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What's What at Duke

So many acronyms, so many nicknames -- it sounds like a completely different language your first few weeks at Duke. We're here to help and give you the what's what at Duke.


STINF = Short-Term Illness Notification Form. Submit this form (after logging in with your Duke NetID) whenever you’re feeling under the weather and need to miss class. This form will count as an excused absence, and it will notify your academic dean, as well as the prof teaching the class, you’ve gotta miss. And remember L-Mo’s famous words: Use it, don’t abuse it.


Duke-friendly money. Well, more specifically, it’s one of two financial accounts linked through your bursar that is controlled by your DukeCard, and this one is all-access on Duke’s campus. Where food points only work on approved Duke vendors, FLEX works on it all. Think: anything food points can buy, plus toiletries, Duke merch, and anything else for sale through Duke. #ChronTip: Food points don’t carry over at the end of the year, but FLEX does - so if you find yourself a few dollars short at the end of the semester, add FLEX, not Food. Edit your FLEX account here.


FAC = First-year Advising Counselor. This upperclassman will be one of the first people you meet when you step onto East - they’re the ones in the bright shirts helping you move into your room. Later during O-week, you’ll get sorted into small FAC groups and that’s when your FAC will sit down and do their job - bringing you up-to-speed on all things Duke. Go to them with any questions or for any advice you may need in your first few weeks on campus.


Not to be confused with your FAC (see above), this person’s your resource all year long. They live in your freshman hall and keep you in line (think: keeping East dry/alcohol-free, making sure your lights are off over breaks, etc. etc. etc.), but they also plan fun bonding events like hall trips to Cookout and ice-breaker games. #ChronTip: They’ll be living right down the hall from you all year, and they’ve got a lot of Duke wisdom to share with you, so don’t be shy. Utilize them - they’re there to help!

Blue Book

A test booklet that many professors swear by. You’ll find them for free in the lower level of the Duke Store in the BC (read: Bryan Center on West Campus) or on East Campus in the student store next to Marketplace. #ChronTip: Grab a stack at the beginning of the year so you’re never scrambling the morning of a big test. (But remember to return, save or at least recycle your unused ones!)


Only the most fun Last Day Of Classes you’ve ever had. Think concerts from big names like Matoma, MisterWives and T-Pain, free pizza at midnight and food trucks galore. (PS: it’s pronounced El-Dock.)


This is your all-access hub for grades, classes and graduation requirements - we know, all the fun stuff. Register for classes here, see your schedule here, check your semester-end grades here, request transcripts here - pretty much go here for all things official. 


Your online classroom. Here’s where you’ll find your syllabi, submit assignments, look up office hours, and, if you’re lucky enough to have a prof who posts them, check to see your grades on each assignment. ACES is for the end of the semester when you’re figuring out what’s next. Sakai is for getting through right now. Happy studying!

The Link

Your savior when you’re stuck in Perk and your computer just died. This place is where you go if technology hates you, conveniently located in Perkins. Someone savvy is always there to lend a hand if your hard drive just freaked or if your iPhone is frozen.


CAPS=Counseling and Psychological Services. CAPS is located in Page Auditorium right next to the Chapel, they’re a confidential, free counseling clinic that’s there for you whenever you’re in need of a little help. No matter what you’re going through - big or small - they’re there to talk you through it and be an unbiased resource. They are equipped to lend professional help or refer you to outside resources if necessary, and there’s nothing wrong with getting help from a center as awesome as this one.

Office Hours

Every professor holds them and every student needs them. Check your syllabus for these golden hours - usually a couple times a week - where you can sit down with your prof and ask them what the heck is going on in their class. Seriously - utilize these before it’s the day before the final and you’re stuck on page 10 of the textbook. You’ll thank us. (And even if you’re crystal clear on what’s what in all of your courses - and good for you if that happens - these are rare moments of one-on-one conversation with some of the best professors in the country. Why not stop by once or twice just to ask a few questions and get to know them on a first name basis?)


Office hours aren’t enough? Good thing Duke gives you $100 a semester to take your prof out for a Faculty Lunch - a “FLUNCH,” as we call it. Actually use these - your profs are dying to get to know you, and why not get a free meal out of it? Thanks, Duke.

The Dirt

Once you’re all caught up on what’s what here at Duke, make sure you don’t miss a beat. Sign up for the Chronicle’s weekly newsletter, written exclusively to keep you in the loop. There’s a lot going on at Duke. Don’t fall behind.