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The Basics

As a new student you should become familiar with the “basics” of OU. There are specific terms, acronyms and policies that will help you understand life at OU — and turn you into a Golden Grizzly in no time.

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Campus Dining

Start your day off right with a specialty pastry from Grizzly Express or take a load off between classes with Chick-Fil-A. Enjoy the many food options OU has to offer.

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Student Privacy Rights and Notifications

Keeping students safe is a priority. This includes protecting your student records, but also keeping you informed during emergencies.

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Technology will play a large role in your classes. Before working on your next project, become familiar with copyright laws.

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University Lingo

In your first year, you will hear a lot of new terms. Use this collection of OU’s most common terms to help you get up to speed.

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University Housing Dining

University Housing offers multiple dining options to students: Vandenberg and Hillcrest Dining Halls. Check out Tilly’s Convenience Store and The Hive for quick snacks and made-to-order sandwiches.

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Board Meal Plans

Meal plans are the total number of meals you may eat per semester. Each meal consists of a one-time admittance into Vandenberg or Hillcrest Dining Hall for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night snack.

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Optional Meal Plans

Meal dollars and block plans are available to student apartment residents, commuter students, faculty and staff.

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Chartwells Dining Services

OU offers a variety of food options in many campus locations. All dining facilities accept Meal Plan Dollars, credit cards, cash and GrizzCa$h.

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Student Privacy - Shield with BadgeStudent Privacy Rights & Emergency Notifications

Dean of Students

The Dean of Students Office performs a number of university-wide functions that promote and uphold the campus values of civility, personal integrity and academic excellence.

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA protects student records, including but not limited to academic records, financial records, medical records, etc.

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Emergency Notifications

The Oakland University Police Department uses the OU Alert Notification System to inform the campus community of an emergency. Register your cell phone to receive text message alerts.

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Student Technology Center

Provides support to all students to enhance their technological literacy. You can receive technology mentoring, participate in the equipment loan program, attend a custom workshop or use professional software for your next class project.

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Printing On Campus Using wepa

Conveniently print your documents on the go using any wepa print station across campus.

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The mission of the Helpdesk is to provide OU students with a single point of contact for all supported services and products. The Helpdesk helps all members of the OU community connect to internet resources and utilize Oakland’s email system. They also answer general technology questions. The Helpdesk will only work on Oakland University-owned computers, but will assist with connectivity and account issues on any computer.

  • You can reach the Helpdesk at (248) 370-HELP (4357) or helpdesk@oakland.edu.
  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Helpdesk is located on the main floor of Kresge Library in Room 202.

Special note for residence hall students: If you live in the residence halls or student apartments and are having trouble connecting to the network, contact the Residence Hall Network Help desk at (248) 370-2534, wireless@oakland.edu or at Hamlin Hall, Room 445.

Connecting on Campus

It is recommended that students purchase laptops for use on the Oakland University wireless network. All students can connect to the Internet via GRIZZNET, a wireless network that spans multiple campus buildings and the residence halls. Residents of OU’s student apartments, Hamlin Hall and Vandenberg Hall are provided an Internet connection through wired and wireless networks. To use the wireless network on campus, students need to ensure their computers have wireless capabilities (802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n). To connect to the wired network in the student apartments, computers must contain a network card and have a Cat5 Ethernet cable.

Wireless Networking

A map of where to find wireless networking connections on campus can be found through the more info button below.

Depending on your wireless network card’s settings, your computer may automatically join the wireless network. If not, check the SSID connection. You can do this by opening up the configuration utility that came with your wireless network card.

  • If you are connecting to University Housing’s wireless network, you will be connecting to one of their “grizzlies” SSIDs and will have to register your device separately from the rest of campus. Contact the Residence Halls Network Helpdesk at (248) 370-2534 for assistance.
  • If you are elsewhere on campus, your SSID should be grizznet (all lowercase).

Once connected, open up a web browser. You will be redirected to a login page. Enter your NetID and password and click “continue” to log on to GRIZZNET.

