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

Dear Parents/Families,

I love seeing the energy that returns to campus as more than 16,000 students start classes! Move-In Day seemed to go smoothly thanks to the great cooperation we had from you and your students. Though it was a very hot day, we appreciated your patience.

I hope the semester has started well for your student, and remind you that there are resources to take advantage of if you or your student have any concerns. For a quick guide to all things Binghamton, simply go to the University's Parent gateway page and you'll find information that will help you quickly connect with the resource you need.

I'm sure you must be anxious to see what campus life is really like for your student, so I encourage you to make plans now to join us for Family Weekend, Oct. 10-12! There will be plenty to keep you busy, including tours of the Nature Preserve, presentations on studying abroad, a special concert, athletic and musical events, family portraits and much more! See the link to register online for Family Weekend below! 

I'm looking forward to seeing you on campus in a few short weeks, and until then, contact me at dos@binghamton.edu with any questions or concerns.

April Thompson
Dean of Students  

Registration for Family Weekend is now open!

Register today for Family Weekend 2014, to take place October 10-12. Family Weekend is a wonderful weekend to visit your student in their new environment, learn more about Binghamton University, and enjoy some fun for the whole family! Visit the Family Weekend webpage where you can register and view the full schedule of events.

Parents: Facebook just for you!

Are you a social-media savvy parent who 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 go ahead and "like" it today!

Fraternity and Sorority Life

Binghamton Fraternity and Sorority Life concluded the 2013-2014 school year with 1,652 members in 52 organizations. Collectively, those 1,652 members raised over $75,000 for various charities and finished the spring with an average 3.23 grade point average compared to the Binghamton University overall average of 3.19.

We remind parents that to facilitate a smooth transition to Binghamton University, first-semester freshman are not permitted to join a fraternity or sorority. If your first-semester freshman student mentions joining this fall, we ask that you share that information with our office. In addition, we want you to be aware of organizations potentially operating in Binghamton without University recognition. Most of these groups were closed in the past for significant violations and they have chosen to continue operating "underground" without University oversight – in many cases continuing the behaviors that originally led to their being shut down and losing their recognition. We want to bring this to your attention in case your student mentions joining one of these groups. The list of unrecognized organizations is available online

Finally, for those parents whose sophomore or above students are considering joining one of our organizations this fall, know that Binghamton University has a strict no-hazing policy. While hazing in our community is a rare occurrence, it does still happen from time to time. If you believe your student is being hazed, don't hesitate to contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life where you can file a confidential report at 607-777-2797 or lcoghill@binghamton.edu.

Our fraternity and sorority community offers outstanding opportunities for scholarship, service and leadership and we hope that your student is considering becoming part of our community or that he or she is currently enjoying their experience at Binghamton University.

Search for federal work-study and part-time employment opportunities in hireBING

Students looking for federal work-study or on- and off-campus part-time employment opportunities should now search in hireBING, the new online job and internship platform offered by the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development

hireBING replaced eRecruiting in mid-August, and students who have not yet logged into hireBING should now do so using their Binghamton University e-mail as their username, and by clicking on the "forgot password" feature to retrieve their temporary password in order to update their student profile. Once logged into hireBING, there is a quick link on the right side navigation bar to view all posted student employment — federal work-study and part-time job postings.

Note that most student employment opportunities require a résumé for submission, and likely involve an interview for those candidates selected for consideration. Students who have questions about hireBING, résumés, interviewing or their student employment search should visit the Fleishman Center during daily walk-in hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Additional walk-in hours are available on Tuesdays from 4-6:30 p.m.

Residential Life

What a great move-in weekend this year! We're so glad to have all of the residents back — the energy and excitement on campus is contagious. There have been bonfires and s'mores, movies, floor meetings and socials with fellow residents and faculty masters. Now that students are getting settled, you may notice that you hear from them a little less. Check out this month's ResLife tip on communicating with your student (you may want to consider getting a Facebook or Skype account if you don't have one already). 

The next defining moment in life on campus: housing sign-ups for next year.

We know it seems early; but over the past few years we've heard from students and families that the decision to live on or off campus was coming down to when off-campus leases are due. Students had to decide to sign a contract for an off campus apartment before our on-campus process had even begun. There are great benefits to living on campus, so we're making it as convenient as possible for students to make the best choice for them.

So this year, fall '15 housing sign-ups are moving to October (that's next month!) — and we've waived the $200 housing deposit!

We think we stack up well against our off-campus competitors. Our prices are similar, but what Binghamton University offers that others can't is academic support, safety, community spirit, as well as close proximity to classes, University libraries and recreation facilities.

