August 31, 2011

The 411 on Getting the 411

We hope this post finds you and your loved ones safe after Hurricane Irene’s visit this weekend.  We were lucky that classes weren’t in session, but would you know how to get information about cancelled classes or road closures if school HAD started?  This post gives you the 411 on getting the 411.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but Rutgers is a pretty big place. It’s hard to figure out the right person or department to ask a question.  Below are a few tried and true options.

For General Information:
  • The Search bar on and   search all Rutgers websites.  As an example, type in “Bookstore” into the Search bar at the top of the Rutgers website and you’ll quickly find the college bookstore website, its location and hours.   

  • RU-INFO – our very own information hotline, staffed by student operators!  Call 732-445-4636, explain what you’re looking for (or ask a question or describe the problem), and they’ll help connect you to the right people.  You can also visit their website at 

  • Campus Status -  Hurricanes and snowstorms aren't mindful of the academic calendar; this site will let you know the operating status of the university in the case of a major weather event.

For SAS Information:

  • Frosh email - we’re experts on academics, and if we don’t know the answer we’ll put you in touch with the office that does! 

  • Come to an SAS Advising Center and ask a live person!  The Office of Academic Services has Advising Centers on all four campuses. This isn’t your principal’s office, or the guidance counselor that you saw once before graduation; we’re here to respond to your concerns, guide your decisions, and celebrate your successes from today through graduation.  Don't be a stranger!

August 19, 2011

Rutgers-Speak 101

LBH:  we all use Urban Dictionary.  After all, we need a way to avoid pop culture shock and figure out what “frenemy” or “WOOT” mean!

Well, at Rutgers we have a few of our own sayings and short hand that you might not have heard before.  Below is your own personal Rutgers Urban Dictionary!  We've kept it short and to the point so that you can't claim "tl;dr".

1.  Add-Drop Period
The time when all students are adjusting their class schedules.  Students add and drop courses (hence the name) as well as switching which section they are in without any record on their official transcript. 

During the Fall 2011 semester, the Add/Drop period will begin on Friday, September 2.  Friday, September 9 will be the last day to drop a course; Monday, September 12 will be the last day to add a course

Dude, an 8:10am class?  No way!  I'm going to switch to a later section during add/drop.
2.  E-credits
Credits that do not count toward the GPA (grade point average) or the 120 credits needed to graduate.  E-credits do count toward full-time status.  One example of an “E-credited” course is Elementary Algebra 025.

I'm taking 15 credits this semester, but my math class is e-credited, so only 12 count toward graduation.

3.  Special Permission Number (SPN)
A number that overrides the stop point in a full course.  Not all classes or departments issue special permission numbers.  Instructions on how to go about obtaining special permission numbers will be given out during academic sessions as part of the first week orientation.

The Math department will open a special permission request form on their website on the first day of classes - tell all of our roommates!

4.  Ws
A “W” on a transcript shows that a student withdrew from a class on WebReg (see below) after the Add/Drop period but before the 8th week of the semester.  Withdrawal is not possible after the 8th week of classes (October 26 is the deadline for Fall 2011).  Students must always maintain an active 12 credits.

Bro, you are severely reality challenged - it is NEVER better to fail a course than to get a W.  You should go to an Advising Center to talk this out.

5.  WebReg
The official online registration system.  First year students use this system to adjust their schedules during add/drop, and to create a unique Spring schedule in November.

When I get back to my room, I'm totally going to login to WebReg to try to register for a hybrid section of Expos.

Coming soon:  Posts with more information on Special Permission Numbers and Ws.