A photo of the Dean of Students at Binghamton University. Message from the
Dean of Students

Dear Parents/Families,

It's crunch time for students as the end of the semester draws near, so I'm sure they're looking forward to some family time over the Thanksgiving holiday.

While students are home for the break, managing your expectations – and theirs – might be challenging, so I encourage you to keep the lines of communication with your maturing student open. Talk about what you hope for during the holiday, and ask about what your son or daughter hopes for. Once you have the conversation, you and your family will be able to plan and enjoy the holiday together, and still make room for your young adult to reconnect with friends.

When Thanksgiving is over, there are only two weeks of classes before finals week and my office, along with many others on campus, will kick into high gear for De-Stress December. We'll have plenty of de-stress activities to help your student relax to better focus on completing papers and exams so everyone will have a successful end to the semester!

If you have any questions or concerns, we're here to help. Contact my office at dos@binghamton.edu – and Happy Thanksgiving!

April Thompson
Dean of Students  

Binghamton Bearcat Family Association-Facebook just for parents!

Are you a parent who is social media savvy and wants daily updates just for you? Then "The Binghamton Bearcat Family Association" Facebook page is what you're looking for. This page has timely University updates, information about how to get involved as a parent, advice from faculty and staff with children in college, prize giveaways and more so "like" it today!

Residential Life


We've made it through housing sign-ups for returning students! Students who would like to change their housing selection — or missed the initial housing period and would like to sign up now — will be able to do so beginning Friday, Nov. 14. Encourage your student to visit the Residential Life website for details.

November brings two new Better Bearcat events, time home with family and RA selection:

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Residential Life co-hosted the Stress Management Fair with the University Counseling Center from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. in Old Union Hall. The fair included offices and departments from across campus as well as student clubs and organizations. It was a great opportunity for students to find ways to get involved and relieve stress in positive, lasting ways. We hope your student was able to take advantage of it!

Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21 will kick off a new Better Bearcat initiative: B-You Diversity Week, featuring facilitated discussions, performances, outlets for creative expression and much more. Events will be offered every day of the week — we hope to see many of our students come out and experience the incredible diversity of Binghamton!

Here comes Thanksgiving break! Halls will close at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, and reopen at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30. Only those students registered to stay in break housing and our apartment communities are able to stay on campus during this time. The holidays are a great time to catch up with students about their semester. Roommate issues are common, and if other forms of resolution have failed to decrease tension (ask students about their roommate agreements!), they can still request a housing change for the spring. Visit our website for details and deadlines.

If students are looking for leadership experience (and other perks like a single room and priority for class registration) talk to them about becoming an RA. Information sessions for fall 2015 placement will be held Sunday, Nov. 9, and Tuesday, Nov. 11. Applications are due Monday, Dec. 8. Being an RA is fun and rewarding. It offers your student the chance to be part of the growth and development of peers, and the opportunity to build community spirit in the residence halls. A full job description, application and FAQ are available on the RA selection website.

Campus Recreation

We find ways to make a healthy lifestyle fun in Campus Rec. For the past month, Binghamton has been pedaling its way through an interactive bike tournament, the Fall Frenzy, sponsored by Expresso. We battled for 48 hours each week against other college competitors. And every week our campus worked harder than the week before to advance us toward the finals. While we were defeated in the final four by Gannon, it was not without an outstanding display of determination and spirit. Our 182 riders tallied an astounding 5,168 miles over the course of four weeks.

Another way your student is getting involved is through our intramurals program — more than 2,000 students are battling it out weekly in sports such as flag football, soccer, dodgeball, volleyball and basketball. Our newest league, bubble soccer, filled in just 24 hours and has garnered a lot of interest and attention. Find out what all the excitement is about in this Binghamton Buzz, then head to our Facebook page for galleries and to see if your student is a league champion.

Intramural sports and events such as Fall Frenzy are a great way for your student to stay active, and more importantly as the semester wears on, to de-stress. Talk with your student about how to manage stress and watch for our tips and activities. Raising a heartbeat and taking time to zone out with exercise will help with anxiety, stress and tension as finals approach.

Looking ahead to next semester — students can register now for Outdoor Pursuits credit classes! Encourage students who love the outdoors or are looking for a fun supplement to their academic schedules to check out our offerings. They vary from skiing/snowboarding and hiking/snowshoeing, to English horsemanship, fly fishing, tree climbing and backcountry medicine. The spring semester will also be the first time we offer an independent study in outdoor adventure education. Students who complete this course will be eligible to become an activities assistant on the new challenge ropes course. Detailed class descriptions and information on how to sign up is available on our website.


Upcoming helpful Fleishman Career Center programs

Throughout the semester, the Fleishman Center offers a number of career and professional development programs to assist students of all class years. When students return to Binghamton from Thanksgiving break, the Fleishman Center will host a number of "Help!" programs such as: "Help! I need to choose a major," "Help! I need to find a summer internship" and "Help! I'm graduating and I need a job." Encourage your student to attend these programs to make progress toward a career and professional development.

The Fleishman Center, along with the other career centers on campus, will be offering students career-related programs, employer site visits and courses in New York City during the week of January 12, 2015. Space is limited for many of these events, so pre-registration is strongly recommended. For more information about the events taking place during the week, students should visit the Fleishman Center website.

