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Oral History of Dickinson Community

Compiled by Libby Tucker 1999



Table of Contents





Traditions of Dickinson Community

            Each residential area has its own traditions; over a period of time, these traditions set the tone for development of a unique history. While the history of an area is always changing, with subtle tone shifts and infusions of new ideas, it is possible to look back and discover some of the main patterns of development. As the current chronicler of Dickinson’s history, I am writing from the standpoint of eight richly rewarding years of experience in the community. Interviews with past Dickinson residents and staff members have helped me to understand what Dickinson life was like before I arrived in the fall of 1991. Past yearbooks, newsletters, and handbooks have also been very helpful. This oral history is coming together in 1999, in the fortieth year of Dickinson Community’s existence. If it is true that “life begins at forty,” then Dickinson is just coming into its own! A wealth of traditions has already developed at Dickinson, and there will be more in the future. I hope that other chroniclers will keep a record of what happens as Dickinson moves into the twenty-first century.

            As a prelude to the description of Dickinson’s traditions, I should try to explain what kind of community this is. It isn’t easy to put into words what makes Dickinson such a special place. All of us who have lived and worked there for a while know what the unique spirit of our area is like, but many of us find it difficult to account for that spirit in a few words. Perhaps it is easiest to begin by looking at the word “community,” which distinguishes Dickinson from the other residential areas on our campus. While Dickinson became a college in the fall of 1967, it was redesignated a community in the fall of 1975. The term “community” comes from Dickinson’s earliest history, since it began as a loosely structured community in the academic year 1958-59. More specifically, however, students of the mid-seventies wanted to call Dickinson a community because anyone who lived or worked there could vote in council meetings after attending three meetings in a row. In other areas, only undergraduate residents could participate in council meetings; however, Dickinson’s government included everyone who had  a strong interest in the community. Thus, Dickinson gained an early reputation for having an especially welcoming, democratic form of governance. This commitment to welcoming everyone has become an important part of what Dickinson is today. When Binghamton University students talk about what Dickinson is like, they often say that it is a “very diverse place,” a place where people of many different backgrounds enjoy spending time together.

            The phrase “very studious” has also been applied to Dickinson sometimes, because Dickinson students have tended to be serious about succeeding in their studies. While Dickinson students definitely know how to have fun, they find it important to bring elements of academe into their daily lives. The collegiate structure, which has enabled a Faculty Master and faculty/staff Fellows to get to know students well, has helped to develop areas of academic focus and collaboration. Certain Fellows have given memorable programs in their areas of expertise. Distinguished Professor Warren Wagar, for example, has presented many programs on history of the future. Vincent Pasquale, Assistant Dean of the School of Management, has given talks on the election process; academic advisor Jim Sullivan has presented programs on the Peace Corps, and Professor Zu-Yan Chen has given talks on Asian-American stereotypes. These programs and others have helped to fortify Dickinson’s commitment to dialogue on academic issues and careers. The Rime Cellar, a coffeehouse in Digman Hall, has provided an excellent location for performances with both academic and recreational emphases. And Dickinson’s newspaper, “Frontal Lobe” (formerly known as “Poor Dick’s”) has given community members a good way to stay in touch about upcoming events.

            Dickinson is very proud of its Academic Center, which was established in the basement of Rafuse Hall in 1995. Student initiative was crucial in making the Academic Center a place where students could study, meet with tutors, and make use of an ever-growing, informally assembled library. Jennifer Nagler, Academic Vice-President in 1995, helped to choose furniture for the Academic Center and arranged the furniture with care. Her vision for the Academic Center was very important in its formative stages. Lis Mehmel, AVP in 1996, chose books for the Center and facilitated its use by Steve Duarte’s Linked Courses program. Kerrie Dawson, AVP in 1996-97, set up a system for student staffing of the Academic Center that worked beautifully. Eric Eichenholtz, AVP from 1997-98, arranged special events in the Academic Center, helping it to become a places where students could feel comfortable. And Shaun Weissman, the most recent AVP, held a Faculty Tea in the Academic Center as part of Mutant Mania in the spring of 1999. The Faculty Tea, an important tradition since 1992, is described on a separate sheet written by Jon Swersey. I have very much enjoyed being part of the Academic Center’s development and was deeply touched when Dickinson students chose the name “Professor Libby Tucker Academic Center” in the spring of 1999.

            The Dickinson year begins with RA and RD training in August. Each year’s RA training session planned by Residential Life has a theme: RA College, Clue and Olympic Training are some examples. Dickinson’s RA training has had its own thematic unity. One of the most entertaining RA training sessions was “Back to Kindergarten,” where RA’s finger-painted, played with play-doh, and made up songs. Another memorable session involved an ice-breaker with real ice. RA’s took turns breaking a slab of ice with a hammer while sharing information about their summer vacations. Still another noteworthy event was “Eggs Can Fly,” during which RA’s devised original ways to launch raw eggs from the Object. Some eggs broke on impact, but others survived the fall. The highlight of most RA training weeks has been the “Day Away,” usually at a state park, such as Cole Park or Greenwood Park. Only rarely has rain prevented RAs from leaving campus to have a relaxing day of games and swimming. Even when the day has been rainy, it has always been lots of fun.

            After RA training, Opening Day brings freshmen to Dickinson. The RAs are ready with a colorful door tag for each resident. It’s impossible to describe all the creativity that goes into those door tags, but some successful tags have been state maps, fish, playing cards, computer portraits, straw hats, medieval shields, and cartoons. On the afternoon of Opening Day, Dickinson’s Assistant Director, Faculty Master, and student government officers give short welcoming speeches to the freshmen who have assembled outdoors. That evening there was a special event for new students; dances, and games shows, including “Singled Out,” have been popular choices. The night before classes begin, Dickinson has sometimes held an ice-cream social for Fellows, freshmen, and returning students. Since the beginning of the Mentoring Program, the ice-cream social has been replaced by an initial get-together for mentors and their mentees. However, RAs and student government officers have continued to plan special events to which both Fellows and students are invited. Traditional theme programs during the first week have included the O’Connor Triathalon, Rafusian Confusion, and Digmania. Whitney’s Erotic Olympics have taken place a little later on.

            Since the late 1980s (possibly earlier), RA Council has been in charge of planning Dickinson Day events. Residents have ordered T-shirts in advance; usually the shirts have been white, so that they can be tie-dyed. Sometime in late September, usually third or fourth Saturday of the month, Dickinson Day takes place. This is a full day of games and other special activities designed to bring the community together outdoors. It used to be that Dickinson Day was a surprise for residents; their RAs would wake them up announcing, “It’s Dickinson Day!” In the past eight years, however, the day has been announced well in advance. Dickinson Day has often had a theme such as carnival, Creating New Traditions, Mardi Gras, and Dickinson’s 40th birthday. While the day’s activities have varied, there have been some consistent patterns. Volleyball has always been an important activity; in recent years co-rec football has become meaningful for students. The VPA Module has usually offered an area called “Come Play with our Stuff.” That “stuff” has generally included tie-dyeing and making bead necklaces, masks, chia pets, or other objects. Most games for Dickinson Day have been fairly low-key. On Dickinson Day in 1991, the games included Shrinking Island, Neck Your Neighbor, Swing Your Thing, Monster Walk, Egg Toss, Backwards Ball Dodge, Wet and Wile, Tug-of-War, and Mega-Twister. While a trophy called the Horse’s Head was given one year for a two-day long Dickinson Day, most years the day’s activities have not been highly competitive. RAs and residents have preferred to save intense competition for Mutant Mania in the spring.

            Dickinson has celebrated Halloween with a variety of programs about the supernatural. Sometimes Wiccans have given talks about their religion; in the past several years, all of those speakers have been students. Another popular speaker at this time of year has been Gary Truce, Professor of Physical Education and Newing Master since 1998, who has given very interesting talks about parapsychology. Students have organized trick-or-treating for residents or visiting children; there have also been some successful “haunted houses,” including one very elaborate one in the basement lounge of O’Connor Hall in 1996. There have been many Halloween storytelling programs. One, organized by RA Vidya Murali in 1995, was carefully planned to include scary stories from several different ethnic groups. Another, in the fall of 1998, was called “Urban Legends” because of the recent movie by that name. Some storytelling programs have told of ghosts in Johnson and O’Connor halls (see separate sheets on that subject). Pumpkin decoration has sometimes taken place in tandem with Halloween storytelling programs. So has the fall Advising Fair, which has occurred a couple of times on Halloween. Those times, the Faculty Master offered trick-or-treat candy to all students who came for advising from the Fellows. Although these students came seeking academic advice, they left with both academic advice and a treat. In 1998, Dickinson began the tradition of a fall Faculty series; the first of these was “The New Millennium.”

            In December, with the approach of the winter holidays, Dickinson students have enjoyed seasonal celebrations and service projects. For a while it was traditional for each Dickinson hall to get its own holiday tree; often students would plan a trip to a tree farm to cut down a tree for their hall’s lounge. However, that custom suffered a setback in December of 1991, when some students from Champlain Hall chopped down a beautiful tree, put it in a stand, and decorated it. The only problem was that this was a campus tree, worth quite a lot of money! ULED officers found the tree’s stump in the fireplace of the floor lounge, and the tree-choppers’ parents received bills for their handiwork. Since then, both because of that rather funny setback and because of the religious diversity of Dickinson students, it has been less common to find holiday trees in floor lounges. However, students have celebrated the season by “angeling” each other (leaving small gifts as surprises).

            The proliferation of community service projects in December has demonstrated Dickinson students’ strong service orientation. One very successful program has been “Adopt a Family,” in which halls or even floors have provided food, clothing, and gifts for needy local families. Dickinson students have participated actively in that program, giving generously of their time and money. During the past several years, the “Hand to Heart” program has made it possible for students and staff members to fill holiday socks for needy children. Dickinson RD Jill Engel started this program in December of 1995; its success has been noted in local newspapers. Although leadership of that program passed to Margaret Scheitheir in 1997, it has remained traditional for all holiday socks to be gathered for distribution in the basement of O’Connor Hall. In addition to this ambitious holiday project, students have organized CHOW drives and clothing drives before the beginning of the winter holidays.

            Once students return from winter break, early spring programs commence. One popular series, introduced by Suzi Howell, is a set of “Love Month” programs in February. Students have sometimes organized Valentine’s Day dances. The one I remember most fondly was an “Anti-Valentine’s day” dance, with black balloons and other somber decorations. The anti-Valentine motif arose from the fact that many Dickinson students were not enjoying “hearts and flowers” relationships and didn’t want to pretend that they were.

