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

Dear Parents/Families,

As always, everyone at Binghamton University is working hard over the summer to ensure the campus is ready to welcome our returning students back to campus – and our incoming students for the first time. And as we've been preparing, one of the things we've learned is how popular we are, because many more students than we had anticipated want to live on campus in the fall!

As a result, as you'll read below, we're adjusting our residence hall renovation schedule and making plans to house all of the students who choose to live on campus, including our transfer students.

We're looking forward to our 12 summer Orientation sessions as well – four for transfer students in June and another eight for incoming freshman during July. Our Orientation Advisors are prepared to help your student learn much of what they need to know about Binghamton University, including about accelerated degrees, our 280+ student organizations and our Healthy Campus Initiative! But we don't leave families out during Orientation. We have a track just for families where they meet faculty, learn how to support their students, hear about food, money, books, transportation and safety! If you're the parent of an incoming student and haven't yet registered for an Orientation session, you can do so online

In the meantime, we'll keep preparing for a great Welcome Weekend for all of our students, and until then, if you have any questions or concerns, send a message to me at dos@binghamton.edu.

April Thompson
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

Cayuga hall to remain open for 2015-2016 academic year

Binghamton University is experiencing an unprecedented increase in the number of students who want to live on campus and has decided to postpone updates to Cayuga Hall in College-in-the-Woods for one year. It will instead remain open for the 2015-2016 academic year to meet the increased demand for on-campus housing.
We remain committed to maintaining strong residential communities with superior facilities and will ensure that Cayuga Hall preserves Binghamton University's residential college model by integrating new and returning students, upholding our long practice of housing new and returning students in the same hall and on the same floors to foster community identity and pass down traditions.
We know that Cayuga residents are full of spirit and anticipate that many will be excited to return to their residential hall. We are reaching out to former Cayuga Hall residents who are signed up to live on campus for 2015-16 with additional information.

Residential Life

Want to see where your student may end up calling "home" for the next 10 months? Take a tour around and inside our beautiful residence halls. Make sure to attend during Day 1 of your orientation program from 12:45-1:45 p.m. Can't make it to campus for the tours? You can get a good idea of what residential life is all about, including our Living and Learning Communities, traditions and room styles online.

December 2015 to mark the last Fall Commencement

After discussions with Student Association leaders, faculty governance leaders, and the University's senior leadership, it was decided that holding a ceremony for the relatively small number of students who opted to participate in Fall Commencement exercises after completing requirements in the summer or fall (just over 400 in December 2014) is not justified by the cost (about $70,000) and the time spent by staff in planning and executing the event. In addition, the unpredictable December weather leaves a fall ceremony open to the possibility of cancellation.

Commencement has evolved during the past two years, as the University has held eight Spring Commencement ceremonies. Each of the five undergraduate schools hold ceremonies for their students, and each of Harpur College's three divisions host commencement proceedings. In addition, a ceremony for graduate students recognizes students receiving doctoral and master's degrees.

The Spring Commencement proceedings are highly personal. Each student has his or her name read as he or she crosses the stage, and individuals receiving special recognitions are identified. Each ceremony features a student speaker representing his or her school or, in the case of Harpur College, division. By encouraging students who complete their degree requirements during the summer or fall to participate in Spring Commencement exercises, the University hopes to include them in the more personalized ceremonies it has created.

"Between the expense, the sizable staff support required, the vagaries of December weather, and the number of students who opt to participate, we believe that it is wise to join many of our peer institutions who do not offer Fall Commencement or who have cancelled them," said Donald Nieman, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Among the University's 25 peer institutions, 13 do not hold a fall or winter commencement. In recent years, large institutions like the University of Arizona, the University of Delaware, and the University of Connecticut have opted out of a fall ceremony.

Binghamton University has held a fall commencement since 2007.

