Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

English Graduate Student Association


Guide for New & Prospective Students: Getting Settled at the University


During orientation, you should go to room 208 to get your office assignment, office key, and mailbox combination. Also ask for a key to the building; there are sometimes grad classes or special meetings on weekends or after hours when the building is locked. Finally, you'll want a key to the copy room, especially if you teach at 8 a.m. and need to make copies before class.

If all available keys have been distributed, you may need to trek out to O&M to have some made for you. The folks in 208 will give you the necessary paperwork. O&M is located on the corner of Kirby/Florida Ave. and Oak St., near the Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium. The 23 shuttle makes the closest stop (across the street, near Lot E-14).


As for your office, you'll be sharing one with at least 6 other grads. Offices vary widely in size, furnishings, and overall quality. The department is working to ensure that all grad offices are furnished with a computer with network access, but you shouldn't rely on it exclusively (see below for more about computing).

Pick an open desk and make it your own. Don't worry too much about invading your office-mates' space and routine. As an English graduate student, you'll soon get used to people coming and going all the time and to working with lots of distractions.


Mailboxes are located in alcoves on the 2nd floor of the English building, near 208. Mailbox assignments change every year.


There are a number of libraries on campus you can study in, all with varying hours of operation (they changed this year, so check the web for current hours of operation). The undergraduate library has the longest hours but tends to have a more party atmosphere on the upper floor. The lower floor is designated as a quiet zone and is full of study carrels for a little privacy. Across from the undergraduate library, the main library has a couple of areas for a quiet studying in addition to tons of resource material. The Education library (on the first floor of the main library) has a back room with long tables and plugs for laptops that is often empty. Grainger, the engineering library, is located on Springfield. It's new and usually pretty quiet.

Study Carrels

Grad students are also able to obtain study carrels, located in the stacks of the main (graduate) library. You can register for one in the circulation office, on the 2nd floor of the main library. Carrels are located in the stacks on floors 5 - 10. The trick is to spend some time walking around the stacks and looking for a carrel that you want, then go to the circulation office and request it.

Student IDs

Your student ID is your library card and your bus pass. During orientation week and the first week or so of classes, a student ID center is set up in the Illini Union. Later in the semester, student IDs can be obtained from their office in the Illini Union Bookstore building (across the street from the English building; go in the northernmost door on Wright St.). The introductory material you receive from the university should have information about the kind of documentation you'll need.


As course registration is done strictly online, it's important get an email account as soon as possible. You will receive an envelope with your Net ID and temporary passwords when you arrive on campus.

Most, but not all, grad student offices have a computer with network access. They're generally a bit slow and may or may not be linked to the department printer in 200D, but at the very least should be good for checking email and making last-minute changes to documents. The small lab in 200D English is strictly for checking email. A graduate/adjunct faculty computer lab and lounge is located in room 23 in the basement. This room contains 10 - 12 PCs, 1 Mac G5 with multimedia software, a printer, and a scanner. A general purpose lab (CITES) is also located in the basement of the English building, but you'll probably have to wait to get a machine and you'll be charged for laser printing.

Making copies

Self-serve copying is available in the coffee/journals room on the 2nd floor of the English building. The folks in 208 will issue you a teaching access code; all copies made with this code will be allocated to your teaching account.

You can also have copies made for free on the copier in 208, but you'll have to submit your material at least 24 hours in advance and they will not work with copyrighted material. Take your material into 208 and fill out the appropriate forms.

The copier in the coffee/journals room is a thing of wonder--it collates, staples, duplexes, and probably slices and dices as well--but because it's used so heavily, often breaks down. In a pinch, you can run over to 208 and beg for mercy copying.

A few other random tips

Your health service fee pays for medical care at McKinley Health Center , but a little-known secret is that it also gets you free stuff at the main McKinley building or at the annex in the Illini Union. At either location, present your ID for free aspirin, cold medicine, band aids (ask for the “Cold Pack” or “Wound Pack” or both). Many prescription drugs, including birth control, are provided with a $5 co-pay.

Other places where you can use your ID for discounts:

  • The Do It Center on Springfield Ave for 15% off of everything in the store, including paint, tools, hardware, lighting, etc.
  • Most of the local movie theatres have a student discount of one type or another. Check around for details.