Release of Information/Privacy
What type of information can the University Dean of Students Office provide to me about my son or daughter?
We are bound by federal law — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) — to protect student privacy. We cannot violate confidentiality or provide information that violates this law, which protects the privacy of student educational records and gives students (over the age of 18 years or attending an institution of higher education) the right to access and correct their records. In addition, information contained in the educational records, beyond directory information, cannot be shared without the student's written consent.
The University will contact parents/guardians in most instances of health emergencies, serious accidents, or other serious medical or psychological conditions, including those that arise out of alcohol or other drug overdose when it has been made aware of such incidents. The student's consent to speak with parents/guardians is sought whenever practical. The University will, however, continue to rely on the judgment of its staff when assessing each situation to determine when to notify parents.
For non-emergency situations in which students are seeking medical or psychological treatment, including treatment for substance abuse, the campus respects client/provider confidentiality in accordance with established state and federal laws. In such instances, communication with parents/guardians is only with the permission of the student, who must sign a "Release of Student Information" form. These are available upon request.
In general, the University does not communicate with parents/guardians regarding matters of student conduct. However, when dependent students are involved in a series of minor violations or a single serious violation, communication with parents/guardians may occur through the sanctioning or other administrative process.
How can I get information about how my son or daughter is doing in school?
Campus policy on student information provided to parents/guardians has been developed within the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Your best source of information about your student is your student.
Campus Emergency ALERT Notification
Binghamton University is concerned about the safety and well-being of our students and recognizes that parents can have a positive influence on their students' choices. Encourage your student to subscribe you to their B-Alert account by going to BU BRAIN to update B-ALERT contact information. They need to click the tab "My Information." The first listing there is a link to the Emergency Alert Notification (Rave Mobile Safety.) Students can add up to three email addresses and three cell phone numbers.
What number can I call if there is a campus emergency?
The emergency number is 607-777-2222 to reach University Police. The Dean of Students Office also offers numerous resources for handling emergencies.
What do I do if there is a death in the family?
Most faculty and staff are understanding when a student is absent due to a family death or emergency. Our case managers from the CARE Team can coach students on how to have conversations or write emails to their instructors and supervisors. Also, if the student, family member or friend notifies the CARE Team about a death, the case managers can provide other supports for the student when they return from being away. To refer a student to the CARE Team, you can complete this form, send an email to email@example.com, or call 607-777-2804 to speak with someone from the CARE Team about the situation.
What if my child is injured or becomes seriously ill?
As in the case of a family emergency or death, our case managers from the CARE Team in the Office of the Dean of Students can coach students on how to have conversations or write emails to their instructors and supervisors. This type of communication can help prepare the student for similar conversations with work supervisors in the future. If the student, family member or friend notifies the CARE Team about the situation, case managers may be able to provide other supports for the student while they are ill or when they feel better. To refer a student to the CARE Team, you can complete this form, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 607-777-2804 to speak with someone from the CARE Team about the situation.
What address do I use to send mail or a care package to my student?
Campus Mail Services handles incoming and outgoing mail for students living on campus.
If sending mail via US Postal Service:
BU Box # (their 5-digit box number)
PO Box 6020
Binghamton, NY 13902-6020
If you are sending a package via a private shipper (like UPS or FedEx):
BU Box # (their 5-digit box number)
4400 Vestal Parkway East
Binghamton, NY 13902
NOTE: You will need to find your students BU box #, which they will be assigned when they check in. If they don't know what their box # is, they can login to the housing portal with their username and password and click on the Your Assignment/Mailbox link.
Where can I order gifts for my son or daughter for special occasions, like a birthday?
Binghamton University Dining Services offers a variety of gifts for all students living on or off campus.
Does the University Bookstore mail gifts home?
Gifts may be ordered through the University Bookstore website and mailed to your home. If you purchase a gift for your student while they are on campus, they would be notified to pick it up at the Bookstore. You can even add a special note for the gift by emailing the Bookstore at email@example.com.
Where can my son or daughter get help with computer challenges?
Information Technology Services hires and trains students to be residence hall consultants. Called 'Res Cons' for short, they help students with personal computer concerns. Each of the 'pods' — areas where University computers are available for student use — also has staff who can assist students using machines there. The Help Desk at 607-777-6420 is another source of help for all campus computer users.
What health services are offered at Binghamton?
The Decker Student Health Services Center is a nationally accredited ambulatory care clinic offering primary medical care to students on a walk-in basis. Registered nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, health educators, an alcohol/drug counselor and an HIV test counselor are available for students. There is no inpatient or overnight service, but referrals are made to local hospitals as needed. Harpur's Ferry, the student-operated ambulance service, provides emergency care and transportation 24/7 when classes are in session.
Does the University require health insurance?
Yes. Full-time undergraduate students are enrolled automatically in the student sickness and accident insurance plan unless proof of alternate coverage is provided when requested. Although campus health services are prepaid by the health fee, off-campus medical expenses often are high. Without adequate health insurance, such expenses can hinder recommended medical treatment, undermine a good family credit rating, or even disrupt schooling. Because some managed care plans severely limit coverage for students not living at home, parents need to learn the coverage limits of their insurance carrier, including coverage for students studying abroad. Enrollment in the University-sanctioned student health plan may be a good investment for your family. The carrier is United Health Care, administered by Niagara National Insurance (800-444-5530)
What does my student need to do to withdraw from the semester?
