Incoming Frosh’s Guide to Mudd Lingo

By Alina Saratova

Mudders use a lot of lingo to describe the things we love about campus. Learn some common terms and soon you’ll be throwing them around with ease!
*Pronunciation guide: all terms are pronounced pretty much how they’re spelled, and most acronyms are pronounced letter by letter (ex: CS is pronounced “cee-ess”). We’ve noted a few exceptions though!

DSA/OID – Division of Student Affairs / Office of Institutional Diversity. Read more about them here: 

CIS – Computing and Information Services. CIS provides customer support for any Harvey Mudd related technical issues. This includes login problems, printing services, and a 2-week computer loan program in case yours gets broken and/or is getting repaired.

F&M – Facilities and Maintenance. They care for buildings, equipment, and the grounds. You are able to submit a work order to (un)loft your bed, pest control, and repairs/maintenance. 

CampSec – Campus Security. They patrol campus and respond to emergencies. If you see any suspicious activity, give them a call at 909.607.2000. If you ever get locked out, you can also call them. If it is past 10 p.m., they will let you in for free, but before that, there is a fee of $25. 

Profs – Professors. Ex: Prof. Dodds

Pass/Fail – The first semester of freshman year is pass-fail (technically “pass-no credit” or P/NC) at Harvey Mudd so one is able to get accustomed to the rigor of Mudd. This is also a great time to figure out how to study well. The upperclassmen may refer to you as “pass/fail frosh”.

STEMS – Engineering Systems (core class at Mudd).

CS – Computer Science.

HSA/Hums – Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts classes. You have to take at least four on Mudd’s campus and 10 total to graduate.

Ac End vs. Res End – Res End is where all the dorms are; Ac End is where all the academic buildings are. 

Flex out – Depending on your meal plan (x meals per week), you get x dollars to spend every week at Jay’s, the Shan Cafe, or paying for another meal. This does not carry over; you can’t use it for laundry, and you can’t cash it in. Prices for flexing in during meal times are: Breakfast – $4.25, Lunch – $5.25, Dinner – $6.75.

Jay’s Cafe – Late night place to hang out, get snacks, and do homework. Jay’s is located in the basement of Platt. Check out their mac and cheese and pizza rolls!

Shan Cafe – Cafe that is open in the morning in Shanahan. Great source of breakfast on the way to class. Has a Starbucks menu, some really awesome bagels and muffins, and other snacks. Also has some Harvey Mudd merch for sale.

Claremont Cash – Extra money you can put on your student card. This can be used to do laundry, get food at Jay’s or the Shan Cafe, or get food at certain shops in the Village, but the prices are not the same as they would be if you use flex when you choose to pay for an extra meal at the Hoch. If you pay with Claremont Cash, the prices are: Breakfast – $11.75, Lunch – $14.75, Dinner – $17.75. 

Honor Code – Holds students to behaving honorably and maintaining their integrity. Student-run system that allows for trust between students, staff, and faculty. Why so many skateboards lie around campus unlocked, and why there are so many take-home tests!

DB – Disciplinary Board. Handles cases such as irresponsible drinking, prank code policy violation, and disregarding quiet hours.

JB – Judiciary Board. Handles cases such as plagiarizing, forbidden collaboration, and general academic misconduct. 

5Cs/7Cs – The 5Cs are the undergraduate Claremont Colleges: Harvey Mudd, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Pomona, and Pitzer. The 7Cs are all the 5Cs plus the two graduate schools, which are Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute. 

HMC – Harvey Mudd College!

ASHMC (Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College) – Our student government. Every class and dorm has presidents that make up the Senate. You will have to petition them for funds if you are starting a club. Additionally, ASHMC has an Executive Board and Executive Appointments. Pronounced “ash-mick”.

Wart – Those protrusions on buildings and columns you see everywhere on campus. Wally the Wart is our unofficial mascot!

Inner vs. Outer Dorm – The inner dorms are East, West, North, and South. They were built first and are closer to the academic end. The outer dorms are Sontag, Linde, Drinkward, Case, and Atwood.

ISO – “In Search Of.” Usually sent out in dorm emails when a person is looking for something. Ex: “ISO cup of flour. Will reimburse in cookies made from scratch.”

MM – “Mischief Managed.” Sent as a follow up to an ISO email when the person has found what they are looking for. 

N+1 – When the table you want to sit at does not have enough chairs,you ask to N+1 and add that extra chair. May also be done with tables, but not recommended. 

LAC – Linde Activities Center. The LAC has a gym, ping pong tables, basketball courts, and a computer lab upstairs. A lot of computer science grutoring happens here. Prounced “lack”.

Grutors – Computer science graders and tutors who host grutoring hours to help you with your homework.

Hoch – Our dining hall. 10/10 would recommend any exhibition foods (one of the lines lets you customize your food and they prepare it for you fresh), vegan cookies, and chicken tenders on weekends. We also have special dinners on Thanksgiving and holidays, where the Hoch is all pretty and themed foods are served.

Roberts Pavilion – The big gym on CMC campus. It has a pool, basketball courts, and lots of equipment.

Shan – The Shanahan Center. A 3-story building with the Cafe. A lot of your classes are going to be here. Its third floor has the math department where you can go to professors for office hours. It is also a great place to study and solve problems on the whiteboards there. 

Greg (McGregor) – Computer Science building coming soon. 

Proctor on Call – A 24/7 hotline for emergency situations and supporting students. Proctors are trained in crisis intervention, CPR, first aid, student support, conflict mediation, diversity and multiculturalism, event programming, fire safety, and disaster preparedness (from the HMC website).
– Do NOT call this number if you are locked out. This number is for emergencies only. Text your roommate, text your proctor. or call campus security to let you in. If you call campus security, there will be a 25 dollar fee if it is before 10 pm. After 10 pm, this service is free. 
– Each dorm usually has two proctors who are responsible for ensuring everyone’s safety and for building a community.

PERM – Refers to “Permission to Enroll” when registering for classes. You can “PERM into” classes that are full, require instructor permission to enroll, limit classes to students from a particular school, and/or have prerequisites you don’t meet.

Did we miss a term? Let us know by leaving a comment!

11 thoughts on “Incoming Frosh’s Guide to Mudd Lingo

    1. Great addition, Jeffrey! “PERM” refers to “Permission to Enroll” when registering for classes — you can “PERM into” classes that are full, require instructor permission to enroll, limit classes to students from a particular school, and/or have prerequisites you don’t meet. We’ll add it to the list. Thanks for commenting!


  1. Can you add sub-bullets for Proctor on Call? It’s unclear whether calling campus security before 10pm incurs the $25 fee only if you’re locked out, or if it’s it calling them for *any* reason.

    Also, in the following sentence describing building proctors: change “and is responsible” to “who are responsible”?


  2. A few more words to add:
    Frosh – Freshman or freshmen. Refers to first-years at Mudd.
    Prefrosh – Frosh before they officially start at Mudd; someone in between commitment and first day of class
    Orefrosh – Prefrosh before they officially commit to Mudd; someone considering applying to or enrolling at Mudd

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Does ITR (ineligible to re-register) still exist? In my case, it is what happened at the end of my freshman year when I did not complete the first year of calculus *before* I started at HMC in September, 1969. I graduated with my entering class in 1973. I discuss my experience in all of the college courses I’ve served as a professor in. Prerequisites are very important! – Gene Nelson, Ph.D. ’73


    1. ITR was still around in ’93. “pink slip” was the synonym.

      “Reamed” was a term from my time, although I suspect it was as least as old as Prof Reamer.

      “Random” was very common term, applied as an adjective to nearly any noun.


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