President's Report Masthead
September 30, 2013
Welcoming students to campus

Jonathan Cohen
A view of the new Dickinson Community a local media begin a tour on Aug. 15, during the opening celebration of the buildings.

Welcoming students to campus

A number of major initiatives fell into place this quarter, enabling the Division of Student Affairs to give welcome our new and returning students to campus.

First, a celebration of the opening of the new Dickinson Community was held on Aug. 15. Three of the four buildings opened to new and returning students for the first time during move-in, and the fourth hall – Digman – will open for the spring semester. The opening of these buildings brings the University’s largest-ever construction project, phased over several years, to a close. 

The Dickinson halls are the first on campus to feature a significant number of single bedrooms in their design, making them highly attractive to students.

Read more about the celebration.

We also opened the fall 2013 semester housing more than 7,000 students on campus, our highest on-campus population ever. The logistics it took to complete the move-in process for new students on Aug. 22, and for returning students the next day, now require a full-scale Incident Management Team approach – especially when the President of the United States comes to campus at the same time. With staggered arrival times for students and families, all hands on deck from multiple University departments (residential life, police, physical facilities), and the addition this year of a trained cadre of student workers, police academy cadets and more than 100 staff and alumni volunteers, our move-in process went extremely well.

We continue to find exciting ways to welcome our new students to Binghamton. Opening weekend − their first weekend on campus − included our Convocation ceremony when Binghamton alumna and New York Yankees front office staff member Rose Barr spoke. President Harvey Stenger also addressed the crowd, and he and other top administrators got in the spirit by donning green shirts along with the new students.

Two days later, returning students and new students all enjoyed Binghamton’s 20th annual University Fest where more than 200 student organizations tabled along with University departments to provide information on their organizations to new students. There was lots of activity, including a water park area with surfboard rides, a slip ‘n slide and more, as well as a kids’ area, tricycle races and a dog parade! For the first time, the annual fest continued into the evening with “Shindig at the Fountain,” where students, faculty and staff enjoyed their dinner in the Harpur Quad while listening to a concert sponsored by the Binghamton Underground Music Program (BUMP). There were also amusement rides and another first – a Ferris Wheel.

The good times continued with Rec Fest on Sunday. About 1,200 students checked in to the fest, and over 2,400 people went inside the Rec Center, which “was swamped” with students signing up for memberships as early as Thursday. In all, from Friday through Sunday, more than 6,000 people checked into the Rec Center with valid IDs. One highlight of the Rec Fest was the grand opening of the new Disc Golf Course along a wooded trail on the east side of campus. Vice President Brian Rose and President Harvey Stenger were on hand to throw the inaugural discs.