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Parent Connect monthly newsletter

October 2018


Brian Rose Dear Parents and Families,

 Binghamton University just held our annual Parent and Family   Weekend where we welcomed about 2,000 predominantly first-   year student families to campus. Parent weekends have been a   tradition on many campuses. Most commonly, the centerpiece is a   football game, but at Binghamton, we are more motivated by   exploring and negotiating the relationship between student,   University and parent. We try to provide a mix of University information, perspectives on parenting a college student, fun and an opportunity to enjoy your student and time with other parents.

All of us (students, University and parents) share a common goal – the success of the student. There are, though, some typical tensions or differences of perspective on how this three-way relationship should work together toward that goal. Generally, parents want more information on how their student is doing – grades, behavioral concerns, access to services – than either the University or student tends to provide. Students often don't want to share behavioral or academic performance information with their parents, but then want parents to intervene on their behalf if they run into difficulty accessing services or getting help. University faculty and staff often hold formulaically to a philosophy of "student as adult" and reflexively bristle at parent involvement. Many University staff and faculty frame this philosophy as legally required by "the law." In truth, many of those same administrators don't understand the law and the degree to which we actually retain some level of policy discretion. Far too often, the conversation about the student/University/parent relationship gets stuck in these typical conventions.

I've always been interested in thinking about how to strengthen the parent/student/University relationship to the actual benefit of student learning, rather than just in response to the perspective of any one of the three constituencies. To that end, I was delighted that we were able to host Jessica Lahey as our Parent and Family Weekend keynote speaker. Lahey is the author of the bestselling book The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed and a nationally sought-after speaker. If you didn't have the chance to attend Parent and Family Weekend or hear Lahey, it's easy to find clips of her presentations online, or even to buy her book. Her gift is to explain in easy-to-understand terms how to identify when students need autonomy and when they need support. Listening to her made me think more carefully on how the University can better provide actionable information to parents with the aim of improving student success. I have asked our Dean of Students Office to undertake a review of when student affairs offices do and don't reach out to parents with an eye toward a little more purpose and clarity in our approach. I'm not sure yet where that will lead, but I will report back in this space. Thanks for reading...

If you have any questions for me or any member of the Dean of Students Office, let us know at

Brian Rose
Vice President for Student Affairs


President Harvey Stenger's Road Map Quarterly Report

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger has released his quarterly report for the months of July through September 2018. Learn about Binghamton University's activities and initiatives in his report and those of the vice presidents for academic affairs, advancement, operations, student affairs, research and the director of athletics, chief diversity officer and Binghamton University Foundation.

New housing sign-up process

You should already have received a message from Interim Director of Residential Life Paola Mignone about the changes we're making to this year's housing process, which begins tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 18. Here's a brief reminder:

To better meet the needs of our students, Residential Life has adjusted the timeline for its housing sign-up process, which will still begin this fall, but will now continue into February 2019.

The two-part process will allow students to sign up for housing beginning Thursday, Oct. 18, but still have until February 2019 to finalize where they wish to live and with whom.

Part 1

Registration and group formation begins Thursday, Oct. 18. During this time students can:

  • sign their housing license
  • apply to learning communities
  • form groups (If planning to sign up for a room, suite, flat or apartment as a part of a group.)

Students who form groups may change them as often as desired between Thursday, Oct. 18 and Monday, Feb. 11.

Students who sign their housing license between Oct. 18 and Nov. 1 will receive 15 priority points that will be added to their academic credits and used in determining their time slots for room selection when it begins in February.

Part 2

Room selection begins Monday, Feb. 11 and continues through Friday, Feb. 22.

Final details regarding room selection will be announced in November and communicated to students and their families.

We hope this updated process will provide students flexibility as they make decisions about their housing for the 2019-2020 academic year.

If you have questions, contact us at

Election Day reminders for your student

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Remind your students to make a plan ahead of time so they are prepared to cast their votes!

Students who live on campus and are registered to vote with their on-campus address can vote in the University Union in Old Union Hall between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Election Day. Students who live off campus and are registered to vote with their off-campus address can find their local polling place by visiting

Students who are registered to vote with their home address (in New York state) must mail an absentee ballot application to their home county's board of elections by Oct. 30 at the latest, although it is highly recommended that they do so as soon as possible to ensure that they receive their ballot in time to vote. (Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5.) Absentee ballot application forms are available on the Center for Civic Engagement website or in our office (UU-137).

