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University Statements

An archive of statements by Binghamton University President Harvey G. Stenger and other University leaders on issues of importance to the University community and beyond

2018

Letter from President Harvey Stenger on recent tragedies
Suspect arraigned and charged with second degree murder

Updates on student stabbing death; suspect in custody

Statement from President Stenger about stabbing death of student

Statement from President Stenger and Provost Nieman about freedom of expression and peaceful protest
Letter from Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger about "Campus Speech: What Are the Limits?"

Statement sent to ECE graduate students, faculty and staff about an offensive email message sent to their listserv
Statement from Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger on the death of Haley Anderson
Message from President Harvey G. Stenger speaking up about sexual harassment and sexual assault

Letter about values from President Harvey G. Stenger

DACA remains a major concern for Binghamton University. We remain engaged with our representatives in Washington. A version of the following letter has been sent today to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney.

2017

Letter from President Stenger and Provost Nieman about Tax Cut and Jobs Act
President Harvey Stenger votes in favor of Faculty Senate statement on free expression and inclusiveness
Letter to U.S. Congresswoman Claudia Tenney about Tax Cut and Jobs Act concerns
Police investigating swastika left on Post-it note in residence hall
Message from President Harvey G. Stenger about racist incident
Message from President Harvey G. Stenger about racist drawing
Letter to U.S. Congresswoman Claudia Tenney about DACA concerns
Updated Message from President Harvey G. Stenger on DACA
Message from President Harvey G. Stenger on DACA
Message from President Harvey G. Stenger on Charlottesville, Va.
Message from President Harvey G. Stenger to University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan about recent events in Charlottesville, Va.
Letter from President Harvey G. Stenger to the campus about student protest
University statement about the "blue-light" proposal
Letter concerning death of a student
Letter concerning a new Executive Order
Letter concerning Title IX interpretation
Travel ban report
Letter concerning Executive Order
Report on offer of resources to international students

 

April 20, 2018

To our extended campus community,

The events of the past month have been devastating for the campus community and for me as president. Every day, I feel a sense of deep sadness for the deaths of two young people who came to us with high hopes and great promise. To have their lives cut short is a tragedy beyond our ability to express in words. We all grieve for Joao Souza, whose life ended tragically Sunday, April 15, even as we mourn the loss of Haley Anderson only weeks before. My meetings with their parents were the hardest moments I may ever experience. Their deaths are seared in my memory, and every day I think about what happened and how we can assure that nothing like this happens again.

As we remember Joao and Haley, we also begin the task of moving forward. I reaffirm to you that my top priority for our campus is safety. Binghamton University is committed to providing a safe learning environment, and focusing on ways to protect students, faculty and staff. Safety is also the top priority of my leadership team. While we already dedicate many resources to the care and protection of our students, we are all redoubling our efforts to develop and implement additional measures to foster a safer campus.

During this week we have taken the following steps:
• We have increased University Police presence in our residential communities and across campus.
• I've directed the chief of police to look into our emergency alert system and our emergency communications strategy.
• I've met with the Student Association and the incoming board members of the Student Association to discuss the event and gathered their feedback.
• We are accelerating the offerings of our programs on interpersonal violence, bystander intervention and personal safety.
• The vice president for student affairs has met with Mountainview residential assistants and residential staff will begin meeting with students in all of our residential communities to get their input on safety and security in our residence halls.
• The provost has asked all faculty to take into consideration how this tragedy might affect students and their work and to offer additional time to complete assignments if necessary.
• I've reached out to the SUNY chancellor and asked her for her recommendations, and she has offered to provide any support we need.
• We have received input from faculty members who have listened to their students speak about the recent tragedies and their perceptions of our response.
• We have looked at ways to enhance our programs and services that support the dean of students, CARE team and the University Counseling Center.
• I've asked the vice president for operations to begin gathering feedback from staff on campus on ideas for how safety and communications might be improved.
• I've scheduled a meeting for this Saturday with our Parents Leadership Council to reassure them of our commitment to student safety and to gain their perspectives on how students' families can be better informed.
• We will review our card access system and access privileges.

Over the coming weeks, I will keep you updated on the outcomes of all our initiatives.

We are a compassionate community, and we will continue to take care of those who are hurting in the wake of these horrific events. We are also a close-knit community and care genuinely about one another. Our compassion and our unity are what define us, and what will provide us with the strength to help us through this horrible experience.

Thank you, for all you have done and will continue to do to help friends who are in need at this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Harvey G. Stenger
President
hstenger@binghamton.edu

April 16, 2018

9:52 p.m.

Suspect arraigned and charged with second degree murder

Michael M. Roque, 20, a Binghamton University student, was charged this evening with second degree murder in the stabbing death of 19-year-old freshman engineering student Joao Souza.

Roque has been assigned a public defender who entered a not guilty plea on his behalf at the Broome County Central Arraignment facility.

Roque was taken to the Broome County Jail following the arraignment.

 

April 16, 2018

Suspect in custody; message from President Harvey Stenger

5:33 p.m.

Dear Binghamton University Community,

I am deeply saddened to write to you regarding last night's stabbing that led to the death of one of our students, Joao Souza, a 19-year-old freshman engineering student. The entire campus mourns for him. Our sympathies go out to his friends and family, as well as to his classmates and peers. A suspect is in custody. I thank our Binghamton University Police, New York State Police and the Broome County District Attorney's office for their quick work in apprehending the individual as quickly as possible.