Accelerated degree programs at Binghamton

Summer is upon us, and students are home with their families celebrating this year's achievements and looking forward to what's next. To help the student in your family explore all the academic possibilities Binghamton University has to offer, be sure to learn more about Binghamton's accelerated degree programs!

Did you know that Binghamton University students can earn a graduate degree with only one extra year of coursework? Binghamton University offers over 50 combinations of accelerated degree programs through which eligible students can earn two degrees in only five years. Most master's degree programs are two years long; to complete both a bachelor's and master's degree in five years saves your student a full year of time, and also a full year of tuition!

The benefits don't end there. According to the United States Census Bureau, graduates with a master's degree earn – on average – over $10,000 more a year than graduates with only a bachelor's degree. Further, attaining an accelerated degree at Binghamton saves your student the headache and financial stress of applying to external graduate programs: why not stay in a place where you're settled, working with faculty who know you and support you, engaged by a community designed to help you succeed?

Don't miss your chance to learn more about Binghamton University's accelerated degree programs. If you have any questions, call the Graduate School at 607-777-2151 or e-mail gradadmission@binghamton.edu.

LinkedIn: A critical career exploration and job search tool for students

In the world of career development, LinkedIn is a critical tool to student career success. For students in the beginning stages of their education, LinkedIn is a valuable resource for learning about career paths ("What can I do with a major in _____?"), serves as a starting point for informational interviews and facilitates networking with professionals in fields of interest.

More advanced students can leverage LinkedIn's network of more than 364 million members (58,000+ of whom are students or alumni of Binghamton University!) to grow their professional network, search for internships, identify job openings and research organizations in preparation for interviews. Recent studies show that 93 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, while only 43 percent of college students use LinkedIn! For this reason alone we want 100 percent of Binghamton students to understand and make use of this powerful resource.

A good LinkedIn profile includes a professional-looking photo and a thoughtful and complete summary and involvement history. Encourage students to create or enhance their profiles using the Grad Guide Videos we've linked on our Creating and Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile page and watch for fall semester LinkedIn programming and photo booths sponsored by the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development.

Campus Recreation

Summer is a great time to visit the Rec Center and find your fit; there are several programs and activities for students taking classes on campus and our local members. Rec basketball and swim remain popular, and for those with a summer membership, there are nearly 20 group fitness classes a week including yoga, spinning, total body toning and many others!

June is outdoors month so we're celebrating our outdoor adventurers! More than 300 students took part in at least one Outdoor Pursuits activity with Campus Recreation in 2014-15. More than 30 students hiked, paddled, skied or biked on two or more. We'd love to have more students take advantage of these free and low-cost activities next year! It's a great opportunity to get out of the classroom and hone a new skill or try something different. We even provide the equipment and transportation. Our fall 2015 activities are already posted.

We've also broken ground on our Recreational Turf Complex that is on track to open with the beginning of the fall semester. More than 5,000 participants battled it out as members of our club and intramural sport teams this past year. Nearly 1,000 students, faculty and staff joined outdoor soccer, softball and flag football — the teams that will see the greatest benefit from a lighted turf field with fewer games canceled due to weather and daylight restrictions.

Meet the librarians

The libraries are such a huge part of your students' experience on campus, why not meet some of them! Learn a little bit more about Anne Larrivee and Ben Andrus through the Beyond the Classroom video series.

Binghamton University Food Recovery Network thriving thanks to students and strategic partners

In fall 2014, Binghamton University students from various student groups helped recover about 8,000 pounds of food for the needy. That translates to over 10,000 meals based on 12-ounce portions. Recent statistics show that during the spring 2015 semester, students recovered even more – reaching a record of almost 2,000 pounds of food in one week.

Richard Herb, chef manager of College-in-the-Woods Dining Center (CIW), said campus-style meal plans will always result in some level of food waste at the end of the day because kitchens must always be stocked. "With us having to meet those requirements," Herb said, "there's food waste that occurs as a natural course of doing business."

