Pocket Guide for New Students

Welcome to the DSA’s Student Pocket Guide! This is the digital version of the handout we give to new students at the SC&I New Student Orientation. Here you will find our list of useful tips and tricks for getting started here at Rutgers. Whether you are part of the new cohort or a seasoned SC&I student, you will probably find some useful and informative information below.

What you should do… Right Away

1. Connect with the DSA

  • Social Media: You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and on our very own website. We update all of these regularly, so you can find up-to-the-minute information about everything DSA.
  • Sakai: Check Sakai (sakai.rutgers.edu) and make sure you have access to the DSA page. If you do not, email our webmaster or our president right away (contact information can be found at sites.comminfo.rutgers.edu/dsa/board-members/). It is important that you are added to the DSA page on Sakai for the student mailing list. Once you have access, you can also send an email to scidsa.members@sakai.edu to send an email to all PhD students at SC&I (no faculty or staff).
  • Events Calendar: You should subscribe to our calendar on your iPhone, Android, Mac or PC. We post all of our meetings and events, so this is a great resource. Our calendar can be accessed by any calendar application or service. To subscribe, find the “subscribe” button in your calendar application, and paste the following web address into the URL box: sakai.rutgers.edu/access/calendar/ical/scidsa.ics
  • Be a Representative: You can already become a part of the DSA! We need first year DSA representatives from your cohort who can help promote the DSA among your peers. You can come to meetings, help out at events, and be a part of the social scene here at SC&I. This is a great way to get started on your CV as early as possible.

2. Purchase the APA Manual

If you don’t have a copy of the APA manual, get one as soon as possible. Although the guide can be a little costly ($15-$30), it will be an invaluable tool in your semesters ahead. Learning the rules of your field’s writing style within your first semester will save valuable time later on. It also helps to be aware of the rules surrounding other styles (Chicago, MLA, etc.) so you can understand any differences you come across. Remember, citation style can often have implications beyond a bibliography, such as annotations, charts, graphs, headings, and cover pages.

In the meantime, you can find the basics of the APA writing and citation style at owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

3. Find and Use a Citation Manager.

Unless the thought of spending ten hours at the end of every paper forming your reference list is your idea of fun, do yourself a favor and find a citation manager. There are plenty of feature-filled citation managers out there to choose from, so we’ve assembled our list of the best below. Coming into SC&I with a citation manager will immediately speed up your workflow and help you stay organized with all your readings.

RefworksWebRefWorks is a web-based bibliography manager that enables you to organize research and build bibliographies. This program is sponsored by the Rutgers Library. libraries.rutgers.edu/refworks
EndnoteWeb, Mac, PC, iOSEndnote is one of the oldest citation software packages and offers many professional tools for citation management. The current version offers online backup and has a companion iPad app. http://endnote.com
MendeleyWeb, Mac, PC, iOSMendeley is a free citation management program which also has a note taking tool built in. You can sync your library from your computer to an iPhone or iPad with their app. http://www.mendeley.com
ZoteroWeb, Mac, PCZotero is a free tool to help you collect, organize, cite and share your research sources. Offers a platform for organizing citations and a suite of tools to share collections and references. https://www.zotero.org
SenteMac, iOSFor the Mac users, this is a great application for organizing citations and taking notes. Also features cloud storage and companion apps on the iPhone and iPad. http://www.thirdstreetsoftware.com

What you should do… Soon

1. Figure Out How to Get Here

You’d think the hard part was applying and getting in! Now you’ve got to figure out how to get on and off campus for your courses. For those of you who live nearby, getting to campus isn’t too difficult. For commuters, things can become a little more tricky. There are a number of ways which are conducive to traveling around New Jersey:

  • Hop On the Bus: NJ Transit offers bussing service throughout most of New Jersey. Rutgers offers discounted bus tickets to NYC ($16 round-trip! A whole $10 cheaper than a round-trip on the train). You can pick up tickets with your student ID at the Rutgers Student Activity Center on George Street sabo.rutgers.edu/services/bus-tickets (it’s located on College Ave between Hardenburgh and Frelinghuysen Halls, right next to the Raritan River).
  • Tickets to Ride: The NJ Transit train service can take you to many different places in New Jersey, and we have our own train station here in downtown New Brunswick. You can apply for student monthly passes at 25% off the regular price: parktran.rutgers.edu/discount.shtml
  • A Set of Wheels: New Jersey doesn’t always have the best reputation for driving, but it can be done! Most places connect with either the Parkway or the Turnpike, with major routes branching off of either road. Route 1 has a lot of convenient places to shop and eat, and it will eventually connect you to the Garden State Parkway.
  • RU Transit: Once you are on campus, you have the advantage of using one of the best free bussing services on a college campus. You can ride the bus across campus and to different campuses as you please. The buses operate on rotating routes, so check out the schedule in advance to confirm your destination: rudots.rutgers.edu/campusbuses.shtml

