Student Engagement

The Department of Student Engagement offers many co-curricular experiences and programs designed to make your time here at Rochester University memorable. Interested in immersing yourself in all things RU? Check out some of our on-campus activities, organizations and events below.

Blackberry Winter

The literary journal of Rochester University was founded in 2004 to showcase the best creative work of RU’s students, faculty, and alumni. Blackberry Winter not only provides an excellent platform for your creative work, but also mentors emerging writers by offering constructive criticism for the pieces submitted each year. Blackberry Winter is published every spring, and the most recent edition of the journal can be purchased in the Campus Store.

If you are interested in becoming a student reader, student editor, or board member, please send an email to for more information.

Submission Guidelines if_right_arrow_476325_white

Submissions are open until February 7th for the Spring 2019 issue of Blackberry Winter. Please review our guidelines for submission, and send all entries to

What we look for:
We accept literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, and artwork. Our editors are happy to consider work submitted by high school artists–scholarships may be available for high school artists whose work is selected for publication in Blackberry Winter.
Please don’t send us drafts of work—we are looking for carefully crafted works of art.

General Guidelines:
Please send submissions to Submissions sent directly to the editors will not be read.
Please send your work as an attachment (preferably a .doc, .docx, or .pdf), and not in the body of the email. The body of the email should list your name, contact information, and a brief (150 words or so) artist’s statement. No identifying information should appear on the piece itself other than the title. *We do not print untitled pieces or anonymous pieces.

What to expect:
Your piece(s) will be reviewed by the end of the year–expect to hear from us by early January at the latest. We are a student publication, dedicated to publishing quality work and mentoring emerging writers. Please understand that your piece is likely to be returned with comments/suggestions for revision–know that this response isn’t given with an intent to “fix” the work, but rather with the intent to let you, as the author, know how the piece has been received by the first round of readers, and to give you another chance to make the piece what it wants to be. If the author chooses to revise the piece based on the suggestions from the editorial board, revisions will be due by the end of January.

Occasionally, we may decide that a piece isn’t right for the current issue, but may be right for an upcoming issue. In that case, we will let the author know as soon as possible.

Authors/artists may submit in up to two of the following categories:

  • Fiction: Please submit only one work of prose at a time. Fiction entries should be 100-2,000 words. Entries should be double-spaced, with a page number on each page (no author’s name—identifying information other than the title should be sent in the body of the email only).
  • Poetry: Please submit up to three poems at a time, in a single attachment. Poetry submissions should be no longer than 8 pages. Please include page numbers (no author’s name) for submissions longer than one page.
  • Non-Fiction: We are seeking art and photographs (including an image that will be featured on the cover) as well as personal essays, travel essays, and memoir. Please limit entries to 2,000 words, two works of art, or two photographs.

We are accepting submissions on the theme “shades of blue” for the 2019 issue. Interpret that how you will, the options are endless!

Current Issue if_right_arrow_476325_white

Print and PDF copies of Blackberry Winter are now available!
Full-color print copies are $8, PDF copies are $6, and are available for purchase here!
Copies will also be made available for purchase in the campus bookstore.

Please send all questions, comments, and submissions to
Follow us on Twitter @RC_Blackberry!

Campus Puppy Program

Rochester University is proud to partner with our neighbor, Leader Dogs for the Blind, to offer an incredible opportunity for students. The Campus Puppy Program is open to sophomores and above who are dedicated to serving the community by raising and training puppies to serve those who are visually impaired.

Leader Dogs for the Blind has established a formal puppy raising and guide dog training program at Rochester University. At the end of each academic year, a limited number of puppies are distributed to selected students to be raised on our campus as members of the RU community. Puppy raisers are paired with a partner student who will serve as a designated puppy sitter for the year.

All students (residents and commuters) who want to learn more about becoming a puppy raiser or puppy sitter are invited to complete the RU Campus Puppy Application located within the Student Portal.

Ex Libris

Ex Libris meets weekly in the CHILL on Thursday nights from 5:30-7:00 p.m. We are a creative writing group that encourages the community of writers on campus with prompts, readings, and critiques of writing projects. We also offer an annual creative writing retreat in northern Michigan (fall semester).

Students who are interested in working on Blackberry Winter are encouraged to attend Ex Libris for at least one semester before applying for a position as reader or student editor. Ex Libris is offered as a 1-credit course each semester, though students may attend even if they are not enrolled in the course.

Greek Life

Coming Soon!

Psi Chi

Did you know that Psi Chi is the largest student psychology organization in the world? Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, is an organization that offers opportunities for students who excel academically in RU’s Behavioral Science programs. With many leadership and philanthropic opportunities available through the organization, Psi Chi is a great way to get involved, and an incredible accomplishment to add to your graduate school application.

Student Media

RU offers you the chance to stretch your creative capabilities while participating in one of four areas of Student Media:

  • Shield Media, a student-produced website with fresh content, photos and stories about RU and beyond.
  • Shield Magazine, RU’s semi-annual student magazine written, edited, designed and photographed by students.
  • Shield Talks, a student-produced podcast with guests from the RU community.
  • Shield TV, which provides student-produced video stories.

Regardless of your academic program, RU offers you the chance to get involved in any aspect of Student Media and gain some valuable experience