Writing Style Guide

The Writing Style Guide provides general guidelines as well as answers to university-specific style questions, such as official names for rooms and buildings and the preferred spellings for programs or resources. These guidelines are intended for use in all published materials that represent SUNY Cortland.

The guide follows the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook but does not attempt to duplicate it. AP style is used by the Division of Institutional Advancement for all official university publications, such as the undergraduate and graduate catalogs, news articles, newsletters, brochures and webpages.

If you are new to SUNY Cortland or would like to learn more, please schedule a writing style orientation.

A-Z reference

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r |s| t | u | v | w | x | y z

academic degrees

Capitalize the name of the field or degree program only when the full degree name is spelled out and the discipline is included. If abbreviating a degree, the discipline should be lowercase. Use periods when abbreviating degrees.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
She will receive a B.S. in psychology.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics.
Seventy people hold bachelor’s degrees.
He has a Master of Arts in History.
She will receive an M.S. in recreation.
He earned a master’s degree in mathematics.
Forty people hold master’s degrees.
She is enrolling in a Master of Arts in Teaching program.
Mary has a master of arts from SUNY Cortland.
She has a Ph.D. in chemistry.
He received his doctorate in chemistry.
He graduated with an associate degree from SUNY Broome.

The word “degree” should not follow a degree abbreviation:

Correct: He has a B.A. in history.
Incorrect: He has a B.A. degree in history.

Also see entries under alumni.

academic year

When referring to an academic year, write the first date with all four digits followed by a hyphen and only the last two digits for the second year.

The planning meeting for the 2020-21 Academic Calendar was postponed.


When a group or organization uses an acronym, write out the complete name followed by the acronym in parentheses. Keep the periods in acronyms that include them.

Some commonly used acronyms at Cortland are:

  • Access to College Education (ACE)
  • Campus Artist and Lecture Series (CALS)
  • Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies (CGIS)
  • Center for Obesity Research and Education (C.O.R.E.)
  • Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA)
  • Computer Applications Program (CAP)
  • Cortland’s Urban Recruitment of Educator’s (C.U.R.E.) Program
  • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE)
  • Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP)
  • Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Services Program (METS)
  • Public Employees Federation (PEF)
  • Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Systems Administration and Web Services (SAWS)
  • The Learning Center (TLC)
  • United University Professions (UUP)
  • University Police Department (UPD)


SUNY Cortland’s address

The university’s address should appear as follows:

SUNY Cortland
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045-0900

State University of New York at Cortland
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045-0900

When including the name of a person, the department and building, use the following styles:

Provost Amelia Blank
Division of Academic Affairs 
Miller Building, Room 408
SUNY Cortland
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045-0900

Dean Ramone Johnson
School of Professional Studies
Professional Studies Building, Room 1175
State University of New York at Cortland
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045-0900

When using a return address on a form, include department and building names so the form may be delivered to the correct office.

See room listings and numbers on how to write office locations.

email addresses

Email addresses for most faculty and staff are written “first name.last name@cortland.edu” and use lowercase letters.


When including an email link on a webpage, avoid writing out the full email address. Write descriptive text and make that the email link.

Email John (This is an example only.)

web addresses

Do not italicize, bold, underline, capitalize or use all capital letters to emphasize web addresses. If a complete sentence concludes with a URL, end it with a period.

It is not necessary to include https:// or www. when writing a university web address.

cortland.edu or cortland.edu/physics/

All letters in SUNY Cortland web addresses should be lowercase, with the exception of RedDragonNetwork.org.

When adding hyperlinks to webpages, avoid writing the URL as the link text. Make the link text descriptive of the link's destination:

View our scholarships

For other, external web addresses use the spelling, capitalization and specifications of the website’s owner.

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advisory bodies

Capitalize references to a specific body of advisors heading executive departments for the president. Lowercase the shortened version on second reference.

The Board of Trustees meets in December. The board sets the policy on funding for the university.
She has been a trustee for four years.
The President’s Cabinet meets each week. The cabinet met on Tuesday last week.
Provost’s Council is held every other week. Her resignation left a vacancy on the council.
The Faculty Senate meets every two weeks.
The next meeting of the Cortland College Foundation Board of Directors will be in November.


Because the full phrase would read in the year of the Lord 96, the abbreviation “A.D.” goes before the figure for the year: A.D. 96.

African American

People of African descent living in the United States. See Black.

alma mater

The only instance in which “alma mater” should be capitalized is in reference to an institution’s song:

He sang the Alma Mater at his alma mater.


See the class year listing for additional information.

Class years should appear after a graduate’s name in all correspondence with SUNY Cortland alumni, all alumni publications and formal publications such as the Commencement program. Buildings named after alumni will contain the class year of the alumni on official plaques commemorating the building and in correspondence with alumni.

Identify SUNY Cortland alumni by their class year(s).

Place an apostrophe before the year. The apostrophe should slant to the right.

  • Correct: Tom Hubbell ’57 is a member of the team.
  • Incorrect: Tom Hubbell ‘57 is a member of the team.

If a person has more than one bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland, place a comma between the class years:

  • Sally Smith ’75, ’78, will speak at the event.

If a person has more than one Cortland degree, list them as follows:

  • Avi Javitz ’78, M ’80, won the prize.

Degrees and certificates other than bachelor’s should be listed as follows:

  • Susan Marshall M ’87 was named Teacher of the Year.
  • Mehta Patel C.A.S. ’82 is the school superintendent.

The university designates a master’s degree with an “M” before the year.

  • Jeb Jones M ’08 donated $500 to The Cortland Fund.

If a person holds multiple graduate degrees or certificates of advanced study from SUNY Cortland, repeat the prefix and separate with a comma:

  • Petra Andel C.A.S. ’09, C.A.S. ’19 was the featured speaker.
  • Chantelle Wilson ’99, M ’01, M ’09 returned to campus.

An exception to this rule is in press releases, where degrees would most likely be spelled out.

Identify alumni in the following manner:

  • Alum: singular*
  • Alumni: plural

*“Alumna” (feminine) and “alumnus” (masculine) may be used if the individual’s gender identity is known. In general instances, “alum” is the preferred inclusive singular term.

Alumni Association

The commonly used name is “SUNY Cortland Alumni Association.” On second and subsequent references, Alumni Association can be written as a short version. When the word “association” is used alone, it should be lowercase.

The name “Cortland College Alumni Association, Inc.,” appears in a few instances because the name is incorporated and will remain this way unless legally changed. The official legal name is utilized in contracts, legal documents such as the confidentiality agreement, insurance, bank accounts/credit cards, health permits, official meeting agendas, vendors, checks and anything to do with the association’s nonprofit status or in ownership of the Parks Alumni House.

alumni numbers*

Contact the Communications Office when the number of living alumni needs to be referenced. In most other cases, use the following sentence:

In its 154-year history, SUNY Cortland has graduated more than 86,000 students. Alumni reside in all 50 U.S. states and nearly 60 countries.

*These numbers are updated annually. Check with Alumni Engagement or the Communications Office for the current figures. (Updated February 2023.)

and vs. ampersand (&)

Spell out the word “and.” Do not use an ampersand (&) except in proper names, such as Johnson & Johnson.


The principal uses of the apostrophe are:

  • To indicate omitted letters, as in “don’t,” “can’t,” “shouldn’t,” “it’s.”
  • To show the possessive, as in “Mary’s book,” “the hostess’s house,” “the students’ tests.”
  • When writing single letters, as in “The report card had all A’s and B’s” or “Mind your p’s and q’s.”

Apostrophes are not used: 

  • For plural figures, as in “the 1920s,” “Temperatures are in the low 40s,” “There are five 7s in that sequence.”
  • For multiple letters, as in “Count the RSVPs,” “Four VIPs attended the meeting,” “The airline has two 727s.”


See Middle Easterners.

Asian American

People of Asian descent living in the United States, including, but not limited to, people of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Filipino and Nepalese heritage. People from India may prefer to be called South Asian. People from Pakistan may prefer to be called West Asian.


SUNY Cortland recognizes the following awards at its annual Commencement ceremonies:

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Internationalization
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

Information on other awards can be found at the following websites:

Research and Sponsored Programs
Faculty and Staff Excellence
Student Excellence
Honors Convocation

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Banner Web

The university’s student information system.


Because the full phrase would be in the year 43 before Christ, the abbreviation “B.C.” is placed after the figure for the year: 43 B.C.


An acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous (and) People of Color. The term is inclusive of ethnic minority groups living in the United States.


An inclusive term for people of African descent, including, but not limited to, people from North and South America, the Caribbean and Africa.

Use the capitalized term as an adjective in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense: “Black people,” “Black culture,” “Black literature.”

“African American” is also acceptable for those in the U.S. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable.


Blaze is the mascot character. Only use the name “Blaze” in reference to the character/costume. In generic references, such as to the athletics logo or illustrations, say “Red Dragon.”

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The short term for a SUNY Cortland identification number.


While “C-State” is a common chant of our student-athletes, it remains an informal, unofficial reference to the university and should not be used in writing or other forms of communication. Its use must be approved by the Marketing Committee.

campus buildings and facilities

A detailed list of campus building and facility names can be found below. 

Campus Store

The Campus Store (formerly The College Store), not the Book Store, is the preferred name of the retail establishment where textbooks and other university-related and general-interest merchandise are sold. When using it in a sentence, do not capitalize the t in “the.


In general, reserve capitalization for proper nouns. Sentence case should be used for headlines in print materials and headings on web pages as well as email subject lines (capitalize only the first word and proper nouns). Title case is recommended for signage.

Use all caps for abbreviations and acronyms.

For specific topics such as professional titles, composition titles, names of units, etc., view individual entries in this guide.


Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10: “the first century,” “the 20th century,” “the 21st century.”

check in (v.)

As in “Please check in before attending the first morning session.”

check-in (n., adj.)

As in “Check-in takes place in the Old Main Fowler ’52 Grand Entrance Hall,” “There will be three separate check-in stations.”


A term reflecting pride in the Indigenous roots of the Mexican American people. Chicana is the feminine form of this word. See Hispanic, Latino/Latina/Latine.

class year and designation

Numerical class years are used after an individual’s name only after they have graduated from SUNY Cortland. Indicate class designation for current students with the following terms: first-year or freshman, sophomore, junior, senior.

Use “freshman” when referring to an individual or the whole body of students. Use “freshmen” when the term is a plural noun. The term “first-year student” refers to freshmen. A transfer student will identify as either being a transfer student or with their class year such as sophomore, junior, etc.

  • He is a junior biology major.
  • The freshman class is filled with freshmen.
  • Marjorie, a graduate student in education, will give a presentation.
  • A group of first-year students signed up for the orientation program.

In news stories, programs and social media, include class designation with a student’s name and major. For publications with longer shelf lives, identify students by name and major only.

In the body of a story, current students may be referred to in a variety of ways:

  • Shamika Jones, a junior majoring in adolescence education: English, received the Marion Thompson Award.
  • Jason Thomas, a biology major in his senior year, will attend graduate school.

Write out the entire class date when referring to the whole class. Capitalize “Class” when referring to a specific graduating class.

  • The Class of 1983 raised $50,000 as a reunion gift to the university.
  • Tung Kim was a member of the Class of 1975.

comma (serial)

Do not use a comma before the words “and” or “or” in a series unless it is needed for clarity:

She bought a printer, paper, envelopes and an ink cartridge.

Commencement, Undergraduate Commencement, Graduate Commencement

Capitalize when referring to the annual graduation ceremonies.

committee, council and panel names

Capitalize names of specific committees, councils and panels. When not using the full name of the group, write the word in lowercase letters.

The president of the Student Government Association gave a presentation to the College Council.
An announcement will be made when the search committee has chosen a candidate.
The Faculty Senate Steering Committee is seeking new members.
The steering committee is seeking new members.

composition titles

See publication and event titles in this guide.

Conley Counseling and Wellness Services

This suite of offices and services, located in Van Hoesen Hall, supports the well-being and personal growth of our students through the Counseling Center, Health Promotion, and Substance Abuse Prevention and Education.

The short name, Conley Counseling and Wellness Services, is preferred in most cases. For historical reference or formal occasions, the long name is Dr. Louise M. Conley Counseling and Wellness Services.

  • Conley Counseling and Wellness Services provides free, confidential counseling and other programs for registered SUNY Cortland students.

Cortaca Jug

An annual Division III football game between rivals SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College. The trophy, also called Cortaca Jug, records the scores of all games since 1959.

Cortland College Alumni Association, Inc.

While no longer officially acceptable, the name “Cortland College” still appears in a few instances because the names are incorporated and will remain this way unless legally changed. The commonly used name is SUNY Cortland Alumni Association.

Cortland College Foundation, Inc.

While no longer officially acceptable, the name “Cortland College” still appears in a few instances because the names are incorporated and will remain this way unless legally changed.

course, section, class

Names of classes are not capitalized unless the specific name of a course is used or the class uses a proper noun or numeral:

  • She took courses in mathematics, physical education and French.
  • They are planning to take History of Psychology and Community Recreation.


A unit of curriculum, measured in credit hours, that is officially approved, has learning outcomes and is listed in the catalogs:

  • COR 101: The Cortland Experience is a course designed to help you transition to Cortland’s academic community. Other courses will be added to complete a full-semester schedule.

Use the course prefix (usually three letters), the course number and the course name:

  • All English majors must take ENG 302: Writing About Literature.


An instance of a course that has a defined faculty member and student attendees. Learning outcomes are consistent across courses, but sections can differ in assignments, mode of instruction and duration:

  • ATR 342: Therapeutic Exercise, Section 033 meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:30 p.m.


Specific instances of meetings for courses or course sections:

  • Class may be canceled tomorrow due to severe weather.
  • The class will be held in Old Main, Room 102.


COVID-19, which stands for “coronavirus disease 2019,” is acceptable on first reference to the disease and should utilize all capital letters.

When referring to the virus rather than the disease caused by it, use “the novel coronavirus” or “the new coronavirus.” As of March 2020, “the coronavirus” is acceptable on first reference in stories about COVID-19. While the phrasing incorrectly implies there is only one coronavirus, it is clear in this context. Include the article “the” when discussing the virus, unless it’s used as an adjective.

  • She is concerned about the coronavirus.
  • He said coronavirus concerns are increasing.

physical distancing

The practice of maintaining at least six feet of distance between individuals not of the same household. This term is preferred over social distancing.”

credit hour

Not semester hour” or credit(s).”


See SUNY Cortland Cupboard.

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dash style

Put a space between a long dash (—) and the words that come before and after it.


Consecutive dates can be written several ways. For accessibility on websites, the word to” should be used instead of a hyphen (-) when indicating a date range:

The play will be performed Jan. 2-25 or Jan. 2 to 25.
The play will be performed from Jan. 2 to Jan. 25.
Matinee performances will be Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12-13 or Jan. 12 and 13.

Use “through” when changing months or when including days of the week:

The final examination period runs from Monday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Dec. 18.

Do not use ordinals (st,” th,” nd” or rd”) with numbers:

Correct: Submit applications by May 1.
Incorrect: Submit applications by May 1st


Always spell out days of the week.

When writing them in a range, use Monday to Friday” or Monday through Friday.”

Where space is limited, as on signage, use a hyphen: Monday-Friday,” Saturday-Sunday.”


See academic degrees.


The word “department” always follows the unit name and is capitalized.

Correct capitalization of the word “department” following the unit name:

  • The Political Science Department will hold a panel discussion.
  • Imran Sidhu, History Department, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Wolfgang Preissler, Performing Arts Department (music), will play at the concert.
  • Maya Martinez, English Department, will present a paper at the conference.
  • The Athletics Department has moved into its renovated offices in Park Center.

Incorrect capitalization of the word “department” preceding a unit name:

  • The Department of Chemistry has moved its offices.

The word “department” should be lowercase when it appears without the actual department name.

Correct use of lowercase:

  • The department boasts the most professors with doctorates.

A department name should be lowercase when written without the word “department” after it, except English or any department whose name is a language.

Correct use of lowercase without the word “department”:

  • Rania Matthews, history, defended her dissertation last month.
  • Zane Smith, English, recently published his first book of poetry. 

When writing a list of more than one department, lowercase the word department.

Correct use of the word “department” following more than one unit:

  • The Geography, English and Political Science departments have offices in Old Main.

Do not use the following names when referring to the University Police Department:

  • Incorrect: Campus Police Department
  • Incorrect: Campus Safety Department
  • Incorrect: Campus Security Office
  • Incorrect: College Police Office
  • Incorrect: Public Safety Department
  • Incorrect: Public Safety Office

Refer to the offices and departments A-Z list for correct department names.


See people-first language.


