How to prep for snow like a pro!

Ruta Mangle, Telecommunications Engineering Technology MS

If you grew up in a place where winter meant wearing a light sweater, you may be a bit scared to have moved to a colder city like Rochester. Your first winter doesn’t have to be a total disaster, though. Take note of these tips in order to survive (and even enjoy!) the freezing temperatures.

 

First things first: Wear Appropriate Clothing

Note: Hold off on buying cold-weather gear until you get to your school city.

  • Layer up with several thin layers – base, middle and outer.
  • Hats, scarves and snow gloves (2 layered gloves).
  • Glasses/goggles as needed.
  • Boots and shoes with rubber or neoprene-composite soles and non-slip tread.
  • Wear two pairs of socks.

Walk Cautiously

  • Use cleared paths when walking around campus.
  • Walk with short, flat strides and keeping center of gravity between your feet.
  • Assume all wet/dark areas are slippery or icy.
  • Wipe shoes/boots before entering a building to keep the entrance dry.
  • Report slippery conditions to FMS by calling 475-2842 or e-mail fms@rit.edu.
  • Report accidents to RIT Public Safety.

Drive Safely and Maintain Your Vehicle

For those who drive to or keep a car on campus, being prepared for winter weather is essential.

  • Use the correct tires and keep them properly inflated.
  • Check belts, hoses, battery and fluids regularly.
  • Keep the fuel tank at least half-full.
  • Take your time in snowy/icy conditions.
  • Keep the proper distance between you and the vehicle in front of you (3 seconds).
  • Always use your seatbelt.
  • Take care when getting in and out of your vehicle – this is when most slips happen.

Things to keep handy in car (mandatory)

  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • De-icer wiper fluid
  • Water
  • Portable phone charger, and extra batteries

Things to keep handy in car (for times when you might get stuck in traffic)

  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Spare blanket.
  • Extra hats, coats and mittens.
  • Energy bars and snacks.

Other important tips

  • Plan for the weather the day before.
  • Plan on leaving early.
  • If you commute, only go when it’s safe.
  • Get food in advance.
  • Take care of your gloves and hat (it is very much likely that you would leave/drop them somewhere).
  • Protect important items and electronics in sealed plastic bins.

What to Do During a Snowstorm

  • Keep your thermostat as high as possible for as long as you have electricity.
  • Stay inside.
  • Limit travel to emergencies only.
  • Keep pipes from freezing by turning on every water faucet to a slow drip.
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids.

While extreme weather can be very stressful to students living on campus, hopefully these tips will help you be prepared for the next hurricane or blizzard to come your way!

Don’t forget to ENJOY!

At RIT we embrace the snow and winter weather! Check out our Snow in 30 video to get a sense of what campus looks like during this season!

RIT Tunnel Guide

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

Rochester gets cold during the winter. Bitterly cold. Once the snow starts falling and the temperature starts dropping, you begin questioning whether or not you want to go outside. Fortunately, RIT has an extensive tunnel system throughout the campus that can get you from class to class with minimal exposure to the elements. However, if you’ve ever been down there, you know that it takes some exploration to get the layout down. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the RIT tunnels to get you on your way come wintertime. For reference, you can access maps of the tunnels on the FMS website.

Residence Hall Tunnels

Probably the most familiar tunnel system to most RIT students is the one that connects most of residential side together. Everyone who lives in the residence halls goes down there at some point, whether it be to go to Gracie’s during the winter or do your laundry. However, there are some hidden aspects of the system that you may not have seen if you have not spent too much time down there. You also might only be familiar with a small segment of the system that gets you to Gracie’s or the post office. Getting around in the tunnels can be a bit disorienting at first, so it’s good to know some major landmarks in the system. Your first landmark should be knowing the location you usually enter at, so at the very least if you get turned around, you can make your way back there. This could be any of the dozen or so entrances to the tunnel system, coming from any of the buildings on residential side. Some of the major landmarks include Sol’s Underground, the Corner Store, and the curved tunnel leading up to Gracie’s.

Academic Side Tunnels

The academic-side tunnels are a very different beast from the dorm-side tunnels. People use them a lot less, often favoring to brave the cold or walk through the upper levels of building rather than figure them out. There are three distinct systems on academic side, and they are not nearly as large as the dorm side system. There is a system connecting the SAU and the Eastman building, one for the Infinity Quad system, and the tunnels under Booth and Gannett halls. The SAU-Eastman tunnels begin directly under the bridge between academic and residential side, leading into the athletics area. The easiest way to get in, however, is right through the Center for Campus Life near the fountain. Behind the fountain, there is a stairwell that will lead you down into the lower level. The main tunnel system door will be right in front of you. To get to Eastman, head past the WITR studio and the elevators and stairwell into the building will be at the end of the hall. If you make a turn in front of the WITR studio, that hallway will bring you up to RITZ Sports Zone and the stairs to the SAU.

