As social distancing requirements forced distanced learning, students across the country suddenly had to consider where they would be doing that learning. The estimated 6,000 RIT students who lived on campus in a residence hall or apartment needed to collect, store or ship personal items. And staff members from RIT Housing, Residence Life and Student Affairs were faced with an array of unique situations.
RIT’s Class of 2020 is getting a bonus opportunity after last week’s virtual conferral of degrees — a ceremony in the video game Minecraft that will allow them to virtually walk across the graduation stage, receive a diploma from “Minecraft Munson” and take a photo with the Tiger statue.
Friday’s celebration of the Class of 2020 certainly cannot replace the atmosphere of a traditional commencement, which RIT plans to host on campus when it’s deemed safe. But many of graduates say they won’t let the pandemic, or the circumstances surrounding the virtual celebration, define them or their feelings about their time at RIT. (Pictured: Bradley Speck, who will finish his classes online this summer, has a job waiting for him at GE Aviation in Cincinnati, where he completed four co-ops.)
Students on RIT’s international campuses in Dubai, Kosovo and Croatia became united during this time of social distancing for an online Global Campus Session, organized by the Student Government presidents of each campus.
As students at RIT have successfully transitioned to temporary online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve also found ways of connecting with their peers to continue their interests with clubs, organizations and performing arts.
During this time of COVID-19, the Wellness division of RIT Student Affairs remains a resource for undergraduate and graduate students seeking health care, mental health counseling, nutrition advice or guidance for navigating personal matters. While the delivery process looks different than before the pandemic, the level of care is the same.
One brick at a time — that’s how members of RIT’s Electronic Gaming Society are building a digital version of the RIT campus in the video game Minecraft. As universities across the country closed their campuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students went to Minecraft as a way to stay connected with their schools. The game allows multiple players to collaborate on building structures and designing landscapes, including recreating physical places.
Relay For Life was preparing for its eighth year to benefit the American Cancer Society when the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to change plans. So instead of nearly 1,000 people participating in a 12-hour walking marathon in the Gordon Field House, this year’s Relay For Life will be a five-day online event that will provide entertainment, donation challenges, celebrations of life and more.
RIT students are encouraged to make sure they are counted in the 2020 Census, even though they may currently be scattered across the country. Every 10 years, the U.S. counts everyone living in the country, including college students, to help ensure that communities across the nation receive their fair share of federal funding and are appropriately represented for the next decade.