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Ask A Current Student!

orcasand0wlsorcasand0wls Posts: 81Registered User Junior Member
edited May 2009 in SUNY at Binghamton
Hey everyone! I'm seeing lots of chances threads lately, and I figured I'd offer myself up to answer the other sort of questions: the ones about campus life, getting involved, the dorms, the food, etc. If anyone wants to ask anything like that, I'd be happy to try and answer. It's only my 1st semester here, but I'm pretty involved on campus. If I don't have an answer, I'll try to ask friends who might know more.

Hope I can be of some help!
Post edited by orcasand0wls on
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Replies to: Ask A Current Student!

  • PerfectedxchaosPerfectedxchaos Posts: 872Registered User Member
    I feel the same way orcasand0wels does. I'm a first semester freshman, but I would love to answer your questions. Feel free to respond this thread or PM me.
  • DuperDuper Posts: 1,125- Senior Member
    How would you convince someone that Bing is awesome?
  • orcasand0wlsorcasand0wls Posts: 81Registered User Junior Member
    Honestly? I would tell them about my life here. I'm taking a bunch of great classes that are interesting, with professors who genuinely enjoy teaching. When I'm not in class, I've got tons of extracurriculars to fill my time: I'm an apprentice DJ and a writer for the campus radio news, I go to the Women's Student Union, I lector at Catholic Mass on Sundays, I work at the Food Co-op, I write for a magazine, I go to the Irish Student Union, I might be checking out the Snow Cats, our skiing/snowboarding club. And I'm not some sort of crazy over-achiever. Binghamton makes it really easy to get involved in a whole bunch of activities, and to meet new people. I was really scared that meeting people would be hard, but there's so much to do here, and that's a great way to make friends. If you're looking, there is probably an activity for you. Religious, sports, cultural, media, whatever. And if they don't have it, you can start it. We've also got a flipping amazing Nature Preserve on campus, which enhances the beauty factor by a whole lot. Some of campus is not so pretty, but the Nature Preserve completely makes up for that, it's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen on a college campus. There's also an active Greek life on campus, if you're into that sort of thing (I'm not).

    I really think that Binghamton has something for everyone, which is why it's awesome.

    Anything more specific than that that I can help you with?
  • esgeeesgee Posts: 488Registered User Member
    Real basic questions but could you describe dining halls and dorms?
  • orcasand0wlsorcasand0wls Posts: 81Registered User Junior Member
    There are five residence communities on campus, each with between four and six buildings.

    Dickinson and Newing are the farthest from the academic buildings. They're also the oldest, but they are in the process of constructing the "new" Dickinson and Newing, so they will be looking much nicer in the not too distant future. These two communities are strictly corridor-style living, which is what you generally see in movies about college: room doors open onto a hall, and there are common bathrooms. I believe floors are co-ed. Bathrooms are single sex, I know that for sure. Each has their own dining hall. I've never eaten at Newing. Dickinson (or "The Dick", is it's commonly called) is alright. It has the best salad bar of all the dining halls. Newing has a reputation for being party central, many of the people who live there end up involved in Greek life. Dickinson's reputation is a quieter, more studious dorm. Dickinson is the closest community to the gym, and it's also very near to the Student Union - it's the only residential community inside "the brain", the main road that loops through campus.

    College in the Woods (CIW) is the next one over. It's close to the center of campus, very near to the Student Union and not too far from the academic buildings. CIW has a Tex-Mex station in it's dining hall: quesadillas, burritos, nachos, tacos, etc. The food there is pretty good. The living style is mixed suites and corridors. Suites are two or three bedrooms with a shared bathroom and common room. If girls are living in the suites on one floor, boys will be living in the corridor rooms. CIW is fairly social. It has a reputation as the "hippie" dorm, I think, meaning that lots of people there smoke marijuana.

