It can be scary to move to a place you have never lived before. That's why we have put together the following resource to help you learn the lingo before you arrive to campus. It might seem like we are talking a different language with all of our terms and special BGSU traditions. After a month here on campus, you will be speaking this language with us... but in the meantime, here is your cheat sheet. 


Ay Ziggy Zoomba - The unofficial fight song of BGSU written by original SICSIC member Gilbert Fox. Fox based the song on a Zulu war chant he heard while serving in World War II. At BGSU, members of the community call out "Ay Ziggy Zoomba" to one another for encouragement and cheer.


The Bursar is the person/office that helps manage student billing, and where students may go to pay their school related bills, including parking tickets.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form students must fill out every year in order to apply for Federal and State financial aid, and can help determine eligibility for aid from BGSU.

These are dollars on the BGSU Dining Plan which can be used at retail dining, like Starbucks on-campus, or at the All You Care to Eat locations such as The Oaks. They work as a declining balance and will rollover into from Fall into Spring semester, but expire at the end of Spring semester.

One Swipe equals one entry/meal into an All You Care to Eat location, either Carillon Place or The Oaks. Unused Swipes expire at the end of each semester and do not roll over.

Scholarships are a financial aid award that are based on criteria, typically by the individual or group funding, such as certain grades requirements, or community service. While scholarships do not require repayment, the scholarship may require certain items are met, such as maintaining a certain academic grade level.

This is a Federal program for students who are eligible, as determined by FAFSA. It allows a student to work part-time and earn money. Money is received as a paycheck and is not paid directly to a tuition bill. Work-Study jobs are not a guarantee and students must apply for them, and can through BGSU's Handshake application system for Student Employment.

Unlike loans, most grants do not require a person to repay the money that is awarded. However, grants can have certain requirements that could reduce the amount received, such as going from full-time to part-time enrollment, or require the grant to be repaid. Grant stipulations should be carefully reviewed.

Loans are money that a person borrows with the promise to repay the money. Loans can be borrowed from the Federal and State government, or from a Private loan company. Loans come with interest, which is a percent of the money borrowed that the borrower agrees to pay back to the lender in addition to the original amount they took.

A subsidized loan is a federal student loan where the bank or government is paying the interest while the student is in school. Once a student leaves school, after a designated time, the student is responsible for paying the interest.

An unsubsidized loan is a federal student loan where the student is responsible to pay all interest the moment they receive the money.

Loan principal is the main lump sum of money a person borrows. The interest is calculated against the loan principal.


The Bowen-Thompson Student Union, also called "the Union" is a central place on campus for students to gather with dining options, places to hang out, student organization offices, student support offices, and Falcon Outfitters.

The Seal is located in the center of the Traditions Campus near the McFall building, and is the office seal of BGSU. Legend has that if you stand on the seal and kiss someone, they will become your Falcon Flame and you will marry that person. If you walk to the right of the seal, you will pass your next test. However, walking to the left of the seal means to will fail instead! Always walk to the right!

The Dean of Students office is located in room 301 of the Union and is home to Campus Activities, Fraternity and Sorority Life, New Student Orientation, Spirit Programs, the Marvin Center for Student Leadership, and general support services for students. This is a great place to go when students need additional support and assistance in their personal lives with addressing issues like food or housing insecurities, and general conduct concerns.

These are the All You Care To Eat dining locations on campus where students mainly use swipes to get it, but can also use Falcon Dollars.

The Oval, or Union Oval, is located on the east side of the Union where groups frequently set up stands to share information and recruit. This is a great place to meet up with friends on the way somewhere as it is centrally located, or to get a photo with the giant BGSU letters.

The Greek Village is nestled between Conklin and Centennial residence halls, and Wooster Street. Different fraternities and sororities have townhouses here where their member live and gather. Some houses in the village can be designated for non-Greeks.

The Learning Commons is located in room 140 of the Jerome Library, and is a place where students can go for tutoring, academic coaching, writing assistance, and more.

Traditions Campus is one of the oldest parts of campus, home to the buildings on Wooster at the west end of campus and includes the Bowen-Thompson Quadrangle.

Firelands is a smaller commuter campus of BGSU located in Huron, Ohio.

Student Employment Services is located on the second floor of the Union above Falcon Outfitters. This is where students can go to submit tax and employment paperwork when hired for a campus job, or as a great support resource.

