Campus Resources Help Newcomers Stay Informed, Healthy and Connected
For new students, faculty and staff members, getting acclimated to campus life can be challenging.
Finding out how to access transportation, health resources and information on the many activities available on the Pittsburgh campus can mean visiting myriad websites or campus offices. To help you out, here’s a guide to some of the most important sites, as well as some information about a selection of new resources to assist people with disabilities and promote accessibility.
Panther Central and IDs
One of the first stops for all members of the campus community should be Panther Central, which has two on-campus locations that provide many services to the Pitt community, including printing ID cards, I-9 forms to verify identity for employment and more. The site in the main lobby of the Litchfield Towers offers full service 24/7. Panther Central Express in the main lobby of Sutherland Hall is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Panther Central also provides information about meal plans, transportation and housing; key downloadable forms; and more. Questions? Call 412-648-1100, panthercentral [at] pitt.edu (email) or contact the office online for more information.
Your Pitt ID card — or Panther Card — is a key to getting around the city and campus and brings with it an array of services, from free or discounted arts events through the PITT ARTS program to free fitness center access. Faculty and staff enjoy perks, including fitness center access, as well.
Graduate and professional student resources
Students can find support and information specific to their needs by visiting the main graduate student resources website, where they can explore Pitt’s offerings on a variety of topics, including academic resources, teaching support, research and career preparation.
Outside of academics, there is information on the graduate and professional student community featuring a number of programs, initiatives and organizations. Additionally, there are health and wellness resources, including information on insurance coverage and services available for graduate and professional students.
Key international student resources
Pitt’s Office of International Services is the University’s immigration specialist, serving students — as well as faculty and staff — at all campuses. The office keeps up-to-date information on immigration law, offers assistance with immigration issues and links to resources including the Career Center, the Immigration Law Clinic and Student Health Service.
The English Language Institute offers classes for international students with a variety of language needs. The institute also offers information on social events and activities for international students.
Getting around and accessibility
Pittsburgh has 90 neighborhoods that can be reached for free via bus, subway or incline with a Pitt ID. Students attending Pitt football games can board a free shuttle at Sutherland Hall on upper campus or, new this year, at University Place between Nordenberg Hall and Soldiers and Sailors garage.
Get to know the Oakland neighborhood’s major Port Authority bus routes (PDF). To get around, download bus tracking apps like Transit or PAT Track to make it easier to plan travels, and visit the TransitScreens in the William Pitt Union and Sennott Square that display bus information in real time.
Other helpful transportation links include:
- Parking on campus
- Student parking permits
- Bicycling information and map
- Commuter student toolkit
- SafeRider (an evening and early morning service that provides safe transportation for students, faculty and staff)
In addition, Pitt’s Office of Disability Resources and Services is committed to providing equal opportunities to students with disabilities. This includes digital accessibility — ensuring equal access by making websites and all other electronic and information technology accessible to all users.
“Later this fall, there will be workshops scheduled, as well as an online resource center and various other tools and supports, to help people make their online content accessible,” said Angela Bedford-Jack, the University’s new technology accessibility coordinator in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Making online content accessible includes captioning videos properly and using Word document settings that allow specialty software to recognize headings, among other procedures.
“We are constantly striving to be better, and we welcome comments or suggestions at accessibility [at] pitt.edu or you can file a report about accessibility barriers,” said Bedford-Jack.
There also is a new portal in development for faculty to use that will streamline requests from students with disabilities who need accommodations. More information is available at drs.pitt.edu.
To find accessible entrances to Pitt buildings, an updated map is available as well.
Staying healthy and safe
The Student Health Service is a resource for body and mind that provides health care and pharmacy services. Students, faculty and staff can use the University Pharmacy in Mark A. Nordenberg Hall. They also receive 10 percent off all noncovered services at the School of Dental Medicine’s clinic. For the convenience of Pitt’s faculty and staff, UPMC’s Falk Clinic Pharmacy offers phone and online refills of prescriptions, as well as free office delivery to designated campus locations.
The University Counseling Center provides services for undergraduate and graduate students. Pitt staffers who need to talk through a problem, be it job-related or a family issue, can contact Life Solutions for an appointment. Therapists are there to assist Pitt employees or any member of their household.
Not feeling well during the work day? Programs specifically designed for faculty and staff can help: the UPMC MyHealth@Work Center in the Medical Arts Building provides on-site care for non-emergency concerns and offers free walk-in flu shot clinics during the fall term. And the Wellness for Life at Pitt program helps support positive lifestyle and health changes.
For mothers who are breastfeeding, visit this map of lactation rooms on campus.
Important resources to promote public safety include the Pitt Police website, Pitt Police Crime Alerts and the University’s new emergency alert system. Additionally, the Rave Guardian app allows students, faculty or staff to set safety alerts or submit anonymous tips to the Pitt Police. All members of the campus community should download the app for important safety information.
Key links for regional campuses
Pitt has more than 600 student organizations, so it’s easy to get involved in an activity that can make one’s experience at Pitt more meaningful. Those looking to volunteer their time can also find opportunities through PittServes.
Faculty and staff affinity groups, which are housed under the umbrella of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, connect people with similar interests and provide professional development and networking opportunities. Of note, the Women’s Affinity Group is in its early stages — lig52 [at] pitt.edu (subject: Women's%20Affinity%20Group) (email) Lisa Garland to join. And the new veterans affinity group will launch at a luncheon event on Sept. 20 — RSVP here. In addition, any of the more than 500 veterans who are earning degrees from Pitt’s various schools and campuses can get assistance from Pitt’s Office of Veterans Services.
Information about campus goings-on can be found on a variety of University outlets. The University’s homepage and its main portal, my.pitt.edu, are information hubs. So is the official University Twitter account, @PittTweet, and Facebook and Instagram accounts. For student-focused news, check out Student Affairs’ Facebook and Twitter pages. There’s also a robust list of social media accounts for many Pitt schools, departments, centers and services.
Events that are of interest to students, faculty and staff can be found on the new campus-wide calendar.
And, of course, Pittwire hosts the most important and interesting news coming from Pitt and its people, three times per week — anyone can subscribe here.