Frequently asked questions

Updated at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020

Frequently asked questions

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  • How do I know I haven't been in contact with an anonymous individual who has a confirmed case of COVID-19?

    Binghamton University works with the Broome County Health Department (BCHD) — the lead agency in our county for COVID-19 — to support the health and wellness of anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19. Individuals with the diagnosis are isolated and receive medical care, and the BCHD works with them to identify anyone they may have been in contact with. Those individuals will be notified by the BCHD of actions they should take to care for themselves.

  • How are individuals diagnosed with COVID-19?

    Anyone with a fever and shortness of breath or a cough and shortness of breath, but is not ill enough to be in the hospital, may be diagnosed by a medical professional to have COVID-19, and will be considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI) and must be isolated. Their close contacts must be quarantined.

  • What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

    Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 before any symptoms might arise, to see if they become sick. Isolation separates people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 from people who are not sick.

    Individuals who are isolated should:

    • Stay in their own room and not share a bathroom.
    • Only leave their room for medical appointments or emergencies. If one must leave their room, a mask should be worn.
    • Monitor for fever, cough or shortness of breath and report to a medical provider should those symptoms occur.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or with hand sanitize that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, dishes and bedding.
    • Clean all surfaces in rooms/bathrooms that are touched often, every day, with normal household sprays or wipes.
    • Cover courgs and sneezes with tissue or elbow.
    • Get rest and stay hydrated.
    • If a medical emergency occurs, call 911. Notify the dispatcher that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and put on a mask before the ambulance arrives.

    Individuals who are quarantined should follow compulsory separation from others, including restriction of movement.

  • Should I wear a mask in public?

    The CDC recommends using cloth face coverings in public places, especially those where social distancing is difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.). Masks may help reduce viral transmission, but are not a replacement for other important measures like washing your hands, not touching your face and maintaining social distancing. More information about the use of masks and instructions for making a cloth mask at home can be found at the CDC’s website

  • Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

    People are thought to be most contagious when they are most sick. There are some reports that the new coronavirus may spread before people show symptoms, but it is not known with certainty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  website notes that “Asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 has been reported, but it is not yet known what role asymptomatic infection plays in transmission. Similarly, the role of pre-symptomatic transmission (infection detection during the incubation period prior to illness onset) is unknown.   

  • What should I do if I suspect someone has COVID-19?

    If they are a student, urge them to contact the Decker Student Health Services Center (DSHSC) at 607-777-2221, or their medical provider. If they are an employee, urge them to contact their medical provider.



Note: Faculty are considered critical employees if they need to be on campus to deliver, prepare or record their classes.

  • Will classes become pass/fail?

    For spring 2020, the following Pass/Fail policy will apply for all Binghamton University undergraduates except for those in academic programs where licensure or accreditation regulations prohibit (nursing and social work).

    These changes affect only Binghamton University degree programs; your decision to select the P/F grade option may affect future applications to medical school and other graduate or professional programs. Students who are considering applying to such programs should consult their advising office for guidance.

    These are the basic details for those in academic programs without licensure or accreditation restrictions:

    • Up to 12 credits may be taken with a P/F grade option in spring 2020 and used to satisfy degree requirements, including major/minor/General Education requirements, even if these 12 credits would cause a student to exceed their school/college’s cumulative P/F credit limit. (Students may take more than 12 credits for P/F and credit toward their degree if these additional credits do not cause them to exceed the cumulative P/F credit limit for their school/college. Refer to your college’s advising page for your specific limits.)
    • Students can decide whether to choose the P/F grading option after spring 2020 grades have been assigned. To give advising offices a chance to help each student make the decision that is best for them, the grade change option will be turned on after spring 2020 grades have been assigned.
    • Students will continue to have the option to receive a letter grade if they choose to do so. All undergraduate courses, except those in licensure-qualifying or accreditation-limited programs, will have the P/F grade option even if the P/F grade option was not originally offered for the course.
    • A grade of “P” will satisfy progression requirements in prerequisite courses.

    Many students will benefit most by electing to take only a few or even no courses with the P/F option. This policy allows students to wait until after grades have been assigned before deciding whether to choose the P/F grade option.

    Follow the links below to find your school’s specific advice:

    Find more information on the Pass/Fail policy page
  • Will changes have been made to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory policy for graduate students? Are any other policies being changed?

    Policy on S/U grades 

    For spring 2020, the Graduate School’s policy with respect to the S/U grade option is waived except for those academic programs where licensure or accreditation regulations would prohibit the waiver of this policy. Specifically, the S/U policy change DOES NOT apply to nursing; pharmacy; clinical psychology; and programs in Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership.

    All students should consult with their graduate program director to determine whether taking a course S/U will result in adverse consequences. These changes affect only Binghamton University graduate degree programs; graduate students who plan to apply to another graduate program after completing their current program should consider how the decision to select the S/U grade option may affect future applications to such programs.

