The time has come: you’ve just moved in to your freshman dorm, met your roommate, scoped out campus—now what? Chances are, you’ll quickly be tossed into the unfamiliar world of all things BC, from F’Real milkshakes and mozz sticks to CoRo and the Mods. But fear not, baby eags—the Gavel’s Declassified BC Survival Guide is here to help.
To get that coveted upper hand in all things Boston College, consult this thorough glossary of terms that will make you sound like a Superfan in no time.
The ACC: Boston College plays in the ACC—the Atlantic Coast Conference—which is comprised of the sports teams from 15 different universities playing in Division I of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association).
Addie’s: Brought to campus by the student group Real Food BC, Addie’s Loft is housed on the second floor of the Lower dining hall. Addie’s serves amazing fresh and locally-sourced food and is best known for its salads, flatbreads, veggie burgers, açai bowls, and milkshakes.
Agora: The Agora Portal will soon become your lifeline as a student at BC, your means by which to access grades, classes, and other important info online. It’s also the place to refill your precious Dining Bucks when you realize you’ve bought one too many Starbucks drinks at On the Fly.
AHANA: The acronym that stands for African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. The AHANA undergraduate community at BC helps to provide a support system for other students, push for change on campus, and create a multicultural environment that promotes growth and togetherness.
Alumni: When football season comes around, you’ll likely find yourself cheering on the Eagles in Alumni Stadium on game day. Don’t forget to show up early for the tailgating, too—parents and alumni often set up with tents and grills galore around the stadium to tailgate before games.
Baldwin: Boston College’s beloved eagle mascot, Baldwin, is filled with pep and energy that help to rally up crowds at athletic events. Sometimes you can even find him wandering around campus—if you do, make sure to snap a selfie with him.
Bapst: Commonly referred to as BC’s Hogwarts library, Bapst is certainly known for its stunning, stained-glass corridors. It’s a great silent study spot that fills up quickly on finals week, so make sure to stake your claim as early as you can.
Beanpot: Each year at the beginning of February, some of the biggest universities in Boston face off to see whose hockey team reigns supreme. Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Harvard compete in TD Garden for the Beanpot title—it’s worth mentioning that BC has taken home 7 of the past 8 Beanpot victories.
CAB: The Campus Activities Board is a student group that plans, organizes, and executes events across campus. Watch out for their events during Welcome Week, as well as throughout the year—their most popular events, Plex-a-Palooza and Modstock, are two highly-anticipated concerts bringing in big names like the Chainsmokers and T-Pain.
The Chocolate Bar: Housed on the first floor of Stokes South, the Chocolate Bar is a favorite study spot and coffee shop among students, offering a wide variety of Peet’s Coffee and Tea, gelato, and huge cookies. Empty tables are rare to come by, so make sure to snag one as soon as you see it.
Comm. Ave: Commonwealth Avenue is the main road connecting BC to the rest of the city of Boston, as well as the most popular spots for off-campus housing. The Comm. Ave. bus also runs a loop through campus to Cleveland Circle, which has a CVS, Chipotle, Pino’s pizzeria, Eagle’s Deli, the “Reservoir” T station, and more.
Conte: The Silvio O. Conte Forum is home to the BC basketball and hockey teams, as well as to the Screaming Eagles Marching Band. You’ll likely find yourself here decked out in BC gear for a hockey game, yelling out the popular “Sieve!” goal chant.
CoRo: Home of the sophomores who didn’t get a pick time for 8-, 4-, 6-, or 9-man suites, College Road, or “CoRo,” is housed at the foot of Upper Campus, right across from McElroy. Even though you’ll have traditional housing and be distanced from your friends on Lower, you’ll be way closer to classes and have more of a tight-knit community. And hey, at least it’s not Greycliff, right?
CSOM: CSOM stands for the Carroll School of Management, BC’s award-winning business school—recently named the 3rd best in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek rankings. The stereotypical “CSOM uniform” is easy to spot on campus, typically distinguished by boys wearing light blue button-downs and salmon-colored shorts.
Eagle Bucks: Not to be confused with the Residential Dining Bucks that you use at On the Fly and the Chocolate Bar, Eagle Bucks are used to pay for your laundry and any purchases you make at the bookstore with your Eagle ID. Make sure to check your balance after each wash and dry cycle so you’ll never be caught short after trekking all the way to O’Connell House.