The word “division” precedes the names of the four divisions at the university: academic affairs, finance and management, institutional advancement and student affairs. Capitalize the word “division” when it appears with an official unit name:

The Division of Academic Affairs is located in the Miller Building.
Eliza Yaman, Division of Institutional Advancement, will lead the panel discussion.

Do not capitalize the word “division” when it appears without the actual name:

The vice president for finance and management said the division will be hiring several new employees.

dot com (n.)

As in “He was laid off from the dot com last year.”

dot-com (adj.)

As in “The effects of the dot-com bust have been widespread.”

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The word “email” is written without a hyphen and capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.

See email policies and standards.


According to the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees, 2006, members of the university faculty who retire in good standing, in accordance with the provisions of Title B or C of Article XV shall be entitled to append the term “emeritus” to the title of their academic or administrative post after the time of retirement.

At SUNY Cortland, the emeritus designation is left to the discretion of the president. 

See also the Handbook, 220.09 Emeritus Faculty, for more information.

  • Emerita: feminine singular
  • Emeritae: feminine plural
  • Emeritus: masculine singular
  • Emeriti: masculine plural or masculine and feminine plural

The president invites emeriti to an annual luncheon in August.
Three emeritae professors presented at last week’s conference on gender equity.

Academic titles

  • Professor Emeritus of English
  • Lecturer IV Emerita of Economics

Leticia Rodriguez, professor emerita of English, received the award.
Vincenzo Valente, distinguished professor emeritus of art and art history, has been nominated.
Associate Professor Emeritus of History John Powell will introduce the speaker.

Administrative titles

  • Vice President for Student Affairs Emeritus
  • Director of Facilities Emerita
  • Registrar Emeritus Taylor F. Merceau will carry the mace at Honors Convocation.
  • Maria Petrino, director of student accounts emerita, honored her parents by funding several scholarships in their names.

An employee’s current title will be used during the course of phased retirement; once service to the university has been completed, the emeritus title will be used.

For employees who have retired and then return to the university for service in the same position, the emeritus title will be used.

Former members of the SUNY Cortland faculty or administration should be addressed as follows:

Emeritus who is deceased

  • The annual seminar is named in memory of Reginald Coventry, the late associate professor emeritus of education.
  • Melinda Smythe, wife of the late Professor Emeritus of Biology William L. Smythe, named the Smythe Science Laboratory in memory of her husband.
  • David L. Springer, the late vice president for institutional advancement emeritus, left $5 million to SUNY Cortland in his will.

Non-emeritus still living or deceased

  • A $2 million gift from former Professor of Economics Todd Hamilton funded the endowment for the Hamilton Professorship in Business Economics.
  • The building was named for the late Tamara Wallace, former provost and vice president for academic affairs.

endowed chair

The Louise Conley Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership.
The short form: Conley Chair in Educational Leadership.


Not “esports” or “e-sports.”

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Capitalize “federal” when it is part of a government body that uses the word in its formal name.

Use a lowercase letter as an adjective to distinguish something pertaining to state, county, city, town or private entities.

  • For many students, federal loans are an important part of financial aid.
  • The Federal Communications Commission is in Washington, D.C.

food pantry

See SUNY Cortland Cupboard.

foreign nations

Spell out cities and names of countries. With regard to Canada, spell out city names followed by the full name of the province.

  • Each year they attend the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
  • She vacationed in Portugal before attending her study abroad program in Salamanca, Spain.


Titles of specific forms, such as the permit to register form, should not be capitalized.

  • Students must pick up the drop/add form in the Registrar's Office.


The commonly used name is Cortland College Foundation.
The name “Cortland College Foundation, Inc.,” is incorporated and will remain this way unless legally changed.
The word “foundation” is lowercase when used alone.

  • The foundation staff attended a fundraising seminar yesterday.

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General Education

Always capitalize any reference to the General Education program. The abbreviation “GE” is acceptable on second reference.

grade point average

The abbreviation for grade point average is “GPA.”

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Reserve hashtags for social media applications or instructions.

  • Use #CortlandChallenge to spread the word about your generosity.
  • Thank you for making a gift to the Cortland Challenge.
  • Tag your selfie #CortlandBound.
  • Jamal Wilson, senior at Johnson City High School, is excited to be Cortland-bound this fall.

For more information, see common SUNY Cortland hashtags and the web and social media guidelines.


A term grouping all people of Spanish-speaking descent. This is the preferred inclusive term in some regions, especially in the Southwest. See Chicano/Chicana, Latino/Latina/Latine, Mexican American.


(adj.) Famous or important in history, significant.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the historic March on Washington in 1963.


(adj.) Concerning history or past events:

  • He gave a lecture on the historical buildings in Cortland and Homer.

Honors Convocation

A ceremony held in spring to recognize students in the top five percent of each class as well as scholarship and award winners.


Hyphenate when describing an instructional item. Do not hyphenate when part of a verbal phrase.

  • Financial Aid How-To Guide
  • How to Apply for Scholarships


An acronym that stands for hypertext markup language (lowercase in web addresses).


An acronym that stands for hypertext transfer protocol (lowercase in web addresses).


A hypertext link that allows ready access to a related document, graphical image, etc.

When adding a hyperlink to text, select the name of the person, publication, article, website, etc., as the link so that it is as descriptive as possible and can be easily identified by screen readers or other adaptive devices. Avoid using vague terms such as “Click here” or “Read more,” which do not let the user know where the link will take them.

  • For more information or to request a copy of the CALS Lecture Grant Application, contact Sandra Wohlleber at 607-753-5574.
  • Archived copies of The Bulletin are available on the SUNY Cortland website.


A system of linking electronic documents.


Hyphenate “on-campus,” “part-time” and “full-time” when they are used as modifiers:

  • Students live in on-campus housing, not off-campus housing.
  • She will live on campus, not off campus.
  • She has a full-time job.
  • He works part time.

Hyphenate “well-” combinations before a noun, but not after:

  • He is the author of a well-known book.
  • His book is well known.

No hyphen is needed to link two-word phrases that include the adverb “very” or any adverb ending in “-ly”:

  • She is a highly respected expert in the field.

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Abbreviation for identification, written without periods.

inclusive language

SUNY Cortland is committed to a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. Our community honors this commitment and respects and values differences. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are expected to be considerate of others, promote collaboration and demonstrate respect for individuals with regard to ability or disability, age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and other aspects of identity.

View the Inclusive Language Guide and Pronoun Guide for more information and writing tips.

incorporated names

While no longer officially acceptable, the name “Cortland College” still appears in a few instances because the names are incorporated and will remain this way unless legally changed.

  • Cortland College Alumni Association, Inc.
  • Cortland College Foundation, Inc.


1. See Native American.
2. People from the country of India. See Asian American.


Capitalize “Indigenous” in reference to original inhabitants of a place.


The web, like email, is a subset of the internet. The terms are not synonymous and should not be used interchangeably.

Jr., Sr., III, IV, etc.

Do not set off with commas: Martin Luther King Jr., Pope Benedict XVI, Loudan Wainwright III.

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kick off (v.), kick-off (adj.), kickoff (n.)

  • The dinner will kick off the weekend’s activities.
  • The kick-off speech was well received.
  • The event is a kickoff to the week-long celebration.

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A term set referring to people of Latin American origin. It is an emerging inclusive term for people from North America, Central America, South America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Latino has regional and academic support and seems to be preferred on the East and West Coasts. Hispanic is considered an alternate term by many. Latina is the feminine form of this word. See Chicano/Chicana, Hispanic, Mexican American. Because it more closely aligns with the Spanish language, Latine is preferred over Latinx for the gender-neutral form.


Acceptable in all references to the umbrella term for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and/or queer. Use this term when speaking about groups or a community. If possible, use more specific language when referring to an individual’s identity.

lists, bulleted lists

Introduce a list with a short phrase or sentence and use parallel construction for each item:

  • Start with the same part of speech.
  • Utilize the same voice and point-of-view.
  • Use the same verb tense.
  • Begin each item with a capital letter (whether just a phrase or a complete sentence).
  • Avoid mixing phrases and complete sentences; list items should be balanced.

log in, log on, log off (v.)

Log in,” log on” and log off” are verbs.

  • You log on to access a computer or network. When you are finished, you log off from the computer.

login, logon, logoff (n., adj.)

Login,” logon” and logoff” can be used as nouns or as adjectives.

  • You use your login to log on to your computer.
  • I will send you the login information for that website.

