The Ps and Qs of GU: Part 1

gusaIt is a universal law of college that if a name, word or phrase can be abbreviated, it will be. And even if said name, word or phrase SHOULDN’T be abbreviated, students will persist in doing so anyway.

Nowhere is this more true than at Georgetown, where we live in VCE and LXR, major in things like CULP and I-Health, inhale burgers from GUGS and coffee from Midnight, avoid being caught by DPS or getting GERMSed at parties, and generally are as confused by the ICC as you probably are by all these abbreviations.

Luckily, the New Student Guide is here to help you make sense of this alphabet soup of acronyms. Below is the first half of a list of the most commonly used abbreviations and nicknames at Georgetown, along with a handy pronunciation guide. With a little studying and a dose of common sense, you’ll be debating GUSA policy and PST papers over a table at Leo’s in no time.

4E [four•ee]

The Hoya’s arts, culture and campus life blog. The greatest thing to happen to the internet since Netflix, and an equally great tool for procrastination.  


Alternative Spring Break: a weeklong service trip in early March commonly marked by reflection, bonding with one’s trip-mates and the consumption of an unreasonable amount of Nutella. Trips generally go out to everywhere from New Orleans to the Appalachian Mountains, from Detroit to the Arizona border.

Booey’s [boo•ees]

Short for Booeymonger’s. Home to some of the best cheap eats near campus — typically sandwiches and wraps, but also a great brunch — as well as cheap pitchers of beer.

‘Cuse [rhymes with “juice”]

Not-so-affectionate nickname for Syracuse Universty. One half of one the most storied rivalry in the basketball, Georgetown’s competition with the dreaded Orange thrilled Hoya fans for generations. Syracuse left the conference last fall, but we’ll continue to shout “Juice ‘Cuse” whenever there’s an opportunity.

CAPS [like the article of clothing traditionally worn on one’s head]

Georgetown’s office for Counseling and Psychiatric Services, located in the back of Darnall Hall.

Corpie [cor•pee]

An employee of The Corp (the largest student-run non-profit organization in the world, which runs three coffee shops, a grocery store and a bodega), usually recognizable by his or her baseball cap, hipster clothing and strong aroma of coffee.


Comparative Political Systems: a required class for Government majors and students in the SFS. If you don’t wind up taking this class, at least half of your friends will.


The Center for Social Justice. Home to Georgetown’s various community service and outreach programs, like the aforementioned ASB.


The Center for Student Programs, which oversees almost also extracurricular programming on campus. In the historic words of our fearless online editor: “They have candy, I think?”

CULP [rhymes with “gulp”]

The SFS’s Culture and Politics major. CULP majors are known for their tendency to quote Foucault and wax philosophical about international issues no one else has heard of.  

The Dirty D

Residents’ affectionate (and unfortunately accurate) nickname for Darnall, the least glamorous of Georgetown’s four freshman dorms [Editor’s note: but also the best one so…].

DPS [dops]

The Department of Public Safety, Georgetown’s campus police department. Officially, Georgetown University Police Department.

Epi [eh•pee]

Short for Epicurean & Co., a combination buffet, bar and sushi restaurant next door to the GoCard office and patronized almost exclusively by Darnall and Henle residents and people who work at Georgetown hospital. Open 24/7.

GERMS [like the things that cause disease]

Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service, a student-run EMT team that handles everything from alcohol poisoning to broken bones – and unlike 911 ambulances, all their services are free.


Georgetown Running Club. While it seems like everyone and their brother at Georgetown is ridiculously fit, this crew will make you feel especially wimpy as they sprint through campus 

GUASFCU [guasfic•cu]

The Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union, this student organization can take care of your money, if you’d like. They have a few ATMs across campus as well. If you’re stumbling over the pronunciation of this particular acronym, don’t worry. Half the seniors at this school can’t say it right either.

GUGS [jugs]

The Georgetown University Grilling Society. That delicious aroma of charcoal and burgers isn’t just you’re stomach playing games with you – GUGS can be found grilling in Red Square on sunny Fridays and other occasions throughout the school year. Get a burger during the first few weeks of school, when they’re generally free.


The Georgetown University Student Association. We’re not quite sure what they do, but there’s quite a number of people who do it.

GUTS [like your insides]

Georgetown University Transportation Shuttles will take you to Dupont Circle, the Rosslyn Metro Station and a handful of other locations around DC. Though students are still lobbying for more extensive service, the GUTS bus is one of the easiest ways to get out of metro station-less Georgetown and into the city beyond. 

Healy Beach [hee•lee beach]

Often desolate between the months of November and March, this span of lawn in front of Healy Hall draws dozens of sun-tanners and picnickers (and the occasional hookah enthusiasts) whenever the weather turns warm.

I-Econ, I-Hist, I-Pol, IPEc

International Economy, International History, International Politics and International Political Economy. Four majors in the SFS, often pursued alongside a certificate in Security Studies.


International Relations, another one of those required classes nearly everyone takes. By the time you’re through with this and Economics, you’ll never want to hear another word about Prisoner’s Dilemma ever again.


The International Relations Club is the primary extracurricular of many SFS kids. In addition to organizing NAIMUN, a national Model UN conference for high school students, IRC-ers spend their time learning about world politics in ridiculous, painstaking detail. Want to know the GDP of Latvia? Ask an IRC member.

JT III [jay•tee•three]

Nickname for men’s basketball Head Coach John Thompson III. 


Short for Lauinger Library, where students go to write term papers and souls go to die. Do not call it Lauinger.

Check out part 2 later this week.

Author the author: Sarah Kaplan is a member of the School of Foreign Service Class of 2014.

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