Eagle’s: Found on the second floor of McElroy, Eagle’s Nest is one of the most popular lunch spots on campus, serving up delicious sandwiches, paninis, and salads—all on your meal plan.
El Pelon: Conveniently located right across from Lower Campus, El Pelon Taqueria serves up fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine—including the delicious, plantain-filled El Guapo burrito.
Gasson Quad: The main academic quad on campus, Gasson Quad is flanked on all four sides by buildings: Devlin, Fulton, Lyons, and Gasson (insider’s tip: remember the order by thinking Doug Flutie Likes Girls). On warm and sunny days, these green spaces will be filled with students doing work outside or soaking up the sunshine.
Gassongram: It’s no secret that BC’s iconic Gasson Hall is photogenic. In fact, any Instagram photo that you upload of Gasson is lovingly referred to by the BC community as a “#Gassongram.” Don’t even pretend like your camera roll won’t be filled with these after spending any period of time on campus—just don’t overdo it on the Insta posts.
The Gavel: The student-run, all-online, progressive voice of Boston College. It’s also one of the coolest student organizations on campus (okay, we may be a little biased). If you’re interested in writing, journalism, grammar, business, photography, or making new friends, come check out the Gavel at the Student Involvement Fair!
The Heights: Not only is the Heights one of the biggest groups on campus, putting out a student-run newspaper twice each week, it’s also the term used to refer to BC’s campus itself. Our fight song, “For Boston,” even notes that “the towers on the Heights reach to Heaven’s own blue.”
Hillside: Hillside Cafe is a student favorite serving up sandwiches, paninis, “frips,” specialty coffee drinks, and the beloved New England Classic (trust us on this one, it’s iconic for a reason). It also doubles as a great study spot on Lower Campus.
Jesuits: Boston College was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1863, and that same Catholic, intellectual tradition still holds an important presence on campus. Jesuits make up many of the faculty and staff on campus, and some live in St. Mary’s Hall across from Bapst.
Late Night: A Saturday night in the Mods wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of the dining halls for Late Night. What better time frame than 8:30 pm to midnight (or 2 am on weekends) to chow down on some onion rings, chicken tenders, french fries, and mozz sticks?
Lower: After freshman year, you’ll get the chance to live on Lower Campus with (most of) the rest of the upperclassmen. Even though it’s a much farther trek to get to class, it’s closer to the Plex, Conte, Alumni, Hillside, and Addie’s. The dining hall here is also referred to as Lower, not by its formal name of Corcoran Commons.
Mac: McElroy dining hall, more commonly referred to as Mac, will be your source for many, many meals during freshman year and beyond. Before long, you’ll know the perfect time to strike the morning omelette line, spend all your meal plan money on Odwalla, and be chowing down on Honey Q wraps like it’s nothing.
Marathon Monday: Equivalent to Christmas morning for college kids, Marathon Monday is the day-long party that is the Boston Marathon. Boston College’s campus is at mile 21 along the runners’ route, so you can bounce from off-campus parties to cheering runners on all day. Just remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Million Dollar Stairs: This infamous staircase is sure to make even the fittest of BC students winded at a moment’s notice. Any time you make the trek to Lower Campus, there’s a chance you’ll have to end up climbing the Million Dollar Stairs back up—unless, of course, you resort to taking the elevator in the parking garage or in Maloney Hall.
The Mods: Intended to be temporary housing units back in the 70s, the Modulars are the pinnacle of BC housing, home to only the luckiest handful of seniors. These confusingly-numbered little red apartments come complete with backyards fit for grilling out and hanging with friends—plus, the Mods are the iconic hotspot for partying and nightlife on campus.
Mozz Sticks: Deserving of a bullet point of their own, mozzarella sticks are the savior of stressed students and exhausted Mod-goers alike. Served with an optional tub of hot marinara sauce, these Late Night gems are certain to raise your wearied spirits and keep you warm on cold Boston nights.
Newton: Roughly 40% of the freshman class will live on Newton Campus, a tight-knit community reachable by a ride on the Newton bus. While it has Stuart dining hall and is arguably more quaint, be prepared for those precious 15+ minutes of sleep you’ll lose waiting for and riding the bus to class.
