Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024

The university recognizes the significance of the Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024. This event has prompted some local school districts to announce early dismissal or closure. While the university will remain open, managers are encouraged to be flexible with their teams and support adjustments to allow staff members to take vacation or work remotely if possible. Students will be on campus that day and all offices must remain operational.

Solar Eclipse 2024 - Student Information

Navigating Campus

The total solar eclipse is expected to bring thousands of visitors to Monroe County. Please prepare for heavy traffic and expect delays. Students who commute to campus are encouraged to bring their Student ID and should plan ahead to ensure they are able to make it to campus for classes on Monday, April 8. 

RIT Classes 

RIT classes will happen as regularly scheduled on Monday, April 8. Individual faculty members may consider options to transition to online formats, reschedule, or cancel classes, particularly those taking place between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Your faculty will communicate with you directly regarding plans for your class. 

Solar Glasses

RIT has purchased one pair of certified solar glasses for every RIT student. Students living in the Resident Halls or the RIT Inn will receive a pair of glasses from their RA. Students living in an RIT apartment community or off campus can pick up their glasses at the SHED between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on one of the following days:

  • Wednesday, April 3
  • Thursday, April 4
  • Friday, April 5

RIT Eclipse Fest – Student Event

On Monday, April 8, the Division of Student Affairs and College Activities Board will host RIT Eclipse Fest, a student-only event to celebrate and safely view this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. Students can enjoy activities like glow dodgeball, a neon dance party, space-themed food, and more. Students are encouraged to bring their RIT-provided certified solar glasses to the event to watch the eclipse from designated outdoor viewing areas. A limited number of commemorative RIT Eclipse Fest t-shirts will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Solar Eclipse Safety

Safety is a top priority when viewing a solar eclipse. Be sure to follow these safety guidelines when viewing the solar eclipse in April:

  • Eye Safety
    According to NASA, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

    To view the solar eclipse safely, you will need solar viewing glasses (eclipse glasses). It’s important to note that eclipse glasses are NOT the same as regular sunglasses. Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the Sun.

     Here are some helpful resources on eye safety during an eclipse:

     NASA Eclipse Safety
     American Astronomical Society Eclipse Safety

  • Skin Protection
    Even during a partial or annular eclipse, or during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the Sun may be very bright. If you are watching an entire eclipse, you may be in direct sunlight for hours. Remember to wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing to prevent skin damage.

  • Crowded Areas
    RIT’s Henrietta campus has nearly 20,000 people on it during a regular school day. If all of us are on campus and go outside for eclipse viewing, it may become crowded. If large crowds make you feel anxious, remember you can take a break and go inside a building for some space.

  • Your Environment
    According to National Geographic, humans won’t be the only ones reacting to the dramatic changes in the sky during the eclipse. Over the centuries, people who have witnessed these effects have also noted that a variety of animals seem to change their behaviors in response. There are reports of sudden silence by some species or increased activity by others. This can be a great time to practice mindfulness and be aware of what is happening around you.


Information for Faith Communities
This astronomical phenomenon has many meanings and significance throughout the history of world religions and spiritualties, especially in how certain groups and/or individuals practice, observe, or ignore it. Spirituality and Religious Life staff are available to support students with questions or concerns surrounding this celestial event. Contact the office or any chaplain to get a better understanding of how that particular representation of spirituality signifies an event like the eclipse.


Solar Eclipse Employment Related FAQs

Q.  Will the campus be open to the public to view the eclipse?

A. No. RIT will focus our energies on maintaining normal operations and will host a Student Solar Eclipse Fest on April 8, 2024.

Q.  Is the University closed for all or part of the day on April 8, 2024?

A. No. Though some classes may be rescheduled, the university will remain open and all offices are expected to be fully operational. Managers are asked to work with their teams to allow more staff to use vacation time or to work remotely if possible.

Q.  My manager has told me that I must work on campus on April 8, 2024. Will I receive additional pay or time off?

A. No. The university will be open on April 8, 2024 so closure pay will not apply.

Q. I am not able to work for all or part of the day on Monday, April 8 (e.g., I cannot work remotely, I do not have care for my child or elder dependent, etc.).

A. You will need to use vacation time for the time not worked.

Q. I am working on campus. Will I be allowed to watch the eclipse?

A. Managers should allow employees a reasonable amount of time to safely watch the eclipse using the certified solar glasses provided by RIT. Employees do not need to clock out or make up this time and should work with their manager around how this will be handled in their area. Employees who are not scheduled to work or who have requested leave time on this day would not be entitled to paid time for eclipse viewing.

Q.  My student employees would like to take time off to watch the eclipse. May I grant them the time off and would it be paid time?

A.  Managers are encouraged to allow student employees who have reported to work up to 30 minutes of paid time to watch the eclipse, if the timing is during their shift and business allows. Student employees who have requested their full shift off or have called in for their shift would not be entitled to paid time for their missed shift.

Q. What happens if it is cloudy or raining?

 A. The Solar Eclipse, and Eclipse Fest, will happen regardless of the weather.