2. Subscribe to the Mailing Lists

Rutgers hosts a listserv platform, which has a variety of mailing lists that you can sign up for. Some of them are optional and others you want to make sure you are registered. The most important listserv to subscribe to is Comminfo_phd, as they will email official SC&I updates on a regular basis. To see a complete list, head over to email.rutgers.edu/mailman/listinfo

3. Familiarize Yourself with Rutgers Websites

Figuring out how to navigate the Rutgers campus is tough, but trying to navigate the various Rutgers websites online can be even more overwhelming. Luckily, you’ve got your pocket guide for the Rutgers Web right here! Below are a list of sites that you should familiarize yourself with. Make sure you can access each of them and, while you’re there, spend a little time figuring them out.

Sakaisakai.rutgers.eduThis is the central hub for most of your coursework. Course materials, syllabi, assignments, and more will often be distributed through here. You can login with your NetID.
eCollegeecollege.rutgers.eduAny course not found on Sakai will often be listed on eCollege. eCollege is an alternative course management system with similar features to Sakai.
MyRutgersmy.rutgers.eduMyRutgers provides a dashboard for all of the useful Rutgers links and services. It is highly customizable, and is a quick and easy way to find a particular Rutgers service.
ScarletMailscarletmail.rutgers.eduThe Rutgers email service, called ScarletMail, can be accessed here. ScarletMail provides a Google Apps interface for your mail, along with increased storage.
RIASrias.rutgers.eduThis is the website for the Rutgers Integrated Administration System. You can access your paycheck, setup direct deposit, and see employment information.
ABCstudentabc.rutgers.eduThis is the website for the Office of Student Accounting, Billing, and Cashiering. This is where you can view and pay your term bill and print out a tuition statement.

4. Stream Some Software

Downloading software has fallen out of style. Now, all the cool kids are streaming software right from their web browser! SC&I offers some really expensive programs for free through their Software Anywhere portal. Some of the big names in academic software are offered, such as SPSS ($125), Microsoft Office ($140), Microsoft Access ($110), and the Adobe Acrobat ($280). Can you hear those dollar signs? Check out Software Anywhere at citrix.comminfo.rutgers.edu

What you can do…When You Are Here

1. Schedule Lunch With 601

Your cohort is your community, so take advantage of the time you spend together during 601. 601 is the only class you will all be required to take together, so this can be a good time to organize a quick lunch. Previous cohorts have taken great pride in keeping this tradition alive, so it’s up to you to figure out how to do it. Getting lunch can be as complicated as organizing gourmet potlucks or as simple as ordering a pizza pie from Gerlanda’s. Feel free to use Huntington House before your class as a space relax and enjoy lunch.

2. Your DSA Delivers

In order to keep this tradition going, your DSA will be organizing a special lunch for your first 601 class. No need to worry, it’ll be on us! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as we will be sending out information about this lunch shortly. We will also send out an email through our mailing list, so make sure you can see the DSA page on Sakai.

3. Come Get a Drink at The Branch.

New Brunswick offers a huge variety of drinking options, but nothing else compares to the Olive Branch. It might be the cheap beer, the menu of fried bar snacks, or the fact that it is walking distance from SC&I, but PhD students have been grabbing drinks here for a very long time. Come join us if you want to quench your thirst for conversation and liquor. The bar is located behind the student center parking lot, next-door to Vinnie’s Pizza.

4. The DSA On Tap

There is a long standing tradition at SC&I to meet Wednesday nights after everyone is done with classes. Every week around 9pm, the new cohort and a number of upper year students will head to the Olive Branch to have a few drinks and chat. The DSA will be pouring free drinks for all students on the first Wednesday of the semester, so be sure to come. Again, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as we will be sending out information about this event shortly. We will also send out an email through our mailing list, so make sure you can see the DSA page on Sakai.

5. Learn How to Print

PhD students print a lot, so it’s best to be prepared right from the start. There are three main locations where you can print:

  1. The Main One. The printer in Room 335 of the SC&I building will often be your primary printer. It’s free, easy to access, and is inside a room with networked computers to print from. You can print as much as you’d like at no cost, just swipe with your student ID card.
  2. The Expensive One. The College Avenue Computer Center offers fee based printing services with the first $30 being free. Beyond the $30, you can pay for printing by loading your student card with money. The center is located at Records Hall, right next to the building where you go to pay your bills and fees. The center also offers a workspace nearby, called The Alcove, which provides a great place to study and get work done.
  3. The Secret One. Tucked away in Alexander Library, The Graduate Reading Room offers printing services as well as a space for graduate students to work in. Remembering this printer exists comes in handy when the computer lab in Room 335 gets too crowded and you have to print something quickly. This one is still fee based, but can be helpful in a pinch.

