Associated Press (AP) Style
The Division of Student Affairs uses Associated Press style as its primary source for style of written communication.
The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (AP Stylebook) is an English grammar style and usage guide created by American journalists working for or connected with the Associated Press during the last century to standardize mass communication. Although it is sold as a guide for reporters, it has become the leading reference for most forms of public-facing corporate communication. The AP Stylebook offers a basic reference to grammar, punctuation and principles of reporting, including many definitions and rules for usage as well as styles for capitalization, abbreviation, spelling and numerals.
We recommend that all DSA employees who work in marketing and communication learn and follow AP Style.
With a simple Google search, you will find numerous online resources and “cheat sheets” that reference the most common AP Style issues.
Texas A&M University System & Texas A&M University Style Guides
Our secondary and tertiary sources for voice and written style are:
For questions about written style that is specific to the Division of Student Affairs, refer to the:
Avoid Alphabet Soup
AP Style holds that a few universally recognized abbreviations are required in some instances. Some other abbreviations are acceptable depending on the context, but in general, as a writer, you should avoid having your writing appear as if it’s “alphabet soup.” In other words, do not use abbreviations or acronyms that your readers will not readily or quickly recognize.
With the exception of AP’s universally recognized abbreviations, we recommend that you simply spell out the words on first reference, include the proper acronym in parentheses, and use the acronym only on second reference.
Example: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center (GLBTRC) is hosting Lavender Graduation on April 27. To register, contact the GLBTRC at (979) 862-8920.
Despite these protocols, using acronyms is common among higher education professionals, so we have included a guide to the most common Division of Student Affairs acronyms. Please use them wisely and with care as many of your readers may not be familiar with them.
|AVP||Assistant or Associate Vice President|
|AFS||The Association of Former Students|
|ASCA||Association for Student Conduct Administration|
|BVESA||Brazos Valley Educational Support Staff Association|
|BGCC||Becky Gates Children’s Center|
|CBE||Council for the Built Environment|
|CIRT||Critical Incident Response Team|
|CIS||University Computing and Information Services|
|CLEAR||Consensual Language, Education, Awareness, and Relationships (in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|CPR||Comprehensive Program Review|
|CSBA||Committee of Senior Business Administrators|
|DMS||Department of Multicultural Services|
|DoIT||Department of Information Technology|
|DRL||Department of Residence Life|
|DSA||Division of Student Affairs|
|E.R.A.S.E.||Encouraging Respect, Acceptance & Support through Education|
|FLO||Freshman Leadership Organization (in Student Activities and MSC)|
|GLBTRC||Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Resource Center (in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|GPSC||Graduate & Professional Student Council (in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|GSC||General Services Complex|
|HP||Health Promotion (in Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|HSC||Health Science Center|
|LCR||Large Conference Room|
|NAEOP||National Association of Educational Office Professionals|
|NASPA||Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education|
|NODA||Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention (Formerly known as National Orientation Directors Association)|
|NSC||New Student Conferences (in Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|NSFP||New Student & Family Programs (in Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|ODSL||Offices of the Dean of Student Life|
|OCSS||Off-Campus Student Services (in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|OVPSA||Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs|
|PDC||UCEN Public Display Committee|
|RHA||Residential Housing Association|
|SAFAB||Student Affairs Fee Advisory Board|
|SAS||Student Assistance Services (in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|SCR||Small Conference Room|
|SCO||Student Conduct Office (in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life)|
|SCS||Student Counseling Service|
|SGA||Student Government Association|
|SHS||Student Health Services|
|SLLO||Student Leader Learning Outcomes (In Student Life Studies)|
|SLS||Student Life Studies (there may be confusion with Student Legal Services in ODSL)|
|SOFC||Student Organization Finance Center (In Student Activities)|
|SRC||Student Recreation Center|
|SS@WC||Student Services @ White Creek|
|TAMUS||Texas A&M University System|
|TESA||Texas Educational Support Staff Association|
|TRSC||Technical Review Sub-Council|
|UCEN||University Center & Special Events|
|UDAP||University Disciplinary Appeal Panel|
|UPD||University Police Department|
|VPM||Vice President’s Meeting (VP, AVPs and Directors meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month|
|VRSC||Veterans Resource & Support Center|
|VSO||Veteran Services Office|
|WRC||Women’s Resource Center|
|FTAB||Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band|
|OOTC||Office of the Commandant|
|FOW||Freshman Orientation Week|
|PMC||Parsons Mounted Cavalry|
|D&C||Drill and Ceremony|
|RV||Ross Volunteer (member of the Ross Volunteer Company)|
A Living Style Guide
We created this guide with input from professionals across the Division of Student Affairs, however, it is a living document that will improve over time with your suggestions.
Suggest an addition to the DSA Style Guide and/or the guide commonly used for Acronyms
Questions about written style? Email Sondra White with the DSA MarComm Team or call (979) 458-3296.