Parent Connect Newsletter

August 2019

President Harvey Stenger

Dear parents and families,

Parent Connect is a valuable resource for you to stay connected with Binghamton University in a way that, hopefully, makes your lives a bit easier. The information provided can help you make plans to visit campus, check on financial aid, learn about services to support your students, and much more.

However, I want to talk about something a little less tangible this month, and that’s how proud we are at Binghamton University. We have great cause to be, with a growing reputation for academics and research, and with graduates who go on to do great things.

But we’re not the only ones paying attention. The number of publications at the state and national levels that are taking notice of Binghamton University continues to grow as we shine in rankings based on solid measures of achievement. One of the most recent rankings, by Business First, has Binghamton as the 16th best public college in the nation — out of 505 colleges ranked — and the #1 public college in New York state.

The ranking “was designed to identify the public universities and colleges that offer the best educational experiences to their students” according to Business First, and the highest scores were compiled based first on eight categories and then by using a 22-part formula that included highly selective admissions, strong retention and graduation rates, impressive earnings by alumni, affordable tuitions and housing costs, and diverse faculties and student bodies.

Chalk up another accolade for Binghamton University!

And if you have questions about Move-in Day or something more tangible, let us know!

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger, President

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Move-in Day

Residence halls will open for new students at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18 (returning students can start moving in Monday, Aug. 19). If you’ve already visited campus for Orientation, you may have picked up our Student and Family Guide booklet, which includes all Move-in Day instructions. If not, everything you need to know is available on the Residential Life website.

Students should have received an envelope in the mail with a letter from their community and a color-coded parking pass. Be sure to bring that card on Move-in Day and place it on the dashboard of your vehicle. This will allow staff to direct you to the appropriate area for unloading.

To make Move-in Day as stress-free as possible, we have staggered arrival times. Students living on a ground or even-numbered floor should plan to arrive between 8 and 11 a.m. Students living on an odd-numbered floor should plan to arrive between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Students can log in to the housing system to find out their room number.

The entire move-in process can take one to two hours, but our staff will be out and about to help you. We also have a BWelcome Crew — look for their lime green shirts. They will help you move your items. Signs will direct students where to check in at their community. Students should have a picture ID to show.

Once students have moved in, BWelcome events begin with Sunday afternoon floor-, building- and area-wide meetings for students. This is an opportunity for students to get oriented to the building and community, and to meet important staff like their resident assistant, assistant residential coordinator, resident director, assistant director of Residential Life and collegiate professor. Events continue throughout the week, including a New Student Picnic, movies, University Fest, academic programs, tours of campus and sports in the quad.

Families should plan to say goodbye to their students before the floor- and building-wide meetings begin. After saying goodbye, family members are welcome to attend the parent and guardian sessions offered in each residential community for a primer to life with a college student.

And following that, don't miss the Parent and Family Move-In Day Reception from 4 to 5 p.m. in the University Union, Old Union Hall. We'll be there with food and giveaways to help celebrate (and commiserate) before you head home.

Sign up for campus-wide emergency alerts

Binghamton University partners with Rave Mobile Safety to provide an emergency alert system capable of delivering messages to students’ University and personal email addresses, cell phone, and the University's Facebook and Twitter accounts. Students receive a welcome email as they enroll at the University, with instructions for reviewing and managing contact information within Rave.

While only Binghamton University students, staff and faculty may have a full B-ALERT account, there are several ways that parents can easily receive official University alerts. Each of these options will provide the same message, so selecting only one option is necessary. 

  1. Students can register their parents’ devices through their account. Each student account can include up to three email addresses and three cellular contacts. Students can log into the getrave.com site to add additional contacts.
  2. Anyone may download the Alertus Mobile Application and receive campus alerts. Visit the Alertus Mobile Application page to learn how to download this app and start receiving alerts.
  3. To receive text alerts, anyone can text the code "balert365" to number 67283. You will then be registered to receive Binghamton University B-ALERT emergency text messages. You may text the word "STOP" to the same number anytime you no longer wish to receive alerts.

For additional information on Binghamton University’s Emergency Management Program, visit the Emergency Management website.

Register for Family Weekend, Oct. 11–13

Binghamton University is a student’s home away from home, and each year we invite family members to make it theirs during Family Weekend! Share the Binghamton experience as you spend time connecting with your student, interacting with faculty and staff, and experiencing what makes being a Bearcat so special.