            Another Valentine tradition has been the creation of Valentines to give to local nursing home residents. Sometimes students have spent much of Valentine’s Day at Willow Point Nursing Home, helping to put on a party for residents there. RDs have often planned special program series in the spring; two recent series have been DTV and Women’s Issues.

            Sometime in the spring, it has been customary for the Faculty Master to invite Fellows and Mentors to lunch. These luncheons have given Fellows and Mentors a chance to talk about what has been going well or not so well in the Fellows Program and Mentoring Program. Sometimes Dickinson Dining Hall staff members have decorated the tables for these special gatherings. Good ideas for innovations in the Fellows program and Mentoring program have usually resulted from these get-togethers.

            Both Passover and Easter have inspired Dickinson programs. Seders organized by RAs or RDs have been quite successful, as have “make your own Easter basket” programs with seasonal storytelling. Sometimes students have chosen to donate their Easter baskets to nursing homes. Around the time of spring holidays, students have enjoyed a semi-formal dance organized by DTC. With elegant decorations and buffet, the semi-formal has always been a very special occasion.

            About Mutant Mania, Dickinson’s annual “rite of spring,” many tales can be told. George Kinzel’s Mutant Mania description gives the reader a good sense of the complexity of Mutant Mania planning implementation. My own memories of Mutant Mania are varied and colorful, with certain images predominating: Rafuse with its red banner and dancing coke can, O’Connor with its O’Connoranator, Whitney with its silver ship sailing to victory in 1996, Johnson with its blue genie, Champlain with its black horse float that collapsed at the last minute, and Digman with its DigMan. All of the floats and banners have represented quite a lot of hard work and creativity; each year I have been impressed by how much effort students have put into these creations while preparing for term papers and final exams. Skit Night, on the final evening of Mutant Mania, has often been the high point of all the competition and fun. There have been some wonderful comedy skits, including jokes about Dickinson and parodies of well known movies and TV shows. I remember with particular fondness a parody of “Fantasy Island” in which the actor playing the part of Tattoo pointed at the sky, shouting, “Champlain, Champlain!” On one memorable Skit Night, Mike Intaglietta performed a comedy skit all by himself. Some of the musicals have featured live music and elaborate choreography. One of the most moving of these was a musical tribute to Mary Whttemore, the RD of O’Connor Hall who left to pursue a teaching career in 1997. However, I would hesitate to call any one skit or musical number “the best”; they have all been important demonstrations of Dickinson’s community spirit.

            Just before the end of the year, Dickinson Town Council holds a special meeting for the “crowning” of the new president. This is a tradition of several years’ duration, with a Burger King crown serving as the piece of royal apparel. Usually the outgoing president gives a short speech, and sometimes pizza and soda are served to everyone. Dickinson has benefited from the dedication of many outstanding DTC presidents. During the last few years, I have very much enjoyed working with DTC presidents Shane Kosinski, Brian Greene, Seth Eichenholtaz, and Lori Wood. The DTC president just before my arrival at Dickinson in 1991 was Kris Ahrend, who is now an attorney. Next year Shaun Weissman will hold the office of DTC president; I’m sure he will do an excellent job!

            The last big event of the Dickinson year is Commencement, a ceremony that never fails to inspire both tears and laughter. On this occasion, the graduates have the opportunity to share their favorite memories of Dickinson with the audience of parents, friends, and staff members. Tradition dictates that the Faculty Master starts the Commencement ceremony with a short speech of welcome. Usually there is both a student speaker and a faculty or staff speaker. Each graduate receives a gift and a certificate; a few seniors win Distinguished Service Awards for their dedication to the community. Sometimes a poem is read, and often there is live music. At the end, all guests enjoy elegant refreshments, including a graduation cake. With this event the Dickinson year comes to a close; graduates head home, mulling over their memories, and staff members prepare for discussions of how the year has gone. Very soon, the whole sequence of traditions and creative variations will begin all over again.


Libby Tucker

Faculty Master, 1991-1999 (Back to Table of Contents)





Johnson Hall 1996 Adopt-A-Family
(December 1996)

What We Bought

House/Home Items:


1 Fleece Blanket

Measuring Spoons

1 Baby Plate

2 Boxes Band Aids (Child, Adult)

1 Baby Training Cup

1 Water Bottle

1 Flashlight


Assorted Tupperware





1 Umbrella

1 Disposable Camera




Chutes and Ladders

Magnetic Letters

Duplo Legos Set

Where’s Waldo Book

2 Toy Trucks

1 Kids’ Dictionary

1 Soccer Ball

1 Nerf Ball

1 Slinky

1 Remote Controlled Car

Candy Land

1 Play Tool Set

Memory Game

The Potty Book

3 Coloring Books

2 Boxes of Crayons

1 Wiffle Ball/Bay Set

4 Playdough

1 Tyke Bike

Goldilocks Book



3 Each:  Hats, Gloves, Scarves, Mittens (kids)

Thermal Underwear

Lots O’Socks

2 Flannel Shirts

2 Fleece Shirts

5 Pairs of Slipper Socks

3 Flannel pajamas for kids

2 3-piece Sweatsuits


Baby Overalls

Gloves, Hats, and Scarves for parents

Slippers for Parents

3 Turtlenecks

2 Sweatshirts

2 Sweatpants

1 2-piece Sweatsuit (baby)

5 Shirts


Miscellaneous Stuff:

1 Razor and Aftershave kit for Dad

1 Lotion and Bathgel set for Mom

3 Rolls of Wrapping Paper

$150 Gift Certificate to Giant Supermarkets  (Back to Table of Contents)



About the Tea

Since the first Tea with the Faculty Fellows in the Spring of 1992, many students and faculty alike have inquired about its origins.  Towards this end, I have prepared this brief history.

            The Tea was inspired by a trip I made to Harvard University in the Spring of 1990.  During my week long visit there, in addition to attending classes, I had the opportunity to attend a gathering in William Boster’s home.  Professor Boster is the faculty master of Leveret House, one of Harvard’s residential communities.  The soiree was exceptional in terms of the atmosphere it created.  The fine musice, and the more than adequate appetizers provided, somehow seemed to stimulate intellectual conversations; I had found myself engaged with Professor Boster, who is an environment scientist, as well as two other students in a discussion of the nature of man.

            When I transferred to Binghamton in the Fall of 1991, I found a resplendent Faculty fellows system intact, and felt that a program similar to the one I encountered at Harvard would thrive at our “public-ivy.”  The following semester I approached both DTC and my brothers of Alpha Sigma Phi with the idea.  The program was immediately very popular and has become a semesterly event in Dickinson Community.

            There are many people who deserve thanks for all of their help in bringing this program to the Binghamton Community:  my brothers of Alpha Sigma Phi, for their man-power and financial support; Dickinson Town Council, and in particular their AVP, Dave Rosch, for their financial support and their efforts made in publicizing the event; Libby Tucker, the Dickinson Faculty Master, for her unyielding encouragement and positive attitude; the Dickinson Fellows, for taking the time out of their schedules to get involved; all those Special Guests, the non-fellows, who have added to the variety of faculty present; Mariott Dining Services, for their efforts in food preparation, and this semester in particular, for their financial support; the Dickinson Residential Life staff; and of course all the students who have at one point or another attended the event.

            If you have any comments of questions pertaining to the Tea, please feel free to contact me, either through Box 555 or at 770-7021.


            Jon S. Swersey
            Scholarship Director
            Alpha Sigma Phi  (Back to Table of Contents)




Mutant Mania 1996



The history of Mutant Mania goes back about 13 years or so.  You would have to check the plaque in Whitney Hall for the very first year.  The plaque which Whitney now holds till Mutant Mania 1997, represents the “Horse’s Ass” which was the so-called top prize of this color war competition.  It started out as a single day event and as the years went on eventually was extended to a week-long Spring celebration.  In the 1980s it was known to be held in March when it was still winter in Binghamton, but in the 1990s, students voted to move it more towards the warmer month of May right before Finals Week as a means to take the focus off the books and onto the friends they made and the hall they came to love and call their home away from home.

Each hall has a certain color.  In the 1980s, the six buildings would change their colors every year.  In the 1990s, colors became a part of the building identity.  Now, as we near the 21st Century, buildings are opting to go back to changing their color.  How the color was chosen was up for grabs.  My suggestion is to look over the placement of last year’s competition and let the winner choose first followed by the rest.  It’s another honor and incentive to win.

There was no theme attached to Mutant Mania, but the shirt design did provide some foundation of what the week of events would shape up to be like.  In 1996, I decided to capitalize on the trend of titling the new “Mutant Mania” so as to allow students to identify with the event and base their float, banner, cheer and other stuff around it.  It gave them a direction to follow that wasn’t too narrow that it would hinder their creativity and not too broad that it really didn’t mean anything.  Some students liked the idea of a theme.  Others didn’t.  The ones who didn’t are the ones who didn’t participate and probably would never have even if there wasn’t a theme.  They simply like to cause a debate and controversy.

I decided to make it bigger last year because I wanted to take Dickinson into the next century.  Dickinson has often been mislabeled as the “lazy, we’re too diverse to find anything in common to do, community.”  I strongly believed that the residents of Dickinson were just the same as those in Hinman, CIW, or Newing.  The problem lies with the returners who spread a negative attitude about life there and won’t get off their couches to make a change for the better.  People tend to complain a lot, but not in a constructive manner.  That gets us nowhere.  If Dickinson were to clear out everyone who is in Dickinson now, and make a new start with all freshmen, new RAs and enthusiastic returning RAs who want to see a change and aren’t set in the old ways, then this community would be ROCKIN’.  I have no doubt in my mind that Dickinson would lose the bad rep.  It has acquired and it could become a powerful community aimed at educating residents by getting other residents to actively engage in programming, discipline and paraprofessional counseling.  DTC would be a strong governing body and each hall council could start from scratch.  Although this concept seems ideal, it is certainly not impossible.  It’ll take about 5 years to revitalize the energy and desire of the student body in Dickinson.  I tried to give it a take-off so that others could follow in bettering Dickinson.  Although it might have been the most controversial Mania in history, it really got to examine why it takes place, how competition affects people and how apathy is contagious.

