FirstByte

Tiger head logo with orange text "Firstbyte"

FirstByte is a first year experience program designed to build a culture of inclusivity and shared cultural norms for College of Computing (GCCIS) students.

Aimed at fostering students’ sense of belonging, FirstByte provides students with resources and skills to manage academic and personal stress, ultimately providing a foundation for your success at RIT and beyond.

FirstByte consists of a few key components:

Resources

On the page below and in MyCourses you can find key resources for academic support, mental health support, and activities. Throughout the semester we’ll be introducing and explaining these key resources, so bookmark this page to revisit as needed. In addition, you can find a comprehensive guide to University Resources, broken down by category, and with search functionality when you login to MyRIT. 

Events and Activities

Beginning with the FirstByte Carnival, we’ll have events throughout the semester to help introduce you to your peers, student clubs, faculty and staff, and the broader Rochester community, including game nights and wellness events. See events listed below and make sure to join "FirstByte" on RIT Campus Groups to register for events. 

Reflection

Beginning with the "Coming to RIT" activity you received over the Summer, we’ll introduce you to stories from older students about their transition from high school to college, and ask for you to reflect on your own experience transitioning to college. This activity is a way to learn more about other students’ experiences, a way to share your thoughts and feelings about coming to college, and an opportunity to help future students.

Watch the ‘Welcome to Golisano College from Dean Matt Huenerfauth’ video

Resources

A comprehensive list of tutoring and academic resources can be found at our College’s Help Website. including information about our college Tutoring Center, and tutoring services by Department. Additional tutoring services, broken down by subject, can be found at the university’s Tutoring Page.

Academic Success Center
The Academic Success Center’s mission is to assist and empower you in developing the skills and confidence needed to achieve academic success. They can assist with things like:

 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides confidential and personalized services to meet the mental health needs of RIT students. 

Members of the RIT Community work together toward maintaining an environment of support, respect, and care to contribute to student success. We offer multiple levels of support, from urgent care services to self-help resources, we are here to support you. Resources include:

Workshops at Counseling and Psychological Services
These are offered at different points throughout the semester and consist of 3-5 sessions. Workshops are NOT a psychotherapy service and students do not need to be connected to Counseling and Psychological Services for treatment to attend. Workshops cover topics like: Anxiety Toolbox, Social Anxiety, Self-Confidence, and more.

RIT Resilience Framework
Resiliency, sometimes called grit, is the ability to recognize, face, and manage or overcome problems and challenges: to see failure as an opportunity to be strengthened, rather than defeated. Everyone experiences setbacks and failures. Failing grades, poor decisions, feelings of loneliness, financial problems, and so on. Resilient students have the capacity to learn from and bounce back from problems and mistakes.

Black Mental Health Matters
Black Mental Health Matters is an event for Black/Black identifying students focused on the importance of mental health in ALANA communities, the impact of racism on individual mental health, as well as an opportunity to provide information and resources available at RIT’s Counseling and Psychological Services. 

 

Wellness at RIT
Our multifaceted approach to student wellness encompasses all aspects of your personal well-being, including physical and emotional health as well as accessibility. We are here to support you during your time at RIT, and prepare you for continued success and growth through our innovative and inclusive programs, services, and education.

Visit the Wellness Center for meditation, yoga, meal planning and more.

FoodShare and Clothing
The RIT FoodShare Center was established in 2015 with two simple goals: to reduce food waste on campus and to provide RIT community members with access to safe and nutritious food. For the past seven years, the Center has done just that, logging over 26,000 visits to its location at 113 Riverknoll, and ensuring access to nutritious food for almost a thousand community members each year.

In 2018, the FoodShare became the permanent home for Bern’s Closet, a clothing closet for community members in need of professional clothing. The closet is named after beloved RIT staff member, and founder of the I’m First program, Bernadette Lynch, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2017.

Into the ROC
Explore unique challenges and cultural treasures in the greater Rochester community through the Into the ROC events.

Transportation is provided for all of our Into the ROC events. Space is limited! Interested students must register in advance.

Service and Volunteer Opportunities
Our collective impact includes the creation of packaged meals, community gardens, refurbished technology in classrooms, and long-term housing for our neighbors. With so many ways to give back it can be difficult to know where to start.

