Updated at 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 22, 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 coughs 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?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that took effect April 17, requiring all people in New York state to wear masks or face coverings in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. The CDC also 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.
Should my student quarantine when returning home at the end of the semeseter?
Binghamton University students are not at higher risk than anyone else. However, just like anyone else, students should quarantine themselves for 14 days if they have had an exposure to someone with COVID-19 or someone suspected of having COVID-19. Students with a fever, chills, body aches, headache, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, nasal congestion, nausea or vomiting, isolate them and speak to a medical provider. Any combination of these symptoms means they may have COVID-19 and they could be contagious.
What resources are available to help me stay healthy, mentally and physically?
A number of resources are available to students, faculty and staff to help them through this unusual spring semester — all available virtually.
For faculty and staff:
- Academic continuity website
- BFirst mentoring network
- Binghamton University Interfaith Council (BUIC)
- Campus Recreational Services
- Employee Assistance Program
- Healthy Campus Initiative: B-Healthy including Steps to B-Healthy, Farm Share, Healthy Campus Agents and the AHA Check it! Challenge.
- Human Resources (payroll, benefits, etc.)
- Meditation labyrinth
- Academic Continuity website
- BFirst mentoring network
- B-Healthy (see above for more)
- Binghamton University Interfaith Council (BUIC)
- Bing-GO activities
- Campus Recreational Services
- The CARE Team
- Health Promotion and Prevention Services
- Meditation labyrinth
- Alumni Mentor Match
- Services for Students with Disabilities
- Student Services webpage including information on advising, mental health resources, financial aid, Peer Success Coaches and more.
Note: Faculty are considered critical employees if they need to be on campus to deliver, prepare or record their classes.
Are classes 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:
- College of Community and Public Affairs
- Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences
- Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
- School of Management
- School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
What changes have been made to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory policy and other policies
for graduate students?
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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a summer 2020 continuous registration waiver.
I am a pre-tenured faculty member How does COVID-19 impact my tenure process?
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted higher education, profoundly changing the way we teach and interact with students and colleagues and interrupting research, scholarship and creative activities. The disruption and uncertainties created by the pandemic may make it more difficult for tenure-track faculty to meet department, school and University expectations for reappointment or tenure on the timeline mandated by the Procedures for Personnel Cases.
Binghamton University is strongly committed to the success of our faculty. To ensure that tenure-track faculty are not unfairly disadvantaged by extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, Binghamton University will pause the tenure clock of all current tenure-track faculty for one year. This policy, which replaces the guidelines announced on March 25, 2020, does not apply to tenure-track faculty whose reviews have been considered during the 2019-20 review cycle. Any tenure-track faculty member who nevertheless wishes to proceed with reappointment or tenure review on what would have been their regularly mandated schedule in AY 2020-21 may still do so by informing the Provost’s Office in writing (with a copy to their department chair and dean) by no later than May 10, 2020, to allow sufficient time to begin preparation of their case.* Non-mandated cases — whether for tenure and promotion or promotion to professor — may proceed according to the schedule stipulated in the Procedures for Personnel Cases.
*This date applies to faculty whose term appointment ends in August 2021. The deadline for faculty whose term ends in December 2021 will be Feb. 1, 2021.
What resources can faculty turn to for their technology/online questions?
There is a website dedicated to academic continuity to help faculty conduct all courses online.
In addition, the Information Technology (ITS) Help Desk at 607-777-6420 or email@example.com, the Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) at firstname.lastname@example.org and the University Center for Training and Development (UCTD) at email@example.com are available to assist.
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.
Can you explain the return to research process?
Binghamton University plans to enable research and creative activities to resume in line with standards set by New York state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our Return to Research subcommittee, in consultation with Environmental Health and Safety experts and the Public Health Advisory Group, created a set of protocols and expectations that will govern our return to research.
You'll find guidance documents as well as a form online that must be completed before you return to campus spaces such as laboratories and studios or to off-site field work. Our aim is to allow as many groups to resume research activities as possible while at the same time ensuring that people are able to access appropriate protective gear, significantly reduce density in our facilities and follow social distancing guidelines.
These protocols apply to wet and dry labs, studios and multi-user facilities; the campus libraries are developing a separate set of protocols. Faculty members who apply to resume research activities should have an answer within five days of submitting an application. These protocols will likely evolve as new information becomes available and as new issues arise.
We know many of you will have questions about the process. You may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a checklist to make sure I restart my laboratory properly?
Environmental Health and Safety developed a checklist that faculty and researchers can use to ensure a safe and smooth start up of approved research at Binghamton University. The checklist can be found online.
