Alphabet Soup

A-Level: Floor below the first floor of the Regenstein, formerly the home of the most popular 24-hour study space on campus. The current most popular 24-hour study space has moved to the first floor of the Regenstein.

Adviser: The person you’ll meet several times a year for guidance on courses to take, sorting out your major(s) and summer/post-grad opportunities. A true life-saver.

All-Nighter: As in “to pull an all-nighter:” a last, desperate attempt to get the paper in on time or cram everything you didn’t learn all quarter into your head.

Arley D. Cathey Learning Center: The picturesque study areas on the third floor of both the Harper Memorial Library building and Stuart Hall.

Arts Pass: Flash your UChicago ID at the Art Institute downtown to get in free or get discounts at over 70 partner organizations! You can also get in free at special student nights at Court Theater.

ASU: Asian Students Union.

BS/BA: 1) The thesis paper that is required for some majors, OR 2) The really nice piece of paper you get at graduation.

Bart Mart: Convenience-store officially named “Maroon Market” that is located on the first floor of Bartlett Dining Hall; a source of late night snacks for on-campus students; a place to spend maroon dollars.

Big Problems: Open to third- and fourth-years, these popular interdisciplinary courses deal with matters of “global or universal” concern.

BSLC: Biological Sciences Learning Center; enormous building across from the Science Quadrangle where nearly all bio classes are taught.

BJ: Burton-Judson Courts, featuring 6 residential houses and a newly-renovated dining hall shared with South Campus Residence Hall.

Botany Pond: A registered national botanical garden located on the Quads just south of Cobb Gate.

Breckinridge House: A dorm with only one house, named for the first woman to receive a doctoral degree in political science at the University of Chicago. 

Campus North: The newest dorm on campus, conveniently located right on 55th street near Henry Crown and the 55 bus stop. 

Career Advancement: Located on the second floor of Ida Noyes Hall; provides career-development and job-search resources.

C-Bench: A gift from the Class of 1903, in front of Cobb Hall; its elliptical shape allows for a cool echo effect when one stands exactly in the center of the “C”.

CHA: College Honors Awards.

ChoMun: Chicago Model United Nations; an impressive committee that organizes an annual Model UN Conference downtown for college students from such institutions as Yale and Harvard ; not to be confused with MUNUC.

CIV: Pronounced “Siv;” Civilizations Studies core classes that all students are required to take in order to graduate.

Co-op: Seminary Co-op Bookstore, where you will buy many of the books required for Social Sciences and Humanities classes.

Cobb: A hub for core classes and student life, this building is also home to the Center for the Study of Language, the Cinema and Media Studies Center, and the Renaissance Society, the contemporary art exhibition space.

Core: The set of classes integral to the UChicago education which provides the groundings for the College’s liberal arts education; must be taken if you want to graduate.

COUP: Council on University Programming; student organizers of several annual celebrations on campus such as Mardi Gras and Summer Breeze.

CPO: College Programming Office; organizers of class development events in the College, such as O-Week!

Crerar: Science library notorious for creating an atmosphere for hard-core studying; location of a USITE computer lab.

C-Shop: Popular coffee shop located on the first floor of the Reynolds Club; home to Einstein Bros. Bagels and $1 Shake Day every Wednesday.

CTA: Chicago Transit Authority; runs all Chicago buses as well as the elevated train lines. One of the most common ways of getting around the city. Not to be confused with Metra trains.

CUSA: Chinese Undergraduate Students Association.

CWAC: Cochrane-Woods Art Center, base of the Art History department. Located right across from the Smart Museum.

Dean’s List: Published after spring quarter every year, the list of students with 3.25 GPA or above.

Div School: Divinity School; its coffee shop (Grounds of Being) serves the best cup of coffee on campus.

DocDoc Films; shows movies at the Max-Palevsky Cinema located in Ida Noyes Hall; each day of the week has a creative movie theme with popular/recent movies shown on weekends.

Dollar Shake Day: Offered Wednesdays at the C-Shop.

