Student-provided insider knowledge about Lafayette terminology, acronyms, and other useful information.

New entries will be reviewed and added as they are received. If you have a suggested addition to the PARDapedia, we invite you to use the form below.

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The PARDapedia:

AEC: Acopian Engineering Center.

APK: Allan P. Kirby Sport Center – the gym/recreation center.

Brown Bag: Lunchtime talk or activity at which lunch will be provided. No need to bring a brown bag lunch!

Calc Cavalry: An academic resource for calculus students. Students tutors assist for MATH 125, 141, 161, 162, and 263. Location: Pardee 218.

Drop-In Hours:  A time when students can stop by an SI session to ask a quick question about class material from the SI leader or the library for a conference with a writing associate without an appointment.

FAMS: The Film and Media Studies Department is located in Buck Hall (The Landis Cinema is there) and 248 N. Third Street, part of the WIlliams Arts Campus at the base of College Hill.

FIMRC Trips:  Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children trips allow student groups to travel to different countries and gain hands-on medical experience helping children around the world. Trips are typically student organized and travel over Interim, Spring Break, or the summer.

FYS: First Year Seminar, a class designed for First Years in their first semester at Lafayette. It is in the style of a seminar with approximately 14 students. The course has a range of topics but is designed to develop student’s writing skills from high school to college level, while also introducing students to academic resources, such as research assistants, writing associates, and PARDners.

Gateway: Gateway is a four-year personalized career-preparation program that begins your first year at Lafayette. Whether you have a clear plan for your future or not, the Gateway Career Center can help you explore your interests and identify your talents. Gateway can pair you with a career counselor to allow for exploration of professional preparation and planning for life after Lafayette.

HPAC: Health Professions Advisory Committee, the committee in charge of Health Professions Advising. Their office runs programming relating to careers in the health professions, provides advising support, and runs the on campus application process for applying to health professions school. The Health Professions Advising office is located in 101 Scott Hall.

HP Student:  Health Professions Student- Student who are planning to attend medical school, dental school, optometry school, and PA school after Lafayette.

Kirby: There are many Kirby’s on campus. There is Kirby Gym, Kirby Hall of Civil Rights (the Government and Law building), and Kirby House (an all-male, upperclassmen residence hall).

Kirby Library: The College’s political science and law library is located on the second floor of the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, home of the Government and Law Department. It is much smaller than Skillman Library, but it is a gorgeous room has a twenty-foot ceiling and oak-paneled book cases, and is popular with students seeking a quiet or imposing study space.

Laf EMS:  Lafayette Emergency Medical Services is a student-run emergency medical services organization with the goal of becoming a Quick Response Service for the campus.

LEO:  They lead you in group activities during Orientation week and check in with you throughout your first year . They may also be your first connection on campus as someone who is not in your class. Keep them close, they are great people!

Leopard Alerts: The Lafayette Leopard Alerts Service is a notification system that enables Lafayette students, faculty, parents, and staff to receive alerts on their cell phones in the event of an emergency on or close to campus. To sign up, please use the following link:

LIME: The Lafayette Initiative for Malagasy Education — a peer-to-peer mentoring program between Lafayette College students and high school students from Madagascar to prepare the latter for the process of applying to colleges in the US. Twelve Lafayette students are chosen each year to participate in the program in which they work with Malagasy students from Lycee Andohalo, a public high school in Antananarivo. Lafayette students formally commit to mentoring over a 1.5 year period which includes a three week trip to Madagascar in January.

Lower: Lower Farinon Commons.

Lunch Talk: Events organized by specific clubs or departments that are often informative or bring in a guest speaker during the lunch hour and provide free lunch to students.

Mods: The modular housing, also known as March Hall, is the temporary housing located on March Field. It is filled with block housing.

The Mohican: A dated name for 248 N.Third Street, home to the Theater and FAMS departments. The building, which extends on piers out over Bushkill Creek, was formerly the home of a motorcycle bar that had this name.

Oechsle: First and foremost, Oechsle is pronounced “ox-lee.” New Oechsle is the Oechsle Center for Global Education, which houses the International Affairs Department and Anthropology and Sociology. New Oechsle, as known as OCGE, is located by the Simon Economics Building. Old Oechsle is Oechsle Hall, which houses the Psychology and Neuroscience Departments.  Old Oechsle is located by the Stadium.

Open Lab:  A time for Introduction to Biology Lab students to silently prepare for the laboratory practical with the oversight of teaching assistants.

PARD dollars: Each student gets $50 extra along with their meal plan. This can be used to buy things on campus that don’t come with the meal plan. For example: ramen, macaroni and cheese, cooking pans and utensils, coffee, tea, etc. PARD dollars can also be used on some off campus restaurants like Campus Pizza, Stoke, etc.

PASA:  Pards Against Sexual Assault- An inclusive group in which students can learn about resources for sexual assault survivors and share their stories.

Peer Mentor:  First-year student-athletes are matched with experienced athletes for mentoring and guidance throughout their transition to college and throughout their first year.

PLA: Psychology Lab Assistant. Every student who takes Psych 110 will have a student dedicated to their lab section that is available to help with lab reports and other assignments.

Posse: The Posse Foundation is a non-profit organization that identifies high school students with academic excellence and leadership potential and connects them to some of the country’s prestigious colleges and universities. A group of 20 Posse Scholars (10 from NYC and 10 from the DC-area) join Lafayette’s incoming class each year. Learn more about Lafayette’s Posse program here.