What about students who do not have sufficiently powered devices to accommodate online
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, etc.?
The opening of fall 2020 registration was moved to April 13. Student's individual registration times for fall 2020 advanced registration are available on the BU BRAIN. To view your specific time, login to BU BRAIN at my.binghamton.edu, 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.
What library online resources and services are available?
Visit Library Services for Spring Semester for information about online resources, collections and services. The guide includes links to Coronavirus - Library Services FAQ and Additional Resources Available during COVID-19 provided at no cost.
Should I renew/sign a lease for the fall if there is a chance classes will remain
Currently, Binghamton University is planning for in-person classes for the fall semester. Ultimately, however, decisions regarding the timing, terms and conditions of a full re-opening of campus operations will be made by government leaders and public health officials. You may consider asking your landlord for an opt-out clause in your lease, a rent reduction for months the University may not have in-person classes or other concessions in light of the current economic disruption. While a landlord has no legal obligation to agree to modify a lease or offer such terms, some may be willing to do so as a business decision. Our legal clinic partners may be able to help with language in the lease. You can find information about how to contact them online.
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. Due to the nature of the process of refunding these fees, they took longer than our other refunds. We plan to have them completed in the month of May.
Will I receive a refund for my FitSpace membership?
Students will be refunded on a prorated basis for FitSpace memberships. Due to the nature of the process of refunding these fees, they took longer than our other refunds. We plan to have them completed in the month of May.
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.
What is the status of fall education-abroad programs?
Above all, the health and safety of our students remain our utmost priority. During this global pandemic and with an unprecedented level of uncertainty about global travel, Binghamton University has decided to cancel its fall 2020 education-abroad programs. Making this decision now provides students with clear guidance for the fall semester. Equally important, this decision ensures that students have time to complete their fall 2020 course registration and possibly prevent any losses associated with nonrefundable expenses.
How will this affect my financial aid?
For answers to frequently asked questions about financial aid, visit the Financial Aid Office's COVID-19 update page.
What tools are available to help students academically?
A website has been created that has information for students on how to use technology successfully, communicate well in an online environment and manage time and stay motivated when taking classes online. “How to be successful in an online learning environment” can be found online.
What buildings and services are open/available?
Information on how to contact a number of student services offices can be found on the Student Services page.
The University Union is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed from 5 p.m. Friday through 7 a.m. Monday until further notice. When open, the only entrance to the building is via the door adjacent to the revolving door at the north entrance to the building near the Peace Quad.
Campus Mail Services package pickup is from noon-2:50 p.m.
See complete information about how the Center for Civic Engagement is continuing service to students on its Frequently Asked Questions page.
The Student Association (SA) main office is closed until further notice. Staff are working remotely and may be reached at email@example.com.
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 University Bookstore remains closed until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns, direct inquiries to SM738@BNCollege.com. 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?
Due to the current circumstances, all Binghamton University Dining Services operations are closed for the duration of the summer. Updates on our reopening will be announced to all students, faculty and staff via Dateline and B-Line.
Continue to check the Dining Services website for updates.
I rented books from the Bookstore. How do I return them?
You can return rental books at any point up until the June 15 deadline. 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.
Do I have to make an appointment to be seen at Decker Student Health Services Center?
All care delivered at Decker Student Health Services Center is 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 has elected to remain in the residence halls and cannot go home, the student will be quarantined on campus as space allows.
Is there quarantine space on campus?
There is space available on campus for students who have elected to remain in the residence halls and 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.
What counseling and support options are available to students?
Both the CARE Team and the University Counseling Center (UCC) are available to all students who may need to speak with a case manager or counselor.
To contact the CARE Team
Appointments with case managers can be conducted through Zoom, email or phone:
- Zoom video conferencing app (login: https://binghamton.zoom.us/ and follow directions). Find more informaton on using the app online.
- Email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't have a case manager. If you do have a case manager, find their contact information online.
- Call 607-777-2804.
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.
To contact the University Counseling Center (UCC)
The UCC is currently using a telecounseling platform for services as described below.
- Telecounseling services are being delivered through the Zoom platform whenever possible, but also include some telephone calls depending upon the technology available to students and/or staff. The UCC uses procedures and settings in Zoom to ensure full IT security of sessions.
- Individual service options continue to evolve to meet the needs of our student community as we strive to adapt our services to the ever changing impact of the ongoing pandemic. Students may call the UCC front desk at 607-777-2772 to schedule a tele-meeting with a counselor to discuss your mental health concerns, some ways to cope and what follow-up options might be available given the UCC’s scope of service. We continue to provide referral assistance to students seeking to connect with off-campus counseling or psychiatry services. Students are encouraged to check secure messages (Health portal link) for previous communications from UCC staff.
