Rochester Institute of Technology

RIT officials say they are taking proactive steps to deal with a slight uptick in positive cases of COVID-19.

RIT has a four color-level alert system to track coronavirus cases on campus. It is continuously updated on its website.

On Friday, RIT officials said that they have decided to move the alert level up from green to yellow, saying that the prevalence of the virus remains low but indicators show potential for an increase in transmission. 

Two of the area’s largest universities are releasing details about their ongoing testing for COVID-19.

RIT  launched its fall semester classes on Wednesday, and reported that its current RIT COVID-19 Alert Level is green. A statement from the university says that means the prevalence of coronavirus on campus is low, but the community must remain vigilant to maintain that status.

Gabrielle Plucknette-DeVito/RIT

RIT says it has acquired the hotel adjacent to the university’s Henrietta campus.

The university says that Rochester Airport Hospitality LLC has gifted RIT the former Radisson Hotel Rochester Airport at 175 Jefferson Road.

The property includes 171 bedrooms, along with conference rooms, a large indoor pool and other amenities.


Art students and community members collaborated over the weekend on a mural honoring the centennial for the 19th Amendment. 

Located on West Main Street in the same area where Susan B. Anthony cast her then illegal ballot in 1872, the piece is a depiction of Anthony on a bicycle representing Rochester’s role in the history of transportation, suffrage, and women’s rights.

Lucy Ray, 16, designed the mural with her mother Jessica Leiberman. She said the mural is inspired by Susan B. Anthony’s admiration for the bicycle and its role in the emancipation of women.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Rochester Institute of Technology has an extensive safety plan ready for the start of the fall semester on Aug. 19.

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Gerard Buckley still clearly remembers July 26, 1990.

On that day, he stood alongside dozens of others in the White House Rose Garden, as then-President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.

"It was really amazing," Buckley recalled. "It was everything I wish the country was today. The Republicans, the Democrats, the independents, the business community, leaders from the disability community all came together."

That day, Buckley was a young deaf man. Today, he is president of RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Rochester Institute of Technology announced changes to the upcoming fall semester on Friday. RIT will be holding an “accelerated” fall semester with in-person classes starting August 19th and ending November 24th. Final exams will be conducted online.

The proposed schedule is contingent on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pending guidance on reopening plans for all college campuses in the state. RIT is also awaiting direction of local and state health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before finalizing the reopening plan.

WXXI photo

Researchers at RIT are working to find out how tiny particles of plastic pollution are impacting Lake Ontario. Earlier this year, the university received a $240,000 federal grant as part of the Sea Grant College Program.

Associate  Professor Christy Tyler says that much of the research so far has focused on the impact of microplastics in oceans.

But she said that lakes can be affected also, and with those freshwater bodies, the plastic particles are more likely to accumulate in the sediment of the bottom of the lake.

A. Sue Weisler/RIT

Local colleges and universities are cautiously optimistic about a fall campus reopening, although what that may look like is still up in the air.

Campuses emptied in March as the pandemic went into full swing, with schools switching to online learning and directing most students to go home. But as the state moves to slowly reopen portions of the economy this month, schools are looking ahead to the next academic year and most are preparing to reopen their campuses.

RIT is announcing a number of cost-savings measures to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

University President David Munson and other officials posted a message on RIT’s website, saying that, “Updates from federal, state, and local authorities lead us to believe that we may continue in our current state of altered operations and uncertainty for some time.”