RIT serves as a communication channel for students to post about where they found free stuff on campus.

Subscribe to RIT Message Center Emails

If you’re not already, subscribe to RIT Message Center Emails. Although not every single one will appeal to you, many are very helpful! Message Center frequently sends information about events on campus – and will often mention the freebies you may find! If you have any favorite freebie spots on campus that I missed, do some good and comment yours on our recent Instagram story! We will share our favorite responses with the Behind the Bricks community. Give your wallet a break and seek out these opportunities. Moving forward, hopefully you will be able to find a ton of free give-outs on campus!