- A variety of pre-recorded as well as synchronous (live) workshops have been offered during the spring semester to provide students with support and resources regarding anxiety management, meditation practices, improving motivation and coping strategies specific to the challenges posed by the ongoing quarantine. Prerecorded workshops are available on our website and additional workshops are under development for the fall semester. If you are interested in a UCC staff member providing outreach presentations to a class or program, contact the front desk at 607-777-2772.
- The UCC is currently reviewing options to resume group counseling in the fall semester in compliance with social distancing guidelines as well as recommended best practices. We will continue to post updates about this as information becomes available.
- During the summer months, the UCC provides telecounseling services to Binghamton University students who are registered for summer classes. Current Binghamton University students who are residing in the Binghamton area during the summer and who are enrolled for the coming fall semester can also access services at the UCC within our scope of care by paying a one-time summer health services fee of $45.00. Call the front desk at 607-777-2772 to schedule a tele-triage consultation to discuss your therapy needs. Treatment recommendation(s) (e.g., brief counseling at the UCC, off-campus referral, psychiatry referral) will be discussed at the end of this consultation with consideration of the UCC's scope of services.
- Staff will respond to urgent and emergent needs via same-day teleservice, with emergencies triaged to determine what is the appropriate level of care.
- After-hours support remains available through the main counseling number at 607-777-2772 and press #2.
- For assistance during regular hours and after-hours, call the UCC main number at 607-777-2772.
- For emergency assistance call 911 or your local hospital, or see the Emergencies page on our website for other resources.
Can I access the campus Food Pantry? Are there community resources available for food?
To lessen the risk of exposure and to better ensure the safety of students and the staff working at the Food Pantry, the campus Food Pantry has moved to an online ordering process. This process will allow enrolled Binghamton University students to order once a week and will allow pantry staff to pre-bag items for pickup in the lobby of Rockefeller Center (RC).
The online ordering form will require a student's first name (for pickup purposes), B-number and a choice of day/time for pickup. Food pantry staff will bag the items and have them ready at the requested pickup time.
To ensure our inventory is up to date on the online ordering form, the form will be available each week beginning at 3 p.m. Friday for the following week’s orders. We strongly suggest students submit the form Friday through Sunday — most items will be replenished at the beginning of the week and will be granted first-come, first-served based on when the form is submitted.
Email us if you are unable to pick up your items or have any questions.
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 email@example.com.
Follow us on social media:
Facebook: Binghamton University Food Pantry
Community resources for food
- Binghamton Food Rescue
- Catholic Charities food pantries
- Council of Churches CHOW community meals, food pantries and soup kitchens
- Food Bank of the Southern Tier
- Our Lady of Good Council Food Pantry
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton Food Pantry
Free food for pets
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 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.
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.
When will Commencement be rescheduled?
Although we are eager to set a Commencement date to celebrate your accomplishments, there are still many unknown factors facing us, so at this time we cannot finalize a date for our rescheduled ceremonies.
We will take into strong consideration the feedback we received in our survey, which showed a 4-to-1 favorite of Aug. 8−9, and a second-place choice of Oct. 2−3. We are keenly aware that accommodations, reservations and travel arrangements will need to be made, and we intend to give you at least two months’ notice between the time of the announcement and the chosen date.
We hope to provide this information and associated details in the second half of May, as we learn more from New York state government and health officials. However, with the current level of uncertainty, we may need to postpone our decision even further.
Will I be refunded for my cap and gown now that Commencement is postponed?
Yes! We will offer refunds for unopened cap and gowns, but you must fill out a digital form. Visit the Cap and Gown tab on the Commencement webpage to see the instructions for cap and gown refunds.
Will I be able to purchase my cap and gown when Commencement is rescheduled?
Yes. We will be sure to open cap and gown sales prior to the rescheduled Commencement, date TBD.
My parents have hotel reservations. Will they be refunded because the event is no
longer occurring in May?
Please follow up with the hotel that you made reservations with as soon as possible to learn more about its cancellation policies.
Do I need to cancel any of the documents I submitted for graduation? (i.e., AFD, Intent
to Participate, Petition to Walk)
No action is needed on your part at this time. Do NOT cancel your Application for Degree (AFD) unless you do not think you will complete the course requirements for your degree this semester. If you have questions about fulfilling your course requirements, contact your academic advising office.
Will I still receive my degree even though Commencement will not be occurring this
As long as you filed your Application for Degree and have met your course requirements, you will still receive your diploma. If you have questions regarding the fulfillment of your course credits, contact your academic advising office.