As president, my top priority is keeping everyone in our campus community safe. I want to reaffirm to you Binghamton University's commitment to providing a safe learning environment. Unfortunately, we live in a time where violence is part of society, and, as a campus of 17,000+ students and several thousand faculty and staff, there are occasions where violence will intrude on our campus. We will continue to focus on keeping ours a safe campus, with a fully-empowered state law enforcement agency that works closely with the residential communities to protect life and property.

Part of fostering a safe campus involves quick, clear communication with the community. Over the past 18 hours we've sent a number of messages alerting parents, students and faculty and staff. However, to get the alerts, faculty and staff need to sign up for the service by going to https://www.getrave.com/login/binghamton and logging in or going to BU BRAIN in http://my.binghamton.edu to update B-Alert contact information. Subscribers can add up to three email addresses and three cell phone numbers by clicking on "My Information" and updating their information under Emergency Alert Notification (Rave Mobile Safety).

This has been a very difficult semester for me and the entire campus with two student deaths in just a few weeks. These tragedies shake us to the core and we grieve together.

President Harvey G. Stenger
President

2:19 p.m.

University statement

The University has understandably received questions with respect to what actions people on campus should be taking while a suspect remains at large. As previously stated, law enforcement believes the attack was not a random act and that the victim was targeted. University Police have the support of other law enforcement agencies that are currently on campus assisting with the investigation and with other law enforcement responsibilities. If there is any specific action that law enforcement believes people on campus should take in the interest of their safety, the University will communicate that information via the campus alert system and on the binghamton.edu/alert page. We anticipate a return to our normal schedule of classes tomorrow, April 17.

We have always offered safety advice to students living on and off campus. In reminder of those precautions – our residence halls are always locked and only residents of that building have key card access. Do not allow someone unknown to you to follow or tailgate you in. If that happens, report it to hall staff on duty or police.

In addition:
• Keep your Binghamton ID with you at all times. If your ID is lost, it should be immediately reported to University Police.
• Keep doors to your room and/or suite locked and do not share room combination/key information.
• Register for the Binghamton Alert System at https://www.getrave.com/login/binghamton or at BU BRAIN to receive emails and/or text messages about critical campus information and emergencies. You can add up to three email addresses and three cell phone numbers to your account and I encourage you to add your parents as well.
• Report any suspicious activity to University Police at 607-777-2393 or https://www.binghamton.edu/police/


1:53 p.m.

Students are encouraged to subscribe their parents to their B-Alert account by going to https://www.getrave.com/login/binghamton and logging in or going to BU BRAIN at http://my.binghamton.edu to update B-Alert contact information. Students can add up to three email addresses and three cell phone numbers by clicking on "My Information" and updating their information under Emergency Alert Notification (Rave Mobile Safety).


9:41 a.m.

Binghamton University Police and New York State Police are actively investigating the tragic stabbing that took place on campus Sunday, April 15.

At this time, the police are confident this was not a random act. If there is information that relates to the immediate welfare of students and the campus community, we will communicate it via our alert system.

The victim has been identified as Joao Souza, a 19-year-old freshman engineering student. The family has been notified and has requested privacy.

To follow the University's progress on this investigation, visit this website: https://www.binghamton.edu/alert/

For students in need of counseling services, the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team, along with the University  Center (UCC) and Residential Life, can offer support. If you would like to speak to someone, reach out to the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team by calling 607-777-2804. The UCC can be reached by calling 607-777-2772. To reach a counselor after hours, students should call 607-777-2772 and select #2. In an emergency, call 911.

 

April 16, 2018

7 a.m.

Dear Campus Community,

Binghamton University is sad to report that a student has died due to a stabbing on campus that occurred at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15. The deceased is a male, age 19, in his first year at Binghamton University. Further information about the deceased will be provided after his family has been notified. We are in the process of contacting them.

The suspect, described as a light-skinned male wearing dark pants and a dark, Puma hooded sweatshirt, remains at large. Additional details will be provided as soon as possible. Any information that you have should be reported to Binghamton University Police at 607-777-2393.

Investigators from multiple agencies have been interviewing numerous people throughout the night. They have reported that this does not appear to be a random act.

All classes have been canceled for today, Monday, April 16.
For those in need of counseling services, the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team, along with the University Counseling Center (UCC) and Residential Life, can offer support. If you would like to speak to someone, reach out to the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team by calling 607-777-2804. The UCC can be reached by calling 607-777-2772. To reach a counselor after hours, students should call 607-777-2772 and select #2. In an emergency, call 911.

Employee Assistance Program staff are available to provide support to faculty and staff dealing with this loss. They can be reached at 607-777-6655 or 607-777-6650 during regular office hours, or an off-campus coordinator can be reached after hours by calling the 24-hour EAP call line at 1-800-822-0244.

Sincerely,
Harvey G. Stenger
President
hstenger@binghamton.edu

 

 

April 9, 2018

Dear Campus Community,

In light of events that occurred at the University Downtown Center (UDC) on March 28, we write to reaffirm our commitment to freedom of expression on campus and the right of members of the campus community to engage in peaceful protest. Early in the morning of March 28, a group of students hung over 100 posters throughout the UDC. The students' intent was to protest racism on campus and to criticize the University for not responding more forcefully. Another student who saw the posters believed that they contained racist images and asked a University Police officer to remove them. Because the posters were hung in violation of the University's posting policy, the officer removed them and questioned a student who was identified as one of the individuals who hung the posters. The officer told this student that he was in violation of University policy and state law. None of the students who hung the posters were charged with a criminal offense or violation of the Student Code of Conduct, nor will they be. Later in the day, the students engaged in their right of peaceful protest by distributing copies of the same posters in front of the UDC and in the University Union on the Vestal campus. We respect our students' commitment to social justice and civic engagement, and we will continue to support their right to express their ideas freely and to engage in peaceful protest.