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Names of majors and minors are not capitalized in a sentence unless they refer to a language or geographic region. The names of academic departments are proper nouns.

  • He is a geology major.
  • She is double majoring in French and Spanish.
  • I work with the Chemistry Department.

Current majors list

Mexican American

People of Mexican descent living in the United States.
See Hispanic, Latino/Latina/Latine.

Middle Easterners

An inclusive term referring to people from a region in western Asia and northeast Africa that includes, but is not limited to, the nations of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. The term Arab” traditionally refers to a person from the Arabian Peninsula.


Use the dollar sign and numbers. Do not use a decimal and two zeros unless the number of cents must be specified.

  • She spent $15 on a T-shirt and $23.50 on a sweatshirt.


Always spell out March, April, May, June and July.

When followed by a number, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.:

  • Join us Dec. 12 for a networking event.

Months may be spelled out for formal events such as Commencement or when written on plaques.

Any month followed by a year should be spelled out in full: September 2020.


SUNY Cortland’s online access system.

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The full, official name is State University of New York at Cortland. SUNY Cortland is also acceptable.

You may use Cortland or the university for subsequent reference.

named spaces or programs

For spaces or programs named in honor or memory of an individual or group, see the Naming Opportunities Writing Style Guide or the list of university facilities.

Native Americans

Indigenous people who inhabited the Americas and Caribbean prior to the European conquest. Many Native Americans use tribe in referring to their people. Recommended usage is to refer, whenever possible, to a particular people or nation by name, i.e. Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Navajo, Maya, Cherokee, Sioux, etc.

Haudenosaunee (literally, “the people of the longhouse”) is preferred over Iroquois when referring to the confederacy comprising the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora nations.

Indian is used to describe the peoples and cultures of the South Asian nation of India. Do not use the term as a shorthand for American Indians.


Spell out numbers between one and nine. Use numerals for 10 and above unless the number starts a sentence.

  • The 10th Annual Run for Life was held June 15.
  • She had nine students in her class.
  • Eighty-eight students graduated with honors.
  • The school has more than 900 computers available for student use.

In general, use fewer for countable or individual items and less for bulk or quantity.

  • He is taking fewer courses this semester.
  • I have less time for extracurricular activities.

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The word “office” follows the unit name and is capitalized only when it appears with an official unit name. For example, the Human Resources Office.

  • Correct: Bring all receipts to the Business Office.
  • Correct: The Admissions Office is located in the Miller Building.
  • Incorrect: The Office of the President is open until 4:30 p.m.

Writing offices with schools:

  • Dean’s Office, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Dean’s Office, School of Education
  • Dean’s Office, School of Professional Studies
  • Associate Dean’s Office, School of __________
  • Correct: The Dean’s Office, School of Professional Studies, will host a reception for tonight's speaker.
  • Incorrect: There are now seven academic departments in Professional Studies.

Writing offices with divisions:

  • Vice President’s Office, Division of Finance and Management
  • Vice President’s Office, Division of Institutional Advancement
  • Vice President’s Office, Division of Student Affairs
  • Provost and Vice President’s Office, Division of Academic Affairs
  • Provost’s Office
  • Correct: The Vice President’s Office, Division of Institutional Advancement, announced the successful completion of recent capital campaign.

When writing a list of more than one office, lowercase the word “office.”

  • Staff from the Human Resources and Student Accounts offices contributed the most volunteer hours at Jets Camp this year.
  • The event is sponsored by the President’s and Multicultural Life and Diversity offices. 

Some campus units are written without the word “Office” in their names:

  • Access to College Education (ACE)
  • Administrative Computing Services
  • Advisement and Transition
  • Alumni Engagement
  • Campus Activities and Corey Union
  • Campus Technology Services
  • Career Services
  • Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice
  • Center for the 4th and 5th Rs
  • Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies (CGIS)
  • Center for Obesity Research and Education (C.O.R.E.)
  • Center for Speech and Hearing Disorders
  • Central Stores
  • Child Care Center
  • Clark Center for Global Engagement, James M.
  • Cortland Auxiliary
  • Cortland College Foundation
  • Cortland's Urban Recruitment of Educators (C.U.R.E.) Program
  • Conley Counseling and Wellness Services
  • Custodial Services
  • Duplicating Center
  • Enrollment Management
  • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Facilities Operations and Services
  • Faculty Development Center
  • Information Resources
  • Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE)
  • Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP)
  • Library
  • Mail Services/Central Warehouse
  • Maintenance
  • Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Services Program (METS)
  • Mohawk Valley Graduate Site
  • Motor Pool
  • Networking and Telecommunications Services
  • Parks Family Outdoor Center
  • Property Control
  • Recreational Sports
  • Special Events for the President
  • Student Employment Services
  • Student Health Service
  • Substance Abuse Prevention and Education
  • Systems Administration and Web Services (SAWS)
  • Test Administration Service
  • The Help Center
  • The Learning Center
  • The Registrar’s Office
  • Transportation Services

Refer to the offices and departments A-Z list for correct office names.

Open House/open house

  • Capitalize when referring to the university’s event.
  • Registration is underway for Open House, which will be held April 17.
  • Lower case in all other instances.
  • The Admissions Office holds several open houses for prospective students each year.

organization titles

Organization titles should be capitalized. The abbreviation or acronym can be used on second reference.

  • Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA)
  • Student Government Association (SGA)
  • SUNY Cortland Faculty Senate (Faculty Senate)
  • United University Professions (UUP)


Capitalize “Orientation” when referring to the program conducted by Advisement and Transition to introduce new students to SUNY Cortland. “Orientation” should not be capitalized when written as a common noun.

  • Students who have paid their admission deposit will receive Orientation reservation information during the month of May.
  • The university holds several orientation sessions each summer.

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Pacific Islander

People of the islands in the Pacific Ocean including the three major ethnic groups: Polynesians (Tahitians, Samoans, Hawaiians and others); Micronesians (U.S. Trust Territories, Guam, Wake Island, Bikini and Kwajalein); and Melanesians (New Zealand, Australia and the Solomons).

Park Center

It is incorrect to use “PER” to describe the Park Center.

Parks Family Outdoor Center

Official long name: William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education.
On second reference: W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center.
Further references: Parks Family Outdoor Center.

For more information, go to William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education.


Abbreviation for “Portable Document Format,” acceptable for all references.

people-first language

On Aug. 1, 2007, a bill became law in New York, requiring the use of “people-first” language when describing individuals with disabilities in legal documents, publications, and state and local legislation.

People-first language guidelines:

  • When referring to a person’s disability, use people-first language.
  • Do not refer to a person’s disability unless it is relevant. People are people first, disability second.
  • Use disability rather than “handicap” to refer to a person’s disability.
  • Avoid negative or sensational descriptions of a person’s disability.
  • Don’t use “normal” to describe people without disabilities; instead say people without disabilities or typical, if comparisons are necessary.
  • Never assume that a person with a communication disorder also has a cognitive disability such as mental retardation.
  • Don’t portray people with disabilities as overly courageous, brave, special or superhuman.
People-First Language Labels Not to Use
People with disabilities The handicapped or disabled
People with mental retardation:
He has a cognitive impairment.
The mentally retarded:
He’s retarded.
My son has autism. My son is autistic.
She has Down Syndrome. She’s a Downs kid.
He has a learning disability. He’s learning disabled.
He uses a wheelchair. He’s wheelchair-bound or confined to a wheelchair.
Accessible parking, bathrooms, etc. Handicapped parking, bathrooms, etc.
She has a need for … She has a problem with …

Accommodation statement

You may use the following statement in event publicity materials: To ensure all campus community members can fully participate in this program, please contact ___ for questions about accessibility or to request accommodations. 


Use the % sign with no space when paired with a numeral:

  • More than 90% of the class passed the exam.


For all electronic communication, on the website and for text that is going to be typeset, use only one space after a period and other punctuation marks.

phone numbers

Phone numbers should be written with a hyphen after the area code and no spaces: 607-753-2222.
If including more than one extension, use a virgule (/) between the numbers: 607-753-2222/2221.
It is preferred to write out the entire number, including area code, for off-campus callers or those using cell phones.


