A-Level n. 1. Basement of the Reg. 2. All-night study area where people are known to camp out (literally) during finals week. More like a zoo than a library.
Admin n. 1. Bureaucracy that runs the University. 2. The building next to Cobb used to house pink slips and, presumably, other things.
Alpha Delt n. Fraternity that shares a building with the Chicago Theological Seminary in a marriage from hell.
Aramark n. Company that fills student stomachs and makes obscene profit margins.
Bar night n. A pay-per-drink frat party held in the basement of Alpha Delt every Wednesday night. Can be used in conjunction with Shake Day to acquire a gnarly stomachache.
Bart Mart n. Aramark-run and overpriced convenience store located in Bartlett. The pluses: stays open until 3 a.m., and you can buy Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with Flex Dollars. Alias: Maroon Market.
B-J n. 1. Burton-Judson Court, a dorm containing an exact replica of Hogwarts’s Great Hall. 2. Not what you were thinking, perv.
Bursar n. Your least favorite administrative office.
C-Shop n. 1. The Einstein Bros. Bagel shop on the first floor of the Reynolds Club. Avoid, save for Shake Day. 2. One of the best places on campus to find out with whom people you don’t know are sleeping.
Civ n. Core sequence known for being terribly boring on campus and extremely awesome abroad.
Cobb n. 1. The University’s oldest building and largest cluster of classrooms. Located on the west side of the quads and frequented by first-years, smokers, and bitter artists. 2. Student-run coffee shop in the basement of said building known for its dirt-cheap java.
Cobbroaches n. Hipsters who gather outside Cobb to create tangible smokescreen from Camel Lights and discuss how cool they are.
Co-op n. 1. Be prepared to spend at least 12 hours of your four years here waiting in the labyrinthine line for Hum and Sosc books. Tips for tots: Buy a membership; it will be well worth it in the end. Alias: Seminary Co-Op Bookstore.
Core n. Classes you must take, so stop whining and get it over with. You came here for this, right? Alias: Common Core.
Crerar n. The 24-hour science library where the med and med-wannabe students study. More sterile than an 80-year-old man with a vasectomy. Don’t expect to do so much as open your backpack without getting death stares from fellow students. Don’t even think about wearing flip-flops.
CTA n. Mode of locomotion in which you give the nice people a bit more than $2 and they’ll take you places in a shiny bus. Alias: Chicago Transit Authority.
Doc n. The student film society that shows good movies for only $5. The drunken heckling usually begins while the poor volunteer that they force up front before every movie is still reading the coming attractions, and film projection rarely progresses without error.
Dorm n. Where you live. Unfortunately, where your roommate lives as well.
Dormcest n. Realize that at least two people in your house are going to spend the rest of their lives together. Fear for the future of the planet. On the off chance that things don’t work out, expect everyone in the dorm to know within a half an hour. Variation: housecest.
Econ n. The U of C’s most popular concentration, as measured by percentage of pretentious sell-outs.
Ex-Libris n. Late-night coffee shop in the A-Level run by angry hipsters and accessed only through an elaborate maze.
Fiji n. 1. Island in the South Pacific. 2. Brand of bottled water. 3. Football fraternity.
Flex Dollars n. Funny money redeemable at Aramark establishments. Paying this way gives you a 10-percent discount at Hutch, which transforms the food from obscenely overpriced to very overpriced.
Fifth-year n. Must ride the special #175 bus to campus, which is noticeably shorter than the regular CTA vehicles. (Just kidding, guys, but we did warn you about stepping on that seal.)
Financial Aid Office n. College is expensive. These people could help, were they so inclined. Fear them.
Fire Escape n. 1. Useful in event of fire. 2. Student film society.
First year n. The period during which you whine about your dorm, are expected to take core classes, and hook up with the kid living down the hall from you.
Fourth year n. The period during which you whine about your B.A., actually take core classes, and avoid eye contact with said kid from first year.
Gargoyles n. A carved figure reminiscent of a U of C student during finals week.