Harvey G. Stenger
President

Donald G. Nieman
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 27, 21018

Dear Campus Community,

Freedom of speech is a fundamental, constitutional value that lies at the core of academic freedom: the freedom to inquire, discover, express ideas and opinions, and debate. Sometimes individuals will express ideas that others consider offensive, hurtful, demeaning and without merit. In some cases, people exercising their right to speak can create a climate that makes others feel marginalized, even threatened.

Across the country, campuses have grappled with the tensions between protecting freedom of speech and creating an inclusive, welcoming campus community.

I encourage you to join us for "Campus speech: What are the limits?" from 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Anderson Center Chamber Hall, featuring:
• Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America, the leading voice of writers in the U.S.
• Jonathan Karp, associate professor of history and Judaic studies and chair of the Faculty Senate
• Jermel McClure, a senior majoring in sociology and politics, philosophy and law, and president of the Student Association

Sponsored by the Faculty Senate and the Provost's Office, this convocation will explore the role of freedom of speech on our campus; our efforts to create a diverse, inclusive community; and what, if any, limits there are to campus speech.

Sincerely,
Harvey G. Stenger
President
Binghamton University
hstenger@binghamton.edu

 

March 15, 2018

Dear ECE graduate students, faculty and staff, 

The Provost and I find the email sent yesterday afternoon by Professor Skormin to this department listserv to be deeply offensive. Both Professor Skormin's comment and the platform used are inappropriate. Clearly, this is neither the level of professionalism that we expect from members of the Binghamton University community nor is it compatible with the University's commitment to diversity and inclusion. We support the mission of the students and faculty active in the National Society of Black Engineers and recognize the important contributions they make to the University, their disciplines, and our society.

We condemn his commentary and hope that he understands the pain that he has caused.

Harvey G. Stenger
President

Donald G. Nieman
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

 

March 12, 2018

Statement from Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger on the death of Haley Anderson

With the tragic death of senior Haley Anderson, we have lost a beloved and vital member of the Binghamton University family. Today I had the opportunity to meet with members of Haley's immediate family and learn more about her as a daughter, sister and loyal friend. Haley was just months away from graduation, with a bright future ahead of her, and it is difficult to comprehend that she will no longer be with us.

Haley touched the lives of many classmates, staff, patients, and faculty during her time here, and we mourn her loss. I offer my sympathies to Haley's family at this challenging time, as well as others close to Haley – friends, classmates and coworkers.

For those in need of counseling services, the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team, along with the University Counseling Center (UCC) and Residential Life, continue to offer support. If you would like to speak to someone, reach out to the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team by calling 607-777-2804. The UCC can be reached by calling 607-777-2772. To reach someone after hours or for emergencies, students should call 911 or the UCC after-hours counselor by calling 607-777-2772 and selecting #2.

Sincerely,
Binghamton University President
Harvey G. Stenger

 

February 21, 2108

Dear Campus Community, 

Over the past few months our country has begun to confront a pervasive issue that most of us knew existed, yet frequently remained hidden. Sexual harassment and sexual assault are real and serious problems that happen far too often on college campuses and are reinforced by an inherently permissive culture.

If we want to make genuine headway in addressing this damaging culture, people in leadership positions must step up and speak unequivocally in support of survivors of sexual harassment and assault. I intend to do so and call on all members of our campus community to take action as well.

Be upstanders rather than bystanders. If you witness sexual harassment or assault, step up and stop it. For example, if you see someone getting too aggressive at a bar, let security know. Whether on campus or off, there are many ways to report these types of incidents and provide support to survivors. To learn about the range of resources the University has available for survivors of sexual harassment or sexual assault, go online.

We all need to be part of the solution. Each of us can begin to make a difference by pledging to create a culture of consent, bystander intervention and survivor support wherever we are.

I want to make this abundantly clear: Binghamton University's commitment to preventing violence and to properly investigating and addressing allegations is unwavering.

Sincerely,

Harvey G. Stenger
President
Binghamton University
hstenger@binghamton.edu

 

January 24, 2018

Dear Campus Community,

In 1965, as Harpur College became the State University of New York at Binghamton, our campus identified its values through three words — Unity, Identity and Excellence. Inscribed on our University seal, these values have endured for over 50 years.
Here is what they mean to me:

Unity – We are an inclusive community made of people from diverse backgrounds who come together to learn, discover and serve. We have developed a common bond — the Binghamton bond — that will be ours for a lifetime.

Identity – We are an academically selective community that shares ideas across departments, disciplines and borders. We encourage faculty, students and staff to ask unexpected questions, foster open dialogue and develop innovative solutions to important problems.

Excellence – In all endeavors we choose, we will compete with the best universities; transforming lives and impacting our world. We pursue our goals with determination and strive for intellectual and personal growth.

The three words on our seal — Unity, Identity, and Excellence — are the University's cornerstone, inspiring our students and faculty. These words and the values they represent are today more relevant than ever, and I hope that they will inspire you during your time at Binghamton University.