Family Weekend offers many specially planned events and activities including receptions, campus tours, Nature Preserve hikes, residential community festivals, a family lunch on Saturday and much more. 

We hope you can join us and the many other families at Family Weekend, building your Binghamton pride and strengthening your connection to the University and your student. Registration is now open! Learn more and register on the Parent and Family Programs website. We look forward to seeing you Oct. 11–13!

Pardon our progress

We have some exciting improvements to better serve our students happening on campus, so pardon our progress!

Hinman Dining Hall is in the final planning phase for a major renovation to be completed in the 2020–21 academic year. The new, all-inclusive collegiate center will be home to a brand-new dining facility with nine service options and expanded seating, a Starbucks, programming and study spaces, a garden terrace/patio, a convenience store and a student culinary makerspace that will be a commercial-sized kitchen for student use.

The basement of the Union is also undergoing a remodeling and renovation project. Now deemed the "Undergrounds," the lower level of the Union will be transformed with an updated look, feel and functionality to maximize student use. See more on the the Union website.

Other new looks around campus can be found in what is known as the "Fireplace Lounge," located in the University Union's MarketPlace, which has newly updated flooring and furniture, creating a multifunctional space to study and enjoy time with friends. And in the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C-4 Dining Center), the point of sale systems have been relocated to the perimeter of the servery to improve speed of service during peak times in the dining hall. Check out these great updates next time you are on campus!

Show your #BingPride by supporting our athletes

Binghamton University hosts 21 Division I teams including basketball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball and wrestling. Students, parents and families can stay up to date for the latest scores, schedules and Bearcats updates by visiting bubearcats.com. Undergraduate students are admitted FREE to all regular season home games with a valid Binghamton University ID. Parents and families can purchase tickets online at bubearcats.com/tickets or at the Events Center Ticket Office. Go Bearcats!

Fall Job and Internship Fair: an event for all students

Job and internship fairs aren’t just for juniors and seniors, or students from specific majors. All students are encouraged to participate in these events early and often to explore options and begin working toward their own career success! Binghamton’s Fall Job and Internship Fair will be held from 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in the Events Center. Representatives from more than 130 organizations attend the fair every fall, and they are eager to speak with students from all majors regarding full-time and internship opportunities. Encourage students to not only attend, but also prepare by following our helpful resources and tips for information on:

  • Writing a top-quality resume
  • Crafting a great 30-second commercial
  • Researching registered organizations
  • Dressing professionally

The Fleishman Center hosts multiple programs to help students prepare. Encourage students to attend Fleishman Center workshops so they can best position themselves with employers.

The Fleishman Center has also partnered with JCPenney to offer 40% off professional attire for students during a private store event from 6:30–9:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Oakdale Mall JCPenney store. This is the perfect opportunity for students to buy their first suit or supplement their existing professional wardrobe at a discounted price. A free, round-trip shuttle from campus to the event is provided.

If students have questions about attending or preparing for the fair, they can visit the Fleishman Center during walk-in hours (11 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday) or email the Fleishman Center at careers@binghamton.edu.

Purchase parking permits online

Parking permits are available for purchase online for the upcoming academic year or semester at the Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) website. To log in, students will need their Binghamton University PODS ID. Students who are sophomores and above are eligible to purchase a permit.

Students who are first-time permit buyers must first register their vehicle online with the University. Returning customers can log in and follow the step-by-step instructions. Students who live on campus are also eligible to purchase a Discounted Resident Parking Permit. This permit type allows students to park in Lot G1 only at a discounted rate of $100.

TAPS uses License Plate Recognition (LPR), which eliminates the need for parking decals. LPR is a plate-recognition technology that virtually associates Binghamton University parking permits to a license plate without a decal or hangtag. Once a virtual permit is purchased online, a confirmation will be emailed and the permit is active. Vehicle information can be updated from a student's online account at any time.

For students interested in carpooling, Binghamton University offers Zimride by Enterprise, which is an online carpooling platform. Students may sign up, create a profile and easily find other students to travel with by posting a ride. TAPS offers incentives to those who carpool. To find out more, go to the TAPS website.

Additional information on alternative transportation options such as buses, bike share and Zipcars can be found on the TAPS website. Any questions can be directed to parking@binghamton.edu. TAPS is looking forward to a great 2018–19 academic year!

