As we start getting used to writing 2009 on our checks, it’s a wonder that just 10 years ago we began worrying about Y2K. Bill Clinton was president, Sega’s Dreamcast was the hot Christmas present, the world population had recently reached 6 billion, and Napster had just been unveiled. Certainly, the world was a different place. But have things really changed at RIT? Buried in rusty filing cabinets, tucked into drab file folders, Reporter has uncovered some of the RIT news headlines from 10 years ago.
May 8, 1998 “Students Speak Out” — Rallies were held in front of the Student Alumni Union to protest the controversial arrest of Rochester Cannabis Coalition president and RIT student Shea Gunther. Gunther was arrested while attempting to speak to the RIT Board of Trustees. According to the article, a Campus Safety report cited Gunther for “battery and disorderly conduct.” A simultaneous rally was held for a “Zero Tolerance” policy toward acts of racism.
December 12, 1998 “MADD Awards RIT Alcohol Policy” — At the time, the recently instituted RIT alcohol policy was hailed by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization. The policy changed RIT from a “wet” campus to a “dry” campus.
January 22, 1999 “Snow Storms Force Rare Institute Closing” — Few students can claim they lived through an RIT snow day. Institute officials are usually fairly conservative about issuing a cancellation due to weather. However, in the winter of 1999, conditions became bad enough to close the campus for a day and a half. It was the first snow day since the winter of 1995-96, and it was not repeated until the 2006-07 school year.
January 29, 1999 “Two Students Suspended in Campus Arson Case” — Fire alarms caused by burnt popcorn were a common occurrence 10 years ago, just as they are today. However, in December of 1998, two students were arrested after allegedly setting fire to a microwave with “a bag of microwave popcorn and small items, including condoms.”
February 19, 1999 “Portion of Racquet Club to be Demolished” — The townhouses of the Racquet Club housing complex, or the “Racquet Hole,” as the article refers to them, were slated to be demolished. The townhouses were said to have provided substandard living conditions. They have since been replaced by a senior living development.
April 16, 1999 In an article titled “Welcome to the Campus of the Future,” Reporter explored what RIT might look like in the new millennium. Some of the ideas have been implemented, such as “College Park,” which evolved into Park Point. College Park, which was going to be located on Bailey Road, was envisioned to have “variety stores, eateries, hip hang-outs, a bowling alley, video stores, [and] a drug store.” Other ideas presented in the article, such as a golf course on campus, seem to have fallen out of view.
April 23, 1999 “Women’s Resource Center Ribbon Cutting Milestone” — The Women’s Resource Center (now just the Women’s Center) was officially opened in the spring of 1999.