This is how I interpret our values, but they may have a different meaning to you. I am interested in hearing what they mean to you. Please write me with your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Harvey G. Stenger
President
Binghamton University
hstenger@binghamton.edu

 

 

January 12, 2018

As the president of a state university that prides itself on access, inclusivity and equality and as a place of higher learning that values each and every one of its students, I am writing to express my sincere concerns about the lack of a solution for those impacted by the approaching end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).

Through your public statements and your direct communications with my office, I know you are committed to bringing about a legislative remedy. We understand that President Trump is also supportive of a plan that secures these individuals here in the United States. However, I am troubled by the lack of progress on this issue to date.

Their status continues to be up in the air. As legal challenges regarding DACA move through the courts, it is imperative that Congress reach a definitive decision regarding this population.

I am hopeful that you and your colleagues on both sides of the aisle will still be able to come together and find a thoughtful and effective resolution. However, time is running short for these innocent young people caught up in this bureaucratic entanglement. I hope that you and your colleagues will be able to find a solution that will allow these individuals to remain in this country and be allowed to pursue their dreams of a higher education and/or other interests.

On my own campus, I know there are a number of students who are impacted by this change. In my experience with them, they are all law-abiding, committed students. They are working to better their lives and the lives of their families, and are eager to join the workforce and strengthen our communities as employees, entrepreneurs and taxpayers.

During what will surely be a contentious debate, we must remember that at the core of this discussion are young people, many of them just barely adults who, through no fault of their own, were brought to this country. They have embraced this as “their country” and know of no other way of life. Let’s work together to make sure that, while we tackle bigger political issues, we never lose sight of these young people and remember our own humanity as we put them and their futures first.

I thank you for your continued support of Binghamton University in your role as this campus’ federal representative in Washington, D.C. We thank you and stand ready to help you as you tackle this important issue.

Sincerely,

Harvey Stenger, President
Binghamton University

 

December 6, 2017

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As the semester comes to an end, we want to provide an update on where things stand with provisions in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act that eliminate essential support for higher education. We strongly believe the proposed changes will discourage individuals from pursuing a postsecondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll, and undermine the financial stability of public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities.

The version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives treats employer-provided tuition payments as taxable income, a policy that would be devastating to graduate students, universities and the entire nation. The House legislation also repeals the Student Loan Interest Deduction (SLID) and reduces tax credits for tuition that help students and their families offset college costs. Fortunately, the bill passed by the Senate does not include any of these provisions. Differences in the Senate and House bills will be reconciled in the coming weeks.

The University has advocated forcefully on behalf of our students and against the provisions contained in the House bill. We have expressed our views to our congressional representative, and to our two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. We have also worked with colleagues from other universities through the Association of State and Land-grant Universities (APLU), which maintains a respected lobbying organization in Washington, and the Council of Graduate Schools, which represents the views of graduate deans across the country to Congress.

It's important to stress that while the situation remains fluid and uncertain, we remain hopeful that these provisions will not be in the final bill. Regardless, we stand in strong solidarity with our students and will continue to explore all avenues to advocate against this bill.

Sincerely,

Harvey Stenger, President
Donald Nieman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Binghamton University

 

President Harvey Stenger votes in favor of Faculty Senate statement on free expression and inclusiveness

As president of Binghamton University, I have the privilege of being a voting member of the Faculty Senate. I was pleased to vote in favor of the following important statement that was approved overwhelmingly at the Faculty Senate's Nov. 28, 2017, meeting.

Binghamton University Faculty Senate Statement

"Our Mutual Principles of Free Expression and Inclusiveness"

The Faculty Senate of Binghamton University is concerned at a number of recent disturbing trends in American society. As members of that society, we are appalled by the promotion of demonizing rhetoric and restrictive policies designed to marginalize and denounce particular groups of people. As educators, we are alarmed at the parallels between racist policies in this nation's past and present and the current rise of anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic and other exclusionary ideologies, as well as a resurgent culture of violence and intimidation. And as academics, we are chilled at the promulgation of a "post-factual" stance aimed at discrediting and undermining the pursuit of rational inquiry and the value of expertise.

In the face of such moral and intellectual threats, we, the Faculty Senate at Binghamton University, affirm our commitment to the ideal of inclusiveness and to the fundamental values of free expression and the critical evaluation of truth claims. We therefore oppose prejudicial bans on travel and immigration. We denounce the vilification of the press, the suppression of scientific research, and the erosion of American institutions dedicated to education, culture, the arts, and the environment. As scholars and educators, we commit ourselves to standing against these destructive trends and upholding our core traditions rooted in free intellectual exchange and the promotion of democracy and human rights.

Approved by Faculty Senate
November 28, 2017

 

 

The following letter was sent to The following letter was sent to The Honorable Claudia Tenney, U.S. Representative for the 22nd Congressional District:

 

November 7, 2017

Honorable Claudia Tenney
US Representative
555 French Road
New Hartford, NY 13413

Dear Rep. Tenney;

I write to express strong concerns with provisions in H.R. 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act that eliminates essential support for higher education. At Binghamton, we strongly believe the proposed changes will discourage individuals from pursuing a postsecondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll, and undermine the financial stability of public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities.

As you know, the plan reduces tax credits for tuition that help students and their families offset college costs, moves to treat employer-provided tuition payments as taxable income, repeals the Student Loan Interest Deduction (SLID) and proposes taxing endowment income at prestigious private universities.