Students who are registered to vote with an out-of-state address should check with their state's board of elections for relevant deadlines.

Tell us about your student's community engagement

Has your student made a positive impact on the Binghamton community? The Center for Civic Engagement would love to hear about any long-term volunteer projects, course-based service-learning or other civic engagement initiatives your student is participating in and help you tell the greater Binghamton community all about it! Email Laura Reindl at with a brief synopsis of their experience, along with a way to get in touch with your student should we like to follow up with them for an interview. For examples of student stories we have shared in the past year, visit the CCE website.

Discovery Program advisors

Discovery Advisors (DAs) are motivated, creative and academically successful students whose primary responsibility is mentoring students to achieve academic success.

These students work in close contact with several offices on campus, including each of the five schools' undergraduate advising offices and Division of Student Affairs offices such as International Student and Scholar Services, and Services for Students with Disabilities.

DAs are part of the Student Success Network available through and they are internationally certified as advanced peer mentors by the College Reading and Learning Association.

Discovery Advisors help students develop effective strategies in such areas as study skills, time management and note-taking, and assist students in making informed choices about courses and class schedules. They also encourage students to explore and utilize the services and resources of the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development early in their academic careers.

Discovery Advisors also promote learning experientially outside the classroom by relaying information on internships, study abroad, the National Student Exchange (NSE) and volunteer opportunities. DAs hold evening office hours from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday in all four residential-based Discovery Centers.

Off Campus Programs and Services

Does your student live off campus? If so, our Assistant Dean for Off Campus Programs, Milton Chester, asks that you encourage your student to follow these tips: 

To help remain safe, students should:

  • Trust their instincts and be aware of their surroundings.
  • Have a check-in friend and coordinate their schedule with this person
  • Avoid dark/isolated areas
  • Keep their keys in their hand when walking to their car alone
  • Keep their car doors and home locked at all times, even when occupied

To be a good neighbor, student should:

  • Get to know their neighbors: offer to help the elderly shovel, carry groceries for a struggling neighbor or simply wave to say hello. This can go a long way. 
  • Be clean, courteous and respectful.
  • Observe and respect all local ordinances and applicable laws.
  • When having house guests, do so with the understanding that they are responsible for their guests' behavior.
  • Be mindful of noise levels.
  • If planning a party, let their neighbors know. Giving their neighbors a heads-up shows a great deal of respect and consideration. Their neighbors will appreciate this!

Remind your student that living off campus can be truly enriching, but also comes with responsibility.

Chester can be contacted at 607-777-2768, or at his office in Rockefeller Center, Room 163.

Student safety recs from a student ride-along

Student safety is one of the biggest concerns for students, parents, faculty and everyone who's a part of the Binghamton University community, especially for those living in or visiting off-campus areas. Student Laurie Dupnock recently had the opportunity to go on a ride-along with Officer Chris Governanti, the police liaison between Binghamton University and the city of Binghamton. Not only did she get to witness what he does on the job, but also she learned some important tips that all students should know to keep themselves and their property safe.

For her full report on her ride-along, visit BingUNews.

Reminder: Binghamton is a tobacco-free campus

One of Binghamton University's goals is to be a healthy campus that fosters health/wellness, safety and sustainability, and provides a productive environment for all students, faculty and staff, as well as vendors, volunteers and visitors to campus.
To help encourage this culture, the University has completed implementation of a tobacco-free policy for all University-owned, operated or leased property and continues to provide information and educate the campus and visitors about the policy and its impact.

To help parents understand what this means, tobacco is defined as all tobacco and tobacco-derived products intended for human consumption, including but not limited to, cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems (vaping), juuls, cigars, hookah-smoked products, clove cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, smokeless tobacco and snus. This definition does not include any product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco-use cessation product.

The University offers numerous options to support those who use tobacco products to eliminate their dependence on them, if they so desire. This Includes making smoking cessation programming and non-prescription smoking cessation devices (patches, gum, lozenges, etc.) available to faculty, staff and students.

For more information, visit the University's Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative website. Questions or issues can be addressed to

Campus Rec student staff Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 250,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the student staff in Campus Recreation have organized a team fundraiser for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk scheduled for Oct. 21 in Binghamton. Consider making a donation or encouraging your student to join our team so that we can make the biggest impact possible!

Fall is full of fun at the Bookstore!