When those printers won’t cut it. You did it! You successfully submitted your first proposal to a big conference, and you’re in. Now you’ve got to figure out where you are going to print that glorious 50×50 poster that shows off your research chops. Don’t worry, Alexander Library offers a great printing service for just this task. Depending on the paper type (glossy, matte) it’ll run you about $3-$5 per square foot. This isn’t something you want to save until the last minute, as the turnaround time is 24-48 hours. For service, email James Hartstein (jamesmh@rci.rutgers.edu) and check out the website for more information: scc.rutgers.edu/scchome/services/services.cfm

6. Come to Colloquium

SC&I hosts regular colloquia that center around many different types of academic presentations. These presentations can feature anything from a senior doctoral candidate’s public defense to panels about the research and experiences of faculty here at SC&I. As a first year student, it is in your best interest to attend all of the colloquia (plus it’s required for all students still in coursework). You will learn a lot about the process of completing a dissertation, what academic life entails, and the research currently being done at SC&I. The DSA will host a small party after each colloquium at Huntington House with drinks, light refreshments, and good conversation. You can check the calendar on the SC&I website to find out future colloquium dates: https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/event-listing

What you can do… For Fun

1. Find Something Edible

A quick Google or Yelp search will show you dozens of really great restaurants in and near downtown New Brunswick. How do you narrow down what to eat? Lucky for you, the DSA has a quick grad student list of the classic New Brunswick eateries.

Student Center$126 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ
Fast Food
Features Subway, King Pita, Au Bon Pain, Wendy’s, and Gerlanda’s. Plenty of room to sit, but it can get crowded.
Harvest Moon$$392 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ
Bar Food
A classic! One of the oldest restaurants downtown. Quality pub food and unique IPA beers that are made on-site.
Clydz$$$55 Paterson Street
New Brunswick, NJ
Mixed Cocktails
A really nice martini bar with over 100 cocktails. Exotic appetizers and unique mixology style drinks. Can be pricy!
Thomas Sweet$55 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ
Ice Cream
Frozen Yogurt
Some of the best ice cream downtown. Many different flavors which can be loaded with all sorts of toppings. Yum!
Sahara$$165 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ
Middle Eastern Mediterranean
Excellent Mediterranean food. Try the cauliflower dip. Great place for a quick lunch or a full dinner. Good value.
Hansel 'n Griddle$112 Church Street
New Brunswick, NJ
Very high quality breakfast and lunch. A great place for a Taylor Ham breakfast sandwich or a chicken salad for lunch.
Old Bay$$61-63 Church Street
New Brunswick, NJ
New Orleans
A fun and lively bar with a humongous selection of beer and alcohol. Delicious gourmet cajun food. Outdoor seating.

2. Watch a Movie

The reports of the DVD’s death are greatly exaggerated. In fact, you can head over to the media center at the Kilmer Library on Livingston Campus and check out a great DVD collection of movies, television shows, and documentaries. As an added perk, graduate students are allowed to take DVDs from the library. Now you have an excuse to take a break and dust off that old DVD player.

3. Get Involved

The PhD life isn’t just about articles, books, papers, and conferences, it’s also about the Rutgers community. There are many ways to participate in the community and be a part of the social life on campus. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • SC&I DSA Socials. Of course we’d put this at the top of this list! We will be hosting a number of really fun and exciting socials throughout the semester. You can check out our events calendar on Sakai and Facebook for more information.
  • The Refined Wine & Cheese Night. Wine & Cheese (AKA Beer n’ Snacks) is a small, informal get-together at Huntington House that usually takes place on Wednesday nights. If you are interested in attending, check out the Facebook group in advance to see the date and time everyone is meeting facebook.com/groups/207378289284866
  • Rutgers Recreation Portal. You can check out some of the recreation activities going on around campus at the Rutgers Recreation website. Events such as instructional classes, outdoor recreation, sports club events, and fitness events are held year round for Rutgers students. You can access the calendar here recreation.rutgers.edu/content/students.asp
  • The College Ave. Gym. This gym is located right next to the student center, which is about a block away from SC&I. The gym has a fitness center, dance studio, basketball courts, and a 25 meter pool. This a good way to get a physical workout after your mental workout at SC&I.
  • New Brunswick is a Big Place. There’s a lot more to Rutgers than any one school or organization. As a student at SC&I, you have access to an entire network of events involving athletics, recreation, arts, culture, and more. You can find much of this information on the Rutgers New Brunswick website under the Student Experience tab: nb.rutgers.edu