While some of the proposals impact our colleagues in private institutions more than public institutions, it is my strong belief that any measure that makes it more difficult to access and pay for higher education is bad for all postsecondary schools.

As a member of the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the American Council on Education (ACE), Binghamton University joins its association counterparts to encourage our federal representatives to review and consider the potential fallout, and work to come up with a tax reform plan that does not have such negative impacts on higher education.

We share APLU President Peter McPherson's assessment of the plan:

"Reforming our nation's tax code is long overdue and we appreciate the effort that went into crafting this legislation. We recognize that policymakers have many priorities they must balance. But as written, the bill would have deeply negative consequences for access to higher education, the cost of college, and efforts to develop the highly skilled workforce that is needed to propel our nation's economy forward."
— APLU President Peter McPherson.

Thank you for all that you do for the State University of New York and Binghamton University. We
know you have our best interests in mind as you debate and vote on this important issue. We sincerely appreciate any consideration you can give to our concerns outlined above.

Sincerely,
President Harvey G. Stenger
Binghamton University

 

Police investigating swastika left on Post-it note in residence hall

October 24, 2017

Binghamton University Police are conducting an investigation after a swastika on a Post-it note was found on a lounge window in Digman Hall. We take all instances of this nature very seriously and have zero tolerance for such appalling acts. We are working to ensure the matter is investigated thoroughly and those responsible are held accountable. We will continue to work with our campus and community partners to ensure that all students feel safe and welcome on campus and that incidents like this do not happen again. Anyone with information is encouraged to call University Police at 607-777-2393.

--Harvey Stenger, President

 

Message from President Harvey Stenger about racist incident

October 9, 2017

Dear Campus Community,

On Sunday, Oct. 8, another racist comment was found in a bathroom in Onondaga Hall, closely following the discovery of a similar depiction in Endicott Hall.

Let me be unequivocal: These drawings are deplorable and have no place on campus. That Binghamton University should face two incidents of this sort in less than a week shows how immature, ignorant, potentially dangerous and insensitive people can be, even after being admitted to this University. I, and my administration, strongly condemn racist and offensive acts of any kind. Personally, and as a campus community, we reject these acts and we will call them out as long as they persist.

I am appalled that a small number of individuals spew hatred and bigotry and represent ideas that are fundamentally and systematically inconsistent with the values of inclusion and intellectual engagement that Binghamton University stands for. As long as I am president, the University will continue promote these values and will respond forcefully to those who try to sow division and discord on campus.

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger
President

 

Message from President Harvey Stenger about racist drawing

October 6, 2017

Dear Campus Community,

On Thursday, Oct. 5, a racist drawing was found on a whiteboard in the Common Room of Endicott Hall in Newing College. Personally, and as an institution, we strongly condemn racist or offensive acts of any kind.

Following an investigation by New York State University Police at Binghamton, two individuals admitted to creating the drawing, which was removed when it was discovered. Police indicated that the students considered the drawing to be a social experiment that was not targeted at any individual.

The residential community and the larger campus community held meetings Thursday evening to discuss the incident and hear student concerns. The meetings were attended by representatives of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as members of Residential Life and Student Conduct. It is important that we continue to have these discussions as a campus now and in the future.

I encourage any individual who requires support to deal with this incident is encouraged to contact any of these offices for assistance:
• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at 607-777-4775 or odei@binghamton.edu
• Multicultural Resource Center at 607-777-4472 or mrc.binghamton.edu
• CARE Team at 607-777-2804
• Dean of Students at 607-777-2804 or dos@binghamton.edu
• University Ombudsman at 607-777-2388
• University Counseling Center at 607-777-2772
Again, racist incidents will not be tolerated at Binghamton University, and in the coming weeks we will look for ways to ensure our campus is continuing to be welcoming and inclusive.

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger
President

The following letter was sent to The Honorable Claudia Tenney, U.S. Representative for the 22nd Congressional District:

Sept. 12, 2017

Dear Ms. Tenney,

As president of Binghamton University, I thank you for your support and engagement with the campus in your role as United States Representative for the 22nd Congressional District of New York. Your work is deeply appreciated by the Binghamton University community, and we thank you for it. I hope that you will be as supportive of our University on a matter that has recently commanded the attention of campuses across the nation.

As you know, President Donald Trump recently called for the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gives legal protections to roughly 800,000 young people who were brought into our nation without documentation by their parents. As president of Binghamton University, I am asking that you work with your colleagues in the U.S. House and Senate to develop legislation that will restore these protections so that these young people may continue to pursue the American Dream without fear of deportation.

Our University community is deeply concerned about the status of our DACA students. More than 42,000 residents of New York are currently affected by the president's actions; already many of the state's higher education leaders, including the presidents of Colgate University and Hamilton and Union colleges, have issued statements calling for new legislation to protect students who fall under this law. On my own campus, I know that there are a number students who are impacted by this change, though their exact number is unknown. In my experience with them, they are all law-abiding, committed students. They are working to better their lives and the lives of their families, and are eager to join the workforce and strengthen our communities as employees, entrepreneurs and taxpayers.

The DACA decision has special relevance for us at Binghamton University. We are frequently lauded for our academic excellence and value, but these are markers of something even more important — our role as an institution that serves as a ladder up for the economically disadvantaged. We have received accolades for being a campus that does the "most for the American Dream," (New York Times, 2017) and have been highlighted as a college that "helps students get ahead" (CollegeNet, 2015). As such, we are mindful of our responsibility to support students as they pursue their dreams, regardless of their social, cultural or ethnic background.