Watch your mailbox in the next few weeks for information to help you talk with your student about living on campus. We've also added details online about group formation, choosing a leader and the room selection priorities. 

We hope that your student will continue to make Binghamton University their home away from home.

Campus Recreation

Rec Fest was a great success this year — a little rain didn't keep the more than 1,200 students or us from Campus Rec's biggest day of play. Photo galleries of the rubgy and bubble soccer games, disc golf, flash mobs, chair massages and other fun can be viewed online at our Facebook page

Over the next month, our field and courts will be full with intramural flag football, disc golf, soccer, volleyball and wiffle ball, as well as lots of club sport practices and games for field hockey, tennis, rugby, soccer, baseball and softball to name a few. We'll post Facebook galleries throughout the season, so check back often to catch a glimpse of your student in action.

Our Outdoor Pursuits program will be busy this month with the opening of the new challenge ropes course in addition to the hikes and trips they hold each year to get students off campus and exploring the surrounding areas. There's also still time for students to sign up for credit classes including English horsemanship, hiking, bicycling and backcountry medicine. Encourage your student to check out the many ways to get OUT! A full listing of activities and classes are available on the Outdoor Pursuits website

You can find details regarding these and other Campus Recreation activities on our website and Facebook page.

The University Counseling Center at Binghamton

The transition from high school to college is a very exciting time, yet it can cause many concerns, not just for the student but for the parents as well. Is my child ready to be on his own? Will she miss her class? Who will my child turn to in an emergency situation? These are just a few of the many concerns that can arise for parents or guardians sending their child off to college.

A safe place for students

Binghamton University Counseling Center realizes the importance of ensuring that both the student and family have a smooth transition into higher education. The University Counseling Center provides a safe place for students to receive counseling services. Licensed professional counselors (psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and licensed mental health counselors) are available to assist students with many obstacles which may be hindering them from achieving personal and professional satisfaction. The information shared with the counselors is confidential and is not included in the student's academic record. We understand that every student is unique and we strive to provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for our diverse student population. Counseling sessions are free as part of the health fee. Parents may also call for a consultation with counseling staff if they are concerned about a student.

Find us on campus

The University Counseling Center is located on the first floor of Library North Tower in room 1202. Students can conveniently schedule confidential appointments with a counselor by visiting our office or by telephone at 607-777-2772.

Encourage your student to take advantage of this wonderful resource that Binghamton University provides. We look forward to being of service and welcoming your new student!

What do I do if my college student is homesick?

Living away from home at college requires some adjustment. Homesick students are as common in college as midterms and finals. And while you may have been homesick yourself while you were a college student, it's definitely a different experience when you're the parent of a homesick college student. When students live close enough to home, they may be more tempted to come home often because of homesickness. But that probably isn't the best answer for homesickness. College life is a time for developing independence; when students go home often, they are missing out on campus activities, time with friends and the travel time cuts into study time. Parents can help their son or daughter adjust and feel supported by keeping in touch via phone, letters and e-mail.

There are a few simple ways you can support your child through homesickness:

  • Remind your student — and yourself — that being homesick is completely normal. Be willing to listen to your student's feelings and validate that they are real. Sometimes just being able to express feelings may be what your student needs. They may not need your suggestions, just your understanding ear. Don't trivialize or dismiss feelings.
  • Encourage your student to stay on campus rather than making frequent visits home. It is difficult to adjust to college if you are not there – especially on the weekends, when more of the social activity may occur.
  • Encourage your student to continue transitioning to their college or university by meeting new people and trying new things. Suggest that your student take some time to become more familiar with the campus. Study a campus map, take some walks around campus, find some new and interesting places. The more familiar students become with their new home, the more quickly they will feel comfortable.
  • Suggest that your student get involved on campus. They could attend a club meeting, join an intramural sport, volunteer to help somewhere. Students who are more involved are happier – and better – students.
  • Send a care package. Sending comfort foods and things that are familiar can be a great way to ease your student's homesickness. You can grab a few of your student's favorite items at the store — like a box of cookies, their favorite cereal, microwave popcorn, candy and granola bars — and send a care package that doesn't require a full night of baking on your part. Including a thoughtful card or note will also add a special, personalized touch.
  • Suggest your student talk with someone on campus about his feelings. Resident assistants, counselors and other college personnel are trained to help students adjust to college. The University Counseling Center, in Library North 1202, is a confidential counseling service available to them. We can be reached at 607-777-2772.