I wanted to also add variety to the events that were being offered so that nobody could come up to me and say that there was nothing that they could do or no event that fit their schedule.  The events were so spread out and ranged from intellectual to physical talent that everyone could have found at least one event to play.  The Rafuse controversy really bonded the other halls as they realized how “Cut-throat” a hall can be.  I received a plethora of calls and cards from residents of Digman, Champlain, Johnson, and O’Connor defending my intention as Coordinator and comforting me about the bad press that I was given in the Frontal Lobe.  The editor abused his power and used the paper to his own personal means by exploiting the whole purpose of it.  He did not allow other community residents to publish their viewpoints and rather expressed his own which tarnished the whole event after it was through.



-Choose a theme

-Order shirts

-Provide a variety of events from board games, to relay races, to visual and performing arts.

-Ask for $1000 as the budget

-Make a Captain’s Packet

-Get judges from other communities

-Keep the point system as a surprise, but establish levels of categories in which events fall.

-Keep Banner, Float, Hall Anthem, Midnight Madness, Lip Service, Opening Ceremonies

-Acapella Concert

-Have open meetings for students to voice their opinions

-Hire Tomer as the DJ from Hinman

-Teasers the 10 weeks before Mutant Mania

-Conduct weekly captains’ meetings a month before


-Order cups

-Order extra shirts once you sell out

-Plan over 30 events

-Let RA staff be on a committee

-Plan it a week before finals

-Ask Res. Life Office staff to be judges

-Table in the Dining Hall to sell shirts


-Get trophy for top 3 halls

-Engrave plaque over the summer to keep up with the years

-Inventory all supplies so as not to re-buy things every year

-Empower captains and remind them of financial responsibilities

-Remind Hall Council to set aside money for Mutant Mania in the fall

-Reserve the dining hall as a back-up for some events

-Meet with RAs about role-modeling and competition


Whitney Hall became really close after I was forced to step out of my role as a Whitney resident and cheering them on.  It pulled them together to fight for a cause and show people that it didn’t matter who won or lost, but who had fun.  The Whitney Crew spent many hours every night revisiting the events in discussions and through the wacky video coverage that my sister and I were successful at capturing.  Even when they lost, they kept their heads up high and moved on.  The muddy field that was used for a variety of events enhanced the college fun that transpired the whole week.  New sports such as a dodgeball and ultimate were challenging due to the water conditions.  The Lip Service was a good opportunity to see people act and dance at the same time in front of a crowd of people.  The singing of “American Pie” by all the teams together while the judges tabulated was a true indicator of what the games were all about – to unite Dickinson through healthy and fun competition.  The King and Queen of the Luau was also quite a show that people enjoyed.  It could have actually been a totally separate program in itself.

Words of Wisdom:

1.      Identify the needs of your target group while you map out Mania.

2.     Change stuff around.  We can’t move forward if we’re stuck in cement.

3.     Plan 5 months ahead of time.

4.     Have only residents be involved in planning.

5.     Examine what Maina will be competing against as far as anticipated draw.

6.     Set specific goals that you want to achieve by being the Coordinator.

7.     Listen to what people are saying, yet don’t let it rule your decisions.

8.     HAVE FUN!

George Kinzel

Coordinator – Mutant Mania

 (Back to Table of Contents)





Everything I Need to Know, I Learned at Dickinson

Commencement Welcome by Libby Tucker

May 15, 1999

I would like to extend a warm welcome to our students, their parents and friends, faculty and staff Fellows, and Dickinson staff members. It is wonderful to see all of you. All of us here today have one important thing in common: tremendous pride in our graduates. This is the class of ’99, the pre-millennials, in Dickinson’s fortieth anniversary year! Members of this class have accomplished many things already and will go on to do much more.

            This is an especially meaningful commencement for me, since it is my eighth and last year as Dickinson’s Faculty Master. I feel as if I’ve been to college twice; I’m a super-super senior! And I’ve learned a lot from the students here. Just as Robert Fulghum could say that he learned everything he needed to know in kindergarten, I can say that I’ve learned everything I need to know right here at Dickinson. (And I’ll certainly need all this knowledge as I head back to what is sometimes called the “rough neighborhood” of the English Department, where every bit of wisdom will be necessary).

            The first big thing I’ve learned at Dickinson is the opposite of what many professors believe. These professors think the main action on campus is in their classrooms, where lectures, tests, and papers fill students’ time. According to this viewpoint, residence halls (or “dorms”) are just places to rest between classes. Well, all I can say is that any professors who uphold this viewpoint are WRONG. I think you all know what I mean!

            Secondly, I have learned that nobody should ever underestimate the power and compassion of students. Students at Dickinson are very talented; they have used their talents to build an Academic Center, help our local community, and change campus policies. Dickinson students have led the campus tour guides, published newsletters, planned ambitious computer projects, and put on very successful blood drives. There is no limit on the achievements of which Dickinson students are capable. I know that these achievements will continue to take exciting new forms in the years ahead.

            Another thing I’ve learned at Dickinson is that there is plenty of order and disorder – especially the latter – in college life. For example, once we had a bird loose in the Dickinson office. It was pretty wild in there for a while, but finally we got the bird out. More recently, it was discovered that there was peanut butter all over the seats in a bathroom of one of the halls. After a certain amount of uproar among members of the maintenance staff, the peanut butter was removed. It’s important to remember that, after periods of disorder, order returns.

            While spending time with Dickinson students, I have found that some of the very best conversations happen between 10 PM and midnight. These conversations have covered all sorts of subjects, from the meaning of life, relationships, and religion to the nature of the characters on “South Park.” I don’t ever want to stop having conversations like those; we never get too old to try to figure things out.

            The last big lesson I’ve learned at Dickinson is that it can be hard for professors and parents to understand some of the content of students’ creative self-expression. I vividly remember some Mutant Mania skits where I had trouble understanding what was going on because I wasn’t familiar enough with movies like “Pulp Fiction” and “The Terminator.” But that’s okay. Even if our students and I haven’t always watched the same movies or played the same games, we have cared about each other. That’s what counts. There’s a lot of love that extends across the generations. I’ve certainly felt that from this group of graduates and will really miss them, just as I will miss all my wonderful friends in the Dickinson office: Suzi, Norma, Dolores, and all the RDs. It’s impossible to put into words how much I appreciate all that they have done for me, but I want to give them my heartfelt thanks.

            And now it’s a great pleasure to introduce Ellen Badger, Director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. Ellen is not only a devoted Fellow and Mentor of Dickinson Community, but also a Dickinson graduate. She has provided support to countless international students, working tirelessly to make their stay here more pleasant and productive. Before taking her current position, she was a very successful member of the Admissions Office. It has been an inspiration to work with Ellen, and I have been excited about her giving our commencement speech since I asked her a year ago. Please welcome Ellen Badger!






Dickinson College Recognition Ceremony

May 15, 1999

Professor Tucker, Professor Masters, honored guests, Dickinson fellows, mentors and staff, our graduates, their family and friends, it is a pleasure to be here this afternoon to honor the class of 1999 and Dickinson Community’s 40th Anniversary. This honor is all the more pleasurable because 25 years ago I sat as you are sitting, with my parents and older sister, at the 1974 Dickinson College Recognition Ceremony, as I prepared to receive my Bachelor’s degree from Harpur College in English and General Literature.

I have to tell you how thrilled I am to be here as you honor Professor Libby Tucker, this wonderful, gracious lady who has befriended so many students, and who is stepping down as Master of Dickinson after 8 terrific years, to return to full-time teaching in the English Department. There are so many circumstances which connect us both.

Of course, there are my ties to Dickinson, which include being a former student here and a Dickinson fellow now. There’s the English Department connection. And there’s even a personal connection, because Professor Tucker’s husband, Geoffrey Gould, was my boss from 1975 to 1986, when I worked as an admissions counselor in the undergraduate admissions office. So thank you so much for inviting me to be here today!

Now I have to ask if there is anyone here who lived in my home away from home for two years, Johnson Hall Room 223. Yes? Well, I hope that room is looking good ‘cause we left it clean for you!!!

When I was preparing my remarks, I asked a few of my colleagues for suggestions. They told me to inject some humor, do a little reminiscing, have a message to share, but most important, keep it all under fifteen minutes! I’m here to tell you that these are my goals for today!

Like many of you, I worked on-campus during my days as an undergraduate here. Minimum wage then was a whopping $1.60 an hour, and one of my jobs was being an admissions office tour guide. So I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to begin my remarks by providing you with a short oral tour of campus, circa 1970-72. You’re going to notice that the names of the buildings may seem incorrect. Well, the University Center at Binghamton 25 plus years ago and its almost 6,000 students was a bit different than the Binghamton University we have today. So I’ll start by stepping out of Johnson Hall in Dickinson COLLEGE. We’ll walk west towards the STUDENT union and cross the ESPLANADE bridge to avoid the cars driving in both directions between Dickinson Dining Hall and the Union.

Or we might walk over to the old Science building that houses anthropology, geology, biology, and psychology in very cramped quarters, or below it the Physics/Chemistry building, and from there, we can see a construction site for a new Science Library and two new science buildings.

What else can we see? Well, if we stand on the sidewalk along the road between Hinman and the Lecture Hall Building and look towards the Student Union, on our right is Hinman College and the Hinman Collegiate Center being built, further down is the big construction fence that hides the new College in the Woods, and the really big wood fence that runs all the way from the Library Tower to the Student Union is where the Bartle Library, Computer Center, and the Advanced Technology Building are all going up! Does anyone want to guess what used to be where the Bartle Library, Engineering Building and Computer Services stand today? <loud whisper> Parking spaces!

There is no Anderson Center, no Hillside, no Academic A or B, no parking garage, no visitor’s lot, and no Susquehanna Community (yet). But there is a newly completed Men’s Gym and a much older Women’s Gym (yes, we always wondered about that, too!), the Classroom Wing, and a very busy administration building which housed admissions, registrar’s, student accounts, and the Career Planning and Placement Office. Hinman had just opened for business in 1969, and on Saturday nights in 1970, when Dickinson gals dressed up for dinner, it was to stroll over to the nearly new Hinman Dining Hall. This was our idea of dining out!