    Grades will be assigned normally at the end of the spring 2020 semester. After students see their grades, they will be able to change to an S/U grading option if they would like to do so. The deadline to request a change in grade option to S/U will be June 5. With the exceptions noted above, graduate students may change to an S/U grade option for any course they are currently enrolled in during the spring 2020 semester and a grade of S will fulfill progression and degree requirements accordingly. Correspondingly,

    S/U courses taken in spring 2020 will count toward residency and degree completion requirements. S/U-graded courses do not count toward GPA calculation. Students who need to raise their GPA above the threshold required for graduation (i.e., 3.0) must therefore take this into account in their decision making.

    Other policy changes for spring 2020 include:

    Continuous Registration Policy for graduating students

    For spring and summer 2020, the Graduate School’s continuous registration policy has been modified. For students who need to be enrolled for one credit hour to complete their degrees in spring or summer of 2020, and who therefore must maintain continuous registration, the University will absorb the cost of one credit hour of tuition upon petition. To make the request, students who are planning to complete their degrees must submit a general petition form to the Graduate School requesting tuition support for the one credit hour necessary to maintain continuous registration. Eligibility for funding for the 2020-21 academic year The Graduate School will waive the requirement that students have no incompletes or withdrawals on their transcript for the spring semester to remain eligible for funding in the 2020-21 academic year.

    Policy on Grade Point Average (GPA)

    Graduate students must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to receive their graduate degree. The GPA requirement will not be adjusted and S/U courses do not count toward GPA calculation.

    Degree completion and conferral

    Degree completion deadlines and degree conferral for spring 2020 will remain unchanged. Students who have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and cannot meet spring 2020 graduation deadlines may submit a general petition form to for a summer 2020 continuous registration waiver.

  • Is there still a spring break?

    Yes. The University will still follow the academic calendar, which includes a spring break from April 4 through April 12. Classes will begin again, online, Monday, April 13. Residence halls will remain open during the break for those students who have chosen to remain on campus.

  • I am a pre-tenured faculty member How does COVID-19 impact my tenure process?

    Binghamton University has a process to request a pause in the tenure clock in cases where unexpected disruptions have affected individual faculty members. Pre-tenure faculty who have had their progress toward tenure seriously disrupted by events connected to the COVID-19 pandemic may submit a request to pause the tenure clock to their department chair, with a copy to their dean and the provost.* In cases where a faculty member’s work has been materially affected, chairs should recommend to deans, and deans to the provost, that the faculty member’s tenure clock be paused. Independent of a department chair’s decision, all cases will be reviewed by the provost. In making decisions, academic leaders will be guided by the principle of fairness, ensuring that faculty are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control.

    * For faculty members whose term expires in August of a given year, the request must be made by May 1 of the preceding calendar year; for faculty members whose term ends in December of a given year, the request must be made by Feb. 1 of that calendar year. This will ensure that the request is made before the individual's case has been considered substantively by the department.

  • What resources can faculty turn to for their technology/online questions?
  • I'm using Zoom. How do I avoid being Zoom-bombed or gate-crashed?

    Zoom is an important tool that is making working and learning from remote locations possible, but you should take necessary precautions to avoid disruptions by those not invited to the session. Follow the best practices to avoid being Zoom-bombed found on the academic continuity website.

  • What about access to research labs?

    • Only essential research activities are continuing. Faculty, RAs, and research staff may come to labs for essential activities, e.g. to care for animals and plants, maintain sensitive equipment, or preserve unique or expensive materials. Only the minimum number of individuals required to conduct essential activity safely should be in labs at one time, and they must follow social distancing practices (i.e., remain at least six feet away from others). 

    • All research experiments should be shut down. Exceptions to this must be approved by the vice president for research and the president.

    • Research necessary to meet proposal deadlines is not considered essential. Activities necessary to prepare proposals are only permissible if they can be done remotely.

    • Care for animals includes continuing treatments, research manipulations or special feeding that is necessary to maintain critical animal models that can be carried out with minimal contact with other researchers and appropriate precautions for biosafety. It does not include preparing animals for new experiments or procedures.

    • All meetings should be now taking place virtually via Zoom. All students, post-docs, staff and faculty involved in research projects should ensure that they have access to information they need to carry out work remotely, such as access to literature, existing datasets and research-related files, and access to Zoom.

    • Questions should be directed to the deans, who will determine what constitutes essential research.

  • Is there a checklist to make sure I ramp down my laboratory properly?

    Environmental Health and Safety developed a checklist that faculty and researchers can use to ramp down their lab spaces temporarily. The checklist can be found online.

  • Do we have enough bandwidth to accommodate all courses going online?

    Many of our enterprise software systems such as myCourses (Blackboard) are hosted by providers. They have assured us that they have sufficient capacity to serve us if we teach all of our courses online. We believe that we have sufficient bandwidth on campus to meet the needs of faculty and students, although we may experience times when there will be difficulties. We will monitor the situation closely and make adjustments to ensure that we can meet the needs of faculty and students.

