RIT New Student Orientation records

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Historical Information for RIT New Student Orientation
Scope and Content
Additional Finding Aids
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

RIT New Student Orientation records
Rochester Institute of Technology. Student Activities Office. Student Orientation Services.
Inclusive Date(s)
Collection of materials related to new student orientation programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1934-2008. The collection includes correspondence, schedules, student handouts, committee notes, orientation newsletters, new student record books, color slides, photographs, and other miscellaneous planning documents.
6.21 Linear feet (14 document boxes)
C.S. North, Shelf 328-329
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Historical Information for RIT New Student Orientation (Collapse)

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) can trace its origins to the founding of the Rochester Athenaeum in 1829. After joining with several different Rochester institutions during the 19th century, the Athenaeum finally merged with the Mechanics Institute (founded in 1885) in 1891 to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). RAMI changed its name to the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1944 to better reflect the university's role in the field of technical education.

It is unclear when RIT offered its first new student orientation program. However, in 1934 the school's administration proposed replacing its current orientation program with a series of orientation presentations. These presentations would be spread throughout the school year and would address a variety of topics including Institute rules and regulations, available extra-curricular activities, and basic writing principles.

In 1955, RIT started a new orientation program, "Freshman Daze," later called "Frosh Daze." Sponsored by both the school's administration and the RIT Student Association, the program consisted of five days of activities including freshman registration, assemblies, and social gatherings such as coffee hours, a mixer dance, and a picnic. This program continued into the 1960s.

RIT's orientation services were once again revamped in 1970 when the Student Orientation Seventy (S.O.S.) was established. The school anticipated over 5,000 new students arriving on campus in the fall of 1970. S.O.S. was setup to help new students become acquainted with the campus through various planned events. Over the next decade, the program's name changed to reflect each respective year. Thus, in 1971 the orientation program was called S.O.S. 1 (Student Orientation Seventy-one) and in 1976 it was called S.O.S. 6. Then, in 1982 the name was officially changed to Student Orientation Services (again, S.O.S.) with the stated purpose of:

...[overseeing] the development and implementation of program(s) which will successfully aid new students in their transition to the RIT environment and foster a positive attitude toward their academic success.

As of 2011, RIT's new student orientation was run by the New Student Orientation staff in the Division of Student Affairs.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

The RIT New Student Orientation collection contains documents related to various new student orientation programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) from 1934-2008. The collection contains planning documents such as correspondence, committee notes, and budgeting materials, as well as copies of materials that were distributed to students. These materials include event schedules, information sheets, and brochures for various campus organizations and services.

Additionally, the collection includes a series of orientation newsletters from 1968-1997 and "parents guides" from 1980-2008. The parents guides contain information on campus services and tips for parents to help make their student's transition to college as smooth as possible. There are three New Student Record books from 1972-1974. The collection also includes an orientation windbreaker worn by a lead orientation assistant.

Finally, the collection includes a series of color slides and photographs of orientation activities from 1967-1998.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

The collection is divided into four series: Planning materials, Newsletters, Parents guides, and Slides and photographs. Materials are arranged chronologically within each series.

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Additional Finding Aids (Collapse)

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

RIT New Student Orientation records

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Accruals (Collapse)

The repository may continue to add materials to this collection in the future.

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Institute of Technology. Student Activities Office. Student Orientation Services.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology -- Students.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology. Division of Student Affairs. New Student Orientation.


  • College student orientation -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Universities and colleges -- New York (State) -- Rochester


  • Administrative records
  • Color slides
  • Newsletters
  • Schedules (time plans)

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

RIT New Student Orientation records, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in February 2011.

Revision Description

 An orientation windbreaker worn by a student professional staff worker (a lead OA) was donated. - Jenna Bossert 13 July 2015

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Related Materials (Collapse)

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