Enhanced BU freshmen orientation program offers the personal touch


Orientation at Binghamton University is about to get personal, thanks to an enhanced welcoming process about to kick off in July. In an effort to give new students more personal attention right from the start, the University has added three more orientation sessions this summer so it can host smaller gatherings at each.

The orientation sessions, also known as Beginnings 2002, will hold nine sessions — seven for freshmen and two for transfers. Through a variety of two day informational sessions, Beginnings will offer groups of 250 to 275 new students and their families the opportunity to learn more about student services, academic offerings and what it's like to be a Binghamton University student. Participants will be able to obtain academic and pre-professional advising as well as get to know the campus via organized tours or personal expeditions.

Although orientation has always been a great success, Kim Liebhauser, assistant director campus activities in the Office of Campus Activities and Orientation, said the additional sessions would make the program even better for the estimated 2,800 freshman and transfer students who will be starting their BU experience in the fall.

“Last year we had more than 1,000 people participate in the orientation process over a two day period,” Liebhauser said, “and it was difficult to get everyone’s questions answered and give them appropriate attention.”

“With the groups being smaller this year, we will be able to spend more time with families and not feel as rushed,” Liebhauser said. “I think the students and their families will come away with a much more positive experience, and the people staffing the informational sessions and tables won’t be as overwhelmed.”

Students participating in the enhanced orientation process will also be able to register for their fall courses more quickly. Last year, for the first time, new students were able to register online for courses during orientation and were able to leave campus with their fall schedules in hand. “However, we ended up having to register students in two waves,” Liebhauser said. “It took an enormous amount of time to get that many people through the process. Now we can get them in there at the same time and everyone gets a fair chance. The one-to-one attention is really what we’re going for.”

Beginnings also offers students a preview of a variety of campus activities, including an introduction to Late Nite Binghamton, one of the University’s more popular social gathering traditions. Late Nite is geared to help break the ice, allowing ‘the new kids on the block’ the opportunity to get a headstart on new friendships.

Recognizing that entering college for the first time marks a significant change in the lives of families, Beginnings offers a concurrent orientation program specifically geared for parents and family members. Activities earmarked for parents and families include financial aid information, campus services and tours of the Triple Cities area.

The first of nine two-day orientation sessions for freshmen, transfer students and their parents will be held Monday and Tuesday, July 8 and 9. Additional programs are scheduled for July 11 and 12, July 12 and 13, July 15 and 16, July 18 and 19, July 21 and 22, July 23 and 24, July 25 and 26, and July 29 and 30.

For international students and those who cannot attend in July, a session will be offered August 28 and 29.

Day 1 of Beginnings includes a welcoming session scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in the Anderson Center’s Watters Theater. A session offering academic overviews of the University’s five schools will follow at 3 p.m. in various locations on campus, including the Lecture Hall complex and in locations in the Academic A and Academic B buildings. 

Other Day 1 activities include a campus auxiliary service fair scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the University Union mini-mall, at which students can learn about dining services, the campus bookstore, and banking services.

Day 2 includes a faculty fair to be held from 12 to 1:00 p.m. in the Lecture Hall complex at which students can meet with faculty members and staff. The Day 2 activities also include a tour of the University’s Fitspace facility, located in the East Gym.

Questions may be directed to the Orientation Office at 607-777-2878.

Last Updated: 9/17/13