Stuff to Bring to College

Cables for Phone, Cable, and Power

Piece of Plywood for the bed

Cinder Blocks

Lights

Bucket for the shower

Coat Hanger Paper Towel Holder

Duct Tape/Gaffers Tape

Fan

Humidifier

Air Filter


Cables for Phone, Cable, and Power

Currently the only phone hookup is to your left as you enter the room. The cable hookup is to your right. You will need cable to get these services to wherever your TV or phone will be used. Last year we had our link to the outside world, we wire tied all the wires together, but they included phone, cable, network cables, etc.

RIT prohibits the use of extensions cords of all types. The only thing allowed is UL Listed power strips. There are 4 outlets in the room, two on each wall. You will probably need at least one power strip per outlet in order to plug everything in.

RIT installed Raceway along the walls in all the rooms for an Ethernet Computer Network. These will also in the future contain power and phone connections, which will supposedly reduce the need to run cable across the room.

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Piece of Plywood for the bed

The RIT supplied beds consist of a steel frame with springs stretched across which supports the mattress. After a while these springs stretch, creating what has come to be called the "Hammock Effect" where the center of the bed sinks in, a tremendous problem, especially if you sleep on your back or side. A small piece of plywood stuck between the mattress and the springs will fix this problem.

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Cinder Blocks

If you haven't noticed already cinder blocks are used extensively in all areas of room construction. Cinder blocks are in such high demand at the beginning of the school year that the local Builders Square ran out. Almost everyone puts their beds, bunked or not up on blocks. Its so common that a bunk bed on the floor looks funny. This opens up a lot of storage space under the bed, some refridgerators even will fit underneath. We also put our couch on wooden blocks to get it out of the way of the Ethernet conduit, but that created a little extra space as well.

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Lights

RIT supplied lighting in our room consists of a ceiling mounted 8" circular flourescent light that gives off very little light. Some rooms on campus have no lights at all supplied.

I personally feel that flourescent lighting is the best way to go. It is cheap, safe, and gives off a lot of light. Another common lighting method is the use of halogen lights, these are effective but get very hot during use and could easily ignite surrounding materials if not careful. Rumors have said that RIT is planning to ban the use of such lights, but at the time of the writing of this I have heard nothing.

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Bucket for the shower

A fairly common method for transporting all your shower items to the bathroom is through the use of a 2.5 gallon bucket. Simply keep your shampoo, soap, and anything else neccesary in the bucket. Cleanup and storage is easy. Various other basket type ideas are in use but its all the same idea.

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Coat Hanger Paper Towel Holder

The second most valuable all purpose item you can bring with you is wire coat hangers and a pair of heavy-duty wire cutters. Using these items I easily created a Paper Towel hanger, which hangs off our closet shelf extension. It has a hook on one side to enable changing paper towel rolls. Crushing the cardboard tube inside the roll before putting in the holder will keep it from unrolling when getting a paper towel.

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Duct Tape/Gaffers Tape

The number one most valuable item you can bring with you to school. Whether its hanging posters, stringing cable, or picking lint off your sweater, Duct tape can help. It is often said that Duct tape can fix anything, well almost anything.

Last year we noticed that when you remove duct tape that has been stuck to something for an extended period of time it leaves behind a sticky residue. This residue is removable but is often a lot of work. Working for a theater for the past two summers I came across a different kind of tape called Gaffers tape. This tape is a cloth based tape, which is heat resistant, and better than duct tape in my opinion. One major plus it that it can be removed easily from things it is stuck to, including itself while retaining its stickyness. It rarely leaves behind a residue, but when it does it is easily removable. The only problem is that a a good quality tape is around $11 for a large roll. But it is available in 19 different colors, we purchased a roll of black and a roll of white. We used white for hanging stuff on the walls as it blends better. We also used it on the edges of our desks which were unfinished.

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Fan

During the early part of fall quarter you might run into some hot days and a fan will be helpful. Beyond that you will want it to keep the air circulating in your room. During the winter the heat is on all the time, there is no thermostat, so we are forced to open and close the window to compensate, and a fan will help circulate the cold air so one end of the room isn't really cold while the other is still warm.

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Humidifier

Since the heat is on all winter, and we open the window to compensate, the air gets really dry in the rooms. A cup of water will evaporate in no time, but that usually isn't fast enough. Sometimes you will wake up with a dry mouth or nose, and more often the problem will be static electricity. Depending on you and the shoes you wear, and obviously the humidity, you will build up quite a bit of static electricity which will happily discharge to the metal door knobs, or any other metal object. I had a pair of boots last year that grounded me so well I would generate a lot of static electricity and was afraid to touch anything because the spark was so big and was pretty painful. So a humidifier will help in this problem. Use common sense in choosing one keeping in mind their potential to spread germs if not kept clean, or cause pneumonia if the droplets aren't the right size. Mine actually heats the water and boils it off as a steam, so it sterilizes the water somewhat beforehand. The only problem I have with it is a buildup of whatever minerals RIT has in their water.

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Air Filter

One if the biggest problems we have here is Dust. There is tons of it and it will infultrate every little corner of your room. This year it wasn't helped by the fact that RIT installed the Ethernet late summer and fall and winter quarters in our rooms. This required cutting holes through the walls, which occured before move-in but still left visible dust on the walls. Then they came through and drilled holes through the walls again, our walls are two sheets of drywall so there was a bit of dust involved. This is especially bad for your computer and stereo equipment which need the air flow to stay cool. As Humorist Dave Barry says, Computers are just really expensive air cleaners, sacrificing their lives to save ours. If you don't want to invest in a real air cleaner, do what we did and buy the air filters for a home furnace system available at many stores for around $2. Cut these to fit over the front of your fan and tape them around the edge. The air forced through the filter will be filtered of at least the larger dust.

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