September 18, 2010

U of C: A to Z

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. 3. The wrong place to question the authority of the UCPD (see “Controversies,” p. 4).

Admin n. 1. Bureaucracy that runs the University. 2. The building beside 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. The union is scheduled for dissolution in 2012, when the CTS moves to 60th and Dorchester.

Aramark n. Company that fills student stomachs and cooks up obscene profits. CEO Joseph Neubauer (M.B.A. ‘65) is on the Board of Trustees.

B-level n. 1. The actual basement of the Reg. 2. The best place to go if you want to forget what sunlight looks like, or finish a Hum paper.

Bar Night n. A pay-per-drink frat party 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. Overpriced Aramark-run convenience store located in Bartlett. The pluses: Stays open until 3 a.m., and you can buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with Flex Dollars. Closed early last quarter due to increased incidence of shoplifting, drunk kids causing a ruckus.

B-J n. 1. Burton-Judson Court, a dorm containing the original Hogwarts Great Hall. 2. Not what you were thinking, perv.

Broomball n. 1. The U of C’s favorite pastime. 2. Another opportunity for students to appear uncoordinated, fall painfully, and never score.

Boyer n. 1. Mustachioed, tweed-capped, bike-borne Dean of the College. 2. Understudy to Dos Equis’s Most Interesting Man in the World.

Bursar n. Your least favorite administrative office.

C-Shop n. The Einstein Bros. Bagel shop on the first floor of the Reynolds Club. See Shake Day.

Cajun, Rajun n. One-stop shop for soul food, Indian food, and Bollywood video rental.

Civ n. Core sequence known for being awful when taken on campus and 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 dirt-cheap java and indie tunes.

Cobbroaches n. Hipsters who gather outside Cobb to discuss their recent American Apparel purchases and create a tangible smokescreen from Camel Lights.

Co-op n. 1. Bookstore in the basement of the Chicago Theological Seminary. Prepare to spend at least 12 hours of your four years here, waiting in the labyrinthine line to pay for Hum and Sosc books. Tips for tots: Buy a membership; it will be worth it in the end. Alias: Seminary Co-Op Bookstore.

Core n. Classes you must take, so stop whining and get it over with. This is what you came here for, right? Alias: Common Core.

Crerar n. The 24-hour science library where med and wannabe-med students study. More sterile than an 80-year-old man with a vasectomy. Don’t expect to do so much as drop a pin without getting death stares from fellow students. Don’t even think about wearing flip-flops.

CTA n. Where you exchange a bit more than $2 for an hour-long ride to a destination 20 minutes away. Always an adventure. Alias: Chicago Transit Authority

Doc n. The student film society that shows renowned films you won’t enjoy watching, but will enjoy saying you have watched. More accessible fare shown on weekends. Tickets for only $5. The drunken heckling usually begins while the poor volunteer they force up front before every movie is still rattling off the list of coming attractions.

Dorm n. Where you live. Unfortunately, also where your roommate lives.

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 hear within a half hour. Variant: housecest.

Econ n. The U of C’s most popular concentration, as measured by percentage of pretentious sell-outs.

Epistemology n. Don’t stress if you’re unsure what this means—that’ll never stop your classmates from saying it over and over.

Ex Libris n. Late-night coffee shop in the A-Level run by angry hipsters and accessible 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 magically transforms the food from obscenely overpriced to very overpriced.

Fifth-Year n. Who wouldn’t want a victory lap around the place where fun comes to die? We warned 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. Carved figures reminiscent of U of C students 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 for the cool kids: 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. The soggy piece of Wonder Bread is key for absorbing grease, but who knows what the shot of coleslaw is for. Bulletproof glass protects the kitchen from sketchy customers.

Harper n. 1. Architecturally-interesting study space and café. 2. Convenience store on 57th Street. 3. First president of the U of C.

Henry Crown n. A dilapidated warehouse with a handful of weight lifting and exercise equipment. Valhalla for varsity athletes.

House n. The University’s way of fostering a sense of community. Reliable source of O-Week relationships 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 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 I.D. with your picture drawn in crayon.

Labbie n. Lab Schools student. Known for crossing 59th Street in massive swarms in their younger years and trying to get in to frat parties as they mature.

LLSO n. Impossibly broad major in the New Collegiate Division. Alias: pre-law.

MAB n. Organizes the Summer Breeze concert, among other things. We regret to inform you that you are not cool enough to be a part of this organization. Alias: Major Activities Board.