O’Neill: The biggest library on campus, O’Neill has five floors fit for all-nighters, whether you’re alone reading in a cubby or at a table with a study group. Plus, BC recently announced that it’ll now be open 24 hours a day, so you can print your 10-page-paper right when you finish at 4 am.
On the Fly: Found in each of the dining halls, On the Fly is your one-stop shop for snack foods to stash away in your dorm or eat on the way to class. Plus, On the Fly in Mac is home to a miniature Starbucks, so your wildest iced-chai-with-a-shot-of-
The Plex: If you plan on exercising in your time at BC, you’ll probably find yourself in the Plex, BC’s main on-campus gym facility. On the inside of this giant, oddly-tented structure you can find plenty of gym equipment, a track, tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pool, and rec rooms for Zumba and Spin classes galore.
The Rat: In the basement of Lyons Hall you can find the Rat, a dining hall open for breakfast and lunch that happens to be a great study spot right in the heart of Main Campus. Make sure to beat the lunch rush when it’s mac-n-cheese or lo mein day.
The Res: Not one for the gym scene? Fear not—you can run around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir without even having to step foot in the Plex. The beautiful views of the Boston skyline and Gasson tower are best seen at the Res at sunset.
Rubi: It won’t take long in the world of BC nightlife for your nostrils to recognize that oh-so-pungent stench of Rubinoff vodka. It’s cheap, has lots of fruity flavors, and comes in huge plastic jugs, making Rubi a necessary commodity for any pregame or Mod party.
Sexiled: If your roommate texts you to say you should find somewhere to sleep for the night, it’s likely you’ve been sexiled—banished from your room by a roommate’s hookup. Make sure to find a hallmate to befriend in case of sexile.
Stokes Quad: The second academic quad on campus, Stokes Quad is the green space outside of Stokes and Carney Halls—plus, it doubles as a great place to throw the frisbee around with friends between classes.
Strip Mod: Every year, the residents of Mods 27A and B—infamously referred to as the Strip Mod—put on a striptease show when study days come around at the end of each semester. Bring your friends and show up for some music, laughs, and good, old-fashioned BC camaraderie.
Stu: Home of the beloved booths and the original F’Real milkshake machine, Stuart is the well-loved dining hall of students on Newton Campus. Many claim that the food is better and the atmosphere is cozier—plus, you can order specialty drinks like the ones at the Chocolate Bar, but with your meal plan money instead of those precious Dining Bucks.
Superfan: Once you’re bestowed with the infamous, mustard-yellow Superfan shirt at orientation, consider yourself to *officially* be a part of the Boston College family. It’s not enough just to wear the shirt at games, though—to be a Superfan, you’ve got to have the Eagle spirit to back it.
The T: If you want to sound like a local from the get-go, make sure you refer to Boston’s public subway and train system as the “T.” BC students have easy access to the city of Boston via the B, C, and D branches of the Green Line (insider’s tip: the D line is the fastest of the 3—the “Chestnut Hill” stop is a short walk from Upper, and the “Reservoir” stop is off the Comm. Ave. bus route).
Thirsty Thursday: For much of the BC population, Thursday evenings often become “Thirsty Thursdays” when the plans are to go out with friends to local nightclubs or hit a pregame before a party.
Transloc: You’ll want to have this app downloaded to your smartphone as soon as you get to campus if you want to track the nearest Comm. Ave. bus or Newton bus. This app may just save you from moments of sprinting your hardest only to narrowly miss the bus before class.
UGBC: One of the biggest student organizations on campus, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College works with both the administration and the student body to effect change in university policy. Plus, it’s filled with its own multitude of acronyms, each one representing a different department—such as DIP, GLC, ALC, CSD, SI, and ULA—so don’t feel bad if you have trouble keeping track.
Upper: Home to roughly 60% of the freshman class, Upper Campus is a huge freshman community as well as quite literally the uppermost part of campus. Don’t underestimate the exhausting amount of stairs you’ll have to climb to reach it.
White Mountain: Right across Comm. Ave. from Lower Campus, White Mountain Creamery is the well-loved local ice cream spot, known for its delicious flavor “Cookie Monster.”