  • What about students who do not have sufficiently powered devices to accommodate online learning?

    The Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) has created an  Equipment Request Form for students to request a laptop, Wi-Fi HotSpot, or other electronic equipment. All efforts will be made to expedite requests; however, due to high demand, the CLT cannot guarantee the fulfillment of your request. 

  • How does this affect my registration for classes, finals, etc.?

    The opening of fall 2020 registration has been delayed and will now begin April 13. Student's individual registration times for fall 2020 advanced registration are now available on the BU BRAIN. To view your specific time, login to BU BRAIN at, click the Student tab, then click the My Registration Status link. Be sure to select the fall 2020 term.

    The University's Office of Student Records and Registrar Services has developed a Frequently Asked Questions page that provides answers to many questions concerning the administrative/logistics aspects of online education at Binghamton.

    In addition, both the Financial Aid and Student Records/Registrar Services offices are maintaining regular service hours via Zoom, phone and email. Visit their websites for information about service options and hours of operation. 

  • How are space, final exams and office hours being handled?

    The Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management (CBASM) website now has a Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page that includes information on course building, scheduling in general purpose classrooms and guidance to faculty for online class meetings; final exams; and office hours, advising and tutoring sessions.

  • What library online resources and services are available?


  • Will refunds be granted?

    Tuition refunds will not be granted. Courses have been transitioned online, instruction continues and SUNY Board of Trustee policy requires that a distance-learning course must be exclusively online for the entire term in order to qualify for the reduced non-resident online tuition rate. In addition, the resident online tuition rate and traditional classroom rate are the same.

  • How did the University determine which charges would be prorated for refund?

    The University reviewed all fees and determined which campus-based services had been discontinued as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as which fee services could not be duplicated via online delivery.

    For undergraduate students, the prorated fees include: activity fee, intercollegiate athletics fee, campus life fee, recreation fee and transportation fee.

    For graduate students, the prorated fees include: activity fee, recreation fee and transportation fee.

    In addition, for both undergraduate and graduate students, all course fees were prorated as well as housing and dining charges as appropriate.

  • How did the University calculate the amount for each prorated fee?

    The University used the number of days classes were in session on campus through March 19, at which time classes were moved to online instruction. The number of days classes were in session on campus comprised 55% of the semester. Therefore, the University prorated 45% of course-related fees and the appropriate broad-based service fees for all students.

    Housing and dining charges were reduced per individual student circumstances.

  • When will I get my refund?

    If the charge adjustments result in a credit balance on your student account, your credit will be processed beginning April 3. The University anticipates all refunds to be complete by the end of April. Continue to monitor your student account in QuikPay for the most up-to-date activity on your account.

  • What happens to my payment plan after the charge adjustments occur?

    The charge adjustments made to your account will result in a payment plan decrease. If, after your charge adjustments, you no longer owe the University money, your payment plan will be canceled because it is no longer needed.

    If the charge adjustments to your account result in a lower balance due to the University, your April and May payment plan installments will be reduced accordingly.

    All payment plan enrollees will receive an email when their payment plan has been rebalanced.

    If you have additional questions regarding your payment plan, please email the Office of Student Accounts at

  • Can I have my refund applied to next semester, instead of receiving a refund now?

    Binghamton University has decided to issue refunds to all students with a credit balance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than apply the credit balance as payment toward a future semester. We made this decision because the refund will provide an additional element of assistance for students during this challenging time. This decision also ensures that the University remains in compliance with all Federal Title IV financial aid regulations. If you would like to use your refund for a future semester, please save the money and use it as payment when you receive your future Binghamton University student bill.

  • Why didn't I get a refund from the COVID-19 crisis?

    If your account was not paid in full, the associated COVID-19 charge adjustments reduced the amount you owed to the University.

    For additional questions related to your student account, email the Office of Student Accounts at

  • I think I'm getting a refund. How do I sign up for direct deposit to get my refund faster?

    Students anticipating a refund are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit if they have not already done so. This will speed up your refund. If a student does not have direct deposit on file, a refund check will be issued and mailed to the student’s permanent address.

  • Will tuition refunds be granted?

    Courses have been transitioned online and instruction continues without interruption. Therefore, tuition refunds will not be granted.

  • How did the University calculate my prorated housing charge?

    Adjustments were calculated based on each individual student’s circumstances since housing charges vary significantly based on room rates. The University used the total number of days resident halls were scheduled to be open (Jan. 19–May 17, 2020) as the basis to determine a daily room rate for each student. The adjustment to the student’s account is calculated using the student’s self-checkout date between March 19 and March 31, and their daily room rate. Students who had originally paid for break housing will be credited for the days of spring break as well. Student’s self-checkout date is available on the Staying and Checking Out section of the housing portal.

    Housing charge adjustments for students who checked out before March 31 are being processed beginning April 3. Adjustments for students checking out on or after April 1 will be processed at a later date.

  • How did the University calculate my prorated meal plan charge?

