Acronyms by Acronym (and Other Student Lingo)

(featured image to be created by GDs)


For the returning juniors and seniors, you all know that the students at IMSA love their acronyms. Walking around campus, you’ll often hear students use lingo. For the incoming sophomores, you’re sure to hear and/or see some of these words come up in conversation with upperclassmen.

Whether you’re a returner who wants to feel some nostalgia or a newbie hoping to gain an understanding of IMSA talk, enjoy this list of the most commonly used student lingo.

CAC – College and Academic Counselors
Every student is assigned a CAC (based on last name) who is there to help with college-related material such as financial aid and college admission testing, as well as IMSA academic related material, such as course selection and scheduling processes.

RC – Resident Counselors
Every hall has 4 RC’s, with 1 RC for every wing. Your RC’s become your parents away from home, and they are there to keep you safe as well as help you whenever you may need it. Always reach out to your RC’s if you need help with anything, or even if you just want to chat and hang.


AC Pit – Academic Pit
DO NOT call this room the A-C Pit. It’s pronounced “ack” pit, as a shortened version of academic pit. It is a room in the main building with glass doors that is most commonly used for test taking, but also sometimes used for other extracurricular activities.

Access road is the road that winds around campus, behind the halls, and past 07 towards the tennis courts. Nearly every IMSA student has been on an Access walk, either with friends or a significant other. Your IMSA experience is incomplete without Access walks, so be sure to go on one!

DNA Hallway
The DNA Hallway is located by Old Caf and goes through the first floor science classrooms and offices (SI Physics, SI Bio, Si Chem). It is a place where many class drills, culture shows, and other extracurriculars will hold dance practices. Sadly, the double helix pattern on the floor tiles was removed, so it’s more like a DNA-less Hallway now. :((

The name comes from the two “INs” of INnovation and INquiry, and it is the place you see through the windows as you enter through the main entrance. Many extracurriculars use this space to host different meetings and events. It’s a great place to go with your friends, whether it be to get homework done or just to hang out. Makerspace is located here, and it also has bean bags,conference rooms,whiteboards, and even Beat Saber!

IRC – Information Resource Center
The IRC is our library. Located upstairs, not only does it offer different materials to check out, it also has resources such as printers. This is a great spot to quietly do homework between classes.

ITMC – Instructional Technology and Media Center
ITMC is a room located in B127 that provides the IMSA community with instructional technology and media resources, ranging from recording equipment to cameras and even a green screen. Most language classes will have you go to ITMC at least once to practice recorded conversations.

Located upstairs next to the IRC and between all the second floor science classrooms, the loft completes IMSA’s holy trinity of the best and most common places to do homework (IN2, IRC, and the Loft). It is an open space with many tables,chairs, and whiteboards and is a great place to either do homework or to hang out.

Located in IN2, this is a place that boasts many resources for students to use, ranging from 3D pens to 3D printers, and sticker printers to sewing machines. These resources can be used for school related projects, but they can also be used for fun.

Math Study Area
The Math Study Area is located by all the math classrooms. It is another great place to do homework, but it is not as popular as some of the other spots. It is most commonly used for test taking, just like the AC Pit, but it is also used by some extracurriculars, such as Math Team.

No Pond
No Pond is the name given to the pond behind the halls. Next to this pond is a hill as well as an area with picnic tables. Do not swim in No Pond, and definitely do not throw apples into No Pond.

Old Caf
Old Caf is the area outside Sodexo, and it is called that because that was once our cafeteria (hence, old cafeteria). This is a spot where clubs and other extracurriculars will often hold events during Mid-day or after school. Old Caf is also one of the main spots where class drills, culture shows, and other extracurriculars will hold dance practices.

Science Study Area
Of all the places to do homework in the main building, this is the most underrated location. That’s part of what makes it such a great place to do homework either by yourself or with friends. Located in B-wing outside of ITMC, this area is often empty because most people don’t go there, which means you can work in a quiet and peaceful place without getting bothered by any external distractions.

There are two parts to the slabs: the 02 and 05 slabs. This term refers to the areas in front of 1502 and 1505 with giant blocks that resemble giant concrete benches. Although you can hang out at the slabs with your friends at any time, they are especially known for the slab parties, which happen throughout the year and are a lot of fun.

Sodexo → Lexington
Sodexo is our cafeteria. It is infamous for receiving mixed reviews from students. Despite this, Sodexo is another place where students make many memories, and you can often find students staying in Sodexo to hang out with their friends rather than just eating. Although we switched to Lexington, you might hear some students continue to refer to our cafeteria as Sodexo.

Stunion – Student Union
Stunion is located by the main gym and it is a great place to hang out and chill with friends. One of its main features is the giant mirror covering one of its walls. That area within Stunion acts as a dance studio where dancers will practice or freestyle g for fun. This is also a place where class drills, culture shows, and other extracurriculars will hold dance practices.