Route 17 was the name of the road that ran in front of the campus (the highway was not yet built), across the parkway facing the campus was Roger Kresge Volkswagon, the A&W Root Beer drive-in was just up the road, along with the Holiday Inn and Howard Johnson’s, and the Vestal Plaza with Britts Department Stores, plus downtown Binghamton, were THE places to shop. No Oakdale Mall, no Town Square Mall, definitely no Wegman’s, and not a whole lot west on the Vestal Parkway except for McDonald’s, the Vestal Steak House, and the Vestal Movie Theater, which was shaped like a very large quanset hut! Despite the seeming lack of amenities, we all managed to have a pretty good time! No VCRs, no computers, no e-mail, and the folks who were considered hi-tech were those who had come to school with electric rather than manual typewriters. But there were lots of clubs and organizations to join, lots of movies to see on campus, and some pretty spectacular concerts. One of my fondest senior year memories of 1974 was being part of a sold old crowd in the Men’s Gym, enjoying a terrific live concert by the Temptations!

Are there commonalities between this Dickinson class of 1999 and my class of 1974? I think so. Many of you were tripled as freshmen, and so were many of us, your campus is undergoing expansion and change, and so was ours, many of you wonder what career path you might choose, and so did we (I endured the question, “So, dear, what do you plan to do with an English degree” every single time I went home for a visit, and I am certain that a version of that question has been asked of many of you, as well). Like you, we all worked very hard and given too many papers and too many exams and too many books to read by very demanding professors. And yet, those same professors pointed you and us down new paths, suggested new possibilities, and opened up areas for exploration that we could never have imagined when we were in high school. Our political activism may have focused on issues that were different from YOUR issues, but activism has always been a hallmark of Binghamton and it’s a tradition that’s still here. I also find it interesting that in both my senior year and your senior year, we have faced congressional hearings to impeach a president, a certain degree of cynicism with the national political process, and involvement in a war abroad whose goals are not clearly defined.

I’ve had a longer opportunity than many of you to reflect upon the impact my Binghamton undergraduate education had on me. It taught me to think analytically, to write well, to organize my time, but most importantly, it provided me with the opportunity to get to know people who were very different from me in many ways, and taught me that there is always more than one path to a problem or solution. I worked hard when I was a student, but I could never have made it without the support of my family and friends, who celebrated good times with me and helped me through the rough times. So, I’d like all the families and friends of our students here today to stand so we can honor you and thank you for your support of our students! <pause>

In my senior year, I had the opportunity to attend graduate school with funding in another city, and a full-time job offer to join the admissions office staff here at Binghamton University. I chose the latter, but it took me a while to convince myself that I had made the right decision. You see, all my friends who were graduation were moving on to new places for graduate school or careers or travel, yet I was staying behind. IF life is a journey, then why was I the only one standing still? I think it was nearly a year before I realized that the journey is as much a spiritual one as it is a physical one. I’ve spent 29 years in Binghamton as of now, and I’ve had a wonderful career here. I’ve advanced in my profession, witnessed a tremendous growth in the number of Binghamton students from other countries, written and published, married and raised a family, traveled to some very interesting places, and have had the privilege of learning about different cultures and countries from our graduate and undergraduate students from all over the world. And I’ve seen this university stay a dynamic entity as it has seen periods of growth, periods of contraction, expansion and change. BU continues to change and challenge itself, and frankly, change is not a bad thing. I’m not the same person that I was 25 years ago, so why should Binghamton stay the same?

I have a sign on my office wall, which is a quote from a speech given by a local public school educator that I attended more than 10 years ago. It says “those who think that something can’t be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it.” <repeat> While a student here, I was always encouraged, never discouraged, to take responsibility and try new things. Just because something had never been done before didn’t mean it wasn’t worth trying! That positive attitude, and the feeling that it is more important to be a participant than a bystander, is still with me today, and I know it is something I will always have. There’s that Binghamton training again… define the problem, research the possible solutions, state your best outcome, but be sure that you can explain HOW you got there.

So, how should we define success? The dictionary defines success as the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors, or the attainment of wealth, position, honors or the like. Well, the very fact that you are graduating tomorrow might be said to be a measure of success. Some of us have personal definitions of success. For some of you, it may be engaging in activities that are personally rewarding, that help others, that pay well, or that help make the world a better place. My father used to tell me that the two kinds of person who would never be successful were those who did not do what they were asked to do, and those who ONLY did that. To my father, success meant to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS. <repeat> I have never forgotten those words.

If someone were to ask me today how I define success, I think my response would be that I define success by thank yous. What do I mean by that? I can tell by the thanks yous I receive from our international students when I’ve been successful in helping them navigate a torturous maze of U.S. immigration regulations to help them realize their personal or professional goals, whether its enrolling at Binghamton as a new student, or how to legally be employed, or how to bring their spouses here, or how to obtain a new visa, or how to meet their US income tax obligations. While this may be part of my job, to many of our international students, I am bringing clarity to what seemed to be a very confusing and complicated issue, and they fail to <thank me>. At the same time, our international students, who come from countries around the globe, tell me about their life journeys that have brought them to Binghamton, and I have learned so much from them. So, I’m always saying <thank you> to them in return. I understand more now than ever how events anywhere in the world will have an impact on at least some of our students, here and I try to anticipate those impacts and research possible solutions. In my own small way, I’m trying to make their world HERE a better place.

So whatever your personal journey, whatever your definition of success, and whatever your future, I hope it will be one that will have a positive impact on your life and the lives of others, that you will set an example for others to follow, that you will have the joy of seeing the good you do reflected in the success of others, that along the way, you will seek and have the support and encouragement of family, friends and colleagues, and that when you are asked about YOUR Binghamton experience, that your memories will be as fond as mine.





Memories of Dickinson

Prior to working in Dickinson, I was the Coordinator of Newing and that in itself is a whole other book of stories.  Newing was the party area and Dickinson was the studious area.

In fact when the students were protesting the keg policy and no one was allowed to drink under age, Newing rebelled by having several kegs in the quad with hundreds of residents in the area while across the street in Dickinson, it was heard that some students were trying to do the same thing but they couldn’t figure out how to tap the keg.

Dickinson has transformed to a different environment since then.  One of my best memories of working here is participating in Dickinson’s Commencement Ceremony where each senior reflects on their best moment of living in Dickinson.  There were many times that I learned through those reflections when and policy violations really occurred. Those stories which I hope are in this document from other sources had a special meaning because it summer up what Dickinson Community really stands for: friendship and a cohesive community.

Mutant Mania is another great event which is held every spring.  Each hall competes in a competitive tone.  In the early 1990’s it was a time of pranks; banners were set on fire, shower curtains were stolen from halls and eggs and water balloons were thrown.  Most recently, in the past couple of years the pranks have been less and the energy has been directed towards building bigger and better floats and banners.  The competition is still there but in a constructive way.

While the tone of the environment changed, so did some of the facilities.  The Digman Coffee House was renovated and the former preschool space in Rafuse became the Dickinson Town Council office and an Academic Center.  Digman and Rafuse were rrenovated in the summer of ’96.  The area office relocated down the hall from its original location in O’Connor basement to a friendly and more accessible location. And most recently Digman Hall was closed down to repair some structural problems. (97-98)

I have worked with many staffs from RAs, RDs, Assistant Coordinators, Faculty Masters and Support Staffs all who have made a difference in Dickinson.  In 1996 there was an end to a structure where the Assistant Coordinator position was eliminated and so were the part time RDs.  The new structure included a full time RD in each of the halls with a Staff Intern in the area office.  My title was changed to Assistant Director from Coordinator.  As we all know, history repeats itself and our campus is no different.  At one time on campus in the residence hall, full time RDs were a part of the structure. The people will come and go and the stories will live on forever as new traditions evolve.


Suzi Howell, Assistant Director-Residential Life

1990 – Present   (Back to Table of Contents)



The Early Years of Dickinson College

I was the first Master of Dickinson, and among the three first Masters – the other two of Hinman and Newing. CIW didn’t exist yet.  Since everything was new locally, we used the colleges at Oxford and Yale as models, and we were very ambitious.  For example, I arranged four special courses (with regular credit) to be given by Dickinson Fellows and for visiting speakers. I also fought for large budgets to pay these people.  I also organized the first college government, with a council composed of students, faculty and staff. It was an exciting time because all kinds of things were seen as possible, including by the Harpur College dean.

As the university developed, so did opposition to the college cost and college courses – the later by regular university departments, which had difficulty about where the college courses should receive credit.


Paul A. Smith, Professor of Political Science  (Back to Table of Contents)




Memories from a Dickinson Alumna and Fellow

I lived in Johnson Hall room 223 for both my freshman and sophomore years (Fall 1970-Spring 1972).  At that time, Dickinson was known as Dickinson College, not Dickinson Community, and the halls were co-ed by wings, not by floor.  I was tripled in my first semester. On warm nights, a bunch of us would climb up on the railroad ties sculpture and chat.  I remember one Halloween night, we climbed up there and told ghost stories in the dark to each other. Pretty scary! We also enjoyed spectacular sunsets in the Spring and Fall while gazing west from the Esplanade (long since torn down) between Dickinson and the UU. Another thing we enjoyed was hanging out in the lobby and watching which guys went over to the gals’ wing and which gals went over to the guys’ wing.  We would always try to guess which room they were heading for.

Ellen Badger

International Student and Scholar Services  (Back to Table of Contents)




Memories from a Dickinson Fellow

My first recollection of Dickinson Community goes back to 1967, the beginning of what is now called the residential college system.  It was my first year as a head resident and almost my last.  My dorm or residence hall (Digman) was chosen to be an all male freshman hall with a faculty mentor living in the second apartment of an experimental basis. The faculty mentor left after four weeks and half of my RA staff quit at the end of the semester. Without stating the obvious these experiments were never attempted again.

Jim Sullivan, Academic Advising  (Back to Table of Contents)




Dickinson Stories from an RD

May 1992 – Newing Pride Run vs. Dickinson’s defense, Amy Nicolellis

About 11:30pm on a Sunday night, a few of the students in Rafuse Hall came around the building telling us to dress in black and meet in the service closet to fill water balloons. It turns out, at 12am Newing was expected to be on their “Pride Run” and we had to take on our defensive stance.  We all got ready with buckets of water balloons.  We went outside and waited. Newing came through wielding shaving cream, water balloons and chanting “pencil-pushers,” “geeks,” “go back to sleep” etc. It got a little rowdy in some places, people pushing each other and spraying shaving cream. It seems that the pride of the individual communities runs deep enough to cause tensions and rivalry between them. Newing probably thought they won the war, and retreated back towards Newing. But, Dickinson had the last laugh when we dumped large buckets of mud over Newing students from the overhang of Whitney-Champlain.


