Projects and programs created and run by Binghamton University students impact Broome and Tioga county communities in countless ways. Here are just a few of the many student initiatives that positively affect the area:
Student volunteers contribute thousands of hours to the local community each year through volunteerism, internships, clinical-practice experiences and service-learning projects. The University estimates these experiences accounted for nearly $9.4 million in value last year. (Binghamton's Center for Civic Engagement facilitates volunteer opportunities for faculty, staff, students and members of the community.)
Hundreds of Binghamton students participated in the Binghamton Relay for Life, raising $48,000+ in 2014.
Established in 1973, Harpur's Ferry is a student-run ambulance service composed entirely of volunteers. It serves the campus and surrounding communities through mutual-aid response. As an Advanced Life Support agency, Harpur's Ferry is capable of responding to a wide variety of emergency calls.
The 250+ student groups chartered by the Student Association assist the community in innumerable ways. A few examples are:
- The Black Student Union Youth Program exposes local Binghamton kids (ages 5–13) to life on Binghamton's campus. Members provide positive role models and serve as mentors.
- An "Adopt a Family" program coordinated by the Mu Kappa Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity provides toys and gifts to Broome County families in need at Christmastime.
- Students in the Binghamton Circle-K organization volunteer with numerous organizations throughout the Southern Tier, helping at fundraising and awareness events for causes such as AIDS/HIV, TOMS One Day Without Shoes and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness walk. Members also volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton, SUNY Kids, local pre-school programs, the Rescue Mission and the Binghamton Humane Society. The group also supports the March of Dimes and UNICEF.
- The Binghamton University Food Co-Op, located in the basement of the University Union, is a student-run organic grocery store and restaurant that sources products locally and from small companies. Open to students and the general public during the academic year, the Co-Op has a variety of bulk and packaged products, as well as serves lunch Monday through Friday.
- Members of Corazón de Dahlia raise awareness and funding for the Corazón de Dahlia Center in Peru, which provides Peruvian children and families with academic and social enrichment. The Binghamton group also works to combat abuse, poverty and educational inequality in the local community through community service projects on campus and in the surrounding area.
Binghamton student-athletes visit area schools each year to deliver messages on anti-bullying, nutrition, exercise, teamwork, drugs and alcohol. They also provide free skills-building clinics to community youth groups, perform hundreds of hours of community service and raise thousands of dollars for non-profit organizations. In 2014, student-athletes raised $10,000+ for the St. Baldrick's Foundation to support pediatric cancer research.
Each May as they prepare to move out, students living on Binghamton's campus donate household items and clothing they no longer need during the Room Clean-Out Resource Drive. Electronic waste is collected during the Student E-Waste Drive. All items are responsibly recycled or donated to those in need. In May 2014, 3,373 pounds of electronic waste was collected and recycled.
The brainchild of student Jillian Shotwell, the Binghamton Acres farm was launched in spring 2013 and provided its first harvest in the fall. The farm, located on Bunn Hill Road on land owned by the Binghamton University Foundation, serves as an example of the potential for food accessibility for Binghamton students and community members. At present, vegetables grown on the farm are used solely in campus dining halls.
Catalysts for Intellectual Capital 2020 (CIC2020), a student-run think tank, enhances the region's strengths by encouraging recent graduates to seek work in Greater Binghamton. With support from area business leaders and the University, CIC2020 offers its own leadership institute for students each spring.