    The University used the number of days dining halls were scheduled to be open on campus (Jan. 19–May 17, 2020) as the basis to calculate the prorated amount. Resident meal plan holders who left campus on or before March 31, will have the meal plan charge on their student account reduced by $769, which is 45% of their $1,709 membership fee. This refund was calculated by determining the amount of days remaining in the semester as of March 19, the date classes moved to online instruction.

    Adjustments to resident meal plan charges for students who checked out before March 31 are being processed beginning April 3.

  • I still have dining dollars on my meal plan. Why didn't I get a refund for that?

    If you will continue as a student of Binghamton University, no further action is required. Your dining dollars will automatically roll over with the purchase of a resident or commuter meal plan next semester. Those resident meal plan holders who are graduating or withdrawing from the University at the end of spring semester will be provided an adjustment on their Student Account for the value of their remaining dining dollars. These adjustments will be made separately from the prorated membership fee for resident meal plans at a later date.

  • Will I receive a refund for my parking permit?

    Students will be refunded on a prorated basis for the purchase of a parking permit. The method in which this refund will be credited is still being assessed. More detailed information will be posted on this FAQ page as it becomes available.

  • Will I receive a refund for my FitSpace membership?

    Students will be refunded on a prorated basis for FitSpace memberships. The method in which this refund will be credited is still being assessed. More detailed information will be posted on this FAQ page as it becomes available.

  • I rented a living space off campus, but I have returned home due to COVID-19. Can I break my lease or get a refund from my landlord?

    Leases are legally binding contracts and students will generally be responsible to make rental payments for the duration of their lease period, whether or not they occupy the living space. Questions about lease payments are best directed to your landlord or property manager. It is already our experience locally and nationally that property owners are not releasing student tenants from off-campus leases.

  • Can Binghamton University do anything to help me with my landlord?

    Binghamton University has no contractual interest in any off-campus student housing, and therefore cannot intervene in the lease relationship. Binghamton’s Off Campus College website has provided information for off-campus students specific to COVID-19, including information on how to access OCC’s free legal clinic and links to state of New York resources for tenants. Binghamton is also working quickly to refund University fees and charges to students, which we hope will provide students who may have lost work with the resources needed to meet their obligations

  • I stayed on campus. What are my housing expectations?

    Students remaining on campus for the balance of the spring 2020 academic term are subject to the terms and conditions below, which terms and conditions have been adopted to comply with State of New York and SUNY System requirements related to COVID-19. Except as modified herein either explicitly or implicitly, all terms and conditions of the 2019-2020 (“University Housing License”) remain in effect.

    • You MUST limit your interactions with others and ALWAYS follow social distancing requirements to remain at least six feet from others at all times.  
    • You are not permitted to enter residence halls/apartments other than your assigned living space.  
    • Students from other residence halls and off-campus guests are not permitted to enter your residence hall.  
    • Gatherings of any size are prohibited. If you enter a common space, where someone else is present, you must maintain social distancing requirements or leave the space. To connect with friends or other students, video chat, call, text or email.
    • You agree to comply with current and future federal, state and local government executive orders and directives as well as SUNY and Binghamton University requirements, all as pertain to COVID-19 response.  
    • You acknowledge and understand that terms of occupancy are subject to change should future government directives so require.
    • Residential Life may reassign you to a different room or building at any time as necessary to effectuate quarantine or isolation of yourself or others, or to otherwise follow public health guidelines related to COVID-19.
    • You will notify Residential Life if you vacate your room prior to May 17, 2020. 
    • You must report fever (subjective or temperature 100˚ F or more) and cough or shortness of breath immediately to the Decker Student Health Services Center (607-777-2221) or after hours, call 607-239-3861, isolating yourself in your room until you have received medical guidance.

    Students who fail to comply with the terms of this addendum may be removed from University housing and will not be considered in good standing as pertains to eligibility for credits or refunds. 

  • Will I be able to complete a summer education-abroad program?

    No. After careful consideration, SUNY has made the difficult decision to cancel all campus-administered education-abroad programs for summer 2020. The Office of International Education and Global Initiatives (IEGI) will be in contact with all students who had applied to participate. Note that, on March 19, the U.S. Department of State updated the Global Health Advisory to Level 4 – Do Not Travel, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. As such, the IEGI also strongly discourages students from pursuing other (non-SUNY administered) avenues by which to engage in education-abroad opportunities at this time, as your health and safety remain our first priority.

  • How will this affect my financial aid?
  • What tools are available to help students academically?
  • What buildings and services are open/available? 

    Due to limited on-campus staffing and the need to follow social distance guidelines, the following changes are in effect:

    Information on how to contact a number of student services offices can be found on the Student Services page

    International Education and Global Initiatives continues to advise and provide support services via a remote platform. Updates will continute to be posted on the IEGI hompage.