December 1994 – Digman Hall Angelling, anonymous

What started as an innocent angelling program, turned out a little crazy! A generous angel summoned for their mortal a strip act!! Three male students dressed up in women’s clothes and proceeded to do a strip act for a woman in her room. Thirty students crowded into the room to witness this crazy event.


Spring Semester 1993 Johnson Hall Barnyard Party, Amy Nicolellis

I was walking through the first floor of Johnson. As I passed one of the rooms, I noticed large bundles of hay piled in the middle of the room. I stopped and asked them what the hay was for, and they told me that they were having a “barnyard party.”” It was going to be that evening. I came by and there were about 25 people, wearing straw hats and overalls, hay spread over the floor, and a keg in the corner. After I talked to the hosts of this theme party, they showed me photos of the “beach aprty” that they hosted the semester prior. The beach party apparently consisted of a kiddie pool, a keg and sand covering the whole floor about 6 inches deep!!


Fall Semester 1991 – Ouija Board Craziness in Rafuse Hall, Amy Nicolellis

After Libby Tucker, our faculty master, did a program on Ouija boards, Rafuse Hall went a little crazy with them. One night, a few of the guys in our hall asked myself, my roommate and other residents to come and play with the Ouija board. We asked where, and they replied that they had “found a place.” It turns out that they had gotten into the fallout shelter in the subbasement of Rafuse and were setting up the “séance” there. So, about 7 or 8 of us sat on cinder blocks with the lights out, playing Ouija. When the discussion got a little scary, with talk of fire and death, all of a sudden small fireworks went off only 10 feet from us!! Whizzing jumping jacks glowed and scared us to death! We jumped to our feet and ran for the door. We left screaming!! We got upstairs to the basement Rec Lounge – we were still in shock and some of the guys were laughing!! We realized that they played a trick on us and we got our revenge… Some of us returned to the sub-basement to clean up and while we were there, we heard a knock at the door! It was the RD! Well, to make a long story short, none of us got in any trouble, but the guys succeeded in scaring us by positioning a guy to set off fireworks in the fallout shelter during our Ouija board session. Crazy Rafusians!!


Amy Nicollellis

Resident Director 1995-1997  (Back to Table of Contents)




These stories are three Champlain stories for the oral tradition of Dickinson Community. All stories were collected and transcribed by Jon Ros in October 1998.



Told by a former Champlain first north resident (1996-1998)

How the Chinchillas Got Their Name

            “It’s not an exciting story, but it’s folklore. I don’t know the exact date, or anything, but it was somewhere in, around Mutant Mania time. I mean a couple days before mutant mania. Me and Juan were like, Juan was the co-captain, and I was like, we need something like to rally around, we need like a nickname for our football team or something. And um, we were like talking, like something that had, like we just need something that had a C in it. So we were just walking, we were going to Lu’s room. Lu was on the computer, and we said, “let’s think of a nickname for our football team.” So we said, cockroaches, cougars, caterpillars. Um, and nothing was working.  We decided to try to get something with a Ch. I don’t think we said chuiwahwa but we couldn’t think of anything. Then all of a sudden, we hear “Chinchillas.”  It was Mike from the other side of his room. “Chinchillas, why don’t you call them chinchillas?” And Juan’s like, “What the hell’s a chinchilla?” So we had to look it up on the internet and showed Juan. And that’s how we came up with the name. Like the walls were so thin and Mike heard our conversation in his room.”


Told by a Champlain resident (1997-present)

“Ok, this is yet another mutant mania story. For our banner we decided to try to outdo any other banner in the entire world. Well, you know, John and Mike were in the main lounge making the sunglasses out of these big crappy pieces of wood that kept splintering and we got you use the power tools, which was pretty exciting, yeah, we love the power tools. And I got to sit on this piece of wood while they sawed around me. I think it almost cut me and John accidently sawed the table. (Laugh) I mean somebody accidentally sawed the table. Yeah, so we had this fabulous pair of sunglasses that we probably, um larger than a standard size college bed. And we put on the little hinges and they closed and opened.  And we painted them with the best design, they were black and they had these fabulous aliens which Dave drew. And they were all done with exquisite care. One was even styled like Keith, who has been quite the, um, star of many an artistic endeavor. And then there was glitter put all over it. And we got the results back and we lost to a green piece of construction paper, clarifying after all that, well, nevermind…”  (Back to Table of Contents)






Dickinson History – The DTC E-Boards

Submitted by Eric Eichenholtz, Academic Vice President of DTC (’97-98 term)


President – Michael Keenan/Jake Silverstein

Chief Financial Officer – Larry Copeland

Academic Vice President – John Grasso

Social Vice President – Cate Carrol/Josh Bershad

Secretary – Tim Gray/Dan Giordano

Parliamentarian – Piyush Seth



President – Dave Rosch/Todd Cavaluzzi

CFO – Sue Mui

AVP – Mike Valdman

SVP – John Grasso/Barbara Birch

Secretary – Minna Lee/Bronwyn Tinker

Parliamentarian – Becca Ment/Michael Intaglietta



President – Michael Intaglietta

CFO – Lars Kellogg-Steadman

AVP – Patricia Ostrander

SVP – Christopher Carlton

Secretary – Katie Fitzgerald/Shivaun McGoff

Parliamentarian – Jason DeCaro


1995-1996 (Current DTC constitution adopted)

President – Christopher Carlton

CFO – Lars Kellogg-Steadman/Lori Wood

AVP – Jennifer Nagler/Lisa Mehmel

SVP – Shivaun McGoff

Parliamentarian – Jason DeCaro

Elections Chair – Scott Litvak



President – Lori Wood/Seth Eichenholtz

CFO – Erik George

AVP – Kerrie Dawson

SVP – Kerry-Ann Fenton

Parliamentarian – Jennifer Nagler



President – Brian Greene

CFO – Christina Ritter/Brooke Gershenson

AVP – Eric Eichenholtz

SVP – John Martin

Secretary – Stephen Wheller

Parliamentarian – Jennifer Nagler  (Back to Table of Contents)






Memories of Dickinson Town Council

By Mike Intaglietta (DTC President, 1994-1995)

1.      Spring ’94 – Becca Ment had resigned as DTC Parliamentarian.  I knew the DTC office had been moved to Rafuse, and that all members had access to that building.  AT the time I had a massive crush on Michelle LaJeunesse, who lived on Rafuse 25, so I ran.  (On the platform that I could spell parliamentarian and won unopposed).  I later became DTC President in 94-95.

2.     Fall ’93 – The first week after new students arrived was unbelievably hot and dry.  People were dehydrating left and right and the weather was very much not Binghamton.  That changed Tuesday night around 9:00 when there was one very large thunderstorm.  Everyone in the Digman Lounge, in unison, looked at the window, looked at each other, took off our shoes and ran outside.  The volleyball court was flowing down towards the union, people were dancing in the rain, Gary Colletti and Andrew Bennett were reciting poetry in the amphitheater.  The first and last time a majority of BU welcomed the rain.

3.     Spring ’94 – DTC paying $100 for a tree, and that becoming a unit of measure for DTC money for the rest of the semester and next year.

4.     Fall ’93 – Dave Rosch giving me a call and saying that the Santa Claus costume had been lost so Santa wouldn’t be at the DTC meeting.  I threw on some Christmas boxers, a red shirt, my roommate’s red DDH hat, and a pair of Ray-Bans, and cut up a towel for a beard and hair, threw all of my laundry into a bag and became the 140 lb. Disco Santa.

5.     Spring ’94 – Jewel from O’Connor stuffing a dollar down my shirt during the Digman Mutant Mania musical skit and then being asked to improvise a 10-minute stand-up routine for the comedy skit.  I came in 5th out of 6.

6.     Spring ’95 – Dan Conti doing the classiest thing I’ve ever seen by conceding defeat to Rafuse after the Mutant Mania skit night.  By far, the best sportsmanship I’ve ever seen in Mutant Mania.

7.     Fall ’94 – Being killed in the first second of Rafuse dorm killer after a 2-hour e-board meeting and a 3-hour budget meeting.

8.     Spring ’94 – T.J. Miller being driven into Mutant Mania opening ceremonies with secret service agents, looking much less laid back than he usually did, dressed entirely in Mutant Mania t-shirts, carrying the Horse’s Ass in a briefcase and announcing, “We got it, and we’re gonna keep it,” and then being driven away.  (They came in 3rd)

9.     Darren Petronella telling DTC that gaffer’s tape costs $50 per roll.

10.                        Spring ’94 – The state of emergency that was declared when it looked like Mutant Mania might have been canceled due to liability issues.

11.                        Fall ’94 – The Frontal Lobe/Poor Dick’s debates.

12.                        Fall ’95 – Jhamani Hylton and I roaming through Johnson Hall with the 2 Rafuse trophies (Horse’s Head and Ass) and having a chat with Marc Brown (RD), who had boasted about crushing us in Dickinson Day.

13.                        Fall ’95 – Emceeing the Dickinson Talent show with John Haller and bombing terribly.

Mike Intagliatta  (Back to Table of Contents)




DTC Presidents


            “It’s a lot of work… but a rewarding experience”


            “I was happiest with the e board… everybody worked together and got the ball rolling… the commitment they demonstrated was essential in making things more official”


            “I took over for Lori and was nervous because I didn’t know everybody on the e board… but everybody got along great and there was a strong sense of cooperation”

            “One of my favorite memories is of Mutant Mania… O’Connor’s float was a spaceship and they pretended to capture me because I was DTC President and we won first place”

            “We fought to keep Champlain parking lot a commuter lot and won… and there was a friendly rivalry between O’Connor and Rafuse”  (Back to Table of Contents)






What do Programming Assistants Do?


Hello! My name is Adrian Miller, and I am one of the new Dickinson Programming Assistants. As Programming Assistants, P.A.s for short, Sharif Nankoe’s and my main duty is making all advertising requested by the Resident Directors and Assistants for their programs. The advertisements are in the form of 8 ½ x 11 inch posters, handout invites or “teasers” and extra large posters for the Dining Halls and Residence Main Halls. Any other odd jobs in the form of artwork, written work or a combination of the two are also created when asked by the Assistant Coordinator, Laura Bennison, as well as when requested by the Resident Directors and Assistants (deadlines permitting). The guidelines and some ideas for our work as Programming Assistants were outlined and inspired by the work of past Programming Assistants, last year Monica Chan and Shivaun McGoff, and in the 1994 to 1995 school year it was Joyce Nicholas and Paul Merrell.


