Binghamton University

Thursday, July 29, 2010

One Month To Go!

With just a month left of summer, I keep wondering to myself where the time went! It seems that this summer has gone by so fast- too fast!- as I still have many tasks left to complete on my ambitious to-do list I created in the beginning of the summer. While I may or may not complete ever single task on my long list- “Take a trip to Washington DC” may have to wait for that week off in September- I will need some down time to take a breather from the process. And what better way to relax than with two of Binghamton’s biggest hits: First Friday Art Walk and The Spiedie Fest! First Friday features some great art with free munchies and wine at almost all the venues. The Spiedie Fest features the famous Binghamton spiedie- ONLY found in Binghamton!- as well as a variety of vendors, live music, and a hot air balloon display. If you’re in or around the area, these are two fun things to do next weekend. First Friday takes place on Friday, August 6 while the Spiedie Fest runs from August 6 through August 8. So grab your friends, your appetite, and come to two of Binghamton’s best events!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Campus Safety

Campus Safety
Safety. It’s something we take for granted, and it only becomes an issue when it isn’t there. At Binghamton University, a variety of organizations work in harmony to ensure that 24/7/365, safety isn’t just a non-issue, but something you can truly be comfortable about.

Home to over 14,300 students and 3,000 faculty, Binghamton is essentially a small city. Safety on campus is such a huge topic, that I would spend way too much time trying to talk about every single organization! Instead, we’ll explore a few organizations and the steps they take to ensure safety is an ever-present feature of Binghamton’s campus.

Fully empowered, state law enforcement officers trained to address the needs unique to a college campus. Members of the University Police Department have the same authority as “typical” police, and also work with faculty, staff and students in residence halls and around campus to promote understanding and to educate about crime prevention. Calls to 911 placed on campus will immediately connect students to UPD, which also serves as the dispatch for Harpur’s Ferry.

You can reach UPD by calling x72393 (non-emergency, on campus) or at 607-777-2393 (non-emergency, off campus). In the event of ANY emergency, ALWAYS dial 911.

Consisting of over 140 student volunteers and community members, Harpur’s Ferry is tasked with quickly and professionally responding to EMS calls on campus. Harpur’s Ferry has two ambulances, two “fly-cars” and a variety of special purpose vehicles. One of less than a dozen Advanced Life Support (ALS)-equipped collegiate ambulance services in the country, Harpur’s Ferry was ranked as the #1 EMS agency in all of New York State (collegiate or not)  in 2005.


I explore Harpur’s Ferry more in-depth at this blog post.

You can reach Harpur’s Ferry on campus by dialing 911. You can reach Harpur’s Ferry off campus by dialing 607-777-3333 or by dialing 911 and requesting Harpur’s Ferry.

A division of UPD, the Safe Ride Program was established in 1985 to provide a safe method of transport to students during the late night hours. Safe Ride is coordinated by officers of UPD in addition to its student supervisor. Walking escorts are offered from 9PM to 1AM to and from anywhere on campus, and student drivers operate the Safe Ride van from 9PM to 3AM. You can arrange for a walking escort by calling the Safe Ride program, or you can wait along the Safe Ride route for a van pickup. Safe Ride also offers a walking escort service at the University Downtown Center, and can escort students to and from the UDC and the parking garage. Safe Ride ensures that students on campus can always receive a safe mode of transportation during the night hours.

safe ride route.jpg

You can call for a safe ride or campus walking escort by dialing 607-777-7233 (SAFE). To request a walking escort at the UDC, dial 607-777-9250.

Of course, there’s a lot more to safety at Binghamton than just the above organizations! All residence halls are locked 24/7 and require a key card for access. From midnight until 5AM, all gates on campus except for the main entrance are closed to vehicular traffic. Only vehicles with a current Binghamton University parking permit and Binghamton University ID are allowed entry. Scattered throughout campus are 60 highly visible “blue light phones” which are an immediate connection to UPD. To read about the myriad safety initiatives on our campus, check this link out.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What the heck should I bring?


There are 2 types of college students: those that pack way too much and those that pack way too little. It’s hard to get that happy medium, but after a year of college at Bing, I can say I’ve successfully mastered the art of dorm room packing. Below, you’ll find a list of what you should and shouldn’t bring. I hope it helps!