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Antivirus Software and Updates

It is your responsibility to maintain the security and patch level of your computer prior to connecting to the OU network and other university IT resources. You are strongly encouraged to invest in and install reliable antivirus software and keep virus definitions up-to-date. To ensure that your computer is always protected, configure your antivirus software to run automatically on start-up and run at all times. And remember, antivirus software is only as good as the frequency with which it is updated. Most antivirus software is easily updated online; configure your program to automatically search for and install updates. You should visit the Microsoft Windows Update page (click on the more info button below) weekly to ensure that your Windows updates are current and installed properly.

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Top 10 Things You Should Know about OU’s IT Policy

Your access to university resources comes with responsibilities. To keep our network safe, OU maintains a detailed computing policy that you must follow. This top 10 list provides only the highlights; read the full policy here.

  1. Sharing and downloading movies, music, games and software that you don’t own and/or without permission of the owner is a violation of university policy, copyright law and federal law.
  2. Important OU information will be delivered only to your OU email account.
  3. Using email or any IT tool to harass, intimidate or bother someone is not acceptable. If someone asks you to stop, you must comply.
  4. You are responsible for maintaining your computer.
  5. That means you must install antivirus software, maintain system patches and use appropriate system protection, like a firewall.
  6. Limited game playing on university computers is permitted as long as it does not disrupt or limit resources for others.
  7. Sharing your IDs and passwords is not a good idea; you are responsible for what happens from your account. Sharing also puts you at risk of identity theft.
  8. Using the Internet for research can be useful, but copying material from websites without properly citing your sources is plagiarism. As you surf for information, keep track of the sites you visit so you can properly cite the sources in your assignment.
  9. Political campaigns, commercial advertising campaigns and personal businesses cannot be run using university computing resources.
  10. Use of any device capable of broadcasting a wireless signal in any manner is prohibited in all residence halls and student apartments. Desktop hubs and switches are not permitted on the Oakland University network per University Policy #850.
  11. Breaking the rules can result in a variety of consequences, depending on the offense. Consequences may include disconnection from the network or referral to the dean of students for appropriate judicial processing.

Remember, it is your responsibility to understand and follow the entire IT policy. Review it here.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal law that was established in 1998. It criminalized the development or use of software that makes it possible for people to access materials that are copyright protected. The DMCA also makes it a criminal offense to distribute copyright protected materials. For additional information visit the U.S. Copyright Office Summary website.

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What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement occurs when a person copies someone else’s copyrighted items without obtaining his or her permission.

How Do I Avoid a Copyright Infringement Notice?

  • DO NOT download or distribute whole copies of copyrighted material for personal use or entertainment without explicit permission from the copyright owner — it is against the law.
  • DO NOT download copies of illegally distributed files to your own computer from file sharing applications. You should know that purchasing a music CD does not give you the right to distribute or share the songs on it.

Some common Internet piracy techniques are:

  • Websites that make software available for free download or in exchange for others
  • Internet auction sites that offer counterfeit or out-of-channel software
  • Peer-to-peer networks that enable unauthorized transfer of copyrighted programs
  • DO know that copyright law applies to materials that include but are not limited to: written works (eBooks, PDFs, or HTML pages); movies or television shows; music; pictures; and software in digital and analog format under copyright protection.
  • DO know that it is the user’s responsibility to be aware of the legal consequences for copyright infringement. Lack of knowledge about copyright infringement laws does not excuse the user from legal consequences or from actions by Oakland University.

What if I receive a Copyright Violation Notice?

  1. A copyright violation is a violation of Oakland University policy #890—Use of University Information Technology Resources.
  2. A network block is placed to prevent the individual from logging onto the (wired and wireless) network. The network block remains in place until certain steps have been completed.
  3. Notification is sent to the individual with instructions on what actions are needed to reinstate network access.
  4. After the block is implemented, the student should only speak to the parties identified in the letter or to the dean of students.
  5. Once the outlined steps have been completed, network access will be reinstated.

More information about the Oakland University policies for sharing and downloading music and movies can be found through the button below.

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University Lingo Icon - Dialogue bubble with unreadable textUniversity Lingo


Students may register and add courses without faculty signature via MySAIL Web registration or in person at Registrar Services through the first week of classes. During the second week of classes, instructor’s permission is required.