Pre-Med Club: A student-run club for all students preparing for medical school. The club will sponsor guest speakers and events that are relevant to understanding what life in medicine entails.

Pre-PA Club:  Pre-Physician’s Assistant club is a student-run club for all students preparing for admission into physician assistant school. This club sponsors guest speakers and events that provide support and advice to pre-PA students.

Psafe: P-safe, or Public Safety, is Lafayette’s safety and security force. P-safe consists of commissioned police officers, with full police powers, and security officers. Campus Police Officers have the same authority as municipal police officers, including arrest powers on College-owned property and contiguous streets and areas. Security Officers patrol campus buildings and enforce College policy and procedures. Security Officers assist Campus Police Officers as necessary. A Campus Police Officer wears a dark navy blue shirt and a security officer wears a light blue shirt.

R: On your schedule, you’ll find R for some of your class days. This means Thursday. TR means Tuesday/Thursday

Reading day: Free Monday the week of finals in the fall semester. No exams are administered on this day.

RISC: Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center

SI: Supplemental Instruction, offered through the Academic Resource Hub. Supplemental Instructors for classes are peers who have succeeded in the class and hold weekly review sessions and workshops. Be sure to go to these! This is a secret to academic success at Lafayette.

Simon: May refer to either the Simon Economic Center (located behind Pardee Hall) or Simon’s Market Simon’s Market, powered by Amazon Just Walk Out Technology, is now open in Kamine Hall! Enjoy the convenience and flexibility of 24-hour service and access to great, delicious food options. 

Skillman: The David Bishop Skillman Library is the main college library, located on the west end of the Quad. Most recent books (published after about 1990) are on the second floor, categorized using the Library of Congress system. Some academic journals and all older books are on the lower level, categorized using the Dewey decimal system. In between, on the first floor are a collaborative computer area, the browsing collection, reference books, the reference and circulation desks, and Skillman Café, a Starbucks coffee shop. There is more to know; ask at the reference desk to find out about the numerous other resources available here.

Solitary (Solo) desks: Individual desks on the 2nd floor of Skillman library.

Spinning/Spinner: A dance hosted by sororities, fraternities, and other social organizations on campus. Most spinnings have a suggested donation (about $3 dollars) that go towards the organization’s philanthropy or charity. They are open to all students on campus, and usually have a dress theme.

Structured Study: A resource for student-athletes that requires a set number of study hours based on grade and GPA.

TA: Teaching Assistant. An upperclassmen who took and excelled in the introductory lab course and aids the professor during lab.

Upper: Upper Farinon Dining Hall. Upper. Take the stairs from Lower to arrive here.

WA: Writing Associate. An upperclassman who can review and help correct papers, assignments, and projects. First Years are assigned a WA with their First Year Seminar. Students can also be assigned a WA for specific classes, or can drop by their office hours in Skillman library or Pardee Hall.

WCA: Williams Center for the Arts. This can be confusing since also down the hill are some academic buildings, which people refer to as Williams Art Center, or just do not realize what the difference is since they know that this would be referring to music and art. If you have a class down the hill, it is labeled Buck Hall, while a class on the hill would be in the Williams Center for the Arts Building.

WVAB: The Williams Visual Arts Building is the home of art studios and the Grossman Gallery. Located at the base of the hill, where North Third Street turns into College Avenue, the WVAB is the oldest building in the Williams Arts Campus. The other nearby buildings, Buck Hall and 248 North Third, house the Theater and Film and Media Studies (FAMS) departments.

Useful/interesting/fun pointers for first-year students:

  • If you ever start to question if you “belong”, join at least one club or organization — this way you will be assured that there is a space and community on campus where you are welcomed and comfortable.
  • Start an assignment as soon as you get it — even if it’s just to jot down some ideas. Remember that you take 4 classes. You might have one homework assignment tonight but 3 homework assignments tomorrow.
  • Go to office hours. This is where you can get extra help with something you may not have understood in class. But more importantly, this is where your professor may get to know you better. At some point in your first year you might need a letter of recommendation to apply for a job or internship. It’s hard for a professor to know your true qualities when they only know how well you answer questions in class.
  • Have a regular sleeping pattern. Do not go to sleep at 2:00 am tonight and 12:00 am tomorrow. Try to go to bed around the same times — preferably a time that gives you 7-8 hours worth of sleep — so that your body gets used to a specific sleep schedule and you are energetic enough in the day to actually BE present in class.
  • Exercise at least 2-3 times per week. Sometimes student can gain around 10-15 pounds during their first year, and this may be unsettling. Also, exercising is a healthy coping mechanism to deal with stress and blow off some steam.
  • Keep your friends close but your morals closer.
  • Be open minded and respectful to other people’s culture. You will meet students who have had a different way of life, practice different religions or no religion at all, and students who have different perspectives. Be open to having uncomfortable conversations and understand that not every conversation needs a conversion. You can debate on an issue and still leave with each person being on the same side they came in with. The point is to learn, not convert or devalue.
  • There’s an underground tunnel between Kunkel and Hugel so you don’t have to walk outside when it’s super cold!
  • Your meal swipes reset overnight from Friday into Saturday!
  • Academic classrooms are a great place to study, especially in groups. When not used for class, they are open during the weekdays and typically close around 10pm.
  • A meal swipe at a non-buffet dining hall typically includes your food order, a drink, a fruit, and a snack (chips/brownie/rice krispie treat). This varies by dining location.
  • Check out where you  can use your PardDollars, cash/money  associated with your account with your meal plan.
  • Some vendors at the Easton Public Market offer Lafayette student discounts!