Learning the lingo

Staff Reports

Each college campus seems to have their own language and South Dakota State University is no different. Below are some terms that will make your transition to SDSU a little bit easier.


The Coughlin Campanile is the face of SDSU. It is a chimes tower that stands 165-feet tall. Made of limestone and brick, the Campanile was a gift from 1909 graduate, Charles Coughlin, who made his fortune as president of the Briggs and Stratton Company. 

The tower was completed May 7, 1929. The Campanile rings out the time on the hour and plays music during the 10-minute period between classes while students walk around campus.

Students’ Association (SA)

SA is the representative body for students. SA allocates money to student organizations and serves as the voice of the student body. 

General Activity Fee (GAF)

The GAF is the amount of money each student pays per credit hour for different activities on campus, including attending games, concerts and other events. SA handles allocations of the GAF budget between Tier 1 (The Union and Wellness Center) and Tier 2 (students organizations).

Rotunda Green and Sylvan Green

These are the two most referred to green spaces on campus. Rotunda Green is located right outside the Rotunda and stretches along the road toward Harding Hall and Crothers Engineering Hall. Sylvan Green, which holds the Sylvan Theatre, is located right outside Pugsley Hall, which is on the corner of Eighth Street and Medary Avenue. These green spaces are open space for students to enjoy.

Center for Student Engagement

This office is located on Main Street in The Union. It provides resources and support for all organizations and helps students with general campus involvement through the Office of Student Activities. Greek Life, University Program Council and State A Thon are located in the office.

Hobo Day

The biggest one-day event in the Dakotas, Hobo Day is SDSU’s homecoming tradition to cap off Hobo Week. Events lead up to the Hobo Day parade and football game that Saturday.

Main Street

Not to be confused with Brookings Main Street, Main Street is the main path in The Union that connects everything The Union has to offer.

Performing Arts Center (PAC)

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is located on the north of the Southeast Parking Lot. The majority of concerts and other performances take place here. The PAC is currently undergoing a $50 million expansion to be completed by the end of 2018.

Wintrode Student Success Center

This building is also referred to as the first-year advising center. First-year students can go to Wintrode for advising appointments, tutoring, advice on class schedules, career decisions and general guidance. 

Jackrabbit Village

Jackrabbit Village is where the following residence halls are located: Abbott, Spencer and Thorne. These halls are co-ed, hold 412 residents and are home to only first and second year students.

Weary Wil and Dirty Lil

Weary Wil and Dirty Lil are the faces of Hobo Day and statues are erected in their honor outside the Student Union. Each year, two alumni are chosen to be the famous duo. Their identities kept secret and revealed at halftime of the Hobo Day football game.


The Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex is commonly referred to as the SJAC. The SJAC is home to track practice and meets, football scrimmages and more.

Rave Guardian app

This app features a safety timer to alert University Police Department, friends or family of your safety when walking in town or on campus. If the timer expires before you deactivate it, those people can see your location and information. It also includes an emergency button that connects to UPD.

Desire 2 Learn (D2L)

The portal to online material for students’ courses. Users can access course documents, quizzes, assignments, grades and discussion boards.

Brightspace Pulse

This app allows students to access their D2L account see a weekly calendar for their class workload, post and read discussion boards, and see grades.

SDState app

The official university app includes campus news and events, athletics updates and weather forecasts. Users can request admissions, course or library information, see a staff directory or view a campus map.


A site for SDSU students and graduates to find jobs or internships. Users create a profile with their information and resume. Jobs can be searched by major, location, category or by employers.

Tapingo app

Tapingo lets students order food electronically. It accepts Flex dollars, Hobo Dough or credit cards.

Jacks Club Hub

Jacks Club Hub connects users to more than 200 SDSU student organizations. All clubs have their own profile for students to explore.


MyState lets users view campus events and important dates, purchase parking passes, pay for parking tickets, select a meal plan or load money on their MyJacks Card. Textbooks, class schedules and finals schedules are also on the site. 


Students use WebAdvisor to add and drop classes, see unofficial transcripts and class schedules, check grades and financial aid, and pay fees.

Blackboard Transact eAccounts

This app lets you manage your Hobo Dough and meal plans, deposit money into your accounts and deactivate your Jacks Card.


Schedule an appointment with instructors or advisers. Access Starfish through D2L and in the navigation bar.