SUNY Oswego Glossary

Understanding Oswego Lingo

We hope the following list of terms will help you decipher the most common phrases used at Oswego.

Academic Terms

Academic Advisor - A professional staff member or faculty member that helps students select their courses each semester and plan for the future.

Academic Year - Starts on the first day of classes of the fall semester and ends in Mid-May, after spring semester final exams.

Credit Hour - Unit of measurement for course credit.  Each credit equals an hour of classroom or laboratory work per week.

Dean's List - Students are named to the dean's list for achieving GPAs of 3.30 to 3.79.

DegreeWorks - A tool through MyOswego that allows students to view their current degree requirements, classes they have taken, and classes they need to take. It also offers 'What If?' future-planning tools that students can use to estimate graduation dates and preview additional majors or minors.

Department Chair - Head of an academic department.

Full-Time Student - Students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours.

FYPA - First Year Peer Advisor.  They work with First Year Students and students within their major to advise them in their academic career at Oswego.

GA - Graduate Assistant

General Education Requirements - Educational foundation for all majors.  All students must complete specific general education courses prior to graduation.

GPA - Grade Point Average.  This is determined by a student's final grades at the end of each semester.

GST - General Studies courses

Independent Study - Individual work on a special topic that is supervised by a faculty member or administrator.  The student's academic department must approve the project in advance and a faculty member must agree to oversee the work.

Internship - On-the-job field experience for which a student may receive academic credit. Some internships are paid, though most are not.  The office of Experienced Based Education can help to find internships in all fields in all areas.

IST - International Studies courses

Lecture - Usually a large class where the primary method of instruction is lecturing.  There is typically very little interaction between the professor and students (which is why it is important for students to utilized Professor's Office Hours).

MyOswego - This is part of the website where students can access and update their personal information, check their grades, apply for graduation, view holds on accounts, apply for financial aid, as well as order pre-pack books.

ORI - Oswego Reading Initiative.  Summer reading initiative for the campus.  The book chosen to read is typically incorporated into your classes in the fall semester.

PE - Peer Educator.  These students are the modules of learning for the LifeStyles Center.  They teach issues like alcohol and other drugs, violence prevention, sexual education, and general wellness.

President's List - Students are named to the President's List for achieving a gpa of 3.80 and above.

Provost - Senior administrator responsible for academic programs.

Registrar - Office located in Culkin Hall where student records are maintained.  The registrar's office has student's academic transcripts and coordinates course registration.

Seminar - Class, usually smaller than a lecture, in which students participate in discussions facilitated by the instructor.

Syllabus - Course outline, usually distributed the first day of class, with a brief description of the course.  The syllabus generally includes the assignments, exam dates, grading system, attendance policy, and ways to contact the professor.

TA - Teaching Assistant, an undergraduate student who assists a professor.

Transcript - Official record of a student's academic work.  It is maintained and updated each semester.

Undergrad - An undergraduate student working toward the completion of a baccalaureate degree.


Non-Academic Terms

Artswego - A product of your SA fee, this program brings events to the campus and the community.  Artswego brings dance troops, bands, cultural demonstrations, and artwork among other events to Tyler Hall and Waterman Theatre.

AHD - Assistant Hall Director, resides in the residence halls and helps the Resident Hall Director.

Blue Light Phones - Emergency telephones in key locations on campus that are a direct line to the University Police.

Centro - Campus and community shuttle buses.  They can take you around campus and into downtown Oswego!

College BookStore - Located in the Hewitt Union, where you can buy textbooks and supplies.

College Store - Located in the Campus Center, where you can purchase all of your SUNY Oswego apparel!

DA - Desk Attendant - they run the Front Desk of the Residence Hall.  Jobs include sorting mail, lending out movies and other equipment.

FYRE - First Year Residential Experience, which typically refers to the program that is run in Johnson Hall for first-year students.

GRM - Graduate Resident mentor, reside in Hart Hall. Very similar to RAs.

Hold - It is put onto a student's account, which may prevent them from registering, getting their transcripts, viewing their grades, or even graduating.  A hold is placed on an account if a student fails to pay a parking ticket, a phone bill, or their tuition and other fees.   Once you pay your bill, your hold will be removed.

Laker Leaders- This group of lively students is the welcoming committee for the new students that go through Summer Orientation.

OAR - Oswego Admissions Representative.  These students help to recruit new students by visiting high school and encouraging student to apply.  They are also in charge of giving campus tours.

Oswegonian - The award-winning student-run campus newspaper. It is published every Friday.

Plus Plan - A declining balance on a student's ID card. Students with meal plans get a certain amount on their Plus Plan (amount depends on the meal plan) and can always add money. Plus Plan can be used at all dining halls, Late Night, Ontario Bagelry, Snygg Snacks, Lake Effect Café and Wall Street Market.

RA - Resident Assistant. RAs are there to build community, enforce policies and be a resource for students on the floor.

RHD - Resident Hall Director.  They supervise RAs and are also in charge of watching over the residence hall and handling judicial affairs.

Rave Gardian- The safety system we use on campus. To obtain this, down load the Rave Gardian App on your smart phones app store. For more information click this link

RM - Resident Mentor. RMs live in Johnson Hall and are in charge of helping freshmen become acclimated to their First-Year Experience.  They also build community on their floors, enforce policies, and act as a resource for the students.

S.A.V.A.C. - Student Association Volunteer Ambulance Corps.  The student run ambulance service is on-call 24/7 and they are the people to call in case of a medical emergency.

SA - Student Association, the campus student government. Students who live on and off campus can participate.

SAPB - Student Associate Programming Board, funded by SA, sponsors entertainment events on campus, including concerts, movies, lecture, May Day and more.

Student Accounts - Located in Culkin Hall, you can handle all of your financial aid transactions here. You can also pick up all paychecks from on-campus jobs.

Toilet Talk - This weekly bathroom reader features information on health related issues. It can be found in every residence hall restrooms and even in some academic buildings. It is one of the more read publications on campus and is written, edited and posted by SUNY Oswego  students.

"Tunnels" - There are a few 'tunnels' on campus to help students.  The tunnels are above ground hallways that connect residence halls to dining halls so that students do not have to brave the elements of the weather just to eat!

WNYO - SUNY Oswego's student-run radio station.  It is located in the Campus Center.  General meetings are held at the beginning of the year for all interested students.

WRVO - A professionally run National Public Radio station located in Penfield Library.

WTOP - The student-run campus TV station. Original shows, live sports, news and movies are shown on WTOP, Channel 10 on the campus cable system.  General meetings are held in the beginning of the year for all interested students.

Work Study - Federal student aid program, based on financial need that gives students an opportunity to earn money while working on campus!