    The University Union is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on weekends until further notice. Offices that will be open during these hours include:

    • Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS)
    • Center for Civic Engagement (CCE). See complete information about how the CCE is continuing service to students on its Frequently Asked Questions page.
    • Meal Plan Office

    The Office of Dean of Students (DOS) is closed. 

    The Student Association (SA) main office is closed until further notice. Staff are working remotely and may be reached at

    Visions Federal Credit Union is closed until further notice, but offering online and community branch resources. Customers can use the ATMs on campus or contact them online

    The Undergraduate Research Center and Office of External Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards is closed.

    Campus Mail Services package pickup is from noon-2:50 p.m.

    The University Bookstore is closed and plans to reopen Monday, April 6. If you have any questions or concerns, direct inquiries to We are unable to process web orders until we reopen. We are still able to take course material orders. Go online for more information.

  • What dining services are available?
    • C4 is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends on a brunch/dinner schedule.
    • Subway in the MarketPlace is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    • Mein Bowl is open in C4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
    • All remaining dining locations are closed and all meals are being served as carry-out dining with no seating, per New York state direction. 

    For updated information, check the Dining Services website

  • I rented books from the Bookstore. Can I keep using them?

    You can return rental books at any point, but the Bookstore doesn't want you to return them early if you need them for your classes. Take them with you if you leave campus and use them for your classes. You will receive a free shipping label to send them back from wherever you are at the end of the semester. You will receive updates to the email account you used when you rented. The Bookstore will also post updates on its Facebook page as the end of the semester approaches. If you wish to mail rented books back now, go online and enter your order number. If you don't have this, just let the Bookstore know the email you used when you rented and you will be assisted. Contact the Bookstore by phone at 607-777-2745 or email with any questions.

  • Are residence halls closing for spring break?

    No. Designated residence halls that are housing those students staying on campus will remain open until we close for the semester in May.

  • Do I have to make an appointment to be seen at Decker Student Health Services Center?

    The presence of COVID-19 disease in the Binghamton community has changed the delivery of medical care in the region and necessitates changes to the way students are seen at Decker Student Health Services. In order to facilitate pre-screening of appointments, appropriate triage and social distancing, all care delivered at Decker Student Health Services Center will be by appointment only.

    All students wishing to receive medical care at Decker Student Health Services must call ahead for an appointment at 607-777-2221. Students who walk in for an appointment will be given the next available scheduled appointment, which may not be immediate.

  • What if a student is told to self-quarantine?

    In most cases, quarantined individuals will not be sick, but are being quarantined on the chance that they could become symptomatic and therefore, infect others. This is a strategy to reduce transmission. A student who has had a potential exposure to someone with COVID-19 may be told to self-quarantine. The student will be advised to go home for a period of 14 days post-exposure. If the student cannot go home, the student will be quarantined on campus as space allows. In situations of self-quarantine, we will be asking students to either go home or relocate to another space.

    On-campus students who are quarantined should follow these nine steps. If you are an off-campus student who is quarantined, follow these nine steps

  • Is there quarantine space on campus?

    There is limited space available on campus for students who need to be quarantined as recommended by the Broome County Health Department due to potential exposure to the coronavirus. (Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease before any symptoms might arise, to see if they become ill.) Students who must be quarantined are strongly encouraged to go home using private transportation.

  • I stayed on campus, but am feeling anxious. Can I talk to someone?

    The CARE Team remains open as a resource through multiple formats. Starting 3/16/2020 appointments with case managers will be conducted through Zoom, email, or phone. Walk-ins will no longer be held in person. 
    If a member of the Binghamton University community wishes to consult with a CARE Team the options include:

    The CARE Team will provide same day phone-in services from 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 607-777-2804. Students can call for an over-the-phone consultation with a case manager. 

  • Can I access the campus Food Pantry?

    The campus Food Pantry remains open to currently enrolled Binghamton University students in need.  Times may vary; please check the Food Panty website for open hours each week.  

    Anyone interested in donating to the Food Pantry, monetarily, with products or during the online food drive can find information on the website. Off-campus food pantries can be found  on the web.

    Specific items in need are: cereal, shelf milk, snacks, juices, spices, sauces, nutrition or protein bars, peanut butter and jelly. Produce and or/meat items will also be accepted.

    Questions? Email

    Follow us on social media:
    Facebook: Binghamton University Food Pantry
    Instagram: foodpantry_bu

  • Are residence halls and other campus buildings being cleaned more often?

    The campus has enhanced disinfection and cleaning procedures for common areas. While our standard cleaning procedures meet with all CDC recommendations, we are paying particularly close attention to cleaning and disinfecting touch points: door knobs, handles, elevator buttons, etc. All touch points and public restrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily. Physical Facilities utilizes hospital-grade disinfectant throughout campus. In addition, protocols have been changed for air exchanges in buildings across campus to maximize fresh-air intake so there is less air recirculation in buildings. This will assist in reducing indoor air pollutants and germs in buildings.

  • Are the products used to clean bathrooms capable of killing coronavirus?