Extension: Something you seek when your all-nighter fails. See All-Nighter.

Facebook: The most effective procrastination tool of all time and one of the best ways of getting the word out about upcoming events on campus.

FOTA: Festival of the Arts; takes place over an entire week late Spring Quarter and showcases student art through installations all over campus, performances, and a fashion show.

Grad School: Place where people go after College to put off the “real world.”

GRE: Graduate Record Examination, the general standardized test for grad schools.

Harold’s: Home of the best (and greasiest) fried chicken in Hyde Park. There are many other locations throughout Chicago.

Harper: 1) Harper Memorial Library, that big building with the two towers, that is home to your College adviser as well as the Study Abroad Office; 2) William Rainey Harper, UChicago’s first President.

Harper Fellow: Ph.D. hired to teach certain core/general education courses.

HBC: Human Being and Citizen; a Core Humanities class.

Henry Crown: the “old” gym and field house. Reminiscent of an old-school training gym, ala Rocky.

HeraldHyde Park Herald, neighborhood newspaper.

HIPS: History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine; a major for students studying the historical development, conceptual structure, and social role of science.

HKSA: Hong Kong Students Association.

HPP: Hyde Park Produce, the delicious and affordable grocery store on 53rd Street.

HUM: Pronounced “Hume;” Humanities core sequence that every student needs to take in order to graduate.

Hutch: 1) Hutchinson Commons or Hutch Commons, a dining hall modeled after Christ Church Hall at Oxford that is connected to the Reynolds Club and C-Shop; houses a food court as well as many large portraits of past University Presidents; 2) The courtyard bounded by Hutch Commons, the Reynolds Club, and Mandel Hall.

Hutchins: Robert Maynard Hutchins, former President of the University of Chicago who, among a stunning myriad of accomplishments, pulled UChicago out of the Big Ten.

Hyde Park: Chicago neighborhood that is the home of the University of Chicago.

Ida: Ida Noyes Hall, home of Doc Films, Chicago Maroon, the Pub, and Career Advancement.

IHC: Inter-House Council; group of students selected from each house within a residence hall who discuss topics pertinent to the dorms, transportation and dining.

I-HouseInternational House; building that offers housing and activities to students as well as to visitors; hosts movies in its auditorium every quarter.

IM: Intramural Sports, different houses usually make up the teams, but any group of people can sign up.

Jackson Park Express: Also known as "the 6," this is the most direct transportation back to Hyde Park from downtown. Stops right across from Stony Island, as well as next to the MSI. Drops you off at on the river at Michigan Avenue.

Jimmy’s: (Woodlawn Tap) A popular off-campus student watering hole; 21+.

KSO: Korean Students Organization.

Kuvia: Shortened name of Kuviasungnerk and Kangeiko Winter Festival hosted by COUP. The festival entails a week of athletics at ridiculously early hours of the morning. The coveted Kuvia t-shirt is awarded for a student's ability to attend every day of the cold-weather festivities.

L: Elevated portion of the mass-transit system run by the CTA.

Loop: Chicago’s downtown area, which derives its name from the circular formation that the elevated train tracks make around downtown Chicago.

MAB: Major Activities Board; in charge of bringing one mainstage entertainer to campus each quarter, including the musicians who play at the Summer Breeze concert.

Mardi Gras: A yearly festival sponsored by COUP which attempts to recreate the spirit of the real event complete with face-painting, free food, and plenty of Mardi Gras beads.

Maroon: 1) The official University of Chicago student newspaper is the Chicago Maroon; 2) The school color, since 1893.

Maroon Dollars (previously called Flex Dollars): Pre-charged money on your UCID that is accepted at most small shops and cafés around campus (the one exception is the Divinity School Coffee Shop which only takes cash); a great form of currency for late-night Bart Mart or Midway Market runs. 

Maroon Thunder: Lifesaving helicopter-ambulance that drowns out class discussions when en route to the Medical Center.

Maroons: University of Chicago’s varsity athletes.

