You’re going to hear a lot of strange words and abbreviations on campus. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you.
Big Bash: The party associated with RAG (you’ll find this one later) that happens at the beginning of the year.
Caf: As in cafeteria. It’s in the Steve Biko Students’ Union building.
CPS (Campus Protection Services): These are the guys who take care of safety and security on campus.
DP (duly performed): If you get your DP for a course, you can write the exams.
DPR (duly performed refused): This means you’ve spent too much time in the caf and you can’t write exams.
Early Assessment (EA): A formal academic check to see how you’re doing in your first weeks at university.
Extended Degree Programme (EDP): A flexible degree programme that gives you a bit more time and help to complete your degree.
Eduroam: The UCT network that provides free Wi-Fi on campus.
First-class pass: When you get over 75% it’s a first-class pass. An upper second is 70–74%, a lower second is 60–69% and a third is 50–59%. An S means you failed.
First lecture: The earliest lecture of each day (and where you will find yourself at 08:00 if you’re a fresher).
Fresher: Another name for first-years.
FYE: The First-Year Experience is a programme to help you during first year.
Hot seat: A weekly appointment with your tutor to discuss your academic progress.
Jammie plaza: The open area below Sarah Baartman Hall where tons of events take place.
Jammie Shuttle: The blue buses that get you around campus and town. If you have your student card, it’s free!
Jammie steps: These lead right up to the Jammie plaza.
Jammie Thursdays: When interesting things happen on Jammie plaza during meridian on Thursdays.
ICTS: Information and Communication Technology Services keeps you online and digitally enabled.
Lectures: 45 minute lessons with 15 minutes in between to get to the next one.
LinkedIn Learning: An online virtual training library, offering thousands of tutorials on a variety of subjects.
Meridian: Lunch break, between 13:00 and 14:00 during the week.
North Stop: One of the main Jammie Shuttle stops on upper campus. It’s north of the South Stop!
OIC: The Office for Inclusivity and Change helps ensure the university is accessible and inclusive to all.
OL (orientation leader): The person who will take you through the basics during O-Week.
O-Week: The orientation programme that runs for a week before lectures start. It gives you time to get to know your surroundings, and join clubs and societies.
PeopleSoft: An online database for your academic record, timetable, course marks and personal details.
Pracs (practicals): Where you put into practice what you’ve learned in theory.
RAG: “Remember and Give” is the fundraising arm of SHAWCO.
Res: As in residence, the place you stay if you’re living on campus.
SAX Appeal: The RAG magazine that you’ll sell at traffic lights to raise money for SHAWCO.
SHAWCO: The Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation offers community outreach programmes.
SRC: The Students’ Representative Council is the highest decision-making structure of student governance.
Pass mark: Anything above 50%.
Sup: Supplementary exam (for when the first one didn’t go so well).
Tuts (tutorials): Small groups that meet to discuss material raised in lectures. Compulsory if you want to get a DP.
Tutor: Person in charge of tuts, who might also become your mentor, academic guide and friend.
Vac: As in “vacation”. The thing your parents refer to as a “holiday” or “leave” .
Varsity: Where you find yourself right now. Also the name of one of UCT’s student newspapers.
Vula: UCT’s official online learning system where you’ll find everything you need to know about your courses, and more.
Year mark: Together with your exam results, this contributes to your final mark.
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