Information about the withdrawal process can be found on the CARE Team website.
What resources are available for personal or career advice?
Academic advising offices in each school, the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, the Discovery Program's mentoring and tutoring services, the Writing Center and EOP Tutorial Center all provide services that support student development. Helping students grow personally and academically are very important University goals. Please see the University Bulletin and Student Support Services webpages for details.
Where can students without financial need find part-time employment during the school year?
The Student Employment Program at Binghamton University works to connect students with part-time jobs and offers training and resources to facilitate the development of leadership skills through on-campus student employment opportunities. All on-campus part-time job opportunities are posted in hireBING, Binghamton University's online job portal. Students can search for local part-time jobs and internships off campus in hireBING as well.
Additionally, the Office of Student Financial Aid can provide students with information about scholarships and loans.
How can my student participate in faculty research projects?
A student's professors or an academic adviser, mentor or member of the dean's staff can direct a student to faculty whose research is in an area of interest to the student. Students need to be well-prepared in the subject area, whether history or biology or another, then register for independent study in that area. Students work one-on-one or in small groups with a professor and/or his or her research team. In Harpur College, 25 percent of all undergraduates conduct research through the independent study process.
What is the status of the University's participation in intercollegiate athletics?
The University's varsity teams compete in Division I of the NCAA. Many teams compete in the America East Conference and have made excellent progress in the few years since joining "D1." The Events Center has added a great deal of class to facilities for athletic and other activities, including Commencement. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to visit during the next basketball season or sooner.
How and when can students change roommates if things haven't worked out well?
We encourage our residents to work with their RA (resident assistant) or RD (resident director) first to see if they can help. If staff are unable to resolve the situation, residents can fill out a Room Change Request Form, and follow directions on the Residential Life website.
Is there a safe alternative to walking alone on campus at night or during early morning hours?
The University's Safe Ride and Safe Walk Program provides a trained student or University Police staff member to escort students on campus. Students simply call 607-777-2393 from any phone on campus to gain assistance. A Safe Ride van also circles the campus from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. every night during the academic year. All students are urged to take advantage of this service if they do not wish to walk alone on campus. Any time Safe Ride is not in service, University Police will provide a safe escort on campus.
Getting Around Campus
Can students have a vehicle on campus?
Students who are not resident freshman may purchase a parking permit and park on campus in the designated surface lots that correspond with their permit. Students are required to learn and follow the parking rules and regulations to avoid citations. Only freshman who commute from homes locally may purchase a permit. Visit Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) for more information.
How important is it to have a vehicle during the school year?
Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) and Broome County (BC) Transit provide transit service to students at no additional cost with the swipe of their University ID, as the transportation fee is included in tuition. OCCT also offers a campus shuttle that continuously loops main campus, stopping at multiple locations. Both bus companies have GPS tracking devices linked to applications that display where the buses are at all times and how far they are from any given stop location. For OCCT service, students can download the free ETA SPOT application to their phones. For Broome County Transit service, students can download the free DoubleMap bus tracking application.
When traveling home for holidays and breaks, students may purchase a ticket from Escape Bus Co., the student-run bus charter company. Escape Bus Co. travels to the downstate area only. The Greater Binghamton Transportation Center provides local, regional and interstate bus travel. Coach USA, Greyhound, Megabus, OurBus and Trailways have terminals at the Transportation Center.
Binghamton University also offers Zimride by Enterprise. Zimride is a unique way to carpool, using social networks to connect you with others in the Binghamton University community and trusted partners within the Finger Lakes Rideshare, Cornell University and Ithaca College.
On-campus Zipcars are another way to get around at Binghamton University for students ages 18 and older. Binghamton University also has a bike share program with Gotcha Bike, a bike share and technology company. There are 30 GPS-enabled bikes in four locations on main campus. Bikes may be reserved at no charge for two hours and for $5 an hour after the two-hour time period.
Where can international students turn if they have questions or concerns?
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) offers a very wide range of helpful services for students from abroad. The ISSS-BU listserv and the office's website are both extremely useful.
Students with Disabilities
Who is the appropriate entity on campus to determine and authorize reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities?
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) is the appropriate entity on campus to assist students with disabilities in the determination and authorization of academic and other necessary reasonable accommodations for equal access. If you have a son or daughter with a history of accommodations, or have been diagnosed recently with a disability, please contact SSD by phone at 607-777-2686 or visit the website for more information.
How do students perform academically at Binghamton?
We are delighted that 91 percent of our freshmen return for their sophomore year, 68 percent graduate in four years and 78 percent graduate in five years. Those figures are far above national averages for almost every group of colleges and universities. Students who work with academic advisers each year typically get the courses they need to graduate on time, and are able to take advantage of many options, including double majors, study abroad, etc.
When do students get a yearbook photo taken and order a yearbook?
Photos are taken each fall in October or November, then taken again in January for those who missed the fall sessions. Students are reminded of the dates, and parents are notified by letter to remind them to encourage student participation. Yearbooks are handed out in person in May.
Where can I find information about meal plans?
A list of all meal plan options can be found Meal Plan Office website. If you have questions, please call the Meal Plan office at 607-777-6000 or toll free at 1-888-858-9167.