The Sun’s Glossary of Cornell Terms from A to Z
Say what? Studying in the cocktail lounge? Eating at CTB? Learn what’s what: all the terms you need to know.
AAP: College of Architecture, Art and Planning. Found on the north end of the Arts Quad.
Appel: Appel Commons, one of North Campus’ dining halls, known as the “crown jewel of Cornell Dining.”
Big Red: The nickname for all Cornell athletic teams.
Big Red Bear: Cornell mascot. Although the bear is actually brown and not red, Cornellians still look to him for spirit.
CALS: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Also called the “Ag School.”
Big Red Bucks: Points that can be used in a-la-carte dining facilities, such as Bear Necessities, to buy food. Also known as BRBs.
CCC: Cornell Concert Commission, the organization that brings big-name bands to campus.
Central: Central Campus, the area between the gorges that includes nearly all of Cornell’s academic buildings.
Chalkings: Announcements written in chalk on the campus sidewalks.
CIT: Cornell Information Technologies, the provider of computer and network services.
Cocktail Lounge: Underground reading room in Uris Library with comfy, sleep-inducing chairs — great for a midday nap!
Commons: A stretch of State Street in downtown Ithaca closed to vehicular traffic. Go there to find shops, restaurants and many craft and musical fairs.
Cornell Cinema: Sells $4 tickets to more than 300 films a year.
CTB: Collegetown Bagels, a favorite lunch spot.
CTP: Collegetown Pizza, a favorite late-night munchies spot.
C-Town: Collegetown, the business district of Ithaca located next to campus. There are apartments, shops, restaurants and bars on this stretch.
Dairy Bar: Cornell-operated dairy that serves ice cream, milkshakes and other milk products.
D.P. Dough: A place to order calzones to satisfy those late-night cravings.
Dragon Day: Tradition started by Willard D. Straight 1901, in which architecture students build a giant dragon and parade it around the campus before spring break.
EARS: Empathy, Assistance and Referral Service, a free and confidential peer counseling service.
Fishbowl: A glass-enclosed reading room in Uris Library with rows of reading-conducive desks. Perfect for studying. (Alternatively, what you get at Level B on a Wednesday)
Freshman 15: Theory that incoming freshmen will gain 15 pounds during their first year in college because of the all-you-care-to-eat dining halls — plus the beer.
Freshmen on the Field: A tradition where all freshmen rush onto the field before the first home football game of the season.
FWS: 1. Freshman writing seminar; you pick your top five choices, and will be assigned one. 2. Federal Work Study, a financial aid program.
Gorges: Ithaca’s claim to fame, leading to the saying, “Ithaca is Gorges.” These rock-lined waterfalls are hard to miss on campus, but swimming in them is dangerous and prohibited in most areas — be careful.
Harvest Dinner: One night each fall semester when local foods are served in Cornell’s dining halls.
Ho Plaza: The area between the Campus Store and the Straight, which often hosts student rallies.
Hotelies: Students in the School of Hotel Administration.
Hot Truck: Found at the bottom of West Campus, the Hot Truck is perfect for a late- night snack. The truck is owned and operated by Shortstop Deli, which has not changed the menu from the classic subs; look out for the Poor Man’s Pizza (PMP), which made the truck famous.
I.C.: Ithaca College, the college across town from Cornell.
ILR: School of Industrial and Labor Relations, nicknamed “I Love Reading.”
J.A.: The Judicial Administrator determines punishments for recalcitrant students, especially those who take more than one piece of fruit out of the dining halls.
JAM: Just About Music, a residential program house.
The Johnson: Cornell’s Johnson Museum of Art, free and open to the public.
Libe Café: Where great minds meet daily over coffee inside Olin Library.
Libe Slope: A very steep hill separating West Campus from Central Campus. You’ll want to be there on Slope Day … but otherwise only take the walk when you’re up for a work-out.
Louie’s Lunch: Major rival to Hot Truck, found on North Campus between Balch and Risley Halls. Louie’s is the older of the two trucks and serves a wider variety of foods.
Martha Van / MVR: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, home of the College of Human Ecology.
Morgue: The large study lounge in Donlon Hall, named for its dark, dismal lighting.
Nasties: Affectionate nickname for the greasy, a-la-carte dining facility in RPCC.
Noyes: The student center on West Campus, home to a state-of-the-art gym to rid yourself of the Freshman 15.
Orgo: Organic chemistry. Two words: Fear it.
PAM: Policy analysis and management, a popular major in the College of Human Ecology.
Plantations: Includes an arboretum, a botanical garden and other areas showcasing the fruits of Ithaca’s natural beauty.
Prelim: Any full-length exam that is not a final exam. Known as “midterms” at most other colleges.
Quad: Quadrangle, a rectangular section of campus that houses one of Cornell’s colleges, such as the Ag Quad, the Arts Quad and the Engineering Quad.
R.A.: Resident advisor, the upperclassman in charge of keeping order in your residence hall.
RHD: Residence hall director, the R.A.’s boss. You want this person to be on your side if you’re in trouble.
ROTC: Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, a collegiate-level military organization.
RPCC: Robert Purcell Community Center, one of two community centers on North Campus. It’s home to numerous study lounges, Bear Necessities and a dining hall. Formerly known as RPU.
S/U: Pass-or-fail grading that is an option in some courses (satisfactory or unsatisfactory).
S.A.: Student Assembly, a student governing body that has jurisdiction over the student activity fee and makes recommendations to the administration.
Schwartz Center: Home of Cornell’s theatre, film and dance department, which were the target of controversial budget cuts this past year. Located in Collegetown, it hosts many student performances and visiting shows.
Slope Day: An end of the year celebration in the spring when Cornellians gather on Libe Slope, hang out with friends, listen to music and have a few (or more) drinks.
The Straight: Willard Straight Hall, Cornell’s student union, which contains three dining facilities, a study lounge, a ceramics studio, a Cornell Cinema movie theater and registered student organization offices.
SAFC: Student Assembly Finance Commis-sion, in charge of distributing money to registered student organizations.
State Street Diner: A restaurant open 24 hours a day west of the Ithaca Commons. Stop by if you’re looking for greasy, home-style cooking and waitresses who will call you “honey.”
T.A.: Teaching assistants, often graduate students who lead discussion sections for large lectures.
TCAT: Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, the bus company that serves the Ithaca area.
Townie: A local Ithaca resident.
Ujamaa: A residential program house on North Campus focused on African culture.
Wegmans: The massive and hyper-popular supermarket downtown. Great place to shop if you cook for yourself a lot.
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