    Yes. Physical Facilities utilizes Fullsan, a broad-spectrum, hospital-grade disinfectant that is labeled for human coronavirus.

  • How will we staff a quarantine space?

    Staff will be available for support and students who require quarantine will have their contact information, though Residential Life staff will not be occupying the building where students are quarantined.

  • What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

    Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease before any symptoms might arise, to see if they become sick. Individuals are isolated from well persons once they exhibit symptoms of a contagious illness.

  • Will student employees continue to be paid on the state payroll?

    All student employees on the Student Assistant and Federal Work Study (FWS) payrolls, whether you have been given an alternative work assignment or not, will continue to be paid. A timesheet must be submitted and approved electronically as detailed below to generate the payments.

    All Federal Work Study (FWS) student employees will continue to be paid up to their FWS award amount or until the end of the semester, whichever comes first. Financial aid recipients can find more information on the Financial Aid Office website.

    Until further notice:

    • Hourly student employees who work a set schedule:
      Hourly student employees who work a set schedule should submit their regular hours electronically as they normally do by the HR deadlines (or have a designated timekeeper do so) reflecting their normal schedule and be paid accordingly.
    • Hourly student employees without a recurring work:schedule:
      Hourly student employees without a recurring work schedule should submit their average number of hours worked in the previous two pay periods electronically, as they normally do, by the HR deadlines be paid.

    As a reminder, employees should be working from home/remotely to the greatest extent possible.

  • Will students be able to continue internships and clinical placements?

    Some students may continue their internships and work at clinical sites as long as those sites remain open and willing to have students continue. The Fleishman Center, which supervises CDCI internships has made arrangements for continuity of instruction and internships so far as possible. Should students have questions, contact their instructor. Students in department-sponsored internships should contact their internship supervisor or department with any questions or concerns. Students in clinical placements should make any inquiries to their placement supervisor, department or dean, as appropriate. See the Decker-specific clinical information below.

  • Will Decker College continue to send students to their clinical placements?

    All clinicals (undergraduate and graduate) have been suspended for the rest of the semester. Students have received information for how clinical objectives and outcomes will be met.

  • Will international students be allowed to use distance-learning for all of their courses? If so, will they have to remain on campus to do so?

    The Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced late March 12, 2020, that it is committed to being flexible in regard to temporary adaptations to allow nonimmigrant students to continue to make progress in their prograsm of study. The temporary change to distance-learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester can be done either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19. Please continue to monitor your email account for any further updates.

  • What should students who think they are sick do?

    Students who think they may have coronavirus should CALL THE DECKER STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES CENTER at 607-777-2221 to be screened before arriving at the facility. Students should call if they have fever AND cough or shortness of breath, AND they have visited a part of the world in which there is widespread or sustained community transmission within two weeks of becoming ill. These areas are described on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

    Students using an off-campus walk-in or urgent care facility should also call ahead, and faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider by phone to make an appointment.

    All students wishing to receive medical care at Decker Student Health Services must call ahead for an appointment at 607-777-2221. Students who walk in for an appointment will be given the next available scheduled appointment, which may not be immediate.



  • I'm stressed. Where can I find help on campus?

    The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at Binghamton University is a resource available to all employees. As critical/essential employees, our New York state EAP coordinators are professionally trained to respond to critical incidents that impact the University’s community, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees can schedule a virtual appointment with EAP between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 607-777-6655 or Contact EAP for guidance, referrals or simply a confidential sounding board for anyone in distress.

    EAP offers the following information and resources for faculty and staff:

    • Information on coping with stress and managing social distancing during a pandemic
    • Childcare resources for essential workers
    • Financial relief and guidance
    • Online medical assistance
    • Relief available to workers under New York state law

    More information about these resources is available on the EAP website.

    New Yorkers can also call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.

    Remember, to schedule an appointment with EAP, call 607-777-6655 or email

  • Will all regular state employees continue to be paid?

    All employees, whether considered critical or non-essential, and whether you have been given an alternative work assignment or not, will continue to be paid. A timesheet must be submitted and approved as detailed below to generate the payments. Until further notice:

    • Hourly employees who work a set schedule or less than a set schedule should complete their timesheets by the regular deadline (or have a designated timekeeper do so) reflecting their normal schedule, and be paid accordingly.
    • Hourly employees who receive supervisor approval to work more than their set schedule should be paid for actual hours worked.
    • Hourly employees without a recurring work schedule should submit their average number of hours worked in the previous two pay periods, as they normally do, by the HR deadlines to be paid.

    As a reminder, employees should be working from home/remotely to the greatest extent possible.

    The University reminds all employees that the critical designation can be granted or removed as needed, depending upon the University’s needs.

  • Are employees supposed to report to work?

    Since March 17, all non-critical University employees have been working from home under a new Telecommuting Pilot Program designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The program was created through agreements with CSEA, PEF and UUP, and also applies to M/C employees. It will remain in effect until further notice.

