Usage and style particular to SUNY Brockport are outlined in this section of the University Style Guide.
Main Page Content
It is meant only for University publications and the website. It should not be extended to journalistic or scholarly writing outside of the University.
University Names and Places
In any publication, the very first reference should be “State University of New York at Brockport” or “SUNY Brockport.” Following the first reference, it is correct to use “Brockport” or “the University” (note uppercase University).
“Brockport university,” “Brockport State”, or “The College at Brockport” should not be used.
Academic & Administrative Departments, Offices, Divisions & Schools
The words “Department of” always precede the specific academic department name on the first reference; in subsequent references, use either “department” (lower case), or “theatre,” or “chemistry,” etc.
The words “Office of” always precede the specific service office name on the first reference; in subsequent references, use either “office” (lower case) or the name of the office, “Community Development,” “Student Accounts and Accounting” (upper case), etc. The same goes for “Division of.”
The same rule applies for “Division of” and “School of”.
Capitalize the name of the department and the words department, office and school only when they appear in the form of the official names such as: “Department of Art,” “School of Education, Health, & Human Services” or “Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.”
Right: Department of English
Right: He is studying the earth sciences.
Right: The Office of the President is inviting local leaders for a luncheon.
Right: Advancement is raising funds for scholarships.
Wrong: English Department
Wrong: University Communication Office
Right: The Divisions of Administration and Finance and Advancement are sponsoring this event.
Wrong: The Division of Administration and Finance and the Division of Advancement are sponsoring this event.
- Academic Success Center (or ASC with Advisement and Retention, Student Accessibility, or Tutoring)
- Barnes & Noble Bookstore (University Bookstore)
- Brockport Auxiliary Services, Inc.
- Budget Office
- Campus Recreation
- Career Services
- EOC Student Life and Counseling
- Field Experience Office
- Financial Aid Office
- Honors university
- Printing Services
- Scholar and Grants Development Office
- University Police
- Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)
- Center for Global Education and Engagement
- Center for Graduate Studies
- Center for Select Respect
- Center for Women and Gender
- Hazen Center for Integrated Care
- School of Arts and Sciences
- School of Business and Management
- School of Education, Health, and Human Services
- Division of Academic Affairs
- Division of Administration and Finance
- Division of Advancement and Communications
- Division of Enrollment Management
- Division of Student Affairs
Buildings & Facilities
Use the official name of campus facilities with capitals in formal communication. On second reference, if the name is partial, you may shorten the name with the appropriate designation. On second reference when you use no proper name, lowercase hall, center, theater and building. Do not use building, hall and center interchangeably.
Right: Allen Administration Building houses the Office of University Communications. The building is next to the library.
Wrong: University Communications is located in the Allen building.
Official Names for Buildings and Other Campus Areas
- Albert W. Brown Building
- Allen Administration Building
- Alumni House
- Bob Boozer Field
- Brockport Downtown (formerly MetroCenter)
- Brockway Hall
- Burlingame House (President’s Residence)
- Chapman Service Center
- Clark V. Whited Complex
- Commissary Park
- Cooper Hall
- Dailey Hall
- Drake Memorial Library
- Edwards Hall
- Educational Opportunity Center
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium (formerly Special Olympics Stadium)
- Field House (large gathering space in the SERC)
- Harrison Hall
- Hartwell Hall
- Hazen Hall
- Holmes Hall
- Jim and John Vlogianitis Gymnasium
- Lathrop Hall
- Lennon Hall
- Liberal Arts Building (renamed Fannie Barrier Williams Building)
- Morgan Hall
- Neff Hall
- Rakov Center for Student Services
- Raye H. Conrad Welcome Center
- Rugby Field (note: Plateau Field no longer exists)
- Seymour Union
- Smith-Lennon Science Center
- Special Events Recreation Center (the SERC)
- Student Townhomes
- Tower Fine Arts Center
- Tuttle North
- Tuttle South
- Benedict Hall
- Bramley Hall
- Briggs Hall
- Dobson Hall
- Eagle Hall
- Gordon Hall
- Harmon Hall
- McFarlane Hall
- McLean Hall
- MacVicar Hall
- Mortimer Hall
- Perry Hall
- Thompson Hall
- Townhome Complex
Theaters & Performance Spaces
- Hartwell Dance Theater
- Rose L. Strasser Studio (Strasser Studio on subsequent uses)
- Tower Fine Arts Center Black Box Theatre
- Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage
- Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery (Tower Gallery on subsequent uses)
- Tower Fine Arts Center Rainbow Gallery (Rainbow Gallery on subsequent uses)
Identify past and current students by their class years with an apostrophe before the year. A comma does not follow the year. Example: Warren “Koz” Kozireski ’82 is general manager at WBSU-FM 89.1.
If a person has more than one degree from SUNY Brockport, place a slash between the class years. Example: John Brown ’55/’57 addressed the crowd.
alum = singular (all genders) gender-neutral
alumni = general plural
The fundraising consortium at the University is known as the Brockport Foundation. Examples: The Brockport Foundation supports a variety of programs. The Foundation honored Bob O’Brien last March. (second reference with initial cap).
Credits vs. Credit Hours
Use “credits” wherever you refer to the units students earn in the courses they take; never use “credit hours.” Example: She earned 15 credits last semester.
Right: She earned 15 credits last semester.
Wrong: She earned only six credit hours during her first semester.
