Undergraduate Programs

Understanding Golden Knights: An Intro to Clarkson Lingo

Aerial View of Cheel Arena during the day

When you arrive at Clarkson there are a surprising amount of new names, places, and acronyms to learn for successfully navigating around campus. From Area Coordinators to Woodstock Village here is a list to get you started!

AC – Area Coordinator, the Area Coordinators oversee the Resident Advisors and other Residence Life staff.

Landscape of green hills with the Adirondacks in the distance
The Adirondack Mountains

ADK – The Adirondacks (ad-uh-RON-dax) is the mountain range forming most of the border of the Adirondack Park, a 9,375 sq mile area containing both private land and forest preserve. A common destination for Potsdam residents to explore the hundreds of mountains and more than 200 lakes that cover the park.

The Adirondack Lodge on Clarkson University's Campus

ADK/Adirondack Lodge

ADK Lodge – Adirondack Lodge is a building located near the entrance to the Back 40 on the Clarkson campus – for students to use as a meeting/event space for their Clubs and groups. It operates as a headquarters for CUOC (scroll down for this one!) highlighting activities like hiking, cycling, and cross-country skiing.

AE – Aerospace Engineering (Aero for short)

Back 40The Back 40 Clarkson manages a 400-acre forest on campus with hiking, cross-country skiing, and mountain bike trails. The Bill Vitek Observation Deck overlooks a large beaver pond and is a great scenic destination.

BS – Bachelor of Science, designating the coursework involved as a scientific field of study.

BY – Biology

The Center for Advanced Materials Processing or CAMP on a snowy day
CAMP (Center for Advanced Materials Processing)

CAMP – the Center for Advanced Materials Processing is a research center that is also home to Clarkson’s engineering programs, labs, and classrooms.

Campo / Campus Safety – Short for Campus Safety and Security, their staff patrols the campus 24 hours a day and are responsible for the enforcement of University rules and regulations. While each officer is certified by NY as a Security Guard, they are not empowered to enforce the law. Legal violations are referred to the Village of Potsdam police for action. Campus Safety personnel have a direct line to Potsdam law enforcement and emergency services. While their primary focus is keeping campus safe they offer vehicle jump services, door unlocks, night escorts between campus facilities, and traffic/parking supervision. Campus Safety and Security can be reached at 315-268-6666 for help or inquiries.

CE / CEE – Civil Engineering (CivE for short) or Civil and Environmental Engineering

Aerial view of Cheel Arena and the Golden Knight Statue
Cheel Arena

Cheel Arena – Cheel Arena is home to the Men’s and Women’s hockey programs, which are Division I for the NCAA. The ice is maintained for the Clarkson campus and community usage. You can find broomball or the local figure skating club taking advantage of the space throughout the year!

Alumni playing hockey on the outdoor rink during COGO, or Cold Out Gold Out

COGO – COGO or ‘Cold Out, Gold Out’ is Clarkson’s Winter Festival! During the colder months, we celebrate with fireworks, ice skating outside of Cheel, ice carving, and of course a weekend full of hockey. Reminiscent of Potsdam’s historical Winter Carnivals- this event should give students something extra to look forward to during the winter.

Concrete Café

Students studying in the Concrete Cafe, writing on the white boards and sitting on tables on their laptops

Concrete Café – Dining location on the 3rd floor of the Science Center. A quick on-the-go option in a convenient spot near the common lecture halls and labs for first years students. Accepts meal plan and Knight Card/Declining Balance.

CREW – Clarkson Recognition of Excellence Weekend is an event made for alumni, families of current students, and friends of Clarkson to visit campus to celebrate the accomplishments of the community. With awards such as the President’s Challenge presentation, Phalanx awards, and University recognition day there’s lots of opportunity to have your hard work applauded by your peers.

CS – Computer Science

CUB – The Clarkson Union Board is a student organization that provides entertainment to students on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as provides equipment to other groups and clubs on campus who need technical support for sound and lighting. CUB is also in charge of Fallfest and Springfest, our annual concerts.

Looking from the water at a large group of students  congregating on shore with some in canoes, during Clarkson University Outing Club's Canoefest
The Clarkson University Outing Club’s Canoefest

CUOC – The Clarkson University Outing Club is a student-run community that provides members with the equipment, training, and opportunities for all kinds of outdoor adventures. From pre-orientation trips to Canoefest, this is a very popular (and the biggest) club on campus.

Brian Grant presenting to Clarkson University Student Association Senators during a weekly meeting


CUSA – The Clarkson University Student Association is Clarkson’s student government. Consisting of six elected officers and six senators from each class and one senator from both the Clarkson School and Graduate School each. Join CUSA for a great leadership opportunity on campus.

DA&S – Digital Arts and Sciences

DEI – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office

E&M – Engineering and Management

EE – Electrical Engineering

ERC study space

ERC – the Educational Resources Center is located right next to the Student Center. It’s a great space to get some studying done with open and private spaces for student use. This is also the home for the Student Health and Counseling Center (SHAC), The Student Success Center, Clarkson Ignite, and the Campus Safety office. The ERC houses the Clarkson Library and its historical Archives as well.