Suggestions for college parents to help students through the stress of exams (excerpt from College Parents of America)

Exam time is a stressful time for most students, coming as a wake-up call. The semester may have progressed smoothly, when suddenly your student realizes how much there still is to do on that paper or project, or how many chapters are yet unread or how much material must be memorized for an exam. Although some students may have had large final exams in high school, for others this may be a new experience and one of the first big college reality checks. 

College parents may feel helpless as their student begins to worry or even panic over exams. This is one of those college moments where your student needs to figure out how to cope. However, there are a few things that parents can do to help students through this stressful time:

  • Recognize that your student is tired and stressed right now. This may not be the best time for lengthy chats about everyday life. Understand that your student is preoccupied by what needs to get done.
  • Use your best listening skills. Students may need to vent. They may need to complain about the amount of work, the unfairness of the professors, the difficulty of the material or the assignments. Provide an ear and let them know that you understand.
  • Remind your student to think about staying healthy. Unfortunately, exams often come at about the same time in the semester when students are hit by colds, viruses, flu and general exhaustion. Remind students to take care of their health and get help if needed.
  • Help your student keep exams in perspective. It may be a generous portion of the semester grade in a course, but it is just one piece of the class. Your student is not likely to fail a class based on one exam. If students have been doing the course work all semester, they will probably do well on the exam.
  • Help your student have realistic expectations. First-year students facing a major college exam for the first time may not do as well they had hoped. Remind your student that this is a first experience. It will be a learning experience, and like anything else, dealing with exams may take practice. Many students receive grades during their first semester that are lower than they are used to receiving in high school. This is a new level of study and your student may need to learn new ways of approaching it.
  • Encourage your student not to panic. Even if students feel overwhelmed right now, it can help to take a breath (figuratively and literally) and recognize that there are some things they can do to take control. Students who are far behind may not be able to accomplish everything, but they can do something. Some students feel so overwhelmed that they panic and do nothing. Anything that your student does, even if small steps, will help.

Think flu prevention

The Decker Student Health Services Center (DSHSC) began providing flu vaccine free of charge on Oct. 1. Encourage your student to watch for details regarding dates and locations of flu clinics in the B-Line Calendar. Students may also schedule appointments for flu vaccine online at myhealth.binghamton.edu or by calling the DSHSC at 607-777-2221.

Spring 2015 and Winter 2015 registration is now open

Class schedules and registration time tickets are currently viewable in BU BRAIN Self Service. Be sure all holds are cleared, including outstanding account balance holds, which prevent registration. Holds are viewable in BU BRAIN Self Service.

University Withdrawal

Students looking to withdraw completely from the University should review and submit the signed University Withdrawal form to the Financial Aid and Student Records, Admissions Center, Room 112. The Semester Withdrawal Form is required for students who wish to drop all fall semester courses and who want their academic record to indicate good standing.

Is your student a graduating senior for fall 2014?

Find out all you need to know about graduation requirements, including completion of the Application for Degree (AFD)

For more information about fall 2014 graduation weekend, check out Binghamton's Commencement website.  

Binghamton University Bookstore makes holiday shopping a little easier

All sales are available in-store and online (except the exclusive-to-you Cyber Monday sale). Online shopping, have it shipped directly or choose in-store pick up and your student can pick up your order at the store and bring it home.

Upcoming specials:
Nov. 10-23: 25 percent off Binghamton sweatshirts, sweatpants and crews; excludes Under Armour
Dec. 1: Cyber Monday only! 30 percent off Champion and free shipping; 1-day only; online only
Dec. 8-19: 25 percent off Champion brand clothing; hoodies, pants, tees, performance merchandise, etc.

Visit the Bookstore's website for more information or Like us on Facebook.

Binghamton University Bookstore
P: 607-777-2745
E-mail: bksbinghamton@bncollege.com


The Binghamton Fund

Check your mailboxes! The Binghamton Fund, the University's annual giving program, will be sending a special mailing to parents this month asking for your support.

The Binghamton Fund provides your student with valuable extras not funded by tuition or the state ─ including career fairs, internships, research projects and cultural events. We're asking you to join with the over 2,100 parents who contributed last year to make Binghamton an even more wonderful place for students like yours to learn and grow.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the Binghamton Fund at 607-777-6209 or via e-mail.

Check out Binghamton University on Facebook

Want to know more about what's going on at Binghamton University beyond the parent Facebook page? Check the Binghamton University main page out on Facebook.

Visiting Binghamton?

If you're planning a trip to Binghamton, visit the Visiting Binghamton section on our website or the Greater Binghamton Convention and Visitors Bureau for information on what to see, where to stay and where to eat while you're here.

Update Parent Information

Keep your contact information updated in our parent database. If your address, phone or e-mail has changed, send a note to kellis@binghamton.edu to let us know. And if you're looking for more from us, check out some of our pages targeted directly to parents and guardians:

Calendar of events

  • University's Academic Calendar
  • Nov. 26: Classes recess at 1 p.m. for Thanksgiving break
  • Nov. 26: Residence halls close at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 30: Residence halls open at 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 1: Classes resume
  • Dec. 12: Last day of classes
  • Dec. 14: Fall Commencement
  • Dec. 15-19: Final exams
  • Dec. 20: Residence halls close at 11 a.m. for Winter break

How to unsubscribe

If you no longer have a need to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe by sending a message to kellis@binghamton.edu.

Last Updated: 11/13/14