    By now those not designated as critical employees who are working remotely should be finalizing the details of their remote work assignment with their supervisor. These plans should now be memorialized using the form provided by the state, accessble on the Human Resources forms page. Contact Human Resources at 607-777-4939 with any questions regarding the program. 

    If you are a critical University employee, you were recently notified of your status, but if you are not sure, contact your supervisor or HR to learn if you are. Of our 3,000 employees, approximately 20% are in the critical category.

    Faculty are considered critical if they need to be on campus to deliver, prepare or record their classes.

    An exception to the above is that all residential life staff should report to work tomorrow and are considered critical employees until such time as the move-out process is near completion.

  • How long with this remain in effect?

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday, March 29, announced that non-essential employees must not report before April 15. If that date is reassessed, it will be announced.

  • I haven't been designated a critical employee. Does this mean I won't be?

    Agencies and authorities may change an employee’s designation as either essential or non-essential at any time and, as the operational needs of the response shift, the specific functions or locations may be modified accordingly at any time. The University will be re-assessing the current designations in a couple of weeks to assure it is still meeting the operating needs of the University.

  • I am a supervisor and I need to designate someone as critical. Can I do this now?

    Agencies and authorities may change an employee’s designation as either essential or non-essential at any time and, as the operational needs of the response shift, the specific functions or locations may be modified accordingly at any time.

  • I have been designated critical. Is remote work still an option?

    Those designated critical may be able to accomplish their work with a combination of remote work and physical work. You should discuss this potential option with your supervisor.

  • I have not been designated critical. Can I still come to work?

    Non-critical employees should be working remotely per the governor's directive. Employees may make arrangements with their supervisor to pick up items that they need to work from home. Depending upon shifting operating needs, departments could reach out to non-critical employees to ask that they report to work, even for a temporary period of time.

  • I might have symptoms of COVID-19. How will this affect my employment?

    Binghamton University has received the following guidance from the governor regarding employees experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19:

    Any symptomatic employee should not report to work. As the number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases, all New York state employees must monitor themselves for possible symptoms, such as:

    • fever
    • cough
    • shortness of breath or
    • respiratory infection/distress

    Any employee experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 shall immediately report symptoms to their supervisor and the agency/authority’s human resources (HR) personnel. The supervisor and HR official will immediately direct the employee to leave work, if they are currently at work, or to stay home if they are not at work, and self-quarantine as a precaution.

    The supervisor shall request and record the latest contact information for the employee, including home or mobile telephone numbers, so that HR personnel can reach them for follow up information. If the employee is experiencing severe symptoms and requires urgent medical attention, the supervisor should call 911 and notify the dispatcher that the distressed employee may have COVID-19 symptoms, so that emergency medical service responders may use appropriate precautions.

    An employee exhibiting symptoms who is sent home/not allowed to work should not be required to charge sick leave accruals. They should be given an at-home work assignment. If an at-home assignment is not available, they remain in paid status without charge to accruals. Contact Human Resources at 607-777-4939 to report a case or for questions.

    Research Foundation employees are subject to the same procedures as above, except they are to contact their supervisors and the Research Foundation Human Resources Office at 607-777-4264 to report a case or for questions.

  • If an employee I supervise is quarantined or isolated, what do I do and what information can I share?

    An employee may choose to self-disclose medical information to anyone they wish, but that does not mean that supervisors/managers, Human Resources, University leadership or colleagues can then release that information to others, or discuss it with anyone.

    Guidance for supervisors:

    • If an employee will be absent from or unable to work, you may share an estimated time that they will return to work if one is known.
    • If employees ask about a colleague, remind them that we have a policy of assisting any employee who encounters difficulty in the workplace and that we respect employees’ privacy.
    • If an employee provides medical documentation to you, forward it to Human Resources. Medical documentation may be sent directly to Human Resources, who will then advise you, the supervisor, of the expected duration that the employee is expected to be out, without divulging any specific medical information.

    If you have specific questions, contact Human Resources at 607-777-4939.

    Be aware that any medical information is considered confidential by both union contracts and federal law, which has strict rules regarding what information can be released about an employee. While an employee may voluntarily share information about themselves, it is not information that a manager/supervisor can ask about or share. Contact HR at 607-777-4939 with any questions.

  • If a colleague is diagnosed with a confirmed case, how will I know if I'm at risk?

    If someone is diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the Broome County Health Department, or the local health department for non-Broome County resident employees, is responsible for determining those individuals who may have been exposed and for contacting them. The employee may choose to self-disclose medical information to anyone, but that does not mean that supervisors/managers, Human Resources, University leadership or colleagues can then release that information to others, or discuss it with anyone.

  • I am a supervisor of student employees. How should I handle their employment?

    Binghamton University is committed to supporting student employees during this rapidly changing, unprecedented situation. All telecommuting policies in place on campus apply to student employees (including College Work Study students). Students may also be given alternate assignments during their normal work schedule.