Will I need to fill out another Intent to Participate form when Commencement is rescheduled?
Yes. You will need to “RSVP” to the new Commencement ceremony if you plan to attend. We will send out instructions when Commencement is rescheduled on how to sign up for the ceremony. Check binghamton.edu/commencement for all updates.
When will I be able to claim tickets for Commencement?
We will announce the date that tickets will be released as well as the quantity allotted per student after we reschedule the ceremonies. Please refer to the Tickets tab on the Commencement webpage for more information on tickets.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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 until they are notified by their supervisors otherwise.
The University reminds all employees that the critical designation can be granted or removed as needed, depending upon the University’s needs.
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 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:
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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 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.
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.
SUNY Central has advised that, based upon discussions with Empire State Development (ESD), governmental construction projects (including SUNY), may continue subject to contractors having proper practices and procedures in place to achieve social distancing and other sanitary conditions needed to minimize potential exposure.
These practices and procedures must be followed while on site; construction could be stopped if there is a violation of these safety protocols.
The State University Construction Fund (SUCF) and campus will be reaching out to contractors to determine which construction projects on campus may resume.
The Physical Facilities office reception areas is closed and calls are being 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 with reviewing all travel to Level 3 and 4 areas as well as CDC Level 3 areas.
Are all events canceled?
All events, including seminars, conferences, etc. are canceled or moved to an online format.
Do parking rules and regulations still apply?
Binghamton University has temporarily suspended parking permit restrictions and parking meter enforcement while non-essential employees continue to work remotely.
However, parking tickets will still be issued for parking violations affecting road and pedestrian safety, including: parking in handicap spaces without a handicapped tag, blocking a fire hydrant, blocking loading areas or driveways, parking on sidewalks or grass, and any other parking violations that affect life safety. Unpermitted vehicles parking on campus overnight are subject to ticketing.
Is the Parking Office open?
Is the Greater Binghamton Transportation Center providing transit service?
With the exception of Broome County Transit, transit carriers have stopped servicing the Greater Binghamton Transportation Center. Transit carriers that service the transportation center include Shortline Coach USA, Megabus, Greyhound, Trailways and OurBus. These service providers have halted service to the transportation center until further notice.
Is OCCT operating?
OCCT has halted service.
Is BC Transit operating?
BC Transit provides free service to the campus and community for urgent and absolutely necessary travel only, i.e. to the pharmacy or grocery store. Schedule updates are available on the BC Transit website. Continue to visit this link as scheduling is subject to change. All BC Transit riders are required to wear face coverings.
Is Safe Ride operating?
Safe Ride has halted service. Individuals who feel in need of a walking escort should contact University Police at 607-777-2393.
Can I still use Zipcars?
Zipcars are still available for use.
Are alumni events still being held?
Visit the Binghamton University Alumni Association's Events Listing page for up-to-date information.
Are there ways I can help Binghamton weather this pandemic?
Yes! We would love your help!
- You can volunteer to be a virtual mentor for a current student. Our new program — Mentor Match — is open to all Binghamton students and connects them to alumni mentors in a variety of fields. You can communicate online with students whenever it's convenient for you. Learn more online.
- You can offer a lifeline to Binghamton students struggling to manage during these difficult times. Give Now to the Binghamton Fund for Excellence: Providing COVID-19 Emergency Support and help them complete their academic studies successfully.
What will a return to normalcy look like?
A Public Health Advisory Group and six coordinators have been charged by
A Public Health Advisory Group and six coordinators have been charged by President Harvey Stenger and Provost Donald Nieman to develop recommendations for the University’s “the new-normal” plans.
Stenger has also urged those with ideas about how to return to a "new normal" to submit their ideas online for consideration.
The Public Health Advisory Group, chaired by Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Johann Fiore-Conte, includes:
- Yvonne Johnston, associate professor and founding director of the Master in Public Health program
- Mario Ortiz, dean and professor of nursing for Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences
- Richard Moose, MD, medical director of Decker Student Health Services Center
- Hiroki Sayama, professor of systems science and industrial engineering
The coordinators for academic areas will consult with deans, faculty and faculty leaders, staff and students, said Nieman. Coordinators for non-academic areas will also use a broad-based approach to gather input.
Coordinators and their areas of responsibility are:
- Johann Fiore-Conte: Student and Residential Life
- Mary Beth Curtin: Research
- Donald Loewen: Undergraduate Education
- Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari: Graduate Education
- Patrick Elliott: Events
- James Pitarresi: Online Instruction and Services Delivery
James Pitarresi: Online Instruction and Services Delivery