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14 Terms You Won’t Understand Unless You’re a BU Terrier

Mastering a whole new lexicon


New to BU? Then chances are you’ll be hearing some words and phrases that will leave you confused. For example, the BU Beach has neither water nor sand. And Splash, in BU parlance, is not a reference to the 1984 comedy starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, but rather an annual activities fair for students. We’ve put together a list of 14 phrases that have special connotations at BU. Read it and you’ll be speaking like a true Terrier in no time.

1. Rhett

Rhett the Terrier waves at a BU alumni event

The official mascot of BU, Rhett—a larger-than-life Boston terrier—can be found walking around the GSU waving at Terriers or cheering on the hockey team in Agganis Arena.

2. BU Beach

A sunny day at bu beach

Although the BU Beach doesn’t have sand, it is a great place to gather with friends, do homework, and play some Frisbee. They say if you close your eyes, the BU Beach can sound like an actual beach. (It’s the traffic from Storrow Drive.)

3. Splash

Large crowd of students at SPLASH event

Photo by Alexandra Wimley (COM’17)

No, we don’t mean the activity you do in a pool. Splash is the annual activities fair held the first week of school to introduce students to the hundreds of student-led clubs and organizations on campus.

4. The Charles

Students gather by the Charles River at sunset

For your out-of-town friend who asks, “Who’s Charles?” the Charles refers to the Charles River, which runs parallel to BU along Storrow Drive.

5. The 26th Floor

A beautiful view overlooking the Charles river from the 26th Floor of Stuvi II

When you hear someone talking about the 26th floor, chances are they’re referring to the top floor of StuVi II, with its spectacular views of the Charles and the Boston skyline. It’s also one of the best places on campus to study.

6. The Seal

Boston University Seal, Marsh Plaza

Although usually referred to as the seal, it’s actually the BU crest. Legend has it that if you step on this iconic symbol on Marsh Plaza before Commencement, you won’t graduate in four years. Consider yourself warned.

7. Beanpot

BU hockey celebrates on the ice at a beanpot game

This legendary 66-year-old annual ice hockey tournament held the first two weeks of February pits four Boston-area college hockey teams against one another for a year’s worth of bragging rights: BU, BC, Northeastern, and Harvard. BU holds the record for most wins, with 30 (BC has a mere 20).

8. The Castle

The exterior of the castle on Bay State Road

This Bay State Road mansion was built in 1915 and has just undergone a major renovation for its new role as the Dahod Family Alumni Center. It’s also home to the newly rehabbed BU Pub.

9. The Knight’s Quest

A bar tender pours beer from tap handles

Forget King Arthur. The Knight’s Quest, a BU tradition dating to 1988, is open to students 21 and older, faculty, staff, and alumni. The object of the quest is to drink 50 different beers at the BU Pub. Caveat: the quaffer is not allowed to complete the quest in less than 12 weeks.

10. Pumpkin Drop

A pumpkin falls from the roof of Metcalf Science Center during the annual "Pumpkin Drop" on Friday October 31, 2014

Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

Pumpkin Drop? Say what? Each October, near Halloween, the intrepid physics department students and faculty send pumpkins of all sizes, filled with all types of substances, hurtling off the roof of the Metcalf Science Center—all in the name of science.

11. Mugar

Student studying in Mugar Library Boston University

Photo by Dana J. Quigley

When you hear Mugar, think books. But Mugar Memorial Library has so much more—its 2.2 million-plus items are spread out over seven floors. The largest library at BU, it’s open 24/7 during finals.

12. GSU

An exterior shot of the George Sherman Union

GSU is shorthand for the George Sherman Union, the focal point of activity on campus. Its Union Court features 11 restaurants, including Basho Sushi and Pinkberry. It’s a great spot to hang out with friends or to study.

13. The West Campus Pumpkin

A stone statue of a pumpkin jack-o-lantern

This stone jack-o’-lantern sits year-round behind the Nickerson Field bleachers. There’s no plaque affixed to it, but everyone knows it as the West Campus Pumpkin.

14. StuVi I and II

an upward angle shot of StuVi

Where every BU student aspires to live one day. These West Campus high-rises are renowned for their views of the Charles River. You may never live in something this nice again.

A version of this article was originally published on BuzzFeed Community 


3 Comments on 14 Terms You Won’t Understand Unless You’re a BU Terrier

  • Robert Lohnes. BU Electrician for 44 years on 09.14.2018 at 6:44 am

    You didn’t happen to mention how Rhett got his name. But you did mention the quest a game that all but encourages irresponsible drinking oh you have to do it in X number of weeks it’s still irresponsible drinking.

    • Johannes on 09.14.2018 at 9:49 am

      Not sure if “limited to two beers a day” and not being allowed in under 12 weeks (i.e. 2 beers every 3.3 days on average) qualifies as
      “irresponsible drinking” in my book.

      I’ve definitely seen irresponsible drinking incentives at campus bars, this is not one of them in my opinion…

  • Dianne Zareski on 09.14.2018 at 8:48 am

    12 out of 14. Not bad for a parent! (I didn’t know Knight’s Quest or the West Campus Pumpkin.)

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