    Federal Work Study (FWS) (also available at the Financial Aid website)

    FWS student employees can continue to be paid if they are still enrolled for spring 2020, and meet one of the following two (2) criteria:

    • Student wishes to continue working and the department is able to provide the same or similar job duties for the student — either on campus or remotely. Supervisors must continue to track earnings so the student does not go over their FWS award.
    • Student wishes to continue working but the department is unable to provide the same or similar job duties for the student. The student can continue to be paid based on the estimated scheduled hours they would have worked each week, up to their FWS award. Supervisors must continue to track earnings in this scenario as well so the student does not go over their FWS award.
    • Important: If the student chooses to go home and not work, even if the department is able to provide the same or similar job duties for the student — either on campus or remotely — the student forfeits their remaining unearned FWS award. Supervisors must notify HR that the student is no longer working.

    In all situations where the student chooses to discontinue working, it is the supervisor's responsibility to notify HR.

Campus services/operations

  • Campus Mail Services

    Due to limited staff, Campus Mail Services is no longer delivering mail to departments. Mail will be sorted by department and staff may pick up and drop off mail and packages between 8:30 a.m. and 2:50 p.m. Monday through Friday at CMS, below the MarketPlace in the basement of the University Union. Knock on the door. For questions, email

  • Customer Service Center

    The Customer Service Center and the monitor board will remain in operation. CSC will be open from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and can be reached at 607-777-2226 or The monitor board/emergency Customer Service Center is available from 3:30 p.m.-7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 24/7 on weekends. The phone number is 607-777-2341. Emergency calls are responded to immediately. Non-emergency calls are referred to the CSC on the next business day.

  • Custodial services/cleaning

    Cleaning activities will be prioritized and focused on common areas to allow for attention to trash removal, cleaning restrooms, touch points and health-sensitive areas (locker rooms, etc.) Offices may not be cleaned on a regular basis and any perishables should be disposed of in common-area trash cans. Cleaning activities such as carpet extraction and floor finishing will not be a priority.

  • Central Receiving/Warehouse

    Central Receiving will not be delivering to offices. You will still get an email notice when a package has arrived and may pick up the package between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Central Receiving/Warehouse in the Physical Facilities compound. One-drop locations are not being used. Packages that normally go to those locations may also be picked up at Central Receiving/Warehouse until further notice. Overnight/next day deliveries will continue to go to departments.

  • Repairs/Maintenance

    Physical Facilities will prioritize repair and maintenance work orders based on life safety and critical needs. Non-maintenance work orders such as minor alterations will be given a lower priority, resulting in delays.

  • Event work orders

    Event work orders will not be processed until further notice, unless exempted. Find information on events under the Events section on this page.

  • Construction activity

    On Friday, March 27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a directive suspending all non-essential construction activity in New York state. According to the directive, only emergency, nonessential construction can continue where the work is "necessary to protect the health and safety of the occupants," or to finish a job if it would be unsafe to stop it now, but only to complete enough work so that it is safe to close down. This directive affects most construction projects underway at Binghamton University.

    This week of March 30, Physical Facilities project coordinators will work with contractors to ensure a safe shutdown of projects. Utility tie-ins at the Hinman Dining Hall renovation project need to be completed for safe shutdown, so work will continue there for one or two weeks. The chiller project underway in Science 3 will advance until appropriate building systems are in place to protect the buildings it serves with proper HVAC.

    Work will stop at other major projects such as 48 Corliss (Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences), the Engineering Building, Science 2, Cleveland Hall and a number of smaller projects. This suspension obviously affects project schedules and completion dates, but it is too soon to gauge the impact.

    You may notice elsewhere in the community that some construction work may still proceed, but that's defined narrowly to include critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, transit facilities and utilities, as well as hospitals or healthcare facilities, affordable housing and homeless shelters.

  • Reception/phone calls

    The Physical Facilities office reception areas will be closed and calls forwarded to the Customer Service Center.


  • What about funding for travel?

    Our Business Office has information on its website about how people who have signed up for a conference or University-related travel that is canceled or that they choose not to attend may receive reimbursement. Colleges, schools and departments can also receive reimbursement for travel expenses authorized. However, this process is only applicable to travel plans that were arranged for and paid for prior to Friday, March 13. Plans and payments made after that date will not be reimbursed.

    Moving forward, all University business travel is suspended. Exceptions my be approved by division heads when travel is critical to the University's mission.

  • What about business travel?

    All University business travel is suspended. This means that all travel inbound and outbound for the rest of the spring semester, no matter when it was arranged or when it will occur, is suspended. Exceptions may be approved by vice presidents when travel is critical to the University’s mission. For example, a faculty member traveling to a conference this semester must receive permission from the provost, making the request through the individual's dean. In addition to vice presidential approval, authorization must be granted by the President’s Office after review by the International Travel Safety Committee, which is charged to review all travel to Level 3 and 4 areas as well as CDC Level 3 areas.