Max P: 1) Max Palevsky Residential Commons; 2) Max Palevsky Cinema, home of Doc films.

MCAT: Medical College Admission Test, the bane of pre-med students’ existence.

M.E.Ch.A.:  Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlàn, an RSO commited to promoting culture, history, and higher education as devices of change.

Metra: The suburban commuter rail that will get you downtown; slightly more expensive than the CTA but nevertheless quick, direct, and comfortable.

Midway Plaisance (aka The Midway): A huge strip of grass and gardens between 59th and 60th streets that was the location of the famous Columbian Exposition of 1893. These days, it serves as the location for many IM Sports and houses an outdoor ice skating rink.

MODA: The student-run group dedicated to fashion that puts on a fashion show every winter and releases a magazine in the spring.

MSA: Muslim Students Association.

MUNUC: The Model United Nations at the University of Chicago, which hosts an annual Model UN conference for over 1000 high school students from across the country. One of the biggest RSOs on campus  (not to be confused with ChoMun).

NCD: New Collegiate Division; an interdisciplinary collegiate division of the College, specializing in non-traditional majors—Fundamentals: Issues and Texts; Law, Letters, and Society; and the little-known Tutorial Studies.

NSP: Neighborhood Schools Program; employs undergraduate and graduate students to work in the classrooms of elementary and high schools in neighboring communities.

O-Aide: Orientation Aide; person who makes sure your Orientation Week rocks.

OBS: Organization of Black Students.

OLAS: Organization of Latin American Students.

Ombudsperson: An appointed graduate or undergraduate student who acts as a mediator between students and the university with problems regarding academics, financial aid, housing, health service, etc.

OMSA: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, located at 5710 S. Woodlawn along with the Office of LGBTQ Student Life.

ORCSA: Office of the Reynolds Club & Student Activities; old name for the Center for Leadership and Involvement, the student activities and leadership office, located in the Reynolds Club.

P/F: Stands for “Pass/Fail.” Entails taking a course, for credit, but not for a quality grade (A, B, C, D, F); must be approved by the teacher any time before the final exam, or per the professor’s discretion.

PHA: Peer Health Advocate; student volunteers through the Student Health Service who serve as campus health educators.

Phy Sci: Physical Sciences sequence in the core.

Point: Promontory Point at 55th Street and Lake Michigan, perfect for spring barbeques, kite flying, and a view of downtown Chicago.

Pre-Med: What many entering students are and what few graduating students will be; see UCIHP.

Procrastination: Any number of activities accompanied by a nagging guilt that you should be doing something better/more useful.

PSAC: The Prospective Students Advisory Committee is a corps of student volunteers who reach out to high school applicants.

Pub: A small pub located in the basement of Ida Noyes Hall, membership is $10 with UCID; 21+.

Q & A: Queers and Associates, the most prominent LGBTQ group on campus. Weekly meetings take place at the 5710 building at 5710 S. Woodlawn.

Quads: Quadrangles; the rectangular plots of land on which the campus is built.

Quantrell: Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching, nominations submitted by students.

Query: Q; no grade was submitted by the professor or the student's choice to take an incomplete was not noted; becomes a W after the 4th week of the following quarter.

RA: Assistant Resident Head; third- or fourth-years in the College who assist the RHs in the Houses.

Ratner: The spiffy new athletic center that resembles a giant sailboat. Features an Olympic-size pool and an upstairs Cardio Rotunda with TVs for every machine.

RBIM: Rhythmic Bodies in Motion; a student-run dance group that is open to all students and prides itself on diversity of skill, style, and cultures.

Reading Period: Thursday and Friday of tenth week; professors may not teach new material or have anything due on these days.

Reg: The Regenstein Library; large neogothic library that consumes many students’ lives; designed by the inventor of the windows on envelopes and perhaps designed accordingly.

Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons: 1) the secondnewest dorm on campus, located adjacent to Burton-Judson, formerly known as South Campus 2) Home of Midway Market aka South Mart, a glorified convenience store (that accepts maroon dollars!).