The Infinity Quad system connects the Wallace Library, Liberal Arts Hall, Gleason Hall, and Gosnell Hall together. You also have the ability to make it all the way to Louise Slaughter Hall without stepping outside via the pedestrian bridge that connects Engineering Hall and Golisano Hall. This system can be a bit confusing, especially in the twists and turns of the area under Liberal Arts Hall. However, once you get the hang of it, getting around is a breeze. Once you enter the library basement, head toward the large, glass walled classroom. Past this, you’ll enter the Liberal Arts Hall basement, which contains some of the larger lecture halls on campus, such as A201 or A205. The tunnel that leads you to the rest of the system is behind a set of double doors labeled in a recessed part of the basement next to some offices “TO ENGINEERING.” Don’t worry if those doors are shut, they keep them closed to make sure the heat from the various pipes does not overheat Liberal Arts hall.

Once you’re through there, you will have the option to walk straight through to Gleason, or make a left and head to Gosnell.  Getting all the way to Slaughter while staying inside involves heading up into Gleason, which connects to Engineering hall, and heading up to the second floor to get to the bridge. This will bring you across to Golisano. After you get there, head through the building until it connects to Slaughter Hall on the far end. Finally, you have the tunnels underneath Booth and Gannett.

Once you figure out the system, it’s almost as fast as taking the Quarter Mile to class every day. That said, make sure you know the system before using it five minutes before you need to be at class. Familiarize yourself with the routes one day so you’re able to navigate the tunnels like a pro when old man winter comes knocking.

 

Winter is Here

by Sanjay Varma Rudraraju, Computer Science MS student

I look out of the window in the morning and my car is covered with snow. I am very annoyed and curse Rochester weather for making my life difficult. My mind quickly starts thinking about writing how to survive in this weather and well long story short I started writing this piece. I wanted to title it “Winter is Coming” but then realized it made no sense because winter has been around for a couple of months already. Now let me think about some ways to survive the Rochester Snow:

1) Snow Boots and Jacket: It gets very slippery when the snow melts and turns to ice so make sure you have a good pair of snow boots. Also, get a jacket that has fur lining on the hoodie because it keeps the snow falling all over your face.

2) Exercise: The cold weather is going to make you lazy and sleepy all the time so make sure you exercise in the winter to avoid those extra pounds and be more energetic.

3) Dry Skin: Your skin and eyes will be extra dry during the snow season. First and foremost cover yourself, get a good moisturizer and a humidifier for the home.

4) Emergency Kit: Snowstorms are not very common but I would still ask people to keep an emergency kit which has things like a battery pack, flashlight, snacks, etc.

5) Stay Healthy: Falling sick is a common thing in the snow season so always make sure you have a hand sanitizer with you, get good amount of sleep and exercise.

These are some of the main things that you need to look out for but there are many other like being careful while you drive in the snow. As I wrap up the article later in the day and looking for a conclusion by wandering outside the library, I see the sunset and a little snowfall which made me realize that I have a love-hate relationship with the snow season at RIT. There are days when I am looking forward to getting out of Rochester and another day when I realize how much I love the snow. Oh before I forget, the man in the picture is President Destler who retired in 2017 and was the 9th president of RIT.

Winter is Coming, to Rochester

by Krishna Tippur Gururaj, Computer Science MS student

I am from India, a land where a tropical climate is the norm for most parts of the country. I am from the southern part of India, where temperatures range between 60 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I had never seen temperatures below 32degrees, let alone see snow!

When I received my admit from RIT, I was thrilled to be starting grad school. Family members and friends who were aware of the weather in the Northeastern US used to tell me about the inclement weather that awaited me here but I figured, if it is an inhabited place, it cannot be that bad. I mean, why would humans choose to live in such a climate if it was so difficult to live in.

I first arrived in Rochester in the month of July, a time and weather that I learned later were like rays of sunshine on a cold, dreary winter day! As the fall season started, temperatures gradually dropped from the 70s to the 50s, I soon realized what I was in for in a few months. When the first snow fell during Thanksgiving week, it was such a beautiful sight. That snowfall was unexpected so even though it was not a lot, RIT had given us a snow day and classes were cancelled. I thought that maybe this (about 6-10 inches) was a lot of snow and was the limit, which explained the snow day. I was so wrong! The next few months I saw snow on the ground which didn’t melt for weeks, a snowstorm which halted all movement for 72 hours due to nearly 4 feet of snow everywhere, and a freak windstorm (winds reached ~80 mph) which knocked out power for large areas in Rochester for nearly 96 hours.

The winter months in Rochester can get quite gloomy and take some getting used to. Once the daylight savings were disabled in November, the sun set by 4:30 PM which disoriented me to no end the first few days. The days can get bright enough at times to fool first-timers like me to think that the sun’s warmth could be felt.

I was excited by all the snow the first few weeks, and I was impressed by how smooth life went on despite the climate. Roads and walkways were cleared well enough for commuting to be possible. Eventually, I got used to the snow-covered landscape everywhere I went, and though the cold did not go away till May, I kind of missed it when the summer came around. I guess I cannot wait for the next round of biting cold, snow, thick jackets, gloomy skies, and foggy breaths.