ABCs of Residential Life

As you have probably seen during your time at San José State University, we love a good acronym! School can be tough enough as it is, but if you don’t know the language, it can sound like we’re talking in riddles.
We know our lingo can be a little overwhelming at times, so here’s a short guide to get you started!


Students at a tailgating party

BLT - Building Leadership Team

Not just a delicious sandwich, the BLT is comprised of the RLC(s) and the SRA for the building. This group is overall responsible for the day-to-day administrative and programmatic of each building.


The Classics are comprised of Joe West Hall and Washburn Hall. While they are two of our buildings who have seen the most years, their vibrant communities are second to none! 

Commons (formerly the Dining Commons or DC)

The main all-you-care-to-eat dining facility on-campus, this is where you go to use your meal plan! Operated by Spartan Shops, you can enjoy a wide variety of meals whenever you're hungry.

CV - Campus Village

The Campus Village complex is made up of four separate buildings:

  • Campus Village A (CVA) and Campus Village B (CVB) house sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate, and transfer students and even some faculty and staff; collectively, they're referred to as “the Apartments”.
  • Campus Village C is home to some sophomores, our transfer student community, as well as first-year students. CVC is set up as a suite-style residence hall, with up to eight students sharing a common area and two bathrooms in each unit.
  • And our newest building, Campus Village 2, is home to first-year students, and is set up to have two people per room and common area bathrooms on each floor for all residents to use.

Door dec

Ok, so this isn’t technically an acronym, but you’ll hear our staff sometimes refer to the “door dec”, a decorative or thematic item that has you and your roommate(s) names on it, affixed to your residence hall door. We make these to help you and the other residents get to know one another, and we think door decs add a festive touch to our hallways!


A word we don’t use here at SJSU…while not truly an acronym, we believe it is short for “dull ordinary room for me”… please see our definition of “residence hall” down below.

FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Passed into law in 1974, FERPA is a federal law which protects the educational records of our students. Click here to learn more about FERPA.

FIR - Faculty in Residence

FIRs are faculty members who live in our residential communities and partner with UHS staff for educational and social activities. At least one FIR will be assigned to work with each residential community and they will have office hours within their building for you to drop by and chat! Getting to know faculty outside of the classroom can be an amazing opportunity, so stop by and say hi to your FIR!

HOC - Hall Office Coordinator

Assigned to a specific Residential Life Coordinator, HOCs provide administrative support to the communities in which they are assigned. HOCs are current undergraduate students who help ensure the buildings stay organized and help out with projects for the BLTs.

HG or Hall Gov - Hall Government

Each building community has its own Hall Government, an advocacy and programmatic group comprised of current residents. Set up like a Student Government or Associated Students, this is a group of student in elected and non-elected positions who advocate for change and plan social and educational events for the building communities. Hall Governments are funded by $10 a semester from your housing fees and are advised by an RLC. Learn more about Hall Governments here (LINK to get involved page).

NRHH - National Residence Hall Honorary

NRHH is the premier leadership organization of residents who have lived on-campus at least one semester, have excelled academically, and have a passion for recognition and service. To learn more about NRHH, please visit their website.

OA - Office Assistant

Student employees of UHS who work at each building’s hall desk.

RA - Resident Advisor

RAs are upper-division (sophomore and older) students who have been successful both inside the classroom and outside of it during their time at SJSU. Trained on mediation, conflict resolution, policy enforcement, and student engagement, RAs are there to help you grow and succeed. They serve in an on-call rotation that goes from 7pm-8am Monday through Friday, and 24-hours on Saturday and Sunday. Each floor has 1-3 RAs on them (depending on the floor configuration).

Residence Hall

Another non-acronym, but this is a concept we strongly believe in. We call our buildings residence halls because we want this to be your home-away-from-home. Residence halls are places where students can feel included, safe, and valued as people. The caring staff we employ want our halls to be a place you’re proud to call home and where you want to spend your time exploring and growing.

RHA - Residence Hall Association

RHA serves as the collective voice of all 4,100 of our residents. The Executive Board is comprised of six students elected at the end of the spring semester and serves as the mentors to our Hall Governments RHA is a campus-wide advocacy, programmatic, and engagement group. Visit their website to learn more about RHA.

RLC - Residential Life Coordinator

Each residential community has 2-3 RLCs who oversee the operations of their communities and serve to support students in their SJSU experience. Each RLC has an extensive background in student development theory, mediation/conflict resolution, social justice advocacy, and community development. RLCs are masters-level professional staff who live in the building communities as well, available and accessible to residents.

SCB - Student Conduct Board

Another way to be involved with housing is to be a part of the SCB! This is a group of current residents who adjudicate conduce cases that happen within the residence halls.

SRA - Senior Resident Advisor

SRAs are some of our top staff members, all having served at least a year in the RA position. Now, as part of the leadership for each BLT, they oversee our courtesy desks and Office Assistant staff, as well as serve as a mentor and resource to our RAs.


San José State University: A pretty obvious one, but we’re trying to cover all the bases!

TCs - Theme Communities

TCs are floors whose residents have expressed an interest in either an academic or personal passion area.

TCRA - Themed Community Resident Advisor

TCRAs live in our Living Learning Communities and share either a major or a passion for the interest of their community’s theme. Their engagement efforts will focus more on the interests of the residents on the floor and the central theme of their community.

UHS - University Housing Services

Comprised of four departments (Residential Life, Facilities Operations, Organization & Planning, and Administrative Operations), all UHS staff offices are located on the second floor of Campus Village B, with the exception of the individual building leadership, which can be found in their respective buildings. 

VM - Village Market

Another area operated by Spartan Shops, the VM is located on the first floor of Campus Village B. This is a great "grab-and-go" option with everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to frozen meals, to fresh-baked pizza!