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Stanford Speak

You will discover that Stanford students sometimes seem to speak another language. Here are some translations:

Academic Advising Director. Professional academic advisor in each residence who is a key resource during your pre-major years.
Associated Students of Stanford University. Stanford’s student government.
The Axe
The symbol of rivalry between Stanford University and our traditional rival, U.C. Berkeley (Cal). The Axe is awarded each year to the school winning the Big Game.
The student information system for registering, reviewing grades, changing addresses and other administrative tasks.
Bay Area Rapid Transit. A subway system which carries passengers throughout the San Francisco area.
Big Game
The annual football matchup against UC Berkeley.   First played in 1892, it is one of the oldest and greatest rivalry games in college football.  BEAT CAL!
The Bing
Bing Concert Hall. Stanford’s iconic concert hall and home of Stanford Live, Stanford’s performing arts presenter.
A commuter rail system running between San Francisco and San Jose. Don’t have a car? This is your best bet to get to “the City”.
The nickname for Stanford’s varsity athletic teams. The color, not the bird!
The City
Known as San Francisco to non-Bay Area residents, it’s the cultural center of the Bay Area and popular with students when they want to get off campus.
The Claw
Nickname for the fountain in White Plaza, between the Bookstore and Old Union.
The Coffee House. A popular student hangout for studying, socializing, and sipping java. It’s located in Tresidder Union.
Coterminal Master’s Programs. Many departments offer these Master’s programs which allow undergraduates to seamlessly transition to grad students without ever having to leave Stanford.
The Daily
Stanford students’ independent newspaper.
Dead Week
The week immediately preceding finals week. It is intended that students study feverishly during this week.
Dinkelspiel Auditorium. Located between Tresidder Union and the Braun Music Center, this is a popular venue for musical events and other performances.
The Dish
The 150′ radio telescope in the hills behind Lake Lagunita. Also short-hand for the popular open space area in which this radio telescope is located.
The five spirited women who accompany the Stanford Band with dance routines.
The Draw
The ultimate in Spring Quarter stress. This hair-raising process decides students’ housing fate for the coming year.
Equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages. Required at campus parties serving alcohol.
The Farm
Campus nickname, derived from the days when horses rather than students roamed in what previously was the farm of university founders Leland and Jane Stanford.
An historic campus building which is now home to the Women’s Community Center and LGBT Community Resources Center. Also known as the “Old Fire Truck House.”
Florence Moore Hall, a dormitory complex.
Fountain Hopping
The concept is simple, yet surprisingly fun on a warm day. Just find one of the many fountains on campus and hop in.
Freshmen-Sophomore College, a housing option for freshmen and sophomores.
The student-written, student-produced musical performed the weekend before Big Game.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Intramurals. Sports tournaments ranging from football to inner-tube water polo that are expressly for dorm teams. A source of good-natured dorm rivalries.
Introductory Seminars offer first- and second-year students an opportunity to work with faculty who are experts in their fields.
Lake Lag
A wide basin at the corner of campus. Don’t expect to actually find water here, however, as it remains dry for a good portion of the year. The trail surrounding it is popular with joggers.
Late Night
Several campus food establishments open to students for late-night dining between 9 pm and 2:30 am.
Those merry masters of madcap melody, the truly incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band!
Stanford’s free shuttle system.
Mem Aud
Memorial Auditorium, the largest on campus.
Mem Chu
Memorial Church, located prominently in the Quad.
The Berkeley Golden Bear, nemesis of the Tree.
The Oval
The large grassy area at the end of Palm Drive that’s perfect for an afternoon of Frisbee or volleyball.
The moment you hit campus, this abbreviation no longer stands for the proud state of Pennsylvania but the tech-infused town of Palo Alto.
Peer Health Educator. An upperclass student in each freshman residence who actively promotes and supports student health, wellness and safety.
Pre-Major Advisor. A faculty, staff or alumni advisor who mentors a small group of freshmen and helps them select courses and navigate academic life until they declare a major.
Primal Scream
Tradition of stress alleviation for students. Listen for it at midnight the Sunday night of Dead Week.
Pro Fros
Prospective Freshmen. In April, they visit campus for Admit Weekend and decide that Stanford is it!
(Pronounced “power.”) Program in Writing and Rhetoric. Freshman year PWR classes focus on writing and sophomore year PWR classes focus on public speaking.
The roughly 10 week period that divides the Stanford year into four terms. Fall, Winter and Spring quarters make up the traditional academic year while Summer offers programs also open to visiting students.
The Quad
The historic centerpiece of Stanford’s campus. This collection of connected buildings is home to classroom space and many departmental offices. Also known as the Main Quad.
Resident Assistant. The truly dedicated upperclass students who live in every dorm and serve roles ranging from dorm activity coordinator to advisor, confidant and friend.
Resident Fellow. Stanford faculty (and occasionally senior administrative staff) who live in student residences and serve as educational and intellectual leaders in their houses.
Resident Computer Consultant. A human guide to computers that comes with every dorm.
The Row
Mayfield Avenue, location of numerous upperclass houses and fraternities.
Sophomore College. A three-week intensive course offered at the beginning of sophomore year.
Structured Liberal Education. A rigorous and intellectually intense freshman program, housed in Flo Mo, focusing on writing, philosophy and the Western Canon.
The Axe and Palm. One of Stanford’s many campus eateries. This particular one will be your best friend if you find yourself staying up late to study in Old Union.
The Tree
The Stanford Band’s mascot.
White Plaza
The large plaza surrounded by Old Union, the Bookstore, the post office, and Tresidder Union. It is a central hub of student activity on campus, especially during the spring.
The Zoo
KZSU, 90.1 FM, Stanford’s student radio station.