Didn't get a chance to shop during Family Weekend? Don't worry! You can use your coupon online with promo code FAM25. And check out our other upcoming sales:

Oct. 23-26
25 percent off all hoodies, crews, sweatpants and all other fleece. Sale is available online and in store. Great for early holiday shopping!
Oct. 31
Halloween party at the bookstore! Free food, free fun, prizes and giveaways! Have your students stop in for some spooktastic treats!
Nov. 5-18
25 percent off all Champion brand clothing including sweatshirts, tees, shorts, active wear, etc. Sale is available online and in store.

Keep an eye out for one-day-only extra clothing specials on Cyber Monday, Nov. 26!

Visit for more information and like us on Facebook!

Have you been called yet?

Want to enrich the Binghamton experience for your student? Just answer your phone.

Binghamton students will be calling to ask you to join with other parents and make a gift to create opportunities for students. Your gift will enable your student and others to participate in mentor-supported inquiry on research topics they design, explore career aspirations through internships and become employment-ready utilizing resources from the Fleischman Center.

Don't want to wait? Do it today at

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), which complements and supports 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.

More information can be found online. If you have questions or would like to talk with a current PLC member, contact Linda Salomons, parent, family and events coordinator, at

Financial Aid and Student Records

Financial Aid

2019-2020 FAFSA application

  • FAFSA filing news! The 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available Oct. 1, 2018. You can file your FAFSA online.
  • Students/parents will report 2017 tax information on the 2019-2020 FAFSA. Reporting accurate tax information is simple with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which ensures accurate and streamlined FAFSA filing. For information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, visit the web.

Is your student considering education abroad?

  • Is your student thinking about studying abroad for the spring 2019 semester? Check out how their financial aid is affected by studying abroad on our website
  • Once accepted to an education-abroad program, students should meet with a financial aid counselor regarding costs and applying for financial aid. Students should bring a printed copy of the program acceptance letter and detailed program cost sheet.
  • The grants and loans students receive during the fall and spring semesters may be used to cover education-abroad charges for Binghamton University or another SUNY program. Students considering a non-SUNY education-abroad program should email to find out if financial aid can be used for that program. There are no 'special' funds reserved for education abroad.

Proxy access to student accounts available for financial aid information

Student Records

Semester Withdrawal

  • Students looking to withdraw completely from the University should submit the University Withdrawal form to the office of Financial Aid and Student Records in Admissions Center 112. The Semester Withdrawal Form is required for students who wish to drop ALL fall semester courses and who want their academic record to indicate good standing.

Fall 2018 Proof of Enrollment

Clear holds

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

Upcoming deadlines for fall 2018

Grade option change deadline is 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30

  • Students may select a grading option when registering for a course. The grading options are letter grade or pass/fail. Students complete the grade option change online through BU BRAIN. More information can be found online.

Course withdrawal deadline is 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30

  • The process to withdraw from a course is available online through BU BRAIN. Students will receive a "W" on their official transcripts for any course they withdraw from.
  • After the withdrawal deadline, students may petition to withdraw from a course using the Late Course Withdrawal Petition process on BU BRAIN.
  • For more information, visit the registrar's website.

Submission of the fall 2018

DegreeWorks audit

  • Students should review their DegreeWorks audit to ensure their fall 2018 courses are meeting degree requirements. Students can view their time tickets online through BU BRAIN via the Binghamton portal to find out when they are able to register.

Lost IDs

  • Students can request a replacement ID card through BU BRAIN or students can 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 Students must be registered for the fall in order to receive a replacement ID card.
  • There is a $20 fee for all replacement ID cards. The $20 fee will be assessed to the student's bill in Student Accounts.
  • Note: Students will need a photo ID to pick up their ID card. Acceptable forms: driver's license, passport, high school or other university photo ID.

Official expedited electronic transcripts are available!

  • In addition to free paper official transcripts, we offer official expedited electronic transcripts.
  • The expedited service is available for a $5 USD charge per recipient.
  • Go online for more information about this electronic transcript service.

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 e-mail has changed, send a note to 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
  • Oct. 15: Classes resume
  • Oct. 30: Course withdrawal/grade option change deadline, 4:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 21-25: No classes (Thanksgiving break)
  • Nov. 21: Residence halls close at 11 a.m.
  • Nov. 25: Residence halls open at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 26: Classes resume
  • Dec. 7: Last day of classes
  • Dec. 8-9: Reading days
  • Dec. 10-14: Final examinations
  • Dec. 15: Residence halls close at 11 a.m.
  • Dec. 17: Winter Session begins

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Last Updated: 10/12/18