                                    Adrian Miller

                                    Programming Assistant, 1995- 1996  (Back to Table of Contents)






Danger from the Dickinson Amphitheater


            I heard two stories, both from my brother who graduated in 1995. The first story he told me was about the amphitheater outside Dickinson Community. He heard that if you walk down the stairs, through the middle and back up the other side, you will consequently fail out of school. He and his friends refused to do it for this fact. One of his friends was dared to do it, and he failed out of school the next semester. The other story my brother told me is about all the residential buildings on campus. He told me that he heard that all the buildings are connected by underground secret tunnels. Custodians and other staff are the only people who know how to access the tunnels, and supposedly they walk through them at night, patrolling the building.


                                                                                    Rachel Chertok  (Back to Table of Contents)





The Unfortunate Christmas Tree

            You all know the feeling that comes over you at the end of the fall semester: the snow is falling, the temperatures are brutally cold, and your work has you buried. And all you can think about is getting home for the winter break. There are reminders about the upcoming holidays plastered all over the place, which doesn’t help you to stay focused on schoolwork at all; everything from Christmas music on the radio to menorahs in the windows at the dorm. Think back to when you lived on campus. I can still see myself sitting at my desk in Broome Hall typing away furiously as I finished my last few papers. Every single time I walked into the dorm and saw the Christmas tree lit up in the lobby, it would drive me to work even harder… I couldn’t wait to get home!

            Well, I can honestly say that Broome Hall never had the best Christmas trees in the world, but it did the trick for me. But that has not always been the case for all dorm-dwellers in all of the housing communities on campus. The time I speak of was in fact before my days here at Binghamton University; it was the winter of 1991. Traditionally in the Dickinson Community, many of the dorms had really nice Christmas trees decorating their lobbies. Perhaps that legacy is what sparked the president of Champlain Hall, at the time, to go to the lengths that he did to get the Christmas tree for his dorm.

            The tree that this dorm president produced was magnificent. It was truly the envy of every other dorm in the community. The fresh tree stood at about ten feet tall and was truly a brilliant sight. The president was, needless to say, pleased with the job he had done. And I would imagine that all of the students passing it every day to go to their rooms and study took note of the gorgeous tree as well.

            While this may not seem like too much of an unusual or even interesting story, you must ask yourself one important question: where did this president find such a tree? Within a week or so of trimming this beautiful tree, roughly three people, including the dorm president, were arrested by ULED. It turns out that those who were in charge of getting the tree, realized that in order to get the best one, they were going to have to go out and cut one down themselves. The problem? The place they chose to cut down a tree for the sole purpose of bringing some holiday cheer to Champlain’s lobby was in fact the Nature Preserve. The funny part of this story is that they probably would have gotten away with it, but they chose to dispose of the tree stump in the fire place of Champlain’s main lounge. ULED, therefore, simply matched the stump with the one missing from the Nature Preserve with the rest of the tree, which was brilliantly adorning the lobby. And the most interesting fact about this Nature Preserve tree is that it turned out to cost quite a bit of money… about $1500 in total!


                                                                                    Beth McCorry  (Back to Table of Contents)







Stories from the CoRE Module

Kate and “Mercury Rising”


October 24, 1998

Text: “This one time, we were gonna make “Lost in Space” a CoRE movie, but it didn’t happen, as you already know, so we decided that each like several people were going over there to watch it, and the other movie that was coming on around the same time was “Mercury Rising”. So me, Andrew, Paul, another guy who lived here and a couple of other people decided to go there at the same time. And the plan was that we would go in and pay for a ticket and we would go in and sit there, watch “Lost in Space” and then we met up with Kate and we decided that the next movie would be “Mercury Rising and we would not pay for it, we would just simply go into the theater without, y’ know, any sorta questions asked. The thing is, after the “Lost in Space “ was over, there was two hundred and some odd people coming out of the theater and ‘oops, we’re outside now, I guess we are gonna have to pay to see the movie,’ except that Kate, who had decided to see the movie with us, was not outside, and was not coming out. So back in we went, and there is no Kate in the theater anymore so we were kinda figuring “Where is ‘Mercury Rising’? Maybe she is already in there. And we went in, we started looking around and looking around… she’s not there. As we came out of the movie theater, we found out that she did, in fact, stand out in the ‘Mercury Rising’ and , not finding us there, went out of the movie theater, which cost each and every one of us seven more dollars…


Circumstances: In our room, Yevgeny is at his computer; I stand next to my bed, on which sits the tape player, and Yevgeny speaks, leaning back over his chair, telling the story in his deep Ukrainian accent.


Analysis: This story is certainly entertaining, instructive, and certainly a capsule characterization of the character Kate. It is entertaining because the circumstances are somewhat amusing, the instructiveness has to do part with what happens when you decide to bend or break the rules… and also, if you are gonna do so, and you are in a group, you had better be well coordinated first. As far as the characterization of Kate, she is shown as somewhat independent, sometimes troublesome, and often hard to find. This story has a lot to do with the more recent CoRE tradition of the CoRE movie, which is making itself a permanent and bonding part of the CoRE experience. It reinforces the experience of going out and watching sci-fi movies, good or bad, with fellow CoRE members, to have a good time.

SysAdmin Troubles

Michael Greenhut

October 25, 1998

Text:  “…I was training with a bunch of other people for system administration and y’know Stea was there and he was letting us do our thing, the way he works it out is to have us do the things he tells us and he’s there to answer questions so we learn more by experience than just sitting there and watching him do things.  And what we had to do was set up a print server, which seemed like an easy enough thing, we just had to get this computer working and get everything on there.  Of course we had a problem, we had a lot of problems with the IDE and the hard drive and we eventually found out that that computer, after several hours, was defective, so we couldn’t use it.  So we used another one.  And the we ended up installing Linex…about 10 times because every time we would install it before, it would freeze up when someone moves the table.  We kept going around in this cycle over and over until about four-thirty in the morning, and we started at nine-thirty, mind you.  And Andrew and I just said, “Okay we gotta go to sleep, we have stuff we gotta do tomorrow,” and we did, we quit out…and we found out later that it had lasted until about seven in the morning…”

Circumstances:  In my room, with my roommate on his computer, Mike stands in the middle of my room as he speaks the story to me and to the tape player on my bed.  I stand by the tape player, listening intently to the story.

Analysis:  This is something of an entertaining story, though it is perhaps more instructional, and is used as a social cement.  It is entertaining because the extreme amounts of frustration involved can lead to some stress release in being retold.  It is instructional in that it informs us to an extent on the ways of the SysAdmin group, and the troubles in setting up a print server, and it is most definitely a social cement, because if there is one thing nearly all CoRE members have in common and can identify with, it’s problems with computers.  The trials and tribulations of the SysAdmin group are important to us because they are a part of us, and what they learn will be passed on to later CoRE members so that we shall always be independent on the core of our network.


The Phone Book Story Deal

Michael Greenhut

October 25, 1998

Text:  “I have said that a really good writer should be able to write something interesting even about the phone book, which is usually boring so I told Aaron one day that I was going to write a 15 page paper about the phone book and make it interesting, and he just laughed at me and said, “There’ll be no way you’ll be able to finish it, and if you do finish it, it will be nothing but crap,” and he kept insisting on it, and I said, “Okay, I will write this story and I will finish it and you will like it and if you like it, then you have to agree to bring your stuffed penguin into class for one day and hold it during class,” so he said, “deal.”  So I write it and I work on it, and it takes a long time, but I finally finish it and it’s fifteen and a half pages, and I hand it to him, and he reads it, and he laughs hysterically most of the way through it and pitches it back in my face and says, “Okay, fine, you win,” and he agreed that he liked it and he thought it was funny as hell and just a few minutes ago he walked off to class for the first time with this stuffed penguin, and this class is a lab…a physics lab, I think…”

Circumstances:  Michael sits in front of his computer, relaxedly talking at me and at the tape player on his bed, while I stand by the bed and by the tape player.

Analysis:  This is definitely entertaining.  CoRE LoRE fresh in the making.  The primary functions of this are entertainment and social cement, and I think the entertainment part is pretty self-evident.  As for the social cement, we can pretty much sympathize with a little roommate rivalry and kidding around, bet making and bet losing.  We are fond of our games on CoRE in whatever forms they present themselves, and this is certainly one of them.


The (ever famous, cannot be suppressed, must be included) Hamster Story

Noah Ternullo

October 26, 1998

Text:  “Okay this is a true story, absolutely, it’s not made up, it’s not a folktale, cause I saw it with my own eyes.  I was there, and I am an Honest Man. (pauses) It was the CoRE SIH Module Floor then, it was only one floor, O’Connor Hall, second floor south…and it was…wintertime…near the end or the beginning of the semester, I forget which one, I am inclined to believe it was before the holiday season, and I, Noah Ternullo, who was President of the CoRE module at the time and certainly a member, was thinking more about, believe it or not, at That Moment, more about my studies than about anything else.  And so I had just returned from classes and I had would my way up the stairs and I remember shouldering open the door and stepping onto the floor.  And CoRE is a fairly social place, and it was more social back then, and people’s doors were open and people were in the hallway, and I look up and there is Benjamin Lankey, Benjamin Lankey…dressed in his…his robe, his bathrobe…usually he wore only his bathrobe and a pair of boxers and he almost never tied his bathrobe closed.  And it was not unusual for me to see him but what was unusual was that he was walking along with both arms sorta outstretched, and he was hunched over…and he was sorta hobbling down the hall.  Like, uh.  An old lady on steroids.

