Student Life

A rich student life experience is essential to your time at RIT. While we practice physical distancing, we are finding new ways to move forward together.

Family posing for a selfie together.

Orientation

RIT is hard at work preparing in-person, hybrid, and remote options for orientation for new students.

Our orientation program is planning to offer in-person activities, programming, and engagement opportunities to connect incoming students with faculty, staff, and current and other incoming students. We also have plans in place in case we have to shift our programming to remote options. We will have flexibility for students who may need to access the orientation content via online services.  

Learn more about orientation

Clubs, Intramurals, and Wellness


Student clubs
There are hundreds of clubs that students can join this fall. Some may have live meetings and activities, others may be held online, and others may have combinations of in-person and online interaction, depending on whether their activities can be held safely in person. Updates will be posted on CampusGroups.


Intramurals and club sports
A significantly limited portfolio is initially being offered this fall due to the inherent risk factors associated with each activity. RIT recreational facilities are closed until further notice. As a result, indoor activities are not permitted. Some outdoor activities expected include sand volleyball, outdoor tennis, softball, badminton, golf, orienteering, pickle ball, KanJam, as well as eSports and a virtual 5K.


Wellness courses
RIT requires all undergraduates on its Rochester campus to complete two wellness courses prior to graduating. More than 70 wellness courses will be offered this fall, including two new asynchronous sections of Financial Fitness, Finding Your Passion, Your Health, Your Style, and a music class and guitar ensemble class will be offered online. Dance classes will be offered with fewer students enrolled to create a more individualized skill enhancement experience. Visit the wellness website for course offerings and descriptions.


Performing arts
Plans are underway to determine how to offer theater, dance, and music opportunities in the fall semester. It may not look, sound, or feel the same as it has in the past, but it will exist. We are monitoring the current situation, seeing what people are comfortable doing, and adapting our plans to provide a truly exceptional performing arts experience. Updates will be posted on the performing arts website.


Virtual student life
Although we are practicing physical distancing, it is important that we continue to find opportunities to connect with one another and to RIT.

Athletics

In conjunction with the Liberty League, the RIT Athletic Department cancelled all conference competition and championships for its NCAA Division III programs through December 31, 2020. Discussions regarding competition during the 2021 spring semester are ongoing.

No updates have been announced regarding the status of RIT’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey teams for the 2020-21 season. Conversations are ongoing with Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America, respectively.

University-wide Events

President’s Address to the Community
The President’s Address to the Community will be held at 9 a.m. August 18 via Zoom Webinar. Clyde Hull, chair of Academic Senate; Lindsay Vallone, chair of Staff Council; Shine DeHarder, president of Student Government; and Keith Jenkins, vice president and associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion, will each make brief remarks. President Munson will then deliver his address.

Convocation for New Students and Families
The Convocation for New Students and Families will be live streamed at 3 p.m. August 18 on the New Student Orientation website. This is an opportunity to help welcome our new students and their parents to RIT’s vibrant scholarly and creative community. The event features an academic procession; recognition of the faculty; and welcoming remarks by Sandra Johnson, senior vice president for Student Affairs, and Shine DeHarder, president of Student Government. Joshua Thorson, assistant professor in the College of Art and Design and a recipient of the 2019-2020 Eisenhart Provost Award For Excellence in Teaching, will serve as the keynote speaker. President Munson will formally accept the new class of incoming students. The Tiger Walk will not be held this year.

Brick City Homecoming
There will not be a traditional Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend in the fall. Instead, events are being designed to allow alumni and parents to participate virtually during the week of October 19-25. Activities for students are being planned throughout the fall, including the weekend of October 10-11. Information related to the RIT vs. Notre Dame men’s hockey game will be released at a later date. Read more about Brick City 2020.

KeyBank Rochester Fringe Fest
Festival organizers announced on June 12 that the 2020 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival will take place as planned September 15-26, but in a virtual format. RIT committees are meeting to determine how the university will participate.

Related Story

July 27, 2020
Performing Arts to continue this fall at RIT
The show must go on – even if it means virtually. While performing arts offerings at RIT may look and feel differently from how they normally operate, RIT is committed to making sure they are available in a healthy and safe manner.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

All new first-year and transfer undergraduate students are assessed a one-time orientation fee/transfer transition fee to support programs and services related to new student orientation and transfer orientation programs. This fee is charged even if a student chooses not to attend the orientation program. Each new student is assessed an all-inclusive orientation fee that will appear on the fall tuition statement. Details about the orientation program can be found on the Orientation website.

For fall 2020, remote orientation options will be available to support students who are not able to attend in person. The fee will be assessed to all students, including those participating remotely.

All undergraduate and full-time graduate students in a degree program are assessed the student activity fee. The student activity fee supports programs, events, and services that enhance the quality of student life at RIT. Information about these programs can be found in the Student Life webpage. For fall 2020, in-person and remote student engagement opportunities will be offered. The fee will be assessed to all students unless they are enrolled in a designated online program.

Creative ideas are under consideration for numerous ways students can be engaged. That includes showing outdoor movies and possibly offering performances and other events in outdoor venues.

We discourage students from traveling outside of the RIT community. If travel is essential, students should follow New York state guidance regarding mandatory quarantine at that time.