HOW TO: Talk the talk

A guide to Tech lingo.

The first letter of the alphabet. It also allegedly appears on grade reports. We’ll believe it when we see it.

A portal for Georgia Tech web resources, at least we think.

A female college student was first admitted to Tech 52 years ago. Although more sightings are reported each year, females only account for around 30 percent of the student body.

Co-operative work assignments, where you alternate working at a company and taking classes. It may postpone your graduation for about a year but you’ll make a lot of money and will get a better job when you graduate.

Something all Tech students are expected to do often and well. Good examples can be found on newsgroups and in Technique letters to the editor.

Campus Recreation Center. A place to exercise and forget about differential equations for a while. Was used as a facility during the 1996 Olympic Games.

SGA website showing teacher and class GPAs. Used extensively during registration to figure out which professors give As.

The curious grading scheme by which a 50 can become an B. Beware, as it does not always happen.

The week before finals during which you are not supposed to have any tests. Be forewarned: some professors don’t understand this concept at all.

Only takes a 3.0…sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just wait.

The Friday that marks the last day to drop a class. It’s recently been moved to a point later in the semester, taking some of the guessing out of the decision to drop a class. You freshmen have it so easy…

A P.E. class that was required of all Tech students up until 1988, so if you cannot swim now, do not worry. The class involved being tied up with rope and thrown into a pool. The goal was to allow you to survive indefinitely in the water through a variety of techniques.

A 4.0? Keep dreaming….

a.k.a. Student Services Building. Houses the Dean of Students office and Student Media.

The elusive goal of any Tech student. It starts from Day One. Its target date usually extended at some point along the way.

“To hell with Georgia!”

The area filled with old, historic buildings between the Administration Building and the Library. See Tech Tower.

Campus diner where Tommy serves up some of the world’s greatest chicken fingers.

Computer lab on the first floor of the library geared towards group projects and collaboration. Also has a coffee shop in it (Jazzman’s).

Another computer lab on the first floor of the library, but this one is for individual use. Conveniently located but usually requires a long waiting period before you ever reach a computer.

Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority—since freshmen don’t typically have cars, this is your way around Atlanta, unless you can sucker an upperclassman into driving you around. The Trolley stops at the Midtown station, and the North Avenue station is within walking distance from East Campus.

Starting the Sunday before finals and continuing every night during finals, students gather at midnight in public areas around dorms or lean out their windows for the age-old tradition. Promptly at midnight, students scream and yell to relieve the stress of their finals preparation. Some dorms will provide food at midnight, like Krispy Kreme or Taco Bell.

Not a green muppet. Online Student Computer Assisted Registration; it’s how you get classes, view your grades, view your student account, pay your bills and, eventually, check your graduation status.

Office of Information Technology. The campus computer office with a resource center in the Library. A pirate’s worst enemy.

Any freshman. Recruit At Tech, or Recently Acquired Tech Students. Originates from Tech’s strong military roots.

Residence Hall Association, an organization of students which attempts to make living in the dorms bearable.

Student Government Association, the elected body whose main job it is to give out money from the collected Student Activity Fees to the various student organizations who ask for it.

Whether it’s a professor testing you on material he specifically said he wouldn’t, or registration holds causing you to miss out on a class you need, you will become well acquainted with the phenomenon of “getting the shaft” during your time here. Also used to refer to the long pointy tower in the Campanile fountain.

A comment, quip, inside joke or one-liner that runs in the Technique Sliver Box. Contribute one here at

The elite club that only admits members who meet this stringent criterion: the square root of your GPA is greater than your GPA. Get it? If it took you longer than a minute, you may soon gain membership into the group.

Campus vans and buses. They aren’t on a strict schedule so budget extra time if you want to make it to class, or just get some exercise and walk. An hour should be enough. See also Tech Trolley.

“The South’s Liveliest College Newspaper.” An excellent distraction during Friday afternoon lectures. Anyone can contribute, regardless of experience, and meetings are every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Room 137 of the Student Services Building.

The steam whistle that blows to signal class changes at five minutes before the hour. It also blows whenever Tech wins a home football game, and each spring during the “When the Whistle Blows” remembrance ceremony.

Old tests and notes to help you study for tests. Professors are required to provide this, but good luck getting it from them. Greek houses are a better place to get it from. Word can be quite useful as many professors reuse the same tests every year.

Georgia Tech’s student radio station, at 91.1 FM, known for its sometimes eclectic offerings.