Change to Indoor Mask Policy
Effective immediately, RIT will be mask optional indoors, with some notable exceptions. Masks will be required as follows:
In academic classrooms, laboratories, and studios while classes are in session
Beginning Monday, March 21, faculty will have the option of being unmasked while lecturing and when standing behind plexiglass shields
On contracted RIT transportation, including RIT shuttles, buses, and vans
In healthcare facilities, including the Student Health Center, Rochester Regional Health Family Clinic, and the NTID Audiology Center
Unvaccinated individuals, including those with exemptions, are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a mask indoors when in the presence of others.
The choice to continue masking is now a personal one. Some members in our community will continue to wear a mask for any number of reasons. Some may live with a vulnerable individual, others may be immunocompromised, and still others may simply feel more comfortable wearing a mask. We will have members of our community who feel more comfortable if others wear a mask in their direct presence. In the spirit of “Tigers Care,” we ask all members of the RIT community keep a spare mask handy.
Seeking Parent Feedback
The Parent and Family Programs office needs your input as we assess our services and plan for future communications and programming for families of RIT students. Please take a moment to respond to our 2022 RIT Parent Survey. Your responses will help us better understand how you use family resources to support your student.
If you have multiple students at RIT, please respond with the youngest in mind.
Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey
RIT is asking students, faculty, and staff to participate in a Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey to improve support, policies, and practices around diversity and equity. The goal is to take a pulse of the community’s unique perspectives and experiences related to diversity, belonging and inclusion on our campus. The survey will launch on March 21 and remain open until April 10. Students will receive an email inviting them to take the survey and receive reminders if they have not completed it. We plan to share all the results of the survey with the campus. We will use the findings from the survey to help inform our strategic planning of the Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity.
Please talk to your student about the value of taking the survey to improve the student experience related to diversity and inclusion. Responses will be completely anonymous.
Finals Care Package
Finals are almost here! Keep your student focused and energized with the RIT Finals Care Package. Tips from the Academic Success Center are included with the snacks to help them study. Students can pick it up beginning April 18. Order by April 6 on the Care Package website.
Let's Talk About It
Academics— Time Management Tips
Time management is a skill that many college students struggle with, particularly around midterms and finals when assignments and exams are due. Managing time wisely not only makes tasks more approachable, but can decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. Here are some time management tips to share with your student:
Set goals each morning so you know exactly what needs to be accomplished that day.
Establish a routine and stick to it.
Schedule breaks and down time. Participating in activities or working out will help you focus during work time.
Use time between classes wisely. It can be easy to waste time in between classes by scrolling on your phone or napping, but those hours add up!
Use a calendar or download a time management app to keep track of all classes, assignments, study times, activities, jobs, etc.
Create a to-do list. Whether electronic or on paper, the satisfaction of crossing off items can be motivating.
How often do you set goals for yourself? Daily? Weekly?
How do you spend your time when you have a long break between classes?
What system do you use to keep track of your schedule and appointments?
What time of day are you the most productive?
Campus Engagement—Spirituality and Religious Life
Students come to campus from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions. Many will seek out the support and shared values of the religious community with which they identify while others may explore new traditions and communities. Although it might be difficult for you to see your student explore spirituality and religious expressions different from your own family history, keep in mind that college is a time for your student to learn about the world. Improving religious literacy can often help students deepen their root faith and gain cultural competencies that will serve them well in the workplace and life.
Are there any religious/spiritual clubs that seem interesting to you?
What have you learned about other religions or cultures this year?
Campus Life—Dining Locations
Let’s be honest—college dining has a bad reputation, no matter the school. When your student complains to you about dining options on campus, remember that they are likely just venting, and it’s easy to get tired of a place if you are eating there multiple times a week! There are several dining options at RIT, and you can help your student find variety when they’re in a mealtime rut. There are options for a quick coffee break, convenience store needs, grab and go sandwiches, salads, etc., and dining halls that offer a variety of regular and rotating options. On the RIT Dining website, you and your student can find locations, hours, and daily menus. Did you know we even have a registered dietician to help your student navigate health and allergen information and options?
Parent & Family Programs staff have been sharing our experiences with campus dining through our video series Eat Around RIT which you can find on our YouTube channel or Facebook page. You can also follow RIT Dining on social media on Facebook or Instagram.
What is your favorite coffee shop on campus and why?
What dining locations haven’t you gone to this year?
Have you ever tried [insert location here]?
Did you know there are visiting chefs from local restaurants on campus weekly?
Wellness—Signs of Struggle
Academic concerns, feelings of loneliness, and general stress can cause a student to struggle. As a parent, you might be the first to recognize that your student is in distress. You may recognize signs from times they’ve struggled in the past or just get the feeling that something is “off.”
Here are some specific indicators you can look for in your student:
Sudden disorganization or disengagement
Missing classes or coursework
Decline in grades
Significant weight gain/loss
Lack of hygiene or personal care
Excessive fatigue/lack of sleep
Unusual emotional responses
Irritability or anger
If you notice your student is in distress, open up the conversation and refer your student to RIT resources as needed (e.g., Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Academic Advisors). In the case of an emergency, reach out to Public Safety for a wellness check.
What is the biggest stressor in your life right now?
How are you managing that stress?
Have you checked in on your grades lately?
How have you been sleeping?
Information and Upates
Emergency and Family Contact Information
Please remind your student to update family and emergency contact information in SIS (Student Information System) by going to www.rit.edu/studentcontact. This official record must be updated by your student and does not impact your email preferences for this newsletter. To change your email address for the Parent Newsletter, please do so on the Parent & Family Programs website.
It’s only March, but we know you may already be planning for the end of the semester. A local storage company offers a service for students needing to store belonging over the summer. Rochester College Storage (the UPS Store) offers free pick-up and delivery and storage in local facilities. If you make your storage reservation by March 31, you can receive 10% off by using the promo code SB10.
The 2022-23 FAFSA priority filing date-April 1-is fast approaching. If you have not already done so, please make every effort to file as soon as possible. This is an annual process that gets easier as information is pre-populated in the renewal application. While assisting your student with the application, we recommend transferring your 2020 federal tax return information to the FAFSA via IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to streamline the process. Visit the Federal Student Aid or RIT’s Financial Aid and Scholarships website for additional information. RIT students will receive financial aid award notifications beginning in May.
Each month, we ask parents to respond to our Parent Poll and provide feedback on a topic related to RIT, your student, and you. In February, we asked what your student does for self-care. Most of you said play video games (31%), spend time with friends (24%), and exercise (22%). Please take a moment to answer our March question.
In case you don’t follow the Parent and Family Programs Facebook page, here’s what you’ve missed: Artesano loves to celebrate holidays and events with specialized pastries, like they did this week with Pi Day treats!