And um, and I thought this was kinda odd but I said, “Hey, y’know…”  Ben had been known to imbibe more than his fair share of the Alcoholic Remedy, but I said, “Hey, hey, Ben, how’s it going, how’s it going?” and Ben stopped what he was doing, in sort of mid-spasm-pause and he spun around and he went “Hmmm-hm-hmm-hmm-hmm!”  (muffled evil laugh) because he had, at that point (Noah’s voice gets excited) he had, hanging out of his mouth, a living hamster, this poor cute little thing that was like “ararararararararararr” (Noah imitates the pathetic sounds of the hamster).  Its two front little paws were kicking (Noah imitates hamster paws with his hands, flailing them) and…and bursting out of his door came the RA, Lawrence, “No!  Ben, no!  That’s my hamster!  No!  You can’t do that!  No!”  (Noah gives Lawrence a high-pitched, whiney voice) and Ben was “Hmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhm!” (evil laugh) and he reared his head back in laughter and mock humiliation of Lawrence and Lawrence was like, “No, Ben!  She’s pregnant!  No, you can’t do that!  Nooo!” and Lawrence goes running after Ben, and Ben takes off (Noah makes quick little plodding sounds vaguely like bare feet on concrete) down this hall, like a geriatric individual….eh…oh drugs…and goes “psshhh!” running into his room and “Whopssh!” slamming the door and then it’s nothing but (Noah raps on my desk to imitate pounding on a door) “Ben, no, Ben!” (in the high, whiney voice) “Okay, okay, Ben…this isn’t funny anymore, now Ben, c’mon, Ben…I’m not kidding…” and this went on for about five minutes and Lawrence says, “Okay Ben, I have got a biology test and I don’t have time for this, so I will talk to you later, bye,” and by this time I had made it all the way down the hall to—I think it is room 236, which was my room and I sat down and I had sort of ignored this it was not of any importance to me, and I had actually cracked a book, I was actually reading and studying like a good student should and an hour later, I was stretching, and I heard more than saw Ben Lankey walk into the room across the hall from me.

Alex Feniman was living there at the time and he says, “Alex!” and Alex says “hi” (Noah does a good impression of Alex’s voice, I should know).  And Ben says, “Can I borrow some duct tape?” “Why, sure, Ben, no problem” (Noah’s imitation of Alex falls flat) and Alex handed over the duct tape.  Simply because Alex loved duct tape, he felt it had a dark side and a light side and it held the universe together, that was his analogy for duct tape, and everybody knew you could get duct tape from Alex.  And I didn’t really think anything of it…until I left the room, and I made my, and I was moving down the hall down which Ben had been moving so spasmodically before, and I am heading off to class when I hear this little “Squeek!” And I think to myself “What the hell is that?” and I look to my right and there (Noah’s voice rises again) on the RA’s door is the hamster!  There it is, just (pursing sticking sound) there is a huge strip of duct tape is spread out over its tummy and it’s just taped up to the door, with its back up against the door and its two front legs just hanging out over the duct tape, just stuck out over the duct tape like “Hey, hey, I’m just chillin’, don’t mind me I’m just a hamster stuck to the door” (Noah gives the hamster a meek little voice) and at the bottom looking down like “hey how’s it doing?  You in the hall too?  So am I” and sitting below the hamster was a nice triangular pile of…(Noah laughs nervously) because evidently, evidently….the hamster had originally been scared about this I think it had mellowed out since then…um.  I didn’t actually get to see what happened when Lawrence came home…but for the next few weeks he did have a hamster with a completely bald patch around its body…and that is the very true story of the CoRE hamster.”

Circumstances:  I was sitting in my room, chatting with my good friend Vixen, over the Internet, as may be perhaps my unfortunate wont, when I got a knock at my door, and I answered it, and lo and behold, it was Noah Ternullo, and he looks at me and he says, “You summoned a CoRE legend?” for apparently he had heard through the grapevine (and here I suspect Andrew Sitzer) that I had needed help with my Folklore project, and so I explained to him the situation, and he was more than glad to help, and as he hunched position, pounding frantically on my desk to imitate Lawrence pounding frantically on Ben’s door, and so on.

Analysis:  The entertainment value here is incredibly self-evident, and there are a number of possible capsule characterizations, including Ben Lankey, Lawrence, Alex Feinman, and even Noah himself.  I think, most importantly, this is the sort of social cement that this brings on.  It shows CoRE as an unusual place of unusual people…people who do wild things, crazy things and funny things, just for the sake of doing them.  There are many of us on CoRE who like to continue that image of off-the-wall (or on-the-door?)ness that this story shows permeates our past.

Sam Waddington  (Back to Table of Contents)




Ghosts of Johnson and O’Connor Halls




          No collegiate community is complete without a few ghost stories. Before I became Dickinson’s Faculty Master, I had heard stories about a ghost in a corner room of College-in-the-Woods; however, I had never heard a Dickinson ghost story. That situation changed when I gave a Quija board program in Johnson Hall in the fall of 1991. Using a Quiji board, two students heard from a ghost named “Gus” who had supposedly died in Johnson twenty years ago. As far as I know, nobody ever heard from “Gus” again. However, some of the students got so excited about Gus that they stayed up late that night, using the Quiji board to try to summon other spirits. To find out more about what the students in Rafuse did that night, see Amy Nicolellis’ collection, “Quiji Board Craziness in Rafuse Hall.”


          While the story of Gus is a brief one, the story of the ghost of O’Connor Hall is complex, involving a number of different sightings and narrators. This ghost was first noticed in 1993-94, when students found that the elevator kept going up and down with nobody inside. (Some students speculated that this was the work of mischievous members of the CoRE Module, but others were sure that it was a ghost). In the summer of 1997, some maintenance staff members started talking about a cold spot in the subbasement of O’Connor. Apparently one of the staff members had fainted at that cold spot and refused to go down there again. In the summer of 1998, four members of the Dickinson office staff (including myself) heard what sounded like a shout or scream from one of the ground-floor bedrooms. Worrying about possible problems, we keyed into the room and found that nobody was there; nothing seemed to be amiss. Coincidently, this room was not far from the elevator. No further problems have been observed in that area.



          Stories of an O’Connor ghost escalated in the fall of 1998, with reports of things falling off walls and ghostly forms appearing in mirrors. One especially vivid story by the RA of the “Penthouse” told of a face that appeared and then quickly disappeared in a third-floor mirror. The legend became localized to two rooms, 207 and 208, in the spring of 1999 (see Abigail Tilden’s detailed report of a sighting of the ghost in her room, 207).


          Is there really a ghost in O’Connor Hall? Nobody knows for sure. But if a ghost is present, it definitely seems to be a friendly ghost. Dickinson can be proud to have its own “ghost-in-residence.” Will the ghost stay on to greet the new Faculty Master of Dickinson? We’ll see!


                                                          Libby Tucker

                                                          Faculty Master





O’Connor Ghost Sighting

Saturday, May 6, 1999 approximately midnight


Vanessa (rm. 207) was meditating in front of the mirror when the face shimmered and changed to the visage of an unfamiliar male. Vanessa, a tad frightened, left the room for a few minutes, returning with Eric (rm. 201), who felt a “presence” of some sort in the room. (Eric is versed in shamanism and has felt something before in 207). They went downstairs to the sub-basement, determining that the “presence” was also noticeable in the far corner by the outside exit.


Eric’s conclusion is that the “ghost” is probably the spirit of a student here that either lived or had extremely close friends in rooms 207 and 208. The presence in the sub-basement which had malignant undertones lacking in the other locations, is most likely where the event that led to the ghost’s coming into being took place. Based on what he and Vanessa felt, Eric concluded this was probably in the 1970s.




                                                            O’Connor Resident






The Ghost in the Window

(tape-recorded July 14, 1999)


            One night it was probably around 3:00 in the morning, so pretty much everyone in the building was sleeping. I was walking down the hallway, and at the end of the hallway there was a window, so – you can see your reflection in the window, and I could see what was going on behind me. So I was walking down the hallway, to go downstairs, and I looked in the window and I saw a reflection of somebody or something and it was wearing black or something. And I just saw it walk across the hall, from one side of the wall to the other.


            And I turned around and looked to see who was back there, but all the doors were closed; nobody was awake, and I didn’t see anyone in the hallway or the bathroom or anything. And I never saw anything again. I don’t know why; I didn’t think much about it after that, because it was at night and I was tired. I just continued downstairs. It looked like it started out—there was no door that it started walking out of. So it just kind of walked across the hall, coming out of the wall. I didn’t even hear anything—I just saw a reflection in the mirror. (Libby: And nothing like this has happened to you since?) No. Next year I move to another building. But I heard it’s still around. (Libby: I hear from Abby Tilden that she thought the ghost was in 207 or 208). That’s the chem-free floor. Yes, that was the floor where I saw the ghost. I remember it was one of those rooms. And I’d heard stories before, so I knew.




                                                            O’Connor RA, 1998-99  (Back to Table of Contents)







I am the housing secretary of Dickinson Community, and people know I hate mice.

Well this is what has happened to me in Dickinson:


STORY 1:      

I was out for a day and when I returned, the Coordinator called me down to the supply room and told me to look at the mouse droppings. I had at the time thought they must be rat droppings as they were so huge. I immediately called Maintenance and asked them to come here as quickly as possible as I thought we had a BIG PROBLEM! Little did I know that the Master of Dickinson and the Coordinator of Dickinson had put black coffee beans on the floor to fool me- WHICH THEY SURE DID!!!  I had to call Maintenance back and cancel the call when I found out the truth.



The Master of Dickinson put a toy mouse across the handle of my desk drawer for me to see the first thing in the morning when I came to work. Boy, did that mouse look real! I let out a scream when I saw it! Everyone in the office thought they played a good one on me.



Probably the best mouse story was when the mouse was real. One morning when I came in I went to the ladies room to use the facilities, and when I went to flush the toilet I looked down at the floor and saw eyes staring back at me – you guessed it – a mouse. This time it was alive and the color was white. It was wrapped up in toilet paper which matched it perfectly! Well, you guessed it – I ran out of there to call Maintenance again! While I was waiting for Maintenance to come I called the Residential Life Office to talk to a friend up there to tell her my story. She has boys at home, so she decided to come down and take the mouse home for her boys. So I canceled the Maintenance call and let her take the mouse. I later heard that her boys decided they did not want the mouse but took it to a pet store and sold it. I think I should have gotten some of the profit- what do you think?


                                                                        Norma Ergler, Secretary

                                                                        Dickinson Community





A Dickinson Story

            Some time ago, we had a very devilish Resident Director named Helene who liked to pull pranks on her favorite people.  Well one day, she came in and announced to Norma, our housing secretary, that tow people named Pat had been housed in the same room in her building.  The problem was that one was a boy and one was a girl.  Well, Norma’s worst fear was confirmed – that of housing a male and a female together.  If you know Norma than you can imagine her reaction to this unwelcome news.  After a proper amount of time (and torture) had elapsed, Helene made some kind of remark about Saturday Night Live and went flying down the hall with Norma in hot pursuit.  I didn’t see any marks on Helene so I guess she survived Norma’s wrath.