TV Pit
Located next to Old Caf, the TV Pit is a place for students to gather. Students might come here to hang out or study during free mods or after school. Most clubs use this space to hold meetings and GA’s. There is also a spot in the TV pit with funky acoustics. It’s marked with an x on the ground, so be sure to look for it if you ever find yourself in the TV pit!

U Benches
At the bottom of nearly every staircase at IMSA, there is a bench that has a U shape (hence the name). Three of these U Benches have been “designated” for each class. The Sophomore U Bench is located right in front of the entrance of Sodexo, the Junior U Bench is on the other side of Old Caf, and the Senior U Bench is located at the staircase between the IRC and the Loft. Of course, anyone can be at any U Bench, regardless of class, but the Sophomore U Bench is called that because most of the students that hang around there are sophomores (and the same thing applies to the Junior U Bench and Senior U Bench as well). Unfortunately, just as the DNA was removed from the DNA Hallway, the sophomore and junior U-benches were removed during our time online.

Yare refers to the giant field in between the main building and the first four halls. It’s called that because there is a statue on Yare that is said to look like each letter of the word at different angles.

Classes / Academics
ABS – Advanced Biological Systems
Students are required to take at least one biology course – either SI Bio or ABS. These courses are assigned to students randomly (half the class takes SI Bio while the other half takes ABS). While SI Bio is a one semester biology class for sophomores, ABS is a two semester biology class for juniors.

Amstud – American Studies
Amstud is a one semester history class that all students are required to take in their sophomore year. In this class, you explore standard American history topics such as Manifest Destiny and the women’s suffrage movement.

CSI – Computer Science Inquiries
CSI is a one semester computer science class that all students are required to take in their sophomore year. In this class, you learn about two coding languages: Python and HTML.

MSI – Methods in Scientific Inquiry
MSI is a one semester science class that all students are required to take in their sophomore year. In this class, you have the opportunity to do research on a project of your choice.

Other Classes
Other class acronyms include ModPhys (Modern Physics), Orgo (Organic Chemistry), AdChem (Advanced Chemistry), etc. In general, a lot of classes are called much shorter names that are often one word or an amalgamation of multiple words.

SIR – Student Inquiry and Research
The SIR Program is a program that happens on I-Days and is offered to students during their junior and senior year. Through this program, students are able to find either an on-campus SIR with an IMSA teacher or an off-campus SIR with a Chicago-area professor (usually), in order to study a topic/subject of choice.


Clubs / Extracurriculars
Acronym is IMSA’s student-run newspaper that features a variety of different articles such as news stories pertaining to IMSA life as well as real world events to humorous articles that act as forms of comedic entertainment.

CAB – Campus Activities Board
CAB is the club responsible for most of the campus events that happen during the school year. They organize, plan, and execute fun events such as Clash of the Halls.

ISP – IMSA Student Productions
ISP is the club that digitally documents everything that goes on at IMSA by taking pictures of events, live streaming culture shows, recording videos of different dances, etc. Be sure to join the IMSA Student Productions page on Facebook to have access to these amazing pictures and videos!

LEAD – Leadership Education and Development
The LEAD program is dedicated to teaching students about leadership. Every sophomore is required to participate in this year-long program and it is facilitated by upperclassmen. During the first semester, students learn about leadership through what is referred to as CORE. During the second semester, students choose an elective and either learn about social entrepreneurship (SocENT), social activism (EnACT), or data journalism (IMPACT). They use the semester to work on a project relating to that topic in preparation for SLX.

NAV – Sophomore Navigation
Along with LEAD, another program that all sophomores are required to participate in is Sophomore Navigation. This program acts as an opportunity for students to have different discussions with one another about the academic and residential life at IMSA.

These are the three class clubs at IMSA: Sophomore Class Club (SoCC), Junior Class Club (JCC), and Senior Class Club (SCC). These clubs are responsible for negotiating student privileges as well as raising money for that class’s prom. People often get confused about this so to clear things up, the class club raises money for their own prom, not the prom of the current senior year.

Studco – Student Council
While most high schools have a Student Council, the Student Council at those schools often don’t do that much. However, the Student Council at IMSA does a lot for the student body, acting as a bridge between the students and administration, and, just like CAB, they play a huge role in the life of IMSA students.

Other important terminology
Bagel Party
Since IMSA is a residential school, there are always different events going on to ensure we don’t get bored. This includes Bagel Parties, which are student-run events where everybody gets free bagels (funded by donations)! These parties always offer a huge variety of bagels and cream cheese flavors for students to choose from.