For most students, however, homesickness is a part of adjusting to college. In the fall, your student will be missing home and wondering if they made the right choice; in the spring, your student will be complaining about how much they'll miss their friends and the energy of campus over the summer. Your role, then, is to support them through the homesickness and their adjustment to this new phase in their life.

Help your student become a global-ready graduate

In the SUNY system alone there are over 600 study-abroad programs to all corners of the globe, not to mention the other high-quality programs offered by other institutions. It can seem overwhelming for both you and your student. However, the earlier you both start discussing the possibilities, the better it will be for planning the course of study, working with financial aid and getting those coveted scholarships! The conversation can start freshman year because your student can go abroad as early as the summer after freshman year. There are short-term summer and winter programs, semester or academic-year programs or your student could go abroad on a service-learning or internship opportunity (or all of them!).

September is as great a time as any because deadlines for winter and spring 2015 are here!

As always, the Office of International Programs (OIP) is here to help. Contact us at oip@binghamton.edu or 607-777-2336, and visit us online or in our new office in LN-G300 (ground floor below Bartle Library).

The Binghamton Fund

The Binghamton Fund, the University's annual giving program, provides your student with valuable extras not funded by tuition or the state − including internships, research projects, cultural events and networking opportunities. 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.

You can make a difference. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the Binghamton Fund at 607-777-6209 or bingfund@binghamton.edu.


Students encouraged to attend Fall Job & Internship Fair on Sept. 18

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development will host the University's Fall Job & Internship Fair from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Events Center. Representatives from more than 80 for-profit, government and non-profit organizations are eager to speak with students from all majors regarding full-time and/or internship opportunities. Students from all class years and majors are encouraged to attend; seniors to job search, juniors and sophomores to explore internship opportunities and freshmen to better understand what's in store for them in the years to come. In advance of the fair, encourage your student to review the Fleishman Center website for insight on how best to prepare for the fair, review the list of registered employers, conduct research on those of interest and participate in the multiple career and professional development preparation programs and workshops leading up to the fair.

Dates and deadlines

Application for Degree deadline Friday, Oct. 31

Is your student a graduating senior? The Application for Degree (AFD) is now available in BU BRAIN Self Service via the portal. Students must notify the University of their intent to graduate by completing the online fall 2014 AFD in order to receive their degree. The deadline for fall 2014 is Friday, Oct. 31.

Grade option change deadline Friday, Oct. 31

Students may select a grading option when registering for a course. The grading options are a letter grade or pass/fail. To change the grading option, go to BU BRAIN Self Service via the portal. More information can be found online

Course withdrawal deadline Friday, Oct. 31

The fall 2014 course withdrawal deadline is Oct. 31. Students will receive a W grade for any course they withdraw from, and it will be reflected on their official transcript. Go online for directions on how to drop a course

Students looking to withdraw completely from the University should submit the Semester Withdrawal form to Financial Aid and Student Records. The Semester Withdrawal Form is required for students who wish to drop ALL semester courses and want their academic record to indicate good standing. Find the Semester Withdrawal Form online

Proof of enrollment/Degree verification

Your insurance company, a scholarship program, a lender or other third party may require your student to show proof of enrollment (also called enrollment verification). Binghamton's official enrollment verification is offered through the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) one week prior to the start of each semester. Some companies may request a letter from the University in addition to the online proof of enrollment certificate. Your student can obtain an official letter verifying enrollment via BU BRAIN Self Service, Student tab, Student Service Tools. They can access BU Brain through the portal and simply click on the link provided in the section below the Proof of Enrollment menu item to display and print the letter. The letter must then be attached to the official proof of enrollment from the National Student Clearinghouse.

Academic progress and financial aid

Students receiving federal and state aid must meet specific academic progress standards to keep their eligibility intact. For more information, go online

Financial aid – check status

Ensure students stay up to date on their financial aid status through the semester. Remind them to check BU BRAIN Self Service via the portal, and their Binghamton University e-mail account regularly for important notifications and/or revisions that could affect their student account.

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
  • Sept. 12: Course add/drop/delete deadline
  • Sept. 24: Classes recess at 1 p.m. for Rosh Hashanah
  • Sept. 24: Residence halls close at 2 p.m. for Rosh Hashanah
  • Sept. 28: Residence halls open at 2 p.m.
  • Sept. 29: Classes resume
  • Oct. 3: Classes recess at 1 p.m. for Yom Kippur
  • Oct. 6: Classes resume
  • Oct. 10-12: Family Weekend

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: 9/16/14