View the pronoun guide for information on inclusive and non-binary pronouns.

proofreading tips

  • Proofread a printed copy of your work. Errors are often more easily caught on a hard copy.
  • Change the font and/or the color before proofreading. It tricks your eyes into thinking you’re seeing something new.
  • Read the content at least twice: once for flow and once for style, words, grammar, spelling, punctuation, spacing, etc.
  • Use a ruler or bright piece of paper to look at each line of text separately.
  • Read the lines backward or from right to left.
  • Look over the copy from the end to the beginning.
  • Read out loud to someone else or to yourself.
  • Check days and dates against a calendar.
  • Use spell check but do not trust it to find all mistakes.
  • Use a copy of the proofreading checklist (PDF).


The word “program” is never capitalized unless it is part of a formal title.

  • The program in international studies offers courses each semester.
  • She is participating in the Master of Arts in Teaching program.
  • The Liberty Partnerships Program is part of the Outreach Services Office.
  • The Computer Applications Program was established in the ’70s.
  • SUNY Cortland has one of the largest study abroad programs in the SUNY system.

publication and event titles

Books, magazines, newspapers, journals and online publications should be italicized:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Newsweek,The New York Times, Taproot, NeoVox

Articles, plays, TV shows, TV episodes, movies, exhibitions, lectures, etc. should be put in quotation marks.

Subsequent references, which may be abbreviated, should also be in quotes:

  • “Pill Hill”
  • “Newshour With Jim Lehrer” or “Newshour” on second reference
  • “Titanic”
  • “Strategies for Success in Your First Year of Teaching”

Reference works, handbooks, dictionaries, catalogs and holy books do not need to be italicized or placed in quotation marks:

  • The SUNY Cortland Communication Guide
  • Undergraduate Course Catalog

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Red and White Golf Classic

A golf tournament usually held during Reunion.

Red Dragon Network

The online community for Cortland alumni. The URL RedDragonNetwork.org utilizes medial capitals.

Red Dragon, Red Dragons

SUNY Cortland’s mascot is the Red Dragon and its athletics teams are referred to as the Red Dragons. The term may also be applied to all members of the university community, including incoming and current students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Whenever referring to Red Dragons in the context of the university, capitalize both words. When used as an adjective, the “s” is dropped.

  • The Red Dragons ranked first in the tournament.
  • Red Dragon men’s swimming and diving teams finished in third place.
  • Blaze the Red Dragon will be available for photo opportunities.
  • Networking events bring together generations of Red Dragons.
  • Red Dragon pride is felt in classrooms and on athletic fields.
  • A variety of Red Dragon illustrations are available for campus use.
  • The fantasy film features a red dragon.

Red Dragon Strong, Red Dragon Pride

These terms help showcase the spirit of SUNY Cortland and can be used in a variety of communications, including social media, news stories, and pieces for current students, recruiting or fundraising. 

Use “Red Dragon Strong” to talk about overcoming adversity or to offer support through a challenge. It is an expression of compassion, solidarity and friendship.

“Red Dragon Pride” recognizes achievements, celebrates victories and highlights the things that make SUNY Cortland and Red Dragons special.


Capitalize widely recognized regions of New York state:

  • We live in Central New York.
  • She grew up in the Southern Tier.
  • He is from Upstate New York.
  • The store is located on the Lower East Side.

residence halls

“Residence hall,” not “dorm” or “dormitories,” is the preferred name for on-campus and university-supported housing.


The document outlining a person’s education and qualifications is written without accent marks.


SUNY Cortland Alumni Reunion 2020 (or appropriate year) is the official long name for the university's reunions.

Alumni Reunion 2020 (or appropriate year) is used in publications where the SUNY Cortland logo is present.

The short version is simply “Reunion,” which should be used on second reference.

room listings and numbers

Write locations by first listing the building, then the room number. Rooms that are part of a suite or have a letter do not use a hyphen or space:

  • Corey Union, Room 206
  • Miller Building, Room 404H

When rooms do not have a number, write them as follows:

  • Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge
  • Corey Union Exhibition Lounge
  • Corey Union Fireplace Lounge
  • Corey Union Function Room
  • Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre
  • Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre
  • Old Main Brown Auditorium
  • Old Main Colloquium
  • Old Main Fowler ’52 Grand Entrance Hall
  • Park Center Alumni Arena
  • Park Center Corey Gymnasium
  • Park Center Hall of Fame Room


The abbreviation for the French repondez s'il vous plait; it means “please reply.” It is written without periods between the letters.

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Scholars Day

See Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference.


The word “school” is capitalized only when it precedes an official unit name. For example, “School of Arts and Sciences.” SUNY Cortland has three schools: arts and sciences, education and professional studies.

  • Alfred Baakker, School of Professional Studies, was hired in 2004.


Lowercasespring,”summer,”fall,”winter” and derivatives such asspringtime” unless part of a formal name or referring to a specific semester.

  • The course will be offered in Spring 2021.
  • More than 200 classes will be held during the spring semester.
  • He will begin classes during the Fall 2020 semester.
  • School opens in the fall.
  • We had a dry summer.
  • She will take classes during Summer Session I.
  • Several of my friends are taking Winter Session courses.


Service-learning” is written with a hyphen.


See SUNY Cortland Sesquicentennial.


See the Signage Writing Style Guide.


Use a lowercase letter as an adjective to distinguish something pertaining to state, county, city, town or private entities:

  • Our state colleges need funding.
  • We live in the state of New York.
  • We live in New York state.

Capitalize State” when it is part of a government body that uses the word in its formal name:

  • New York State Police

state abbreviations

Abbreviate states (as listed below) using Associated Press (AP) style in the body of any work. Use U.S. Postal (PO) abbreviations when listing mailing addresses.

State Name AP PO
Alabama Ala. AL
Alaska Alaska AK
Arizona Ariz. AZ
Arkansas Ark. AR
California Calif. CA
Colorado Colo. CO
Connecticut Conn. CT
Delaware Del. DE
District of Columbia D.C. DC
Florida Fla. FL
Georgia Ga. GA
Hawaii Hawaii HI
Idaho Idaho ID
Illinois Ill. IL
Indiana Ind. IN
Iowa Iowa IA
Kansas Kan. KS
Kentucky Ky. KY
Louisiana La. LA
Maine Maine ME
Maryland Md. MD
Massachusetts Mass. MA
Michigan Mich. MI
Minnesota Minn. MN
Missouri Mo. MO
Mississippi Miss. MS
Montana Mont. MT
Nebraska Neb. NE
Nevada Nev. NV
New Hampshire N.H. NH
New Jersey N.J. NJ
New Mexico N.M. NM
New York N.Y. NY
North Carolina N.C. NC
North Dakota N.D. ND
Ohio Ohio OH
Oklahoma Okla. OK
Oregon Ore. OR
Pennsylvania Pa. PA
Rhode Island R.I. RI
South Carolina S.C. SC
South Dakota S.D. SD
Tennessee Tenn. TN
Texas Texas TX
Utah Utah UT
Vermont Vt. VT
Virginia Va. VA
Washington Wash. WA
West Virginia Va. VA
Washington Wa. WA
West Virginia W. Va. WV
Wisconsin Wis. WI
Wyoming Wyo. WY

U.S. Territory Abbreviations

  Territory Name Postal Abbreviation
  American Samoa   AS
  Federated States of Micronesia   FM
  Guam   GU
  Marshall Islands   MH
  Northern Mariana Islands   MP
  Palau   PW
  Puerto Rico   PR
  Virgin Islands   VI

SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services

The Campus Store, dining services, ID cards and more are provided by SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services. “Cortland Auxiliary” can be used as a short version for subsequent reference.

SUNY Cortland Cupboard

Open to undergraduate and graduate students, the cupboard has non-perishable food items such as pasta, beans, rice, snacks as well as household items such as toothbrushes, can openers, shampoos and soaps, etc.

For more information, visit cortland.edu/cupboard.

SUNY Cortland Sesquicentennial

The celebration of SUNY Cortland’s 150th anniversary, 1868-2018. SUNY Cortland Sesquicentennial is the full, proper name. Sesquicentennial,” with a capital S,” may be used when the SUNY Cortland logo is present.

Lowercase sesquicentennial” when it is used as a common noun:

  • The University celebrated its sesquicentennial from Alumni Reunion 2018 to Alumni Reunion 2019.

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The Campaign for Cortland


The official name is The Campaign for Cortland. Use initial capital letters for all words, including “The.” For subsequent reference, “the campaign” may be used. Note: This is a comprehensive campaign, not a capital campaign.

  • The goal of The Campaign for Cortland is to raise $25 million to support five key institutional priorities.
  • The campaign is committed to strengthening student access and success.


