When I first started learning about universities, I was SUPER confused about some of the new terms, abbreviations and acronyms that people used.
Hopefully this list will help you avoid the same problem!
I’ll keep updating the list as I think of more. Let me know if I’ve missed any!
University of Western Ontario or Western or UWO: An awesome University in London, Ontario.
Brescia University College or Brescia or BUC: The name of our college! Brescia is one of “the affiliates”: three colleges that are part of the University of Western Ontario. If you go to an affiliate, you are registered as a member of that college, but you are still a Western student– you get all the benefits of both!
In this case, “College” doesn’t mean the same as a community college like Fanshawe College or Georgian College. You still get a university degree.
HBK: Short for “Huron, Brescia, and King’s”: Western’s three affiliate colleges.
Undergraduate or Bachelor’s Degree: “Undergrad” is basically the name for your standard three or four year university degree. Any student first coming to university would be an “undergrad” student. Within your undergraduate or bachelor’s degree, you can specialize in different subject areas.
After undergrad, some students go on to “grad school”, which means they would do a Master’s or a PhD (Doctorate).
Major, Minor, etc. Module: These “modules” are different types of specializations within your degree. There are four different types: Minor, Major, Specialization, and Honours Specialization. Which one you want to get depends on how long you want to be in school and how much you need to learn about a certain subject. For example, if you want to go on to become a Psychologist, you probably need an Honours Specialization. If you are just taking some French courses for interest, you might get a Minor in French.
Profs or Faculty: The teaching staff at Brescia. “Faculty” can also refer to a university department concerned with a particular area of knowledge (e.g. Faculty of Science). You would usually refer to faculty as “Dr. Jones” (if they have a PhD), or “Professor Samuels” (if they don’t).
Staff: Hardworking individuals employed by Brescia– these are the people that make the college run! Whether they work in Student Services, the Library, or Physical Plant (which includes the amazing cleaning staff), they are all super friendly and helpful.
Other handy terms:
SOD or Summer Orientation Day: A half-day orientation program at Brescia for new students and their parents! This is your first introduction to Brescia once you’ve become a student, all you’ll hear presentations from staff, faculty, and students about academics, finances, ways to get involved, and more! They’ll also help you with your timetabling (i.e. picking your courses). You sign up for your SOD on Brescia’s website.
O-Week or Orientation Week or Frosh Week A week-long orientation program designed specifically for students entering their first year of university. Includes many fun events and plenty of opportunities to meet new people and try new things. As a Brescia student, you get to participate at lots of fun events at Brescia (e.g. a Spa Night, Laser Quest, Self Defense, and Meet-Your-Profs Day) as well as participating in all the awesome Main Campus events (e.g. the Big Concert, Carnival, Dance Parties, etc.)! To be a part of O Week, you purchase a ‘Frosh Kit’ from Brescia’s Students’ Council.
First Year Student or Frosh: Students entering their first year of university.
Upper Year or Senior Student: Any student who has completed their first year of university.
Sophs: Energetic and enthusiastic upper year students who volunteer their time and talents to help create an exciting and memorable first week of university life for incoming students. Sophs accompany frosh throughout Orientation Week and help introduce new students to the Western environment.
Residence Assistants (RAs): Upper year students employed by Brescia who each live on a designated floor in residence. RAs provide programming for residence students and act as a valuable resource throughout the school year.
Western ONECard or Student Card: The Western ONECard (student card) functions as a campus identification card, library card, gym pass, and more. Learn more here.
HBK Bus or Shuttle Bus: A free shuttle bus service that runs from Brescia, through Western campus to Kings College and all the way to back to Brescia. Students from affiliated colleges are able to access shuttle buses without paying a fee or showing their student card. This bus runs every 15 or so minutes timed to classes, so you can get from one class to the next! Here is the 2009-2010 schedule in case you need it!
Brescia University College Students’ Council (BUCSC): The BUCSC is the representative body of the student assembly. The BUCSC strives to address student needs, build community and facilitate the involvement of all students in every aspect of college life. Many leadership positions are available for students. Visit their website!
University Students’ Council (USC): The University of Western Ontario Students’ Council. The USC is a large organization that creates many student leadership positions. The USC also provides many services and resources to Western and affiliated college students, such as the Health Plan, the Used Book Store, Pride Western, and more. Visit their website!
Ursuline Sisters: A Roman Catholic religious order founded in Brescia, Italy by Angela Merici. The Ursuline Sisters focused primarily on the education of women and the care of the sick and needy, and were not cloistered but instead lived and worked in the community. The Ursuline Sisters founded Brescia in 1919 and continue their involvement still, although they are no longer the primary leaders of the college.