Career Tool

Review your degree requirements and potential career options for your chosen major.

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Published online annually, this reference contains the requirements needed to achieve your degree at OU. Each major is listed, including all courses that are offered in each subject area.

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Courses (usually two or more) that must be taken simultaneously.


Most OU courses are 4 credits. Important Note: The number of CREDITS a course has does not always EQUAL the number of hours in class per week.

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Drop a Course

After initially registering for a semester, students may go back and drop a course via MySAIL, in person at Registrar Services, by fax or by certified mail at any time until the last day to drop a course. First-year students interested in dropping a course should consult with their FYAC adviser first.

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Students are considered full-time when enrolled in at least 12 credit hours in one semester. To stay on track for graduation, 16 credits is recommended.


Knowledgeable student leaders are available online to answer quick questions about campus resources, important dates and more, Monday - Friday from 8 am - 5 pm.

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Good Academic Standing

Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above are considered to be in good academic standing. Students who fall below this standard are placed on academic probation and must meet minimal standards of progress each semester to continue at OU. Note: Each program may have higher GPA requirements for good academic standing. See your FYAC adviser for more information.

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Your student identification card that can be used for access to the Recreation Center, after hours access to your residence hall (if applicable), meal plan and campus dining, checking out books from Kresge Library, printing, accessing to your GrizzCa$h account, receiving tickets to campus activities and services, and as your Oakland University Credit Union Visa debit card.

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A required corequisite of courses typically in the natural science and engineering areas.


You will meet in the same classroom with the same instructor for every class period.

Lecture/Online Hybrid Class

Common in writing courses, you may meet once or twice a week in a classroom but also have required online components through Moodle, OU’s online course management system.

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Macomb University Center (MUC)

Situated in Clinton Township, this Macomb County location offers more than 200 OU courses each year.

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Mt. Clemons

This location in Macomb county offers more than 100 OU courses each year.

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Online Classes

Course offered online through Moodle. A maximum of three on-campus meetings may be required.

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Permission granted to a student for a class they are prohibited from registering for. Consult with your academic adviser.


Students may register for a course that requires a prerequisite; however, they must successfully complete that prerequisite before the course begins.


Responsible for teaching courses, conducting research and providing service to OU. Professors and faculty are credentialed in their field of study.


A required extra session of a course often used for additional lecture time or to administer quizzes or exams.


Students may repeat a courses once (sometimes twice) after their first attempt to improve their grade earned during prior enrollment, but they must do so at OU. Students should consult with their academic adviser as repeats can impact time to degree completion, a subsequent semester of courses and OU scholarship eligibility. The most recent grade will be the grade of record regardless of whether it is the highest grade earned.

Schedule of classes

Found on MySAIL, the schedule of classes includes class offerings for each semester, including days, times, instructors and locations.

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Supplemental Instruction (SI)

A free service that provides organized study sessions two to three times per week for students enrolled in difficult courses. SI leaders, students with previous course success, attend the course along with students and then facilitate the study sessions.

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Teaching Assistant (TA)

Master’s or doctoral level students who work closely with faculty in the development of classes and classroom management. They may teach classes or labs/workshops in their department of study.


An electronic process (in MySAIL), available for selected courses only, which allows students to add themselves to a waitlist. Students are notified via OU email when a seat becomes available in the course. Students must register for the course within 24 hours; if the student does not register within the time allotted, the next student on the list will be offered the seat. Being on a waitlist does not guarantee registration into the course.

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Students may withdraw from a course from the third week through the ninth week of classes via MySAIL, in person at Registrar Services, by fax or by certified mail. Students have until 4 p.m. on the last day of the withdrawal period to withdraw from the course. Freshmen interested in withdrawing from a course should consult with their academic adviser first. Students who do not officially withdraw within the drop/withdrawal time period will remain officially enrolled. Instructors will assign the grade earned at the completion of the course. Simply notifying faculty or ceasing to attend classes does not relieve students from financial obligations.

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Similar to labs and most common with mathematics courses, workshops are a required corequisite of a course and provide an opportunity for you to work on problems and speak with your instructor in a smaller setting.