So every morning during the semester, food delivery trucks pick up leftover items from all of the dining centers and transport them to CIW Dining Center. At about 6 p.m., volunteers from various student organizations such as Hillel package the food, which is then picked up by Volunteers of America and the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) for delivery to local charities and soup kitchens, such as the Salvation Army of Binghamton.

The program – the Food Recovery Network (FRN) – began its trial run last year in CIW and was so successful that it spread to all residential dining centers last semester. "We saw that it was such a wonderful program and it really allowed us to utilize leftovers in a way that we've never been able to before," Herb said.

The student-founded FRN chapter on campus has forged strong relationships with Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo, CHOW and the Volunteers of America, helping to feed the hungry within their own community. In addition, all food recovered is diverted from landfills avoiding enormous waste.

"I am so grateful that the Sodexo staff, the student community and local organizations are so devoted to the work the Food Recovery Network does. I cannot wait to see how it expands," said Sabrina Scull '15, former president of the Binghamton University FRN chapter and recent graduate. 

Financial Aid and Student Records - Important dates and deadlines!

Spring 2015

  • Spring 2015 graduates diplomas are being mailed out beginning this month. 

Summer Session 2015

  • It's not too late to register for the 2015 Summer Session. The second summer session runs from July 6-Aug. 7. Visit the Summer Session website for more information.

Requirement for all students enrolled in Summer Session: Confirmation of Enrollment

  • All undergraduate and graduate students registered for summer courses are required to confirm enrollment via BU Brain by 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, or courses will be dropped.
  • Financial aid recipients must confirm enrollment to have funds not only credited but applied to pay their student account balance and generate a refund (if applicable).
  • Confirming enrollment acknowledges that the student has been presented with and reviewed financial aid, billing and refund policies as required by federal and state agencies, SUNY and the University.

Fall 2015

  • Clear holds
    • Be sure to clear all holds that may prevent registration. Holds can be viewed online through BU Brain. An outstanding account balance could delay your student's registration.
  • Proof of enrollment
    • Proof of advance registration for fall 2015 is available online through the National Student Clearinghouse. Students can access this through BU Brain. Click Student, then Student Services Tools.
  • Ensure proper bill credit
  • Proxy access now available for financial aid information
    • "Proxy access" is the ability students have to grant others access to view their financial aid information in BU Brain. Currently, this is available for financial aid information. For more information on proxy access and how to set up an account, go online.

Does your college student enjoy theater as a creative outlet?

Department of Theatre productions and classes are a great way to meet other students, become involved with a community and even fill a Gen Ed requirement or two. The department produces Mainstage and Studio Shows throughout the academic year, and any student taking classes at Binghamton is eligible and encouraged to audition or join a crew. That's right! Students do not have to be a theatre major to be a part of our shows or to take classes.

Students with any acting experience might consider taking some theatre courses. Check out the recommended classes for freshmen and Important information & FAQs for anyone interested in theatre, whether it's acting, costumes, dance, design/tech, directing, history, lighting, make-up, sound, stage management...It's all here; get involved!

Make plans now for Move-in Day!

If you'll be moving your student back Aug. 27 or 28, especially if you plan to spend a night, be forewarned that the Greater Binghamton area will be bustling with a major community event – the Senior PGA Tour Dick's Sporting Goods Open – so hotel rooms will be at a premium and it will likely take longer than usual to drive from point A to point B. Make your plans now! 

Parents – Facebook just for you!

Like the Bearcats Family Association Facebook page today so you can receive daily news and information from Binghamton University, as well as win fun prizes just for parents!

Check out Binghamton University on Facebook, too

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
  • June 16, 18, 22 and 24 - Transfer student Orientation sessions
  • July 6: Summer Session Term II begins
  • July 6-7, 9-10, 16-17, 20-21, 23-24, 27-18 - Harpur College freshmen Orientation sessions
  • July 13-14, 30-31 - Professional school freshmen Orientation sessions 

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: 6/23/15