After considering what charitable focus you are most passionate about, use the list below to start exploring local opportunities. If you are looking for a more personalized list, options for large groups, or have questions about volunteer experiences, reach out to lead@rit.edu to start the conversation.

note: to request interpreting services for any event, please visit myaccess.rit.edu

Fall Semester

Orientation Week (8/21-8/25)
FirstByte Carnival - Thursday, Aug 24, 2023, 2pm - 4pm in the GOL building

Week 1: (8/28 - 9/1)
Student Club Open Houses
Donuts Days feat. Academic Success Center: Friday, Sept. 1, 9:30am-11:30am, Golisano Hall Atrium

Week 2: (9/4 - 9/8)
Student Club Open Houses
FirstByte Focus Hour, Tue, Sep 5, 2023, 11 AM – 1 PM. GOL-3455
Focus Hours are a designated space and time for students to study together, to help with accountability and provide a quiet space to work. Snacks will be provided!
FirstByte Focus Hour, Wed, Sep 6, 2023, 7 PM – 9 PM, Wallace Library 05-4640
"Time Traveler Tips:" Tips from Upper-Level Students and Alumni, Fri., 9/8 from 4:00-4:45 in GOL 1400 (pizza provided during event)

Week 3: (9/11 - 9/15) 
Donuts Days feat. Women in Computing and our College Librarian, Tues., Sept. 12, 9am-11am, Golisano Hall Atrium
Unconscious Bias workshop: Tuesday, Sept. 12,  4pm-5pm
FirstByte Focus Hour, Tue, Sep 12, 2023, 11 AM – 1 PM, GOL-3455
FirstByte Focus Hour, Wed, Sep 13, 2023, 7 PM – 9 PM, Wallace Library 05-4640

Week 4: (9/18 - 9/22) 
FirstByte Focus Hour, Tue, Sep 19, 2023, 11 AM – 1 PM, GOL-3455
FirstByte Focus Hour, Wed, Sep 20, 2023, 7PM – 9 PM, Wallace Library 05-4640

Week 5: (9/24 - 9/29)
FirstByte Focus Hour, Tue, Sep 26, 2023, 11 AM – 1 PM, GOL-3455
Donut Days featuring guests from RIT and GCCIS Tutoring, and RIT Housing, Wed, Sep 27, 2023, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM, Golisano Hall Atrium

Week 6: (10/2 - 10/6)
Failing Forward: Resilience Training, Thursday, October 5, 4:00-4:50, GOL 2400
FirstByte Focus Hour: October 3, 11am-1pm GOL 3455
FirstByte Focus Hour: October 4, 7pm-9pm WAL 4640

Week 7: (10/9 - 10/13)
Donut Days featuring guests from Counseling and Psychological Services, and RIT Writing Center, Thu, Oct 12, 2023, 9 AM – 11 AM, Golisano Hall Atrium

Week 8: (10/16 - 10/20)  
FirstByte Focus Hour: TBD

Week 9: (10/21-10/28)

"FirstByte Feud:" Family Feud-style competition, Mon. October 23, 6pm-8:30pm, Location: Golisano Hall Room 1710- 1730 (CloudCover Conference Center)

Week 10: (10/29-11/5)
Halloween Costume Contest

Week 11: (11/6-11-12)
Diversity Theater, November 7,  6pm-8pm, GOL 1710/20/30  

Week 12: (11/13-11/17) 

Week 13: (11/17-11/24)
FirstByte Field Trip: Gonondagan, Sat. Nov. 18, 12pm-4pm *NEW*

Pre-Thanksgiving Event

Week 14: (11/27 - 12/1)
Pre-Finals Meditation and Stress Relief

Accessing RIT Discord Servers

Once you sign-in to discord, click on ‘Explore Discoverable Servers’ on the left hand side of the application. At the bottom of this section is a tab called ‘Student Hubs.’ Enter and verify your RIT email address and you will be connected to the ‘Rochester Institute of Technology Hub’ and able to find dozens of communities across the university. A few recommendations can be found below for each of the departments in the college. Search terms for finding the server on Discord are in bold:

College-wide

Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS): RIT GCCIS

Computing Organization for Multicultural Students (COMS): COMS (Computing Organization for Multicultural Students)

Cybersecurity

RIT’s Security Club: RITSEC

School of Interactive Games & Media

Makers Guild: Student Makers Guild

New Media Interactive Design (NMID) Major: NMID @ RIT

Game Development Club: RITGameDevClub

Electronic Gaming Society (EGS): EGSRIT

iSchool

User Experience Club: User Experience Club @ RIT

Human Centered Computing(HCC) Major: Human Centered Computing

Localhost Club: Localhost

Computer Science

Computer Science Community: Computer Science Community


Would you like to add a server to this list? Reach out to the college's Director of Marketing & Communications, Fran Broderick, at fran.broderick@rit.edu with the info to have it added.