A Glossary of Useful Yale and YDS Terminology: Part 1

-prepared for you by your friendly YDS registrar

One of the most potentially daunting things about coming to a new place—in my experience at least—is the fact of needing to learn a new vernacular. There can always be new abbreviations, new idioms, new words even. Well, if this is daunting to you as well, never fear, for our wonderful Registrar has you covered. We introduced you to Lisa and the Registrar’s Office earlier in the week. Now it’s her turn to introduce you to the wonderful world of YDS terms. Here’s the first half—look out for the second half tomorrow!

The Apartments (Bellamy, Curtis, Fisher): Built in the ‘50s for the post-war influx of older, married students, this northern-most area of the YDS campus was once lovingly referred to as “the fertile crescent.” Now managed by Yale Graduate Housing, these buildings at 350, 352 and 354 Canner Street feature 85 apartments as well as offices and a nursery school.

Back buildings/SE Wing: The part of YDS that sits behind the chapel on the south side of the quad. It is the home to the Center for Faith and Culture, some faculty offices, and classrooms SG54, SG58, S151 and S155.

BDS: If you’re an Episcopal student, you should already know this one: Berkeley Divinity School, one of YDS’ partners on the quad. Affiliated with YDS since 1971, it is the only Episcopal seminary to be fully associated with a major research institution.

The Bowl: The Yale Bowl that is, located to the west of campus off of Route 34. Built in 1914 and listed as a National Historic Landmark, it is home to Yale’s football team. Not to be confused with Yale Bowls – the work of a Yale Professor who handcrafts amazing wooden objects from fallen Yale trees.

BTFO: Before the Fall Orientation. Get it? (hint: you are at a Divinity School).

Candy Bowl: If you’ve been at YDS for more than a day you probably don’t need this definition. This is the (nearly) bottomless bowl of tasty treats supplied for the YDS community by the Office of Student Affairs. Fear not: come Finals time the bowl is stocked with no Dum Dums and plenty of Smarties.

The Carts: Hankering for a really good Pad Thai? Need a kati roll on the go? Or need your fix of good-old American BBQ? Take a walk down the hill to the food carts in the parking lot of the Yale Whale (see below). Plentiful food, good variety, reasonable prices. For a change in scenery another food cart community can be found near the medical school.

Canvas: Yale’s course management system (you’ve used it for Divinity into Divinity!) You will discover all kinds of cool course resources on a course’s site in Canvas. Your canvas sites for each class will show up once you register for them in OCS (see below).

CLC: YDS’ Community Life Committee, a standing committee of the General Faculty. It is comprised of faculty members, administrators, and student representatives.

Common Room: The big room on the second floor above the YDS Student Book Supply. Home to coffee hour, receptions, just plain hanging out, and much of BTFO.

Commons: Part of the soon-to-be-massively-renovated Schwarzman Center on Beinecke Plaza. Once primarily a dining center for undergraduates it will ultimately be part of a state-of-the-art student life center. In 2007 it was converted into the Marshall College library for filming one of the chase scenes for the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Deanery: The formal “Dean’s residence” at 459 Prospect (just next door to YDS).

Downtown: What people at the Divinity School call the rest of Yale, which is (arguably) both closer to the center of New Haven and closer to sea level than YDS.

FAS: Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Essentially, Yale College (undergraduates) and the Graduate School.

FGS: Faculty Grade Submission. The site that your teachers use to enter your grades. You are able to see your grades about half a day after they are entered, as long as you have completed your course evaluations.

The 50/50 rule: YDS policy states that “at least half of each term’s work must be taken in YDS.” Exceptions are made for students whose degree (e.g. the MAR in Asian Religions) requires the study of languages and other coursework not available at YDS but these exceptions must be requested of the Academic Dean.

FSA: Faculty-Student Advising. This is your adviser’s electronic advising tool. You register through OCS (see below) and your adviser accesses and approves (or not) your registration worksheet through FSA.

Full-time: YDS has defined nine credits and above as “full-time” for federal financial aid purposes. However, in order to complete the degree in the typical time frame (1 year for the S.T.M., 2 for the M.A.R., and 3 for the M.Div.), students generally need to carry 12 credits per semester. International students must maintain full-time status (at least nine credits) in all but their final semesters.

Graduate School/Professional School: Yale University is composed of Yale College, Yale Graduate School and the twelve Professional Schools (including YDS). Therefore YDS students are identified throughout the University as Professional School students, not Graduate School students. This distinction is particularly important when registering, with forms and transcript requests, and in discussions about school policies and procedures. As a Divinity student you are subject to YDS policies and procedures regardless of the Yale course in which you are enrolled.

GPSCY: Technically called Gryphon’s Pub at GPSCY (pronounced like “gypsy”), this establishment began life in the 1970s in the lower level of the Graduate and Professional Student Center at Yale. All currently enrolled graduate and professional students are considered members.