Campaign themes, which are represented in the wordmark, are italicized and capitalized using title case. For example, previous themes have included All In: Building on Success and Educating Champions.

  • Meet President Erik Bitterbaum and learn how you can be All In.


Spell theater unless in reference to the musical theatre program or a proper name such as Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre.


Times should be written without a colon or double zeros, unless listing a specific time after the hour. The “p” and “m” or “a” and “m” should always be lowercase and followed by a period. The words “noon” and “midnight” should not be capitalized. A hyphen with no spaces indicates a time frame. For accessibility on the website, write the word “to” instead of using a hyphen.

Street parking is not allowed from 2:30-6 a.m. or from 2:30 to 6 a.m.
The symposium runs from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Most staff members go to lunch at noon.
Class will end promptly at 12:10 p.m.

When writing days and times, the time is given first, then the day and date followed by the location.

A reception will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.



Titles for vice presidents, assistant vice presidents and associate provosts take the preposition “for.”

vice president for finance and management
associate provost for information resources

Titles for deans and directors take the preposition “of.”

dean of education
director of The Cortland Fund


Faculty titles include official SUNY titles of distinguished professor, distinguished teaching professor, distinguished service professor, professor, associate professor, assistant professor; and lecturer, adjunct lecturer, instructor, chair.


Professional staff titles are listed on appointment letters generated by the Human Resources Office. Refer to the online employee directory for the title of a professional employee. Civil service titles are determined by the New York Department of Civil Service.

writing titles on business cards

The campus or budget title is the primary title on a business card. Additional titles can be added upon approval. Prepositions in titles are avoided due to space limitations.

writing titles in text

Capitalize a title when referenced before the person’s name:

Dean John J. Miller
Professor of Psychology Joyce Chou
For more information, contact Philosophy Department Chair Kara L. McCarthy.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement Carlos Rivera gave the introductory speech.

Capitalize a title that is part of signature or is listed on its own line:

Monique Lee
Associate Professor, English

In complete sentences, do not capitalize titles when listed after a name or titles that do not include a name.

Roland Nelson, vice president for student affairs
For more information, contact the appropriate school dean or department chair.
A residence hall director will be hired for the academic year.
William Knowles, SUNY distinguished service professor, political science, will be on sabbatical next semester.

courtesy titles

Courtesy titles (Dr., Mrs., Ms., Mx., Mr.) are not used in news writing or webpages.

“Dr.” can be used in formal written communications or in conjunction with special event programs such as Commencement and Honors Convocation. Other courtesy titles are not used.

On business cards and stationery, a degree such as Ph.D. should be listed after the person’s name:

Shania Jones, Ph.D.

If a name is appended with both a SUNY Cortland class year and a courtesy title such as Esq., list the class year first:

Juan Gomez ’79, Esq.

publication and event titles

Books, magazines, newspapers, journals and online publications should be italicized:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Newsweek,The New York Times, Taproot, NeoVox

Articles, plays, TV shows, TV episodes, movies, exhibitions, lectures, etc. should be put in quotation marks. Subsequent references, which may be abbreviated, should also be in quotes:
“Pill Hill,” “Newshour With Jim Lehrer” or “Newshour” on second reference, “Titanic,” “Strategies for Success in Your First Year of Teaching”

Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference

Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference is an event designed to demonstrate, highlight, promote and encourage scholarship among SUNY Cortland faculty, staff and students.

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United States

Use periods without a space in the abbreviation “U.S.,” but do not include periods in the abbreviation “USA.”


See also web addresses under addresses.

The acronym for Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is capitalized. When writing an internet address, it is not necessary to begin it with “http://” and, in most cases, “www.” is no longer required.

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The short form of World Wide Web, written in lowercase. The web is a subset of the internet; the terms should not be used interchangeably.

webcam, webcast, webinar, webmaster, webpage, website, the web, web address, web browser


While the term “Caucasian” is commonly used in place of white, neither a common ancestry related to the Caucasus Mountains region, nor an assumption that all white people are culturally or ethnically homogeneous should be assumed.


Always hyphenate the term referring to student part-time employment. Capitalize only in reference to the Federal Work-Study program.

  • To be considered for Federal Work-Study, students must file the FAFSA.
  • This office employs three work-study students.


See also entries for academic year and class year.

Use an “s” without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries:

SUNY Cortland was open in the 1920s.

Use an apostrophe slanted toward the right for class years:

She belonged to the Class of ’82.

ZIP code

Use all-caps “ZIP” for Zone Improvement Plan, but always lowercase the word “code.” In a mailing address, do not put a comma between the state name and the ZIP code: Cortland, NY 13045.

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University buildings and facilities

Athletic and practice fields

The Stadium Complex includes the following fields:

  • Grady Field
  • White Field with an eight-lane track
  • Dragon Field for softball
  • Holloway Field for soccer
  • Two football practice fields
  • Four general practice fields
  • One rugby field

Additionally, on the lower campus are:

  • Wallace Field for baseball
  • An intramural softball field
  • The track and field throwing area

See the list below for more entries on athletic facilities.

Campus buildings and spaces

Use of a campus building’s short name is preferred in most cases. The full name is most appropriately used in historical reference materials and for formal occasions.

Official names for campus buildings
Short name Long name
Alger Hall Minnie M. Alger Hall
Bishop Hall Maria W. Bishop Hall
Bowers Hall Ross E. Bowers Hall
Broadway House Broadway House (29 Broadway, Cortland)
Brockway Hall George A. Brockway Hall
Casey Tower James F. Casey Tower
Cheney Hall Francis J. Cheney Hall
Clark Hall William H. Clark Hall
Commissary/Central Receiving Commissary/Central Receiving
Corey Union Fay L. Corey Union
Cornish Hall William A. Cornish Hall
Davis Building Carl A. "Chugger" Davis Building
DeGroat Hall Harry W. DeGroat Hall
Dowd Fine Arts Center Ruth E. Dowd Fine Arts Center
Dragon Hall Dragon Hall
Education Building Education Building
Fitzgerald Hall Lawrence J. Fitzgerald Hall
Glass Tower Hall Glass Tower Hall
Hayes Hall Ina M. Hayes Hall
Hazardous Waste Building (HAZWST) Chemical Management Facility
Heating Plant Heating Plant
Hendrick Hall Mary ("Molly") Hendrick Hall
Higgins Hall R. Paul Higgins Hall
Interfaith Center Cortland Interfaith Center
Leadership House Judson H. Taylor Leadership House
Lusk Field House Clayton R. Lusk Field House
McDonald Building James M. McDonald Building
Memorial Library Cortland College Memorial Library
Miller Building Nathan L. Miller Administration Building
Moffett Center Donovan C. Moffett Center
Neubig Hall Charles and Ida Neubig Hall
O'Heron Newman Hall Rev. Edward J. O'Heron Newman Hall
Old Main Old Main
Park Center Bessie L. Park 1901 Physical Education and Recreation Center
Parks Alumni House Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House (29 Tompkins St., Cortland)
(See separate entry for room names.)
President's Residence President's Residence
Professional Studies Building Professional Studies Building
Randall Hall Henry S. Randall Hall
Route 281 Property Route 281 Property (3718 West Rd., Cortland)
Service Group Service Group
Shea Hall James M. Shea Hall
Smith Tower Donnal V. Smith Tower
Sperry Center Elmer A. Sperry Learning Resources Center
Stadium Complex SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex
Student Life Center Student Life Center
Van Hoesen Hall Ella Van Hoesen Hall
West Campus Apartments West Campus Apartments
Whitaker Hall Katherine A. Whitaker Hall
Winchell Hall Eileen M. Winchell Hall

Campus rooms and locations

Use of a campus facility’s short name is preferred in most cases.