Hallowed Grounds n. Superior student-run coffee shop on the second floor of the Reynold’s Club. Known for its comfy chairs and as a hangout for local pool sharks. Alias: Uncle Joe’s.
Harold’s n. Harold’s Chicken Shack in Kimbark Plaza, where the kitchen consists of five deep-fat fryers and a sink. Dinners are mysteriously served with a pint-sized bite of coleslaw and a soggy piece of Wonder Bread. Bulletproof glass protects the kitchen from sketchy customers.
Harper n. 1. A courtyard useful for eating in warm weather. 2. Convenience store on 57th Street with frequent two-for-one deals on cigarettes. 3. First president of the U of C.
Henry Crown n. Old Gym. Basically, a dilapidated warehouse with a handful of recumbent bikes.
House n. The University’s way of fostering a sense of community. A good source for O-Week relationships that you will not be allowed to forget about for the remainder of the year.
Hum n. First-year humanities sequence. Pretentious people (see That Kid) make themselves known in their Hum sections.
Hutch n. 1. Location of many O-Week and RSO events throughout the year (read: free food). 2. Home to the worst Subway franchise in America.
Hutchins, Robert Maynard n. Former president of the U of C who is largely responsible for making the Core what it is today. Also, got rid of the football team, took the U of C out of the Big Ten, and cemented Chicago’s reputation as the place where fun comes to die.
Indeed adv. Word of choice for That Kids. Usage: “Indeed, Karl Marx is an utter buffoon.”
Jimmy’s n. The best-known and most frequented student bar in Hyde Park. Recently banned games of “pass the pitcher.” Alias: Woodlawn Tap.
Kimbark n. 1. A street. 2. A shopping center. 3. The official liquor store of the U of C. Will accept a crudely laminated fake ID with your picture drawn in crayon.
Labbie n. Lab School student. Known for crossing 59th Street in massive swarms in their younger years and trying to get in to frat parties as they mature. e.g. Sasha and Malia Obama.
MAB n. Organizes Summer Breeze concert, among other things. You are not cool enough to be part of this organization. Alias: Major Activities Board. See: student activities fee.
MacLab n. Computer lab on the A-level with free printing.
Major n. Plebian replacement for concentrations.
Maroon n. 1. The University’s only school color. 2. Any member of a varsity sports team. 3. Us.
Med n. 1. Medici on 57th Street. Restaurant with spotty service, RC Cola, and fried food. 2. Beloved campus hangout. 3. Source of cheap coffee and excellent baked goods.
Metra n. Commuter train that takes you downtown, or occasionally to Indiana or Wisconsin if you don’t watch out. Features conductors in old-timey uniforms. You will never use it, though you should.
NeoCons n. Originated at the U of C. Now possibly control the universe.
Northwestern adj., n. 1. Compass direction. 2. A cross town university that is rumored to have Division I athletics and practical education. Lame.
NSIT n. The department that keeps your e-mail clicking and picking, unless the server crashes during finals week. Also responsible for implementing such improvements in your life as cMore and Chalk. Alias: Networking Services and Information Technologies.
Occam’s Razor n. Like Off-Off, but without an audience.
Off-Off n. One of the U of C’s comedy troupes. Often funny, but sometimes in a sad way. Bring booze.
#171 n. 1. Bus. 2. Make-out mobile for irritating Shorelanders and Broadviewites.
ORCSA n. Student activities organization located in the bowels of the Reynolds Club. Will consume your hard-earned money for nebulous purposes in the form of the student activities fee. Alias: Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities.
Palevsky, Max n. 1. Billionaire philanthropist who helped found Intel. Subject of Hunter S. Thompson’s ire. 2. Home of Doc Films. 3. Horrifically ugly orange breeding shed for first-years. Aliases: Max, Max P, Palevsky, Maxi Pad, Barbie’s Dream Dorm.
Point, the n. 1. Promontory Point Park. 2. Rallying point for neighborhood activists. 3. What that kid in your Hum class keeps missing. 4. Good make-out spot, if it’s not frigidly cold.
Phi Delt n. Fraternity that lives in a tenement house across from Max Palevsky.