1. COMFY BEDDING AND EXTRA BLANKETS: Sure, it may seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised at how many people come to college with insufficient bedding. They have these great little kits nowadays that have a comforter, sheets, pillows, etc. I highly recommend getting that. I did, and it worked out quite well. Not only is it cheaper than if you bought each piece separately, but you don’t have to go to multiple stores buying all of the components. Now, if you’re anything like me, you get cold at night. I would definitely recommend bringing an extra blanket or two. Winter in Binghamton is pretty cold, and you’re better bringing an extra blanket that you don’t use than not having a blanket if you need one.
2. BEDSIDE LAMP: They’re really great to use if your roommate wants to go to bed and you don’t.
3. FAN: During the summer nights, it gets pretty warm in the room. You may wanna bring a fan to cool off.
4. FRIDGE/MICROWAVE: Ok, so it’s not a NECESSITY, but they’re really nice to have. The school rents out fridges or fridge/microwaves semesterly or yearly. (You can check that out here) Personally, I think it’s a better deal to just buy a fridge, that way you have it for all four years. But it’s entirely up to you smile
5. CLOSET ORGANIZER: Alright, so once again, not an ESSENTIAL item, but it definitely comes in handy for extra storage. Whether it be one of those nifty hanging down shoe/clothes rack or a storage drawer, you’ll find it extremely helpful in fitting all your stuff in the room.
6. TOILETRIES AND SHOWER SHOES: Don’t forget them! An extra pair of cheap flip flops from target’ll do. You’ll seriously regret not buying a pair if you don’t. Oh, and those handy bathroom stuff holders are really nice, too. (I got mine at walmart for $5. ( winkwink nudgenudge)
7.LAUNDRY DETERGENT: Going to Binghamton has its perks, like FREE LAUNDRY. I kid you not, it’s entirely free, well the machines are at least. You still have to supply your own soap and dryer sheets. Oh, and random fact: you can check and see if a dryer/washing machine in your building is free at It’s pretty nice for all us lazy folk. wink
8. ALARM AND WALL CLOCK: Not many people think of it, but a wall clock in your room is really handy. You can get one at target or walmart for like $4. It’s definitely worth it. Oh, and you might wanna get an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning. Unfortunately, mom and dad can’t really do that anymore.
9. CLOTHES HANGERS: I forgot them first semester. No joke.
10. FIRST AID KIT: So, my mom was a total wreck when I went to college. (Her firstborn was “growing up”) Anyway, she insisted that I get a first aid kit for my room. At first, I got one just to make her happy, but I soon began to realize that it really WAS beneficial. She stuffed it with bandaids, aspirin, tums, etc, and I can truthfully say that I used it a fair share of times throughout my first year.
11. STICKY TACK: A lot of people don’t know that they’re allowed to put up posters and decorations in the room IF they don’t tear up the walls. I bought a cheap thing of sticky tack from the dollar tree and used it to put up all my pictures and posters.
12. BOOTS: And NOT Uggs. I mean, yeah, you can bring those, but bring a pair of heavy duty boots as well…it snows a lot in Bing.
13. DRESS CLOTHES: I’m in the engineering department, and first semester we had to dress professionally for one of our presentations. A lot of students had to go out and buy button downs and such. Bring at least one pair of nice pants/skirt and a blouse/button down, just in case.
14.BROOM: The floors are tile. Need I say more?
15. DESK SUPPLIES: I over prepared for college, buying markers, crayons, post-its, a stapler, paper, you name it, I had it. I don’t regret it at all. The more desk supplies you bring, the better. You’ll use them, I promise. It’s nicer to have a stapler at your desk than to walk ALL the way down to the library to use one.
16.STAMP/ENVELOPES: If your parents are anything like mine, they love to hear from you. Do them a favor and write every once in a while.
18.WHITEBOARD: Cause it’s fun getting messages on your door from friends wink
20. YOUR BRIGHT AND CHEERY ATTITUDE: Haha, you knew the last one would be something like this. raspberry But seriously, get pumped, college is pretty much the best time ever.

Well, I hope that helped. Enjoy your dorm room shopping. :D See you this fall!


