Declassified: Trinity translations

Welcome to campus, Class of 2023! Coming to college is a bit of a culture shock, and you probably don’t know what anyone is talking about half the time. So, I’ve created this guide to some of the lingo you might hear around Trinity.


That is you, dear intended audience of this listicle. Trinity did away with “freshmen” a while back, reputedly because it sounds a bit derogatory and a tad gendered. There are no second-, third- or fourth-years at Trinity, though⁠ — it’s back to the usual sophomore, junior and senior in years to come.

Club lib

Because you’re younger and therefore cooler than me, you probably won’t start ironically calling Trinity’s Coates Library “club lib” and then gradually slip into doing so unironically. If you like good grades, though, you will probably spend a lot of time at the library. Not only is club lib conveniently open until midnight Sunday through Thursday, it is also home to thousands of books, reference materials and the fairytale-esque Special Collections room.

Cardiac Hill

I know, I know. You heard about this from the tour guides on your countless pre-commitment visits to TU. But how could a listicle about Trinity slang be complete without reference to the steep climb from lower to upper campus? Cardiac Hill is true to its name: It’ll provide the workout you don’t want but desperately need to stave off the, uh, first-year fifteen.

Monopoly money

Some students refer to Bonus Bucks ⁠— the meal-plan-issued money you can use to buy food from the POD, the Commons, Starbucks and other destinations on campus ⁠— as “Monopoly money.” This is because you get a certain amount of Bonus Bucks, and you pretty much have to spend them. Leftover Bucks transfer to the next semester but not the next year. Obligation to spend makes the money feel fake, especially for juniors and seniors who get $2,027 Bonus Bucks.

Be careful, though. You can run out of Bonus Bucks, thus forcing you to pay real money for Starbucks drinks and those overpriced $5 energy bars at the POD. This is one game of Monopoly you can’t afford to lose.

Tiger Bucks

Bonus Bucks’ lesser-discussed cousin, Tiger Bucks, isn’t given to you by your meal plan. You load them onto your Tiger Card yourself online or through the GET Funds app. You can use them to pay for food, but their most common use is for laundry: Tiger Bucks are the only way to pay without having to deal with quarters.

Tiger Card

Your Tiger Card is your literal key to campus. You’ll use your Tiger Card to open your dorm, buy food and more. It’s important to not lose, but if you do misplace it, go to the Tiger Card office in Storch Memorial Building and they’ll make you a new one for $25.


LeeRoy either refers to the university’s literal tiger mascot or to the daily newsletter you’ll find in your Trinity email inbox. Beware the person in the tiger suit ⁠— it could be one of your friends, hiding, listening. The daily newsletter is less menacing: It includes the latest info about events, organizations and even internship opportunities.

TU Snaps

TU Snaps is the unofficial Trinity University snapchat account. The account is run by an unnamed person who presumably posts everything Trinity students and alumni submit. Featuring occasional nudity and not so occasional political debates, the alignment of TU Snaps is a hard chaotic evil. If you do feel the need to have your voice heard but don’t wish to so via snap, I’d recommend writing in to the Trinitonian.


See a cat on Trinity’s campus? That’s a Trinicat.

Cat Alliance

This is the on-campus organization that feeds and cares for the Trinicats. The Alliance also ensures that any new cats that arrive on campus are either adopted out to loving homes or trapped, neutered and released back outside.

Second Best in the West

The U.S. News and World Report named Trinity University the Best in the West for 26 straight years ⁠— until September 2018, when we lost to Santa Clara University. We now hold the second-place spot. You may hear some sarcastic bitterness about this around campus, e.g., “Why am I even going to a school that’s not Best in the West?”


This list barely scrapes the surface of Trinity-isms and inside jokes, but I hope you found it to be helpful! Remember if you’re ever lost and confused your first-year, you can always ask a tired, jaded senior what’s going on.