Psi U n. Fraternity with good dance floor and terrible selection of canned beers. Watch for the kindly elderly alumni filling bowls with chips during party nights.
Pub, the n. University-run bar in the basement of Ida Noyes Hall, located a full 25 steps from the front door of the Maroon office. Check it out on Mondays.
R.A. n. 1. Resident Assistant. 2. R.H.’s sub-lieutenant. 3. Paid to smile and get someone to come pump your stomach. If they tell you to turn your music down, remember they don’t have any real authority.
Reynolds Club n. The alleged “student union” of the U of C. There used to be two worthwhile establishments here, Taco Bell and Hallowed Grounds. Sadly, now only the latter remains.
Rajun Cajun n. One-stop shop for soul food, Indian food, and Bollywood video rental.
Ratner n. New gym. The only place on campus capable of giving the illusion that you go to a state school.
RedEye n. Tabloid started by the Trib to appeal to a younger, hipper, dumber demographic.
Reg n. The library. Rumor has it there are books inside and other materials that may or may not help when you have a 15-page research paper due tomorrow. There are people who have been wandering disoriented around the stacks for decades. Be forewarned that come finals week, you’ll start seeing the people who study near you more than your close friends.
R.H. n. Resident Head. No, you moron, those thirtysomethings in your dorm aren’t still in college.
Salonica n. Diner on 57th Street known for its breakfast offerings. Great when hung over.
Scav Hunt n. The world’s largest scavenger hunt. Every spring, it will make you either love or regret your decision to come to U of C. There is no middle ground.
SCC n. 1. Student Care Center. 2. No, you cannot get medical marijuana there. 3. Dispenser of free condoms.
Sexile v. To be exiled from your room by your roommate and his or her significant other. Usually signaled by a sock or other such random object slyly placed on the doorknob. You, on the other hand, will never sexile anyone. See also: dormcest.
SG n. Student Government. The elected representatives of the student body. SG is efficient, mature, free of infighting, and will affect your life in numerous positive ways.
Shake Day n. Every Wednesday, shakes are to be had for $1 at the C-Shop. This is only true, however, if you enjoy waiting in a line that makes Depression-era bread lines look good. Ask any upperclassman about the decline of shake quality over the years.
Sosc n. Social Sciences Core sequence. Pretentiousness levels are second only to Hum.
Student activities fee n. Money paid to support student groups that may or may not be used for corrupt purposes. You’d think $35,000 per year would pretty much cover it.
Study break n. The archetypical U of C social experience: It’s the 15 minutes in your day when you’re actually around other people, and that’s only because it involves free food.
Subway n. 1. Sandwich chain with 10,000 locations in Hyde Park. 2. Not to be confused with the El.
Sun-Times n. 1. Chicago newspaper. 2. May or may not actually contain news.
T.A. n. A graduate student who must balance helping undergraduates and perfecting a sickening obsequiousness to the professor.
That Kid n. Universally loathed person. Generally finishes all the reading and spends an hour and 20 minutes twice a week proving that to the rest of the class.
Trib n. 1. The Chicago Tribune. 2. A real newspaper. 3. Allegedly responsible for RedEye.
UCID n. The most valuable item in your wallet.
UIC n. 1. The University of Illinois at Chicago, with sports teams known as “the Flames.” 2. Where half of your relatives think you go to school.
U-Mart n. University Market, located on 57th Street. Great sandwiches, with a side order of gouge. Try the fresh mozzarella.
U of C goggles n. Sort of like beer goggles. After four years at the University, some members of the opposite sex who made you wince your first year begin to look pretty good. You think we’re joking. We’re not.
USITE n. Campus computer labs. Your choice of three flavors: cool ranch (Crerar), code red (Harper), and McShamrock (Regenstein).
UT n. University Theater. Artistic outlet for hipsters.
WHPK n. University/community radio station. Motto: “The pride of the South Side.” It is possible to go four years without realizing WHPK exists. This is a crying shame.
Zimmer n. 1. Our president. He’s a mathematician. 2. Lots of activists on campus don’t like him very much.