I urge you to work with your fellow Congressional leaders, many of whom have already expressed support for legislation that would restore protections for individuals covered by DACA. In the meantime, I invite you to visit our campus to meet with students who may be impacted by this change so that you might learn from them both their concerns about their status under the law and their hopes for the future.

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger
President

Updated Message from President Harvey G. Stenger on DACA
President Harvey G. Stenger
Sept. 7, 2017

Dear Campus Community,
In support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy enacted in 2012, I strongly endorse the Sept. 2 letter issued by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) calling on Congress to take swift action to protect DACA participants.

In a follow-up to the APLU letter of Sept. 2, the organization's president, Peter McPherson, released a statement urging Congress to, at a minimum, codify the provisions of the DACA program into law. Again, I endorse APLU's strong position regarding DACA.

I remind our campus community that we stand firm in our commitment to protect student confidentiality under the Family Educational and Rights of Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, New York State University Police at Binghamton do not gather information about the citizenship or immigration status of our students and we have no plans to alter this practice.

Students who have questions or concerns about DACA are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office case managers or the Student Legal Clinic, which maintains a privileged attorney/client relationship.

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger
President

Message from President Harvey G. Stenger on DACA
President Harvey G. Stenger
Sept. 5, 2017

Dear Campus Community,
In support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy enacted in 2012, I strongly endorse the Sept. 2 letter issued by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) calling on Congress to take swift action to protect DACA participants.

I remind our campus community that we stand firm in our commitment to protect student confidentiality under the Family Educational and Rights
of Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, New York State University Police at Binghamton do not gather information about the citizenship or immigration status of our students and we have no plans to alter this practice.

Students who have questions or concerns about DACA are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office case managers or the Student Legal Clinic, which maintains a privileged attorney/client relationship.

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger
President
 

Message from President Harvey G. Stenger on Charlottesville, Va.
President Harvey G. Stenger
Aug. 16, 2017

In support of the University of Virginia, I want to reiterate what I have said on multiple occasions during my term at Binghamton University: incivility, hate and violence have no place on a university campus and it will be condemned and addressed if it occurs. I strongly endorse the statement issued by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and I stand beside the University of Virginia in the wake of its painful and tragic occurrence.

Message from President Harvey G. Stenger to University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan about recent events in Charlottesville, Va.
President Harvey G. Stenger
Aug. 14, 2017

President Teresa A.Sullivan
Office of the President
University of Virginia
Post Office Box 400224
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4224

Dear President Sullivan,

On behalf of the Binghamton University community, I want to extend my support for you and your University during these difficult times. All of us at Binghamton are dismayed by the actions that have transpired over the past week, and join with you in rejecting the hate and bigotry espoused by racists including such groups as Neo-Nazis, the KKK and White Supremacists. It is especially distressing that these events should take place at a campus whose history is linked so closely to the author of the words that define our nation: "that all men are created equal."

Public universities have a unique role in American society; we are at once a place of enlightenment and equality, and we are a space where contentious ideas are weighed and measured. Presidents of these institutions must walk a fine line in balancing the requirements of free speech with the concerns of public safety and order. I stand with you in condemning the groups that were intent on spreading racist views, and I commend you on the manner in which you've handled this challenging situation.

All of us at Binghamton University offer our thoughts and prayers to all members of your campus who have been targeted for intimidation this past week. We honor them for their willingness to stand up for the values of diversity and inclusion that are hallmarks of the University of Virginia.

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger
President


Letter from President Harvey G. Stenger to the campus about student protest
President Harvey G. Stenger
Donald Nieman, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Brian Rose, Vice President for Student Affairs
May 5, 2017

Dear Binghamton Campus Community:

We have received inquiries into the origins of the student protest that has led to some students staging a sit-in of the Couper Administration Building and questions about the University response.

Members of an unrecognized student group known as the Frances Beal Society are opposed to an initiative announced in the mayor of Binghamton's February 2017 State of the City Address, whereby the city would install better lighting, security cameras and emergency phones in student neighborhoods with some contribution from the University. At the time of the announcement, the initiative was tentative and based on an informal understanding. The University did not and has not committed to any amount of funding.

We also discussed with the mayor establishment of a Town-Gown Advisory Board based on a model shared by a national association of town-gown groups, and agreed in principle to move forward to create one.

Under the Frances Beal Society name, some students argued for investing University support for city initiatives differently. While we had not anticipated controversy around investments in off-campus safety given long-standing student concerns, we nonetheless thought the Frances Beal perspectives merited consideration. Accordingly, the University contacted the mayor's office on Wednesday, April 26, and indicated additional time was needed to consult student governance on alternative investments before committing to support any specific initiative this year. Some Frances Beal students and a member of the Student Association came to the administration building that evening and were so informed.

Despite having been assured that the University would not be providing support for blue light phones without first having more dialogue with student governance, Frances Beal members began a sit-in at the Couper Administration Building the next day.

On Friday April 28, the University released the statement that links here, confirming that:

  • the University will not proceed with providing support for initiatives Frances Beal does not wish us to support now or over the summer
  • the University and city of Binghamton will move forward to constitute the Town-Gown Advisory Board (TGAB) with expectations to convene in the fall
  • the University is willing to be guided by the TGAB as to any municipal initiative that it will support

Also on Friday, April 28, a University administrator met with the students occupying the Administration Building and presented the statement. Leaders of the assembled students instantly rejected the statement, interrupted any attempt to explain it and berated and verbally attacked the administrator using offensive language. The group then issued new demands and has continued to occupy the Administration Building. Given this response, we will not engage the group in further dialogue.