Dolores Cunningham, Secretary

Dickinson Community  (Back to Table of Contents)




The Great Anthrax Prank



During the past eight years, members of our staff have played many pranks on each other.  Some of the best and most elaborate pranks have occurred after an office staff member has gone on vacation, as “payback” for the relaxing time away from the daily work routine.  One of our favorite pranks took place in February of 1998, when Suzi Howell was on vacation in Florida for a week.  Since the weather that week was especially bad and the rest of us in the office would have liked to be in Florida too, we decided to “get” Suzi with a carefully planned prank.

At that time, anthrax was in the news; I don’t remember where the problem was, but there were some serious cases of anthrax, and the CDC was worried about massive contagion.  So Eric Eichenholtz, Eleanur Oi, and I, cheered on by Norma Ergler and Dolores Cunningham, decided to create some documents for Suzi that would make it appear that anthrax cases had come to Dickinson.  We designed a web page, a Dickinson newsletter, and signs for posting on the doors.  All of us had a great deal of fun preparing these documents when we were supposed to be working.  Although we took care to hide our creations from people who came by the office, for fear of worrying them, a few people saw the signs – but all of them, once they heard the true story, thought it was a good joke.

When Suzi returned, she saw all the anthrax materials with a note from Norma on top.  Unfortunately, she was only fooled for about half a minute.  However, she appreciated all the effort we had put into our prank.  Our whole office staff remembers this episode as a happy time when we worked together to create something totally outrageous.  This prank has gone down in the annals of Dickinson lore as one of the best.  I’m sure there will be many more good pranks in the future!


Libby Tucker  (Back to Table of Contents)



A Quick History Lesson…



From the archives of the Frontal Lobe…

Have you ever wondered who your hall is named after?

CIW’s halls are named after Iroquois tribes, Hinman’s are named for NYS Governors, and Newing’s NY county names. Hayes’ buildings are named for rivers, Hillsides’s for NYS Parks and the Graduate Community’s been newly renamed “Susquehanna Community” and the buildings are named after famous creeks in the area. However, our own beloved halls do not follow such a logical pattern. Following is information extrapolated from a 1993 Poor Dick’s article in order to explain the origin of the Dickinson Community names.

Dickinson Community

Daniel Steven Dickinson was a well respected school master, lawyer and US Senator. The Town of Dickinson in Broome County is named for him as well. A statue of him is located outside the County Courthouse in downtown Binghamton.

Johnson Hall

Charles F. Johnson, Jr. was the first chair of Harpur College Council and served as president of Endicott/Johnson Shoes. The families of many Binghamton area residents were immigrants who came to America to work in Johnson’s shoe factories. They came to Ellis Island asking “Which way E-J?” Charles F. Johnson gained great popularity and loyalty among his workers because of the many benefits they received, including at-cost housing and the use of several parks in the area built by Johnson. Johnson City in Broome County is named after him.

Rafuse Hall

Robert W. Rafuse was a Professor of Political Science at Harpur College. Professor Rafuse was instrumental in developing the overall educational goals of Harpur College.

Champlain Hall

From 1950 to 1953 Champlain college (situated near Lake Champlain) was the “sister liberal arts unit of the State University of New York.” Both Harpur College and Champlain College were originally created to assist World War II veterans. When Champlain College closed in 1953, many of the students and faculty went to Harpur College. Champlain is the only hall in Dickinson not named after a person.

O’Connor Hall

Charles Robert O’Connor was a key financial supporter of the educational system in New York. O’Connor hall would have been named for the New York State Supreme Court Justic A. Lindsay O’Connor, (brother of Charles O’Connor), but he was still alive at the time of its dedication. Justice O’Connor and his wife made major contributions to the “scholarship objectives of [Harpur College] since its inception as the liberal arts unit of the State University of New York.”

Digman Hall

Ralph Digman was an Assistant Professor of Geology at Harpur College from 1950 until his early death at age 33.

Whitney Hall

Joshua Whitney III played a key role in development of the area that is now known as the Triple Cities and is usually hailed as the founder of Binghamton. He was elected to the New York State Assembly as the first representative from the area. Whitney Point (in northern Broome County) is also named after him.

Historical Note:

Triple Cities College of Syracuse University was accepted into the SUNY system as Harpur College in 1950. It later changed its name to SUNY Binghamton when it became a University Center, and changed its name unofficially to Binghamton University in 1994.

Compiled by Giovanna Zeva, Special Collections Researcher; Edited and Amended by Jennifer Ostrom, Editor in Chief of Frontal Lobe 96-97, & Written by Peter Hubisz, Former Dickinson Resident ’93.



The Rafuse Red Dogs


Top Ten Reasons to Live in Rafuse Hall a.k.a. “The Dogpound”

As compiled by Kelly B., Jenny F., Mike M. & Tara S.

1.      We finally have a TV stand for our rec. lounge

2.     The Kum-ba-ya Offense

3.     The Rafuse Red Dogs/Dog Pound

4.     Best view of the Union Construction Area and Fences

5.     Wok, Wild & Wings (maybe)

6.     Piñata Parties

7.     2 South’s Dating Philosophy:  Keep it on the Floor

8.     The True Meaning of Co-Rec:  The Rafuse/Johnson Fun Bowl ‘98

9.     WWF Monday Night Raw-athons

10.                        GoldenEye Death Matches

Things likely to be heard in THE DOG POUND

Yeah, baby!!

She’s so scary!

She’s very cat-like

What’s up?!

You so crazy!

What’s “The Chart”?

I like ponies!

Woof, woof!

Go, Yankees!!!

Proximity mines in the Facility

Frequently Asked Questions about Rafuse Hall:

What is the Dog Pound?

The loving title given to Rafuse Hall by her loving residents.

Who are the Red Dogs?

The Red Dogs is the name used by residents participating in any organized event on behalf of Rafuse Hall.  This name is mainly used by the Rafuse Hall Co-Rec Football team.

What is Rafuse’s mascot?

The mascot of the Red Dogs is, ironically enough, a Red Bulldog.  This bulldog is strikingly similar to the University of Georgia bulldog mascot UGA V.

What’s with the Piñata?

One of our Co-Presidents, Tara S., is a big fan of the Piñata.  Rafuse even bought one for its fellow Dickinson halls, Johnson Hall, after they beat Champlain Hall in Co-Rec.




Digman Hall 1999

Digman is back and better than ever after being closed for about a year.  Nearly every room in Digman has received all new furniture.  All the students recently received new lamps.  Digman’s students and staff have all been wonderful.  The students are very enthusiastic about a fresh start.  We recently elected a new hall council, who is already busy coming up with ideas to improve the hall. The students have changed Digman’s color and mascot.  Digman is now home of the yellow devil’s.  Our hall council has also began fundraisers to buy a pool table for the Rime Cellar.  We are collecting bottles and we have asked the Student Association for assistance.  Another exciting happening in Digman is that the Rime Cellar is back in action with a new manager.  We are having open mic nights almost every Friday.  Students from all over Dickinson came for the last open mic event we had.  The attendance at open mic nights is certain to grow next semester with the restoration of the Visual and Performing Arts floor.  Currently, everyone in Digman is hoping to win Mutant Mania this year and show all the other halls that we are the foundation of Dickinson.





O’Connor Hall

Welcome to the current home of The Penthouse, Chem Free, The Block, The Basement, and CoRE!! With our six floors, a rich history and a great community, we are happy to say that we are O’Connor Hall!

O’Connor Hall has been the home to numerous special interest housing modules, most notably the long standing CoRE module (Computers, Robotics and Engineering, of course!). We’ve been the home for the Fitness Module, Social Awareness, CARE (Computers & Artificial Intelligence), Wellness, as well as others throughout our history. We’re also home to the ever-expanding Pseudopod, powered by CoRE, the only community and completely student run computer pod on campus. Our history with Special Interest Housing goes to prove that O’Connor is a place where people come together to live and learn!

We’re always leading the community in some way, whether having members of the DTC Eboard, having an ever-involved Hall Council, planning innovative programs, or just being ourselves. O’Connor has been one of the best places to be in Dickinson’s 40 years and we’re glad to say that we’re keeping with that tradition. We’re also proud to have the Dickinson Dark Room and the Dickinson Office as part of our hall.

We’re also happy to say that we took home the Mutant Mania trophy in 1998, the hall’s first win in Mania’s 12 year history, and we’re going to fight to keep it!

All in all, O’Connor is a great place to be. We have a rich history and we’re always striving to be better. You’ll always find people hanging out in the Rec. lounge, studying in the main lounge, or just hanging out in the hallways. Community is the most important part of life in O’Connor and the people here make the difference.

Congratulations Dickinson on 40 years… we’re glad to be a part of it and look forward to many, many more.



Big Johnson ’98-‘99

Johnson Hall – your home away from home! Johnson is always bustling with activity making it a great addition to the college experience. It is here that life-long friendships are formed. Whether it’s playing Co-Rec for the Big Johnson Oranges, participating in Assoxination, playing Trivial Pursuit in the RA office or “boarding” with your floormates at 2:00am, Johnson is the place where memories are made.




Champlain Hall

“Champlain Hall is a great place to live.” That is what the residents here would say. Our Champy family has come together to create a home away from home. This year we have played Simpsons Trivia, displayed our talents at Champlain Café, and hunted each other down in Assoxination. Together, we Chinchillas won the 1998 Co-Rec football season and Dickinson-wide College Bowl.

But more importantly, we have laughed together, studied together, cried together, and succeeded together. 1998-1999 has been a memorable year.



Whitney Hall

Whitney Hall is a dichotomous community where everyone is welcome. We pride ourselves in the fact that we are very individualistic, yet are there to support one another as friends. We work hard to keep our hall an established community with the best rec. lounge in Dickinson (and possibly the University), plenty of places to study alone or with others, and one of the best kept halls in the area. In the past decade Whitney has undergone many changes, from being a “quiet hall” on campus to being one of the most active halls with a very loud voice. In the past few years many Whitnians have gone on to be very involved in area government on campus and RA’s in both Dickinson and throughout the University. We are still the only hall to have an “Erotic week” of programs. When it comes down to competition, in the past few years we have been a top contender for the co-rec and mania trophies.   (Back to Table of Contents)


Last Updated: 1/24/19