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Information for Parents

Parent and Family Relations

Please visit the Parent and Family Relations webpage for details about the programs and service this unit provides. Also, we invite you to review the pages we've created for the parents of students who are freshmen or transfers, sophomores, juniors or seniors. Other resources available to you include the Family Handbook, a directory of links to campus offices and services, and regular updates from the dean of students.

Release of Information

As the parent of a Binghamton University student, you may have a need to contact the Office of the Dean of Students for assistance. We realize you are an important part of your son or daughter’s life, and we will work with you to resolve difficulties that arise while he or she is a student here. However, your son or daughter is our first concern, and we are bound by federal law -- the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) -- to protect student privacy. We cannot violate confidentiality or provide information that violates this law, which protects the privacy of student educational records and gives students (over the age of 18 years or attending an institution of higher education) the right to access and correct their records.

In addition, information contained in the educational records, beyond directory information, cannot be shared without the student's written consent. Our directory information includes name; address and telephone number; e-mail address; class level; degree information including associated majors, minors and certificates; dates of attendance; and full- or part-time status. Learn more about FERPA.

The University will contact parents/guardians in most instances of health emergencies, serious accidents, or other serious medical or psychological conditions, including those that arise out of alcohol or other drug overdose when it has been made aware of such incidents. The student’s consent to speak with parents/guardians is sought whenever practical. The University will, however, continue to rely on the judgment of its staff when assessing each situation to determine when to notify parents.

For nonemergency situations in which students are seeking medical or psychological treatment, including treatment for substance abuse, the campus respects client/provider confidentiality in accordance with established state and federal laws. In such instances, communication with parents/guardians is only with the permission of the student, who must sign a “Release of Student Information” form. These are available upon request or may be downloaded at

In general, the University does not communicate with parents/guardians regarding matters of student conduct. However, when dependent students are involved in a series of minor violations or a single serious violation, communication with parents/guardians may occur through the sanctioning or other administrative process.

FAQ for Parents

What number can I call if there is a campus emergency?

Please call the University's assistance and information line at 607-777-2000.

What do I do if there is a death in the family?

Most faculty and staff are understanding when a student is absent due to a family death or emergency. Our office can contact professors and other appropriate personel and offices to notify them of your student's absence. We require documentation (for example, an obituary or funeral announcement) to verify the reason for your child's absence.

What type of assistance do we provide in the case of the death of a student?

Our office can assist parents/guardians/families with investigating possible tuition refunds, notification of University personnel, organizing grief counseling for friends and peers, and other campus-related concerns.

What if my son or daughter is injured or becomes seriously ill?

As in the case of a family emergency or death, the Office of the Dean of Students can notify professors and other appropriate people of a student's absence due to injury or illness. Our office requires documentation (for example, a doctor's note or letter from a primary-care provider) to verify your child's injury or illness. If the injury or illness requires the student miss a significant number of classes, medical withdrawal or cancellation of registration may be necessary and our office will facilitate that process.

When should you expect to hear from the Dean of Students?

If a student is seriously injured (and transported to a hospital for injury) a call will be made to the student's emergency contact of record. This call may take place after the student is in a treatment facility; therefore, the call to the parent or guardian may not take pace at the instance of the injury. University Police are often aware of transports and serious injuries. You are free to contact them at 607-777-2393 to reach the dean of students after hours or if you are not able to get the information you need when there is a crisis or emergency. In addition, if a student has violated the alcohol policy, consideration is made with regard to informing parents. The seriousness of the infraction and the student's well-being are taken into consideration before a call is made. The student is informed before the call home is made.

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Last Updated: 9/9/10