BWelcome 2019

At Binghamton, we want students to #bwelcome when they come to campus, whether they’re returning for another year or just starting their journey here with us. We have a lot in store to celebrate the beginning of the academic year with food, activities, tours, events and fun organized to welcome students back this fall. Students can experience all that the University has to offer during each of our uniquely themed first six weeks of the semester:

  1. BWelcome — Aug. 18–25
    Kick off the academic year with fun and friends as you settle in. These events are centered around exploration, acclimation and discovery.
  2. BEngaged — Aug. 26–Sept. 1
    Ready for more? Learn where to make new friends and how to get connected via social events and student organizations.
  3. BSmart — Sept. 2–8
    It's time to hit the books! Delve into the world of academics, educational programs and safety initiatives.
  4. BDiverse — Sept. 9–15
    Everyone is welcome here at Binghamton. This week's themes are diversity, multiculturalism and spiritualism.
  5. BBearcats — Sept. 16–22
    The fun isn't over yet! Show your #BingPride during this week's events focused on spirit, athletics and traditions.
  6. BHealthy — Sept. 23–29
    One of the University's goals is to encourage and support healthy living for all. This week, explore how we create a climate that prioritizes health and well-being.

To see a full schedule of events, visit the BWelcome webpage.

Send a gift from home!

Are you wondering what to send to your student for a birthday or just to say, “thinking of you?” Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) has the answer for you! Visit the BUDS website and on the Gifts and More page, check out the variety of sweet treats we offer, baked right on campus at the Bearcat Bakery! You place the order, we take care of the rest.

BUDS is excited to introduce our new promotional program, MyDtxt — the dining connection! If you haven’t already, sign up today. We want to keep you up to date on valuable promotions and special offers from Gifts and More all year long. Opt in today by texting “BingParent” to 82257, and you’ll receive a gift just for signing up.

Banking on campus

Visions Federal Credit Union is Binghamton University’s official on-campus financial partner with a full-service office in University Union West and four ATMs across campus: outside their office, inside Bartle Library Tower near Jazzman’s, outside the Events Center and outside Dunkin’ Donuts in the University Union.

Students and parents may open accounts at the Visions office or online at visionsfcu.org/BU25, where they will receive a $25 bonus for their new accounts.

Sending money to students is simple, too. If both parties are Visions members, it’s as easy as an in-person, over-the-phone or online transfer. If parents prefer to bank elsewhere, they can simply arrange an online or wire transfer through their own financial institution.

In addition to savings, loans, checking, debit cards and ATM access, Visions also maintains a partnership with the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. This partnership provides students with free access to financial education on topics related to their interests. Popular subjects include budgeting, credit building, saving for graduate school and negotiating a job offer. Students may also request presentations for their organizations and visit the Fleishman Center’s website for upcoming events.

To learn more about what they have to offer, visit the Visions website.

Financial Aid

Bill Credit

Is your student’s financial aid properly crediting on their bill? If not, check out the possible reasons why at the Financial Aid website.

Refunds

Is your student expecting a refund from financial aid? Most refunds will be available the first week of classes. Students are encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit to avoid waiting in the long lines. Direct Deposit allows the Student Accounts office to deposit any excess financial aid directly into a student’s bank account. Students sign up for Direct Deposit via the Binghamton portal.

Federal Work-Study

Students participating in the Federal Work-Study program who begin working during the first week of classes will not receive their first paycheck until Sept. 26. The Federal Work-Study pay period schedule can be found on the Human Resources website.

2019–20 Parent PLUS Loan — another option for funding your student’s education

The 2019–20 Parent PLUS loan application is now open. Parents can apply at https://studentloans.gov using their FSA username and password. For more general information about Parent PLUS loans, visit the Financial Aid website.

2019–20 New York state aid

To apply for New York state aid, students must complete a New York State Student Aid Payment Application. The payment application provides a single conduit for applying for payment of state grants, scholarships and awards, including TAP, Excelsior and STEM. Students and parents have the option to link directly to the New York State Student Aid Payment Application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page or to complete the application by going to https://www.hesc.ny.gov/. Be sure to include Binghamton's school code (0880). Note that students must be full-time, matriculated New York state residents who qualify based on income and academic requirements.

Students are strongly encouraged to speak with their academic advising office to ensure their fall 2019 coursework meets degree applicability requirements. For more information on the New York state guidelines regarding degree applicability, visit https://www.binghamton.edu/financial-aid/types-of-aid/nysaid/dac-requirements.html

Proxy access available for financial aid information

Proxy access is the ability students have to grant others access to view their financial aid information in BU BRAIN. For more information about Proxy access, and instructions for students, visit the Financial Aid website.