The University is proceeding with the approach described in its original statement. University officials have been or soon will be in contact with representatives of shared governance groups, including the Student Association, Graduate Student Organization, Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Professional Staff Senate to nominate participants to the TGAB. The city will develop its own process to identify its TGAB representatives. We have no intention of stacking the appointments to the TGAB with individuals having any one perspective or issue. The TGAB is being organized using a model that has been successful in other locations. We will be happy to consider alternatives to investments in safety that fall within the broad purpose of the TGAB and are willing to consider safety initiatives should the TGAB recommend any. We look forward to engaging with students and community members interested in productive discussions through the TGAB process.

Sincerely,
Harvey Stenger, President
Donald Nieman, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Brian Rose, Vice President for Student Affairs

University statement about the "blue-light" proposal
April 28, 2017

Binghamton University has a deep connection to the surrounding community through its students, faculty and staff, its facilities, programs, research and other contributions. Those connections create many contexts for University, community interaction. Most recently, discussions the University has had with the city of Binghamton about possible university support for city improvements aimed at public safety have stirred some controversy on campus. The University's goals have been and remain simple and clear: we aim to be a good community partner and to provide support to our students who live off-campus as well as on-campus.

Given concerns with what is now referred to as the "blue light project," the University will not now provide funding specifically directed at this project. We did agree in principle to provide some support this year to the city of Binghamton and want to honor in some way that commitment. Separately from the recent controversy, we have begun discussing establishing a Town-

Gown Advisory Board with the following broad goals:

  • Foster improved communication and collaboration between university students, the city and the university surrounding issues of mutual interest
  • Identify mutual concerns and recommend thoughtful responses to those concerns
  • Identify opportunities for improving the community through shared initiatives
  • Improve utilization of resources available within the city and the university
  • Retain Binghamton University graduates in the greater Binghamton area post-graduation

We anticipate launching the advisory board in the fall 2017 semester. To respond to the recent concerns about the blue light project and to also honor our intent to provide some support to the city of Binghamton this year, the University will work with the City to entertain requests for one time funds for projects endorsed by a new Town-Gown Advisory Board that respond to the broad goals noted above. To what extent the University can provide support in future years and at what amounts will be in part a function of the overall university budget. For this year, the projects and amounts funded will be determined by the recommendations of the Town-Gown Advisory Board and review by the city and University.


Letter concerning death of a student
President Harvey G. Stenger
March 23, 2017

Dear Binghamton Campus Community:

Binghamton University suffered a terrible loss last weekend with the accidental death of freshman Conor Donnelly. Our campus is saddened from the sudden loss of such a bright, popular young man, but I am grateful to the many people on our campus who have made themselves available to assist those who are grieving.

Conor touched many people in his time here, as demonstrated by his election as president of Johnson Hall, and the University continues to offer support to those affected by his death. The University's CARE Team, Residential Life and Counseling Center staff met with approximately 25 students at the hospital on Saturday, arranged to bring them safely back to campus and provided in-person counseling in the University Union both Saturday and Sunday. Staff have been working closely with an additional 55 students who have been affected by Conor's death.

The CARE Team has provided outreach to the faculty of these students.

Late Tuesday afternoon I met with five students who had witnessed Conor's fall. Listening to them made me better understand their inability to focus on academics, so I especially thank faculty who have been working to schedule make-up exams and other accommodations for these students as well as other students who were Conor's friends.

Moving forward, I ask that students who do require help with academics be directed to the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team for assistance in arranging for specific needs with faculty as necessary. I believe this will make a difficult time easier for both students and faculty. The DOS and CARE Team can be reached by calling 607-777-2804.

Other offices that have provided support to students include the University Union and Ombudsman. They join with the DOS, CARE Team, Counseling Center and Residential Life in providing ongoing support to students as needed.

The Employee Assistance Program is available to provide support to faculty and staff who knew Conor, and can be reached at 607-777-6655 or 607-777-6650 during regular office hours, or an off-campus coordinator can be reached after hours by calling the 24-hour EAP call line at 1-800-822-0244.

Members of the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team have also provided support to Conor's parents and have arranged a bus to transport students to the funeral on Thursday.
Conor's family will receive visitors from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the Wyman-Fisher Funeral Home, 100 Franklin Ave., Pearl River, N.Y. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 23, at St. Aedan's Church, Reld Dr., Pearl River, with burial to follow in St. Anthony's Cemetery, Nanuet, N.Y.
Residential Life will coordinate a campus memorial service in the future.

Sincerely,
Harvey G. Stenger
President

Letter concerning a new Executive Order
President Harvey G. Stenger
Donald G. Nieman, Provost
Hari Srihari, Executive Vice Provost for International Affairs
March 7, 2017

Dear Binghamton Campus Community:

On March 6, the White House announced a new Executive Order (Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States) to replace its earlier order that restricted entry by individuals from seven nations. This new order exempts individuals from Iraq, as well as people who are legal permanent residents, hold dual citizenships and those already granted asylum or refugee status.

If any students, especially those from the affected countries are planning to travel outside the U.S., we encourage them to visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services that will serve as a resource for information on your travel plans.