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Hey guys!
For those who don’t know me (and I’d venture to guess that the vast majority of you guys don’t), I’m Amber. I did formal introductions last year, my first semester at good old Binghamton. (If you’re at all interested, you can visit here) I’ll skip the boring parts and give you the low down
Like I said, I’m Amber. I’m a sophomore at Bing, majoring in Bioengineering and attempting to fulfill the requirements needed for med school. I’m a tour guide at our lovely school and I’m Assistant Student Recruitment Coordinator of the Student Ambassadors program. (You should seriously consider joining our group…it’s a great way to promote the school while meeting tons of awesome people :D ) You can usually find me in the dining hall eating our delicious Sodexo food or in the library studying for physics. (blech)
Alrighty, enough about me! I just wanted to welcome all of you newbies to the school…I hope you enjoy your time here (I just know you will) If you ever see me around, be sure to say hello! For now, check out the site, buy your dorm stuff, and enjoy your summer!

See you soon!
Amber Ferger

PS. If you have any questions, be sure to IM the Binghamton aim account. A representative is on Monday thru Friday from 4-11PM… so there’s plenty of time for you to get on and ask your questions!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Moroccan Adventure!

Hey everyone! I hope your summers are treating you well and you are enjoying all the treats that summer has to offer- sun and yummy ice cream smile I also hope you are taking some time out to explore different places and travel a bit, whether it is a trip to a destination in the U.S. or one to a foreign country. I recently took a trip to Morocco to visit my good friend who has been studying there for a year. It was an adventure indeed! After 7 long hours of not sleeping on the airplane (because for some reason I can NEVER sleep on airplanes), I arrived in Casablanca and hopped right on the train to Marrakech. We spent one night in Marrakech then proceeded to Essaouira, a beautiful seaside town along the Atlantic Coast.

My friend and I in Essaouira

From there, we hopped on the train again (lots of train hopping in my journey, as it is the easiest way to travel in Morocco), this time heading to Fes. The medina in Fes was my absolute favorite. You can just get lost for hours and hours wondering the wonderful streets, browsing the spectacular jewels, clothing, and leather goods that are for sale. I could have stayed there forever!

The tanneries in Fes

Next, we ventured on to the capital, Rabat, where we met up with some of my friend Katherine’s awesome friends. They took us to the kasbah, which overlooked the Atlantic, and also the beautiful gardens nearby. We also danced the night away at the Mawazine Music Festival, which features artists from all around the world. This year the bigger artists included Elton John, Sting, and Santana. Although I didn’t get to see these artists, I did get to listen and dance to some great African music from two bands, one from Nigeria and one from Mali. The music was unbelievable and the costumes the band members wore were exquisite (such vibrant colors and intricate details!). I am a big fan of African music and, as I am involved in the African Music and Dance Ensemble on campus, it was great to hear live music and to see live dancing. All in all, these two nights we spent at Mawazine were by far my two favorite nights in Morocco!


Before I knew it, it was time for me to go home. I spent my last day in Casablanca, where my friend and I discovered the best falafel place-rightfully named “Best Falafel”- and spent some time at Rick’s Cafe, the cafe from “Casablanca” (although the film wasn’t actually filmed there). I think that everyone should have a Moroccan adventure at least once in their lifetime! The country is full of rich history, friendly people, and delicious food- couscous with chicken and crepes with honey and butter are my favorite! It is easy and inexpensive to travel around and many people know English (although if you know French, like I do, or Arabic you can certainly use those too!). So get out there and explore the world smile

Happy travels,

Friday, July 09, 2010

Summer in Binghamton

As everyone’s finals wrapped up and I watched my friends drive away for the summer, it was a bitter-sweet experience. My junior year was over and knowing that I had only my senior year left was daunting - but I barely had time to be sad!

My summer consists of staying in Binghamton and working. I work for Admissions as a Tour Guide and at the Front Desk helping prospective students find out if Binghamton is the right fit. I work at a local art, history and science museum on the West side of Binghamton. I also do work for the Student Association as the Executive Vice President by educating new students on ways to get involved (we’ve got over 200 student groups and organizations)!

I’ve also started studying for the GREs (I haven’t done this kind of math since high school… help)!! It’s crazy to think that my days at Binghamton are numbered, but I have my experiences, memories, and friendships so that I can keep them with me always.

For now, I’ll be working, studying, and having fun during my summer in Binghamton. There are hundreds of students here working and taking classes and always something going on. Today I will attend July Fest, a summer celebration in Downtown Binghamton complete with a Jazz Festival. This is my second summer in Binghamton and I am so happy to be spending it here. smile


Binghamton University's Admissions Blog is written by current students for students considering, applying, transferring and enrolling. Here you will find real-life points of view and personal opinions about campus life, classes, faculty and more! The opinions expressed by the bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the university. So, if you want to read more about Binghamton University students, you've come to the right place.