|Dan Irwin (left), a fourth year Computer Science major, and Dan Corey, a fifth year Game Design and Development major, pose for a portrait in their room at the RIT Inn. The hotel acted as a location for overflow housing this year as the Institute faced overcrowding.
Imagine arriving on campus to spend your days couch surfing instead of studying, living out of a suitcase or staying at a hotel only to have to pack up and move a few weeks later. RIT’s housing department works hard year-round to avoid that situation.
If you neglected to fill out your housing contract by the deadline — or at all — you risk being placed in one of RIT’s temporary housing spaces as an overflow student. While your preferences will be heavily weighted in the housing options you receive as the weeks move by, there is no guarantee you will get what you wanted. You are guaranteed, however, to get what you need. No student gets turned away from housing once they have a contract, but the choice and quality of that housing is mostly on a first come, first serve basis.
This fall, 18 RIT students — including nine incoming freshmen — had to stay temporarily at the Radisson Hotel on Jefferson Road, according to Director of Housing Carla Dilella. These students submitted housing contracts extremely late or not at all.
Having guaranteed housing in the dorms for the freshmen outright, and not wanting to turn any upperclassmen away, RIT Housing made emergency housing accommodations at the Radisson hotel. A professional staff member from Residence Life acted as a makeshift Resident Advisor, and Public Safety delegated staff to provide additional security. Shuttles ran as late as 1 a.m. during orientation week so thatfreshmen would be able to attend midnight events. When spaces opened up in the dorms two weeks later, moving assistance was provided.
Typically when students aren’t placed right away, they are assigned to the RIT Inn’s temporary space. The RIT Inn, donated by Marriott in 2001, is routinely used for temporary student housing for upperclassmen throughout the year until they can be relocated to permanent spaces that are or most closely resemble their first choices. Students placed in temporary housing at the RIT Inn utilize many of the accommodations, like shuttle services, that are already in place for students living in the Inn year round.
In special circumstances such as the Radisson, additional shuttle accommodations must be made for the late-coming students. The cost to provide these additional bus services was $15,000, which came from the funds designated for RIT’s extensive and ubiquitous shuttle service for on- and off-campus transportation. A total of 187 students inhabited the Inn at the start of the quarter, and now 104 students remain in temporary housing there. This is due to a lack of space or because the spaces available are not what the students prefer.
Housing adjusts the number of spots in the residence halls that need to be reserved for incoming freshmen based on statistics from the housing registration process each year. At a minimum, half of the residence hall space is allocated specifically for incoming freshman, with upperclassmen numbering around one third of the total dorm population. RIT’s enrollment goal is 18,500 students at all of its campuses, including overseas, a number that Dilella believes can be easily handled. She dismisses the fear that the Institute would be unable to accommodate incoming freshmen, stating that the dorms can provide a total of 3,487 spaces. While upperclassmen are not guaranteed housing in the dorms, there are 7,200 spaces in total available on campus, including the RIT Inn and Racquet Club.
Being placed in temporary housing in the fall and then relocating a few weeks later is a huge hassle. The best way to avoid it is to fill out RIT’s housing contract early, with roommates who won’t jump ship, or to scout nearby off campus apartments sooner rather than later. When finding a future home at RIT, timeliness is key.