Other campus resources that can be of assistance to students concerned by the impact of the Executive Order include:

  • The Dean of Students Office has appointed case managers, available to students who have questions/concerns.
  • The Student Legal Clinic, which maintains a privileged attorney/client relationship, is an available resource for students with immigration law-related issues.

We remind you that the University will continue to protect student confidentiality, not sharing private information about our students in accordance with the (federal) Family Educational and Rights of Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition, although the University is bound to comply with state and federal law, enforcement of federal immigration policy primarily rests with federal authorities.

Binghamton will continue to support all its students and scholars and their efforts to make Binghamton University a welcoming, inclusive community.

Sincerely,
Harvey G. Stenger, President
Donald G. Nieman, Provost
Hari Srihari, Executive Vice Provost for International Affairs


Letter concerning Title IX interpretation
Harvey G. Stenger, President
Donald G. Nieman, Provost
Valerie Hampton, Chief Diversity Officer
Kelly Clark, Director of the LGBTQ Center
Feb. 27, 2017

Dear Binghamton Campus Community:

On Feb. 23, 2017, the State University of New York, along with other colleges, universities and K-12 systems, received a "Dear Colleague" letter from the departments of Justice and Education. This letter rescinds the Obama Administration's interpretation of Title IX and how it applies to transgender students. While the letter expresses a profound difference in interpretation, it also goes on to reaffirm that LGBT students are not without protections from discrimination, bullying and harassment and that all schools are expected to create "safe" environments in which all students are able to "learn and thrive."

How does this affect our community? It is important to note that New York State Human Rights Law covers gender identity as a protected class, therefore the State University of New York, including Binghamton University, has been and will continue to be committed to equal protection under the law. We believe that all of our educational facilities, activities and employment opportunities shall be offered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or status with regard to pregnancy, disability or age.

Members of our campus community have worked tirelessly in recent years to create a safer and more inclusive campus environment for transgender students. This includes gender-neutral restrooms, gender-inclusive housing options, the new LGBTQ Center and other supports for transgender and all students.

This work is important and we will continue to provide a welcoming and inclusive educational environment for all. If you have questions, contact Kelly Clark, director of the LGBTQ Center, at 607-777-6028.

Sincerely,
Harvey G. Stenger, President
Donald G. Nieman, Provost
Valerie Hampton, Chief Diversity Officer
Kelly Clark, Director of the LGBTQ Center


Travel ban report
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Jan. 30, 2017

Institutes of higher learning across the country — including Binghamton and Cornell universities — are working to advise international students in light of Friday's executive order suspending travel into the U.S. from seven countries. According to a statement posted on the State University of New York website, 320 of SUNY's 22,140 international students are from the countries affected by the ban. The statement recommended that affected students suspend travel plans to the affected countries. BU is among the 64 SUNY colleges and university campuses.

On Sunday, BU President Harvey Stenger issued a statement on the ban that also pointed to several of the university's resources and noted that BU will continue to follow the Family Educational and Rights of Privacy Act, and will not share personal information about students. It also said University Police does not gather immigration or citizen information about students and will continue that practice.


Letter concerning Executive Order
Harvey G. Stenger, President
Donald G. Nieman, Provost
Krishnaswami Srihari, Executive Vice Provost for International Initiatives
Jan. 29, 2017

Dear Campus Community,

On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals." Section 3 of that Executive Order addresses "suspended entry" into the U.S. of both immigrants and non-immigrants from at least seven countries for a period of 90 days, with few visa category exceptions.
While the situation is fluid, Binghamton University is working to understand the potential implications for our international students and scholars (particularly individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen) so we can provide them with the best advice and support.

As things stand now, the University strongly urges our international students and scholars from the seven noted countries to suspend all international travel, at least until further clarity on the new rules is available. We are closely monitoring developments relating to the full impact of this order, and we will continue to provide updates as they are available.

We know that these are difficult circumstances, leaving many of us concerned. Binghamton University remains committed to the continued success of all of our students and faculty, regardless of religious belief, country of birth or citizenship, and we are here to provide all them with support through this difficult time.

Should you or someone you know need additional support on this issue, we want to ensure that you are aware of the following:

  • The Office of International Student and Scholar Services will serve as a resource for information pertaining specifically to immigration.
  • The Dean of Students Office has appointed case managers, available to students who have questions/concerns.
  • The University's commitment is firm in continuing to protect student confidentiality, not sharing private information about our students in accordance with the (federal) Family Educational and Rights of Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • The New York State University Police at Binghamton does not gather information about the citizenship or immigration status of our students or anyone with whom officers interact, and we have no plans to alter this practice.
  • While the University is bound to comply with state and federal law, enforcement of federal immigration policy primarily rests with federal authorities.
  • The Student Legal Clinic, which maintains a privileged attorney/client relationship, will be an available resource for students with immigration law-related issues.

Thank you for your support in continuing to make Binghamton University a welcoming, inclusive community.

Sincerely,
Harvey G. Stenger, President
Donald G. Nieman, Provost
Krishnaswami Srihari, Executive Vice Provost for International Initiatives


Report on offer of resources to international students
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Jan. 29, 2017

Binghamton University President Harvey G. Stenger released a statement Sunday urging international students and scholars from affected countries to suspend all international travel until further notice. The statement comes after President Donald Trump's executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

"Binghamton University remains committed to the continued success of all of our students and faculty, regardless of religious belief, country of birth or citizenship, and we are here to provide all them with support through this difficult time," Stenger said.

 

Last Updated: 4/20/18