Student Records

ID Cards

New student ID cards or replacement ID cards for continuing students will be available for pick up from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Move-in Day, Sunday, Aug. 18, in Admissions Center basement room B09.

Confirmation of Enrollment 

Confirmation of Enrollment is now available online through BU BRAIN via the Binghamton portal at my.binghamton.edu. The deadline for students to confirm their enrollment is 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, to avoid cancellation of courses and for disbursement of their financial aid. 

Registration Add/Drop Period

If the student does not have a full schedule or needs to change classes, the registration adjustment period is Monday, Aug. 19–Wednesday, Sept. 4. The add/drop deadline is 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.

After the deadline, students may petition to late add individual courses. A $20 fee per course will be charged to your student’s account. To complete the petition process online, students go to BU BRAIN, Student tab, Registration, Late Course Add/Drop/Withdrawal Petition.

  • After the drop deadline, students may withdraw from a course themselves on BU BRAIN, Student tab, Registration, Add or Drop courses then follow the instructions for a web withdrawal. This will create a "W" on the student’s record.
  • After the withdrawal deadline, students may petition to withdraw from a course using the Late Course Withdrawal Petition process outlined above.
  • For more information visit the Registrar website

Summer degrees

Degree candidates for the summer can expect to have their degree awarded by the end of August after the summer term has ended. Conferral date is Aug. 16. Diplomas are expected to go out in the mail in mid-September.

DegreeWorks Audit

Students should review their DegreeWorks audit to ensure their fall 2019 courses are meeting degree requirements. Students can view their time tickets online through BU BRAIN via the Binghamton portal, my.binghamton.edu, to find out when they are able to register.

Fall 2019 proof of enrollment

Proof of advanced registration for fall 2019 is now available online through the National Student Clearinghouse. Students can access this through their BU BRAIN account. Click Student tab, then Student Services Tools.

Clear holds

Be sure to clear all holds that may prevent registration. Holds can be viewed online through BU BRAIN.

Lost IDs

Students can request a replacement ID card through my.binghamton.edu or send us an email (using their official Binghamton University email account; emails from other accounts cannot be processed) with their name and B-number to idcard@binghamton.edu. Students must be registered for the fall semester in order to receive a replacement ID card.

  • There is a $20 fee for all replacement ID cards, which will be assessed to the student’s bill in Student Accounts.
  • Note: Students will need a photo ID to pick up their card. Acceptable forms of ID include: driver’s license, passport, high school or other university photo ID.

Official expedited electronic transcripts now available

  • In addition to free, official, paper transcripts, we now offer official expedited electronic transcripts. 
  • $5 USD charge per recipient for the expedited service. 
  • More information about this new electronic transcript service is available on the Registrar website.

Parents sought for leadership council

Interested in getting involved at Binghamton at the leadership level? Parents of Binghamton students have an opportunity to join the Parents Leadership Council (PLC), whose members complement and support the University's strategic directives and initiatives by acting as advancement advocates for the Division of Student Affairs through private support and outreach. Members participate in quarterly conference calls and are invited to campus in the spring semester for an on-campus meeting and reception with President Harvey Stenger. 

If you have questions or would like to talk with a current PLC member, contact Linda Salomons, Parent, Family and Events Coordinator, at families@binghamton.edu.


Parents: Facebook just for you!

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

Visiting Binghamton?

If you're planning a trip to Binghamton, visit the Visiting Binghamton section on our website or the Greater Binghamton Convention and Visitors Bureau for information on what to see, where to stay and where to eat while you're here.

Update parent information

Keep your contact information updated in our parent database. If your address, phone or email has changed, send a note to families@binghamton.edu to let us know. And if you're looking for more from us, check out some of our pages targeted directly to parents and guardians:

Calendar of events

  • University's Academic Calendar
  • Aug. 18: Residence halls open for new students at 8 a.m.
  • Aug. 19: Residence halls open for returning students at 8 a.m.
  • Aug. 21: Classes begin
  • Sept. 2: No classes (Labor Day)
  • Sept. 4: Add/drop deadline
  • Sept. 20-22: Homecoming Weekend

How to unsubscribe

If you no longer have a need to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe by sending a message to families@binghamton.edu.