The Info Desk is located on the ground floor of the Union and is a great resource hub where students can get their pictures taken for the BG1 card.

College Park is a building located on the north end of campus on College Drive. This building "is home to Nontraditional and Transfer Student Services, which includes Veterans Services; the Counseling Center, Accessibility Services for Students, the BGSU Police, and Parking Services."

Located all around campus, Blue Lights can be found. These posts with distinct blue lights on them have emergency call buttons which puts the caller through directly to University Dispatch for emergency help. Staff can send help immediately and directly to the user's location.


The Board of Trustees is the governing board of BGSU. Members of the board are appointed by the Ohio Governor to serve. BGSU holds one position for a student representative, which is a 2-year appointment.

The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the University

A Provost is the senior academic administrator and oversees the academic operations of the University.

A dean is an administrator with responsibility/authority over a specific unit or college.

The Birds are the mascots of BGSU, Freddie and Frieda Falcon, who are brother and sister.

SICSIC are the spirit squad at BGSU. Identities unknown, there are always 6 members who wear masks to hide their identity, and spread school spirit.

The Registrar maintains student academic records, including student data privacy, class schedules, and graduation requirements.

These are fraternity and sorority life terms. A "Big" is a more senior member of a Greek chapter who has a "Little", a newer member of the chapter. The Big and Little develop a close relationship with the Big guiding and helping the Little navigate their Greek experience.


Hall Direct, a professional staff member who has earned their master's degree. Hall Directors oversee the staffing and operations of a residence hall and provide support to all students in the building.

Graduate Hall Director or Graduate Assistant. These are staff who are working on earning a master's degree and assist in overseeing the staffing and operations of the hall, and supporting students in the building.


Resident Advisor, a student staff member who lives in the residence hall and is there to connect and support students in the building and their floor.


Community Assistant, a student staff member who lives in the Greek Village and provides support to the residents of the Greek Village.

Academic Peer Mentors are student staff who worked in the residence halls and help provide mentoring and programming for students to promote academic success.

SMART staff are members of the peer mentoring group, Student Mentoring, Aiding, Retaining, and Teaching, who work to promote connection and success.

Your Teachers

Professors are educators at the college and university level and typically hold a Doctorate, but can have a Master's degree, and most work full-time for BGSU.

This is a name for the collective group of academic instructors and professors.

This is and shortened version of Adjunct Professor, who are professors hired on contract, typically part-time.

An instructor is a person who teaches class, but is not on track for professorship or tenure. Often, an instructor holds other positions and teaches on a limited bases, but this can vary institution from institution.


Teaching Assistants are students, frequently doctoral or master degree seeking but can be bachelor seeking, people who help faculty instruct classes.

A lecturer is someone who teaches a class, but they do not require a Master's or Doctorate to teach. They are hired because of their experience and expertise in a specific topic.

These are designated hours that faculty set aside specifically so students can stop in to ask questions and obtain assistance.

Tenure is an indefinite appointment/job contract for a professor that must be granted after a probationary period.


An academic advisor provides focused and intense advising for students when it comes to academic program decisions, including course selection.

Pass/Fail is an alternative way to be graded in a course where the outcome does not have an impact on a student's GPA. Students must apply to take a course Pass/Fail, however not all classes are eligible to take in this method. Students must meet a minimum threshold in grades in order to Pass a class.

A prerequisite is a specific requirement that a student must satisfy before taking a class or entering a program. This could include taking one specific class before another, or having a certain grade point average to get into a program.

When a course is full, a student can request to be put on a Wait List for the class. If spots open in a class, faculty will go to the wait list and bring students into the active class, when possible.

This is a program available through MyBGSU where students can run a progress report towards graduation in their academic program. It also allows students to see their potential progress in other academic programs, which assists when considering changing majors.

Federal Education Rights Privacy Act is a law that protects academic records, and for students 18 and older, it is the student who controls their personal privacy rights.  

Each course has a syllabus, which is a document that outlines the expectations of a course, including grading, attendance requirements, conduct expectations, assignments, and more. It is very important to keep each course syllabus for record and to review.

Canvas is the digital platform where students access the online information for their courses. Students can use Canvas to check grades, review course materials, turn in assignments, participate in course discussions, and more.


These are general education classes that all students are required to satisfy.

Recitation Classes are smaller sections of another class where students have more interactive time with their professor or TAs.

College Level Examination Program, these are exams a student can take to test out of a class.

Updated: 04/20/2022 08:43AM