Looking down the stairs of the Student Center Atrium at Clarkson

Forum -The Forum is what students call the stairs and seating area in front of the video wall in the Student Center. It’s a great place for a chat or to watch one of the shows put on by CUB on Friday or Saturday nights. Students are even known to gather together to watch sports on the big screen!

FYS – First Year Seminar, a required class for all students during their first year at Clarkson.

HA – House Advisors are staff members who live in the Clarkson School/Honors residence halls.

HEOP – The Higher Education Opportunity Program is focused on providing access and opportunity to eligible students to give assistance in obtaining a college degree.

Aerial view of the whole campus of Clarkson with fall foliage and the Racquette river in the background
The Hill Campus

Hill Campus, Now the “Collins Hill Campus” – The primary part of the campus which is on the hill, between Route 11 and Clarkson Ave. The Collins Hill Campus was named in honor of longtime University President Tony Collins.  Commemorative signage recognizes Collins’ 19 years as President of the University and the contributions he and his wife, Karen Collins, have made to the greater Clarkson community since coming to Potsdam in 1982.

Holcroft House and the Fountain in front of it

Holcroft House – Located near the main entrance to campus, this currently houses the undergraduate and transfer admissions office. The oldest building on campus, built in 1821-22 as was a home for members of the Clarkson family. In 1927 Annie Clarkson left Holcroft House and some 600 acres of land to the university, in dedication to her uncle. Rumors have it that the house is haunted, but you’ll have to see that for yourself. Holcroft Night is hosted here, an event that happens during the first week of classes where freshmen meet for fun and a fireworks show!


The Indoor Recreation Center or the IRC's basketball courts and indoor track

IRC – The Indoor Recreational Center is what students call the groups of athletic buildings surrounding the field house. It is home to the Deneka Family Fitness Center, a 25-meter swimming pool, an indoor track, the field house for tennis, volleyball, or basketball, racquetball courts, and a sauna.

ISE – Institute for a Sustainable Environment

ISO – International Students Organization

A group of students holding green 'Lets' Go Tech Banners'

Let’s Go Tech – A callback to the days when Clarkson University was still called Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology or Clarkson College of Technology for short. ‘Let’s Go Tech!’ remains the rally cry for the university’s athletic teams, especially for the Pep Band. CCT still adorns older buildings and equipment which has remained from a bygone era.

LLCLiving Learning Communities are residential environments where students with similar interests live together. Some examples of LLC’s are the Outdoor Enthusiast floor, the FIRST Robotics floor, the Honors floor, and more!

MAE – Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

MBA – Master of Business Administration

ME – Mechanical Engineering (MechE for short)

Moodle – Moodle is the site students use for submitting assignments, checking syllabi, and checking grades. Each class will have its own sub-page and a space for asynchronous/forum-based learning.

MPRs – or Multipurpose Rooms, these rooms are located on the second floor of the Student Center and are available for clubs and organizations to use for meeting spaces or other events.

Graham Hall, one of the 'New Dorms' at Clarkson University
Graham Hall, one of the two “New Dorms

New Dorms – ‘New Dorms’ is what the dormitories which surround Price Hall (Newell, Thomas, Farisee, and Ormsby) and Graham Hall (Van Note, Wilson, Olson, and Donahue) are referred to as. Ironically they were built in 1965-68 but the name New Dorms has stuck ever since. Each building officially having five names to choose from may have contributed to the more simplistic nickname.

OAS – Office of Accommodative Services is an office that supports accessibility services for housing, academics, and dietary assistance.

OIT – The Office of Information Technology is located on the downtown campus, but there is an OIT HelpDesk location for students to utilize on the second floor of the ERC in the Innovation Hub which offers support for IT and AV needs on campus. Students can reach out to OIT for technical support and can submit helpdesk tickets by emailing helpdesk@clarkson.edu.

OChem – Organic Chemistry

Old Snell

Old Snell

Old Snell– Downtown Campus building, which has become public apartment housing and public auditorium space.

The Clarkson University Pep Band and a full student section in Cheel arena during a hockey game
Clarkson University Men’s Hockey defeats St. Lawrence, with a 3-1 victory

The Pep Band – The Clarkson Pep Band has a storied history of playing at hockey games and at other on-campus events since 1964. They were one of the first college pep bands to start playing current hits at hockey games and still claim to be “The Best Band in the East’. The Pep Band travels with the hockey teams making for a great opportunity to see other arenas and play against other bands.

Peoplesoft/MyCU – Database used for enrollment in classes, end-of-semester grades, and other financial information. When compared to Moodle, this is more of an administrative site for Clarkson’s SAS (scroll down for this one!) rather than an academic-focused page.