Official names for campus rooms and locations
Short name Long name Building or location
3-Court Gymnasium 3-Court Gymnasium Student Life Center, Room 1116
Alumni Arena Park Center Alumni Arena Park Center; usually written as Park Center Alumni Arena
The Bistro The Bistro Off Broadway Student Life Center
Blanchard Gross Motor Skills Room Ruth Hart Blanchard ’23 Gross Motor Skills Room Education Building Child Care Center
The Bookmark The Bookmark Memorial Library
Bouldering Wall Bouldering Wall Student Life Center, Room 1118
Bowers Hall Science Museum Bowers Hall Science Museum Bowers Hall lobby
Brooks Museum Rozanne M. Brooks Ethnographic Museum Moffett Center, Room 2126
Brown Auditorium Ralph A. Brown Auditorium Old Main; usually written as Old Main Brown Auditorium
Caleion Room Caleion Room Corey Union; usually written as Corey Union Caleion Room
Cardio Area Cardio Area Student Life Center, Room 1214
C-Club Pavilion C-Club Pavilion Picnic pavilion near Park Center and Wallace Field
Child Care Center SUNY Cortland Child Care Center, Inc. Education Building, Room 1000
Circuit/Free Weight Area Circuit/Free Weight Area Student Life Center, Room 1127
Clark Atrium Patricia A. Clark Atrium Education Building Child Care Center
Climbing Wall Climbing Wall Student Life Center, Room 1117
Colloquium, aka, Faculty Colloquium Colloquium Old Main, Room 220
Combatives Room Combatives Room Student Life Center, Room 1211
Conley Golf Range Dr. Louise McCarthy Conley Golf Range Student Life Center, Rooms 1111 and 1112
Conley Counseling and Wellness Services Dr. Louise M. Conley Counseling and Wellness Services Van Hoesen Hall
Corey Gymnasium Whitney T. Corey Gymnasium Park Center; usually written as Park Center Corey Gymnasium
Corey Union Plaza Corey Union Plaza Open area between Corey Union and Fitzgerald Hall
Critique Space Dowd Fine Arts Center Critique Space Lower level, open area outside the Dowd Gallery
Curry Main Lobby Margaret A. "Peggy" Curry ’52 Main Lobby Brockway Hall
Daniels Foyer Mary and Joseph Daniels Foyer Dowd Fine Arts Center
Dowd Gallery Dowd Gallery Dowd Fine Arts Center
Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre Ruth E. Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre Dowd Fine Arts Center
Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre Ruth E. Dowd Fine Arts Center Theatre Dowd Fine Arts Center
Dragon Field Dragon Field Stadium Complex (softball)
The Dragon's Den The Dragon's Den Old Main
Ellen Howard Burton Waiting Room Ellen Howard Burton Center for Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders Community Clinic Waiting Room Professional Studies Building, Room 2101A
Equipment Checkout Equipment Checkout Student Life Center, Room 1114
Exhibition Lounge Corey Union Exhibition Lounge Corey Union, Room 220
Family Locker Room Family Locker Room Student Life Center, Rooms 1122 and 1123
Fireplace Lounge Corey Union Fireplace Lounge Corey Union, Room 219
Fowler Grand Entrance Hall Dorothea Kreig Allen Fowler ’52, M ’74 Grand Entrance Hall Old Main
Fuel Fuel Student Life Center
Function Room Corey Union Function Room Corey Union, Room 316; usually written as Corey Union Function Room
Functional Training Room Functional Training Room Student Life Center, Room 1203
Game Room Game Room Student Life Center, Room 1213
Gazebo Gazebo Located next to tennis courts near Park Center
Gentner Press Box Gerry Gentner ’66 Press Box Dragon Field
Grady Field James J. Grady ’50, M ’61 Field at SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex Stadium Complex
(formerly Red Field)
Greens & Grains Greens & Grains Corey Union
Group Exercise Room Group Exercise Room Student Life Center, Room 1212
Hall of Champions Hall of Champions Park Center, hallway along south side of Corey Gymnasium
Hall of Fame Room C-Club Hall of Fame Room Park Center, Room 1118; usually written as Park Center Hall of Fame Room
Hilltop Hilltop Brockway Hall
Hobson Lecture Hall Mary L. Hobson ’61 Lecture Hall Sperry Center, Room 104
Holloway Field T. Fred "Prof" Holloway Field Stadium Complex (soccer)
Holsten Pool Harriet Holsten Pool Park Center
Horak Training Facility Karel Horak Athletic Training Facility Stadium Complex
Stephen J. Hunt VIP Lounge Stephen J. Hunt ’72 VIP Lounge Stadium Complex
Jacobus Lounge Theodore Jacobus Room Brockway Hall, Room 221; usually written as Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge
Johnson Lecture Hall Ellis Johnson Memorial Lecture Hall Sperry Center, Room 106
Massage Room Massage Room Student Life Center, Room 1216
Mind/Body Room Mind/Body Room Student Life Center, Room 1207
Moffett Center Forum Moffett Center Forum Moffett Center first floor
Morgan Room Ruth M. Morgan Room Dowd Fine Arts Center
Multi-Activity Court Multi-Activity Court Student Life Center, Room 1105
Neubig Dining Neubig Dining Neubig Hall
Newmark Pavilion Theodore Newmark Pavilion Campus quad
Old Main Third Floor Mezzanine Old Main Third Floor Mezzanine Old Main
Outdoor Pursuits Outdoor Pursuits Student Life Center, Room 2101
Planetarium Planetarium Bowers Hall
Pomodori Pomodori Corey Union
Pool Pool Student Life Center, Room 1119
Poskanzer Conference Room Charles N. Poskanzer Conference Room Moffett Center, Room 103
Proehl Laboratory Gerald T. Proehl ’81 and Pamela Fisher Proehl ’82 Exercise Physiology Laboratory Professional Studies Building
Recreational Sports Recreational Sports  Student Life Center, Room 1201
Rumore Computer Lab Victor M. Rumore ’84 Economics Department Computer Lab Old Main
Sally Wallace Dugout Sally Yaeger Wallace ’53, M ’63 Dugout Dragon Field
Sciera Room John L. Sciera Athletic Training Room Park Center
Spinning Spinning Student Life Center, Room 1113
Table Tennis Room Table Tennis Room Student Life Center, Room 1210
Teaching Materials Center (TMC) Teaching Materials Center (TMC) Memorial Library
The Campus Store The Campus Store Neubig Hall
Thurlow Resource Room Angela Priore Thurlow ′82 Resource Room Education Building Child Care Center 
Union Station Union Station Corey Union
Vittor Lecture Hall David J. Vittor ’67 Lecture Hall Sperry Center, Room 105
Wallace Field Robert H. Wallace ’53 Field Baseball field near Park Center and Lusk Field House
Wheeler Gallery  Marjorie Bremiller Wheeler ′43 and Henry Adams Wheeler Gallery  Dowd Fine Arts Center Dowd Gallery
Wickwire Room Helen Wickwire Room Dowd Fine Arts Center
Woods Fitness Facility Francis Woods Fitness Facility Park Center
Dr. Zipp Student Research Laboratory Dr. Arden P. Zipp Student Research Laboratory Bowers Hall, Room 1303

Parks Alumni House rooms

Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House Rooms
Short name Long name Location
Alumni Association Solarium Alumni Association Board of Director’s Solarium  First Floor
Bocklet Breakfast Room Bocklet Family Breakfast Room First Floor
Brown Bedroom The George Brown ’33 Room Second Floor
Class of ’57 Baseball Program and Alumni Patio Class of ’57 Baseball Program and Alumni Patio Rear upper patio at Parks Alumni House
Conley Bedroom The Louise McCarthy Conley Room Second Floor
Curry Bedroom The Margaret Curry ’52 Room Second Floor
Dunlavey Pub Jean Dunlavey ’64 Pub Basement
Gibson Reception Hall Charles A. Gibson Reception Hall Room 2012
Goodale Library The Goodale Library First Floor
Great Lawn Patio Great Lawn Patio Rear lower patio at Parks Alumni House
Judy Levine Living Room Judy (Julia) Wright Levine ’64 and Max Levine Living Room First Floor
Kappa (1925-1991) Alumni Lawn Kappa (1925-1991) Alumni Lawn Front lawn to right of entrance when facing the house
Kradyna Kitchen Kradyna Kitchen First Floor
Nu Sigma Chi Dining Room Nu Sigma Class of ’68 Dining Room First Floor
Phillips Bedroom The Carol Wilsey Phillips ’48 Room Second Floor
Rist Bedroom The Arnold ’47 and Roberta Rist Room Second Floor
Rist Sitting Room The Arnold ’47 and Roberta Rist Suite Sitting Room Second Floor
Sorbella Bedroom The James ’81 and Nancy Niskin Sorbella ’82 Room Second Floor

Parks Family Outdoor Center

William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education

  • Location: Professional Studies Building, Room 1131
  • Short name (second reference): W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center
  • Further reference: Parks Family Outdoor Center

Brauer Memorial Field Station at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education

  • Location: Selkirk, NY
  • Short name (second reference): W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Brauer Field Station
  • Further reference: Brauer Field Station

Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education

  • Location: Cortland, NY
  • Short name (second reference): W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Hoxie Gorge
  • Further reference: Hoxie Gorge

William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake

  • Location: Raquette Lake, NY
  • Short name (second reference): W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Raquette Lake
  • Further reference: Raquette Lake

The William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake includes:

Antlers at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education

  • Short name (second reference): W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Antlers
  • Further reference: Antlers

Huntington Memorial Camp at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education

  • Short name (second reference): W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Camp Huntington
  • Further reference: Camp Huntington

Kirby Camp at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education

  • Short name (second reference): W. H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Kirby Camp
  • Further reference: Kirby Camp
Location of buildings and rooms at Raquette Lake
Short name Long name Location
Aloha Dock Aloha Dock Camp Huntington
Arethusa Porch Arethusa Sorority Porch Casino Classroom - upper level Antlers
Arethusa Porch Arethusa Sorority Porch Dining Hall Porch Camp Huntington
Arethusa Sorority Bedrooms Arethusa Sorority Bedrooms Rooms 1 and 2 in Cedars Lodge Antlers
The Barque The Barque (Houseboat) Camp Huntington
Beta Phi Epsilon (1927-1995) Alumni Association Casino Fireplace Beta Phi Epsilon (1927-1995) Alumni Association Casino Fireplace Antlers
Blacksmith's Shop Blacksmith’s Shop Camp Huntington
The Bovino Beacon The Bovino Beacon Antlers
The Boys' Room The Boys’ Room Bedroom 4 in Cedars Lodge Antlers
Broyles Waldbauer Bedroom Broyles Waldbauer Bedroom Room 3 in Cedars Lodge Antlers
Carlson Classroom Marcia K. Carlson Classroom Camp Huntington
Casino Building Casino Building Antlers
Cedars Lodge Cedars Lodge Antlers
Chalet Chalet Camp Huntington
Clemens Library Clemens Biological Sciences Library Camp Huntington
Coolidge Cabin Coolidge Cabin Camp Huntington
Cummings Dining Room Jay Cummings Dining Room Antlers
Cummings Fireplace Kris Cummings Fireplace In the Cummings Dining Room Antlers
Dottie '52 and Hank Kreutzer '52 Bench Kreutzer Bench Antlers
Durant Cabin Durant Cabin Camp Huntington
Forsythe Carpenter's Shop John Forsythe ’58, M ’65 Carpenter's Shop Camp Huntington
Fuge Dining Room George Fuge Dining Room Camp Huntington
Hill Cottages Hill Cottages Antlers
Huntington Staff House Huntington Staff House Camp Huntington
Kayak Launch Kayak Launch Camp Huntington
Knortz Blacksmith’s Shop Edward G. and Sudie E. Rounsaville Knortz P ’74 Blacksmith’s Shop Camp Huntington
Knortz Director’s Office Edward G. and Sudie E. Rounsaville Knortz P ’74 Director’s Office Camp Huntington
Knortz Chalet Front Porch Edward G. and Sudie E. Rounsaville Knortz P ’74 Chalet Front Porch Camp Huntington
Knortz Ropes Course  Edward G. and Sudie E. Rounsaville Knortz P ’74 Ropes Course Camp Huntington
Knortz Climbing Wall Edward G. and Sudie E. Rounsaville Knortz P ’74 Climbing Wall Camp Huntington
Knortz Zipline Edward G. and Sudie E. Rounsaville Knortz P ’74 Zipline Camp Huntington
Knox Classroom Knox Classroom Camp Huntington
Main Lodge Main Lodge Antlers
McDermott Hall Marcia Spaeth McDermott Hall Camp Huntington
Metcalf Hall Harlan "Gold" Metcalf Hall Camp Huntington
Morley Flagpole Sandra G. Morley ’77 Flagpole Camp Huntington
Moseley Glass Dining Room Louise Moseley Glass Dining Room Camp Huntington
Pauley Porch Bill Pauley Porch in front of the Cummings Dining Room Antlers
Pierson Room Joe Pierson Room Camp Huntington
Sauna Stove Sauna Stove Camp Huntington
Sheltmire Cabin Jack C. Sheltmire M ’73 Cabin aka Trapper’s Cabin Camp Huntington
Sisu Lean-to Sisu Lean-to Camp Huntington
Spruce Dorm Spruce Dormitory Camp Huntington
White Birch Dorm White Birch Dormitory Camp Huntington
Yellow Birch Dorm Yellow Birch Dormitory Camp Huntington

Preferred usage list

Term/spelling to use Term/spelling to avoid
advisor adviser
all right allright, alright 
among amongst
barbecue (n., v.) BBQ, Bar-B-Q, barbeque
canceled, canceling cancelled, cancelling
catalog catalogue
cellphone mobile, mobile phone, cell phone
chair chairperson, chairman, chairwoman
check in (v.) checkin, check-in
check-in (n., adj.) checkin, check in
child care (n., adj.) childcare
clean up (v.) clean-up, cleanup
cleanup (n., adj.) clean-up, clean up
The Campus Store Book Store
coursework course work
day care (n., adj.) daycare
email e-mail, eMail
fieldwork field work
first-come, first-served first come, first served; first-come, first-serve
first-year (adj.) freshman
follow up (v.) followup, follow-up
follow-up (n., adj.) followup, follow up
fundraiser, fundraising fund raiser, fund raising
good sporting behavior sportsmanship
gray grey
homepage home page
inaugural first annual
kick off (v.) kick-off, kickoff
kickoff (n., adj.) kick-off, kick off
midnight 12 a.m., Midnight, 12-midnight
noon 12 p.m., Noon, 12-noon
offline off line, off-line
OK okay, ok, O.K.
online on line, on-line
pick up (v.) pick-up, pickup
pickup (adj., n.) pick-up, pick up
residence hall dormitory, dorm
secondhand (adj., adv.) second hand, second-hand
service-learning service learning
shut down (v.) shut-down, shutdown
shutdown (n.) shut-down, shut down
student-athlete student athlete 
T-shirt t-shirt, tee-shirt, tee shirt, T shirt
toward towards
underrepresented minority (adj.)
underway under way
username user name, user-name
webpage, website web page, Webpage, web site, Website
well-being wellbeing, well being
Wi-Fi WiFi, wifi, wi-fi
World War I, World War II World War One, World War 1, WW1

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Tips for SUNY Cortland writing style

Writing style tips (printable PDF)

These tips were developed to foster a consistent appearance in all campus communications. They show SUNY Cortland’s writing style.

1. University name

  • The full, official name is State University of New York at Cortland.
  • “SUNY Cortland” also is acceptable.
  • Use “Cortland” or “the university” for subsequent reference.

2. Buildings and rooms

  • Rooms that have a number are written as: Old Main, Room 204C or Miller Building, Room 408.
  • Rooms without a room number are written with the building name followed by the room name: Corey Union Function Room or Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.
  • Alumni Arena does not include “Ice” in its name.

3. Office and department names

  • Academic units are generally called departments and administrative units are offices.
  • Write the name followed by the word “Office” or “Department”: President’s Office, Provost’s Office, English Department. Refer to the department and office list in the online directory for the correct names.

4. Dates

  • Months are abbreviated when written with a date, except March, April, May, June and July: Feb. 28, 2018.
  • Avoid ordinal numbers such as “1st,” “2nd,” “3rd” or “4th” when writing dates.
  • Days of the week are written out: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, etc.

5. Times

  • Write “a.m.” and “p.m.” with periods: 6 a.m.
  • Minutes are included only to indicate a specific time after the hour: 6:30 p.m.
  • Write “noon” for 12 p.m. and “midnight” for 12 a.m.
  • When indicating a beginning and an ending time, use a hyphen with no spaces: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. On the web or in email, write “to” instead: 6 to 8:30 p.m.

6. Phone numbers

  • Write phone numbers with hyphens after the area code and exchange: 607-753-2011.
  • It is preferred to write the entire phone number rather than just an extension.

7. URLs

  • URLs for university web addresses, and many others, are written without the “www.,” as in cortland.edu.

8. Punctuation

  • Reserve capitalization for proper nouns. Avoid unnecessary capitals.
  • Use exclamation marks rarely.
  • Insert only one space after periods and colons.
  • A simple list is written without the serial comma: “The event includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

9. Ampersand (&) and at (@) symbols

  • Avoid using the ampersand (&). Write “at” instead of @, except in email addresses.

10. Underlining

  • In electronic communications, reserve underlining for hyperlinks.