Curriculum vitae is the singular form; use curricula vitae when referring to the résumés of more than one individual. Examples: I have the president’s curriculum vitae on file. Faculty members’ curricula vitae usually list their published articles.
Email is not a proper noun, so unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence or used in a title, don’t capitalize the “e” and never capitalize the “m.” AP’s acceptance of “email” reflects the reality of usage. Other e- terms, which aren’t as widely used in daily discourse, are clearer with the hyphenated spellings. AP uses hyphens for e-business, e-commerce and others that abbreviate electronic.
Use italics to emphasize an email address in a printed publication:
Right: Jane Doe at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 395-5555.
Emeritus, Emerita, Emeriti
“Emeritus” (Latin for “earned by service”) is an honorary title used for professors who have officially retired.
emerita = feminine singular
emeritae = feminine plural
emeritus= masculine singular
emeriti = male plural or general plural
Right: Professor Emeritus Merrill Melnick but Merrill Melnick, PhD, professor emeritus
Right: Professor Emerita Sondra Fraleigh but Sondra Fraleigh, professor emerita
For some reason these two simple terms are often misused. This should help: Freshman can be used either as a singular noun or as an adjective; freshmen can only be used as a plural noun. Examples: Heather came to SUNY Brockport as a freshman this fall. (n. sing.) She’s a member of the freshman Class of 2010. (adj.) She’ll be living on campus with other freshmen. (n. pl.)
It’s one word. Hyphenate fundraising only when using it as a compound modifier or noun. Examples: Fundraising is difficult. Our fund-raising campaign was successful. They hired a fund-raiser.
In 2016, Associated Press editors decided to reverse a long-standing tradition of capitalizing the word Internet. Since 2016, the AP stylebook now recommends lowercasing “internet” and “web.”
The “http://” and “www” prefix does not need to be used: brockport.edu/academics/english. It’s okay to split a site address on two lines. The URL for our main page is brockport.edu.
Use boldface to emphasize an Internet address in a written publication. Example: Applications for prospective students are available online at brockport.edu/academics/english.
New York state
The name of our home state is New York. It also is acceptable to refer to New York as “New York state.” Example: Most students are residents of New York state.
On campus, on-campus
Use on-campus when you describe things — as a compound modifier. Use on campus when you show location. Examples: She lived on campus. On-campus housing is convenient for students.
Part time, part-time
Hyphenate part-time only when using it as a compound modifier. Examples: She works part time. She has a part-time job.
When you write photo captions for a group of people, do not use “Row 1, Row 2,” etc. Use “Front Row, Row 2,” etc., to “Back Row;” or “Bottom Row, Row 2,”etc., to “Top Row.” Use “l-r” for left to right, or “from left.”
Avoid dormitory or dorm. A residence hall is more than a place to sleep.
Scholars Day, Writers Forum
There is no apostrophe in either of these University events. It also applies to Veterans Affairs.
Do not use underlines in text to emphasize a word or phrase, or to designate a book/movie/ play title. To emphasize, use italics or boldface. For titles, use italics. The only time you should use an underline, is for a URL in a document that will be posted on the web or sent via email.
In general, do not use periods between letters in abbreviations. This is our University Style, not AP Style.
No periods, no spaces
- BA—bachelor of arts
- BFA—bachelor of fine arts
- BS—bachelor of science
- DNP—doctor of nursing practice
- EdD—doctor of education
- MA—master of arts
- MBA—master of business administration
- MFA—master of fine arts
- MPA—master of public administration
- MPH—master of public health
- MSEd—master of science in education
- MSW—master of social work
- MS—master of science
- PhD—doctor of philosophy
Right: The lecturer is Jane Smith, PhD, associate professor of biology.
Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, a master’s, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science, etc.
The word “degree” should not follow a degree abbreviation.
Right: He has a BA in foreign languages.
Wrong: He has a BA degree in foreign languages.
The word “degree” should not follow a full degree designation.
Right: He has a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages.
Right: He has a bachelor’s in communication.
Wrong: He has a bachelor of arts degree in English.
Grade Point Average
No periods are needed (common usage):
Right: Her GPA is well above average.
The correct abbreviation is Rm., however, it also is correct to write out the entire word, Room. It is capitalized when it refers to a specific room.
Right: We’ve reserved Rm. 116
Right: The room we’ve reserved is 116.
Right: The program is being held in Room 116.
For a cleaner look (and fewer keystrokes), use postal abbreviations.
Right: The sophomore is from Jabberwocky, WV, the home of the brave.
Spell out names of states when they stand alone.
Right: Brockport students are eligible for New York state financial aid. (Please note that the word state is not capitalized, however, it is now acceptable to either use initial capital or initial lower case in New York State.) Departments of the United States are abbreviated US.
Right: US Department of Education
Lowercase when used as an adjective:
Right: The state of Maine is cold in the winter.
Right: I’m in a New York state of mind.
Uppercase when used as an adjective or is part of the formal name:
Right: The Village of Brockport has raised sewer taxes.
Wrong: The village of Brockport is on the US Historic Register.
Right: The New York State Thruway Authority collects tolls.
Time of day
No periods are needed and use lower case for am and pm. Never use :00 for on the hour.
Use noon or midnight instead of 12 noon or 12 am.
Right: The Union is open 5 am–11 pm
Right: The Union is open from 5 am to 11 pm.
Right: Lunch was served at noon.
Right: The concert ran 7–8:30 pm.