Resident Master (aka RM): Senior member of the faculty or administration who lives in a Residence Hall with his/her family; heading the Residences Halls within the housing system.

Reynolds Club/RC: Building located at 57th and University; home to many RSOs and the Center for Leadership and Involvement.

RH: Resident Head; Graduate students or administrators living in the Houses; heading the Houses within the housing system.

Robie House: House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Prairie Style of architecture and located at 58th and Woodlawn; acquired by the University in the 1960’s.

Rockefeller: 1) The man who bankrolled the beginning of the University of Chicago; 2) Enormous non-denominational chapel on 59th St.

RSO: Recognized Student Organization, organized through the Center for Leadership and Involvement.

RSVP: Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention.

RTA: Regional Transportation Authority; umbrella organization for both the Metra and the CTA.

SAMSU: Singaporean and Malaysian Students Union.

SASA: South Asian Students Association, puts on the biggest cultural show on campus every year.

Scav: UChicago’s own scavenger hunt (the World’s Largest) held in the Spring.

SCS: Student Counseling Service.

Senior: Fourth-year students' ego-boosting term, however erroneous.

SG: Student Government.

SHS: Student Health Services. 

SLS: Federal Supplemental Loans for Students.

Snell-Hitchcock Hall: A dorm situated right on the main quad! 

SOSC: Pronounced “Sosh;” Social Sciences core/general education sequence.

Socratic Method: Method of teaching employed in many Core courses; involves repeatedly asking questions and hoping somebody in the class knows the answers.

SSA: School of Social Service Administration.

Stacks: Short for the "book stacks;" seemingly never-ending shelves of books in the Reg.

Stagg: 1) Amos Alonzo Stagg, the University’s first athletics director; 2) Stagg Field, now located at 55th and Cottage Grove.

Stony: Short for Stony Island 1) A N-S Street in South-east Hyde Park; 2) Apartment style dorm that was once only home to transfer students but now houses many first year students.

Study Break: A break from studying, hosted weekly or semi-weekly by Houses, and occasionally by RSO’s; often a source of sustenance when you are out of meal points or have not been to the grocery store in a long time.

TA: Teaching Assistant, usually a grad student in the relevant discipline.

Tenth Week: The final week of classes each quarter with no classes on Thursday or Friday (see Reading Period).

“That Kid”: Popular epithet used to describe that really annoying kid in one of your classes who talks way too much, generally using every $5 word imaginable along the way (mostly apparent in core/general education classes).

TI: Treasure Island; not to be confused with the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, nor the rapper, but the main grocery store option in Hyde Park on 55th Street.

Twitter: For those with too many interesting thoughts to rely on Facebook status updates alone. A great guerrilla tool to get the word out about your events, or even to remind your group members about upcoming obligations.

UCID: University of Chicago ID Card aka UChicago Card. This is your plastic ticket to innumerable services on campus. It: is your dorm and (sometimes) dorm room key, contains your meal plan and maroon dollars, gets you into buildings after hours, gets you on the UChicago CTA buses for free, holds your printing money for library printers, and, perhaps most importantly, gets you into the Reg and Ratner.

UCIHP: UChicago Careers in Health Professions; the folks in Harper West Tower who, along with your adviser and Career Advancement, will help you prepare for post-graduate endeavors in the health professions.

UCPD: University of Chicago Police Department. Our police force on campus. They maintain a friendly presence on campus and sponsor the Umbrella Service, a late-night transportation tool.

UCSC: University Community Service Center; organizes the pre-orientation program Chicago Bound and quarterly Days of Service as well as variety of community service programs around the University and Chicago.

Ultimate: Ultimate Frisbee.

UT: University Theater.

W: Withdraw; received when you drop a class after third week.

WHPK: WHPK Radio; the University’s own student-run radio station that broadcasts from the top of the Reynolds Club; 88.5 FM.

Work Study: Federal Work/Study Program that funds campus jobs; students qualify through their financial aid packages.