Hamlin Powers buildings and the lawn with four lawn chairs close to viewer
Hamlin-Powers or “The Pit”

The Pit – Hamlin & Powers are the dormitories at the bottom of the hill across the road from Clarkson Ave. and Kinney’s. Referred to as the ‘The Pit’ due to being at the bottom of the hill, this is a residence hall where some sophomores and upperclassmen have the option to stay. While it is further away from the rest of the campus, it is closer to downtown.

The Quad – The Quad refers to the group of four freshman dormitories; Ross, Brooks, Cubley, and Reynolds. This is where the grand majority of freshmen are housed during their first year. Each hall has four floors with two bathrooms at the end of each, and one RA per floor. In the center are the RA Office, laundry services, a classroom/tutoring center, and the Ross-Brooks Dining Hall (Ro Bro).

RA – Resident Advisor, these student workers are on each floor/wing of the residence halls and offer community support to the students residing in each.

RAPS – the Summer Research and Project Showcase is a forum for presentations of independent projects and research. All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate-showing what they’ve done with their research or their internship, co-op, or study abroad experience. RAPS is an opportunity for a broad audience to appreciate the work done by all Clarkson students.

RD – Resident Director, who oversees the whole Residence Life building or grouping of buildings and the RAs in those buildings.

Clarkson University's Army ROTC training excersizes on the Hamlin Powers lawn
Army ROTC Hamlin Powers Lawn Training

ROTC (raw-tzi) – the Reserve Officers Training Corps, Clarkson is affiliated with both the Army and Air Force ROTC programs. The ROTC experience commissions officers to enter active duty within a year of graduation.

Students eating at Ro Bro, one of the on campus dining options at Clarkson University
‘Ro Bro’

Ro Bro – stands for Ross-Brooks which is the dining hall located in the center of The Quad. An all-you-care-to-eat option that is less than a sandstone’s throw away from freshman housing makes this a popular option for your first year.

SAS – or Student Achievement Services is where a current student would go for assistance with financial aid, registrar offices, and bursar or accounts receivables.

A food service worker at the Clarkson Student Center Servery serves food to a student waiting in line
Students receive meals at the Servery dining hall on campus

The Servery – The primary campus dining option is located on the second floor of the Student Center, this is also where the late-night food options are available outside the hours of usual dining.

Schoolie – A nickname for students enrolled in The Clarkson School (TCS) program.

SPEED – Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design, which are 13 engineering competition design teams that compete regionally, nationally, and internationally.

SSC – The Student Success Center is where students go for academic support services such as tutoring, test prep services, and writing workshops.

SUNY Potsdam

SUNY Potsdam

Potsdam State

State/SUNY – Potsdam State / State University of New York is another college located just down the road into Potsdam. SUNY Potsdam was established as the first college as a part of the SUNY system in 1816 and has a history closely tied with the town’s own. Thomas S. Clarkson himself attended this school when they were still called ‘St Lawrence Academy’.


Technical Advancement Center or TAC

TAC – Technological Advancement Center, this building connects the ERC to the Science Center. It houses the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) and the University Office of Advising.

A Clarkson School student standing in graduation regalia behind a podium, during the TCS Commencement
The Clarkson School Graduation Commencement 2019

TCS – The Clarkson School is a selective early college program. Specifically for students who would like the option to start college early and replace their senior year of high school with a year in college. Clarkson School students take the same courses as first-year Clarkson University students and enjoy the same access to campus resources.

Walker Arena, in Potsdam NY
Walker Center

Techie – A nickname for Clarkson students, stemming from Clarkson’s previous names Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology or Clarkson College of Technology for short.

Walker – Walker Arena, Clarkson’s original hockey rink prior to the creation of Cheel Arena, which has been converted to an indoor turf field. It has athletic facilities for the soccer and lacrosse teams and is also used by the intramural teams. It’s located on Clarkson Ave across from Hamlin-Powers and next to Kinney Drugs.

WCKN / CCTV – Clarkson Student Television Station, previously operating out of the basement of the Student Center, now primarily runs out of Cheel Arena. WCKN/CCTV produces the Division I Men’s and Women’s Hockey Broadcast and helps with streaming for the DIII sports on campus as well.

Woodstock Lodge

Woodstock Lodge

(Not a Residence Hall)

Woodstock Lodge – Woodstock Lodge was the second of three homes built by the Clarkson Family, restored in the 1960s, and now hosts the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Often mistaken with Woodstock Village when first arriving on campus, this is an administrative building and doesn’t house any students (although it used to years ago!).

Woodstock Village, upper classman residence halls at Clarkson University
Woodstock Village

Woodstock Village – Located near the Science Center, Woodstock has 10 buildings with 10 apartments per unit. Typically Woodstock houses upper-class students and the International Living-Learning Community.

WTSC – Clarkson Student Radio Station, 91.1 The Source


  1. The description for OIT and TAC both mention ERC but your list doesn’t have ERC in it. What’s ERC?

    1. Good Catch, I failed to include that definition but it’s added in now! The ERC is the Education Resource Center, it’s the on campus building where our library is as well as our campus safety offices and the student health and counseling center. Thanks for the feedback!

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