During Orientation, new Cornell students are often caught memorizing their class schedules, learning the bus routes, and trying to switch out of their 8:40 discussion.  However, one of the most important adjustments to life at Cornell is making sense of all of the acronyms that are thrown at them. TCAT, CKB, ILR – Cornell students rarely take the time to say the full phrase.  And sometimes, the true meanings of these acronyms aren’t accurate descriptions of what they represent.

To fix that problem, here is a list of common Cornell acronyms, and what they really stand for.

1RPCC, aka Rough Post-Collegetown Cravings


The Robert Purcell Community Center serves as a freshman hangout spot and dining hall on North Campus.  While everyone certainly looks forward to the Sunday brunches, the best parts about RPCC are the late-night Nasties runs.  After a night in Collegetown, nothing is more perfect than greasy onion rings or oily calzones from Nasties.

2TCAT, aka Terribly Crucial And Tardy


The TCAT, or Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, is truly bittersweet.  On one hand, it saves you time and energy from walking through the hilly campus in harsh weather.  But as helpful as it is, everyone will have at least one bad experience with it. The buses are consistently late, but somehow leave just early enough for you to miss them, despite your Olympic sprints to get to the stop.  The first time I took the TCAT from Collegetown to North Campus I wound up taking a two hour detour through Ithaca College because the app gave me the wrong information.

3MVR, aka Maybe Very Relevant


Ever heard of MVR?  Chances are, probably not.  Martha Van Rensselaer Hall is the home of the College of Human Ecology (aka the college of free printers and Martha’s Café).  Since there are just eight majors in the college, and all of the classes are in MVR Hall, students seem to forget that Human Ecology exists, if they ever knew what it was to begin with.  Despite its low-key reputation, Hum Ec’s majors are fascinating and important. The school is deserving of a second glance; it might be more relevant than you originally thought.

4IFC, aka I Forgot Courtesy


The Interfraternity Council has tons of fraternity chapters here on campus, most of which aim to foster unity and leadership.  That being said, its reputation recently took a serious blow. Three words: Zeta Beta Tau.

5CKB, aka Cool Kids Building


A short open letter to the freshmen living in Court-Kay-Bauer dorm:

We get it.  You have air conditioning, and the buildings are beautiful.  So what if people are so desperate to switch into your housing that students try to fake allergies and take advantage of your cleanliness?  While your physical buildings may be better, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the students are cooler, despite what some may think. Sincerely, A Bitter High Rise Resident.

6ILR, aka I Love Reading


The School of Industrial and Labor Relations is famous for the number of articles and essays they have to read and write, so ILR is more accurately deemed “I Love Reading,” regardless of the fact that many students in the school despise the heavy reading workload.  


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