There are two Checks that happen every day, not including Temp Check and they serve as a safety measure to ensure that students are located on campus when they should be. During these Checks, students are required to check in at their hall either by their designated pole or in the RC office (for Rolling Check).
These Checks include:
Temp Check (starts at 7:45 AM, where you must get your temperature checked and shown to the RC by 12:30PM)
Rolling Check (this is a one or two hour time period in which students are able to check in at the RC office whenever they want as long as it is within that time frame)
10 Check (happens at 10, school day)
11:00 Check (happens at 11, weekend)

Clash – CoTH, Clash of the Halls
Clash is a huge event that happens during the second semester where every hall competes against one another in different events and competitions over the course of one week. These competitions include Hall Decs, riddles, pep rally, and many more. Since Clash takes place towards the end of the year, so get HYPE!

Culture Shows – Diwali, Lunar, Harambee, Casa de Alma
As of last year, IMSA has four culture shows that happen throughout the year. These shows follow a script based on the showcased culture and feature different dances and solo acts. Anyone and everyone can participate in these shows, regardless of background. There is a Friday show for IMSA students, staff, and alumni, as well as a Saturday show for families and friends of students. After the Friday show, everyone gathers in Sodexo to enjoy food and drinks from that culture (donated by parents/families). These culture shows are a great way for the IMSA community to learn about different cultures, whether it be as a spectator or as an active participant.

Dinner Dates
Every wing has at least one Dinner Date each semester where students from different wings meet each other through dinner. These events are one of the many ways that allow students to meet new people and get to know one another, and they get to do this while eating delicious food and staying out past 10 check!

Friday Fest
Friday Fests are potlucks of homemade food organized by PAC (Parents Association Council). They often entail long lines and mobs of students, but it’s all worth it in the end.

I-Day – Inquiry Day
As everyone knows, IMSA only has school four days a week. On Wednesday, we have I-Days, which are days where students are free to do homework, hang out with friends, and/or participate in SIR’s or internships if you are a junior or a senior. For sophomores, you have Nav on I-Day’s, but you’re pretty much free for the rest of the day. Pro tip for sophomores: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS ENTIRE FREE DAY!!!

There is a curfew at IMSA where you must be in your hall. From Sunday to Thursday, this curfew is at 10. On Fridays and Saturdays, this curfew is at 11:30. We refer to this time as In-Hall. After In-Hall, the fobs will shut off, so MAKE SURE you are in your hall.

After In-Hall, the next curfew is for being in your room. We refer to this time as In-room. Unlike In-Hall, which applies to everyone, the times for In-room are different based on your class (sophomore, junior, senior).

When we come back from winter break, rather than starting classes right away, we have a week that is referred to as Intersession. During this week, students are able to participate in different classes of their choice where they learn skills that are not taught in normal classes (ex: knitting, card counting, rock climbing, songwriting, etc.). There are also Intersession trips that students can choose to go on. Last year, the locations of these trips included Hawaii and Dubai. It is uncertain whether Intersession will happen this year, but even if it does, it will most likely not include Intersession trips (RIP).

IVC – IMSA Virtual Campus
This is the Facebook page where different announcements for the student body will be posted, so it is IMPORTANT that all students have joined this page.

Lights Out
Lights Out refers to the designated time when your room lights must be off. Just like In-room, the times for Lights Out are different based on your class.

Instead of calling them periods, we call them “mods”: first mod, second mod, etc. Off-mods are mods in which you have no class (same thing as a free period).

Short for freshmen, this is the affectionate nickname given to students who skipped 9th grade to attend IMSA. There are two variations of this slang word. “Pseudo shmen” refers to those who skipped a grade other than 9th grade and “super shmen” refers to those who skipped two grades (usually an earlier grade as well as 9th grade).

SLX – Student Leadership and Education Exchange
SLX is the event that happens at the end of LEAD where sophomores get to present their projects that they worked on in their electives during second semester.

Sophomore Rush
To sophomore rush means to get into a relationship with another student at IMSA before Homecoming happens during your sophomore year. Advice from literally every single upperclassmen ever: DO NOT SOPHOMORE RUSH.

Study Hours
IMSA sophomores are required to do two hours of study hours every day from Monday through Thursday during first semester (and during second semester until you get your sophomore privs). During this time, students are required to stay in their rooms (unless they request to work in another room, wing, hall, or in the IRC) and diligently study and/or do homework. RC’s will do rounds throughout the hall to check if students are actually doing their homework and/or studying, and students can get violations if they are caught doing something else, such as texting their friends or watching Netflix.

Walking trips
Students are allowed to sign out at their RC office and go on walking trips with their friends to different places off-campus. Walking trips are always fun to go on, whether it be to buy necessities, get food, or simply to get off-campus due to boredom. Once we get back on campus, be sure to go on a walking trip with your friends!

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