MacLab n. Computer lab on the A-level. Where comp sci majors go if they want to get a breath of fresh air.

Major n. Plebian replacement for concentrations.

Mansueto n. 1. Billionaire owner of Morningstar investment company. 2. A robot-controlled library where Megatron passes his idle hours. 3. The best building to read and tan simultaneously.

Maroon n. 1. The University’s only school color. 2. Any member of a varsity sports team. 3. A newspaper you’re reading now and should write for soon.

Med n. 1. Medici on 57th Street. 2. Quintessential U of C restaurant. 3. Overpriced, invariably disappointing, and inexplicably popular.

Metra n. Commuter train that takes you downtown, or to Indiana or Wisconsin if you don’t watch out. Features conductors in old-timey uniforms. Cheaper than going downtown on the CTA, though you’ll probably never use it.

Neo Cons n. Originated at the U of C. Formerly controlled the universe, angling to regain power this November.

Northwestern adj., n. 1. Compass direction. 2. A crosstown university that is rumored to have Division I athletics and practical education. Lame.

NSIT n. The department that keeps your e-mail clicking, 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.

#171, #172 n. 1. Buses. 2. Make-out mobiles for irritating B-J and Broadview denizens.

ORCSA n. Student activities organization located in the bowels of the Reynolds Club. Collects your Student Life Fee, redirects it to nebulous and undisclosed purposes. Alias: Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities.

Palevsky, Max n. 1. Billionaire philanthropist who died last year and helped found Intel. Subject of Hunter S. Thompson’s ire. 2. Home of Doc Films (Max P Cinema in Ida). 3. Horrifically ugly orange breeding shed for first-years. Aliases: Max, Max P, Palevsky, Maxi Pad, Barbie’s Dream Dorm.

Point n. 1. Promontory Point Park. 2. Evidently in need of saving by neighborhood activists. 3. Good make-out spot, if it’s not frigidly cold. 4. What that kid in your Hum class keeps missing.

Phi Delt n. Fraternity that occupies a tenement house across from Max Palevsky.

Psi U n. Fraternity with large dance floor, terrible selection of canned beers. Watch for the kindly alumni filling bowls with chips during party nights.

Pub n. University-run bar in the basement of Ida Noyes Hall, located 20 steps from the front door of the Maroon office. Check it out on Mondays.

RA n. 1. Resident Assistant. 2. RH’s sublieutenant. 3. Paid to smile and call someone to come pump your stomach.

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, only the latter remains.

Ratner n. New gym. The only place on campus capable of creating the illusion that you go to a state school.

RedEye n. Tabloid started by the Tribune to appeal to a younger, hipper, dumber demographic.

Reg n. The library. Rumor has it there are books inside that may 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.

RH n. Resident Head. No, those thirty-somethings in your dorm aren’t still in college.

Salonica n. Diner on 57th Street known for its breakfast offerings. Goes great with a hangover.

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.

SCC n. 1. Student Care Center. 2. Does not yet dispense medical marijuana. 3. Does dispense free, flavored condoms.

SCRH n. Fancy, mechanically-suspect new dorm south of B-J. Alias: South Campus Residence Hall, or anything else you’d like to name it, supposing you’ve got millions of dollars that you’re looking to donate.

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. And on the seventh day, which is deemed holy, God created Shake Day and rested…in the C-Shop with a $1 shake. Only on Wednesdays, only if you enjoy waiting in a line that makes Depression-era bread lines look orderly and chipper.

Sosc n. Social Sciences Core sequence. Pretentiousness levels are second only to Hum.

Student Life Fee n. Money paid to cover student activities, health, and lab fees. May or may not be used for corrupt purposes. You’d think $52,000 per year would pretty much cover it.

Study Break n. The archetypal 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 free food is offered.

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. Highly entertaining, occasionally informative.

TA 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. Once-proud newspaper now reduced to printing the work of John Kass. 3. Responsible for RedEye.

UCID n. The most valuable item in your wallet. Failure to produce this upon request by the UCPD is Class III Felony.

UIC n. 1. The University of Illinois at Chicago, with sports teams known as “the Flames.” 2. Where your relatives think you go to school.

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 the tragically hip.

Valois n. Early-morning cafeteria on 53rd Street where you can get eggs, sausage, scrumptious biscuits, and shouted at by the line cook.

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. University President and mathematician. 2. Personally, gleefully responsible for every ill within 15 miles of campus, apparently.