    Mountainview is next over, though it is up higher (hence the name, "Mountainview"!). It has the nicest dining hall on campus. Mountainview is all suites, air-conditioned, and the most recently built dormitory on campus. As such, it is the hardest to get into as a freshman. I don't especially like Mountainview, it seems cold and less social to me. It has a reputation for attracting both Greek life people and jocks.

    Hinman is my home sweet home. It's closest to the academic buildings. The dining hall is pretty good, I'm generally content to eat here (though I do go to CIW about once a week for nachos!). We have the best late-night dining. The Hinman Night Owl is open until 4 AM on Friday and Saturday night. Hinman, like Mountainview, is all suites. The rooms are on the small side, but after moving some furniture around, my roommate and I managed to find a layout we both like that makes the room feel larger. One of the downsides to Hinman is that it's (relatively) far from the Student Union. I'm very glad to be close to the academic buildings, though, especially as it gets colder.

    There are also two apartment communities, but only sophomores and up can live in them. Susquehanna is closer to campus, has 24-hour quiet hours, and larger kitchens. Hillside is where many of the on-campus parties are at. It's a hike from the academic buildings (about 15 minutes, maybe a bit more), but there's a shuttle that runs from the union to Susquehanna, Hillside and Mountainview. I think it comes every 20 minutes or so during peak times, and once an hour late at night.

    If you need clarification about anything, please let me know!
  • orcasand0wlsorcasand0wls Posts: 81Registered User Junior Member
    Oh! You can also check Binghamton Dining Services - Menu Calendars to get an idea of what the daily menus are like. Just click any month under "resident dining menus", choose a day, and you can see what the food is. CIW and Hinman both have an "International" station, Hinman has a "Garden" station which makes REALLY GOOD vegan food, Appalachian (the Mountainview dining hall) features an Asian Fusion station which is supposed to be yummy.
  • esgeeesgee Posts: 488Registered User Member
    Wow, thanks so much for your very thorough answer! :)
  • orcasand0wlsorcasand0wls Posts: 81Registered User Junior Member
  • PerfectedxchaosPerfectedxchaos Posts: 872Registered User Member
    I personally believe Newing has the best salad bar.
    I would expand such as orcasand0wls has, but I got to run to class.
    Just thought I'd put my two cents in.
  • esgeeesgee Posts: 488Registered User Member
    Thought of another couple of questions...

    Considering Bing is a state school, there's obviously a bigger population than non-state schools--does that lead to more cliques since it's impossible to get to know everyone? Is there a less unified social scene?

    On the other hand, state schools are also known to be more rah-rah (haha very eloquent, I know) about school spirit--is that true for Bing?

    Would you characterize Bing as rural or suburban? I don't really know what the town of Binghamton is like and I don't think I'll be able to visit so I was wondering if the entire town is basically just the college campus with a few stores or if there is a town/city community nearby that is separate from the Bing community.

    Really appreciate all your answers so far, orcasand0wls, you've been very helpful! :)
  • rodneyrodney Posts: 9,406Registered User Senior Member
    esgee: I graduated in 1980 but I think my perspective is still true today....I don't know what it is about Binghamton, but it doesn't really feel like a big school....the dorms are together; you meet tons of people from different dorms and nothing feels distant.

    School spirit: I will let the others discuss; In the 1970's we did not have any NCAA sports at all, so I'm sure it's different now.
  • orcasand0wlsorcasand0wls Posts: 81Registered User Junior Member
    I agree with Rodney. Bing is a large school (~11,000 undergrads), but it doesn't feel huge. There are some cliques, I guess. I'm a radio station member, and when I first joined the station I felt like a bit of an outsider. But really, that could happen in any organization. But campus just doesn't feel big, I honestly feel like I know people in all sorts of groups here.

    I would not characterize Bing as especially "rah-rah", but then I don't pay much attention to athletics. I'm not a sports girl at all. I know men's soccer has a decent following up here. I think the lack of a football team results in having less to rally around as a school. But there were plenty of events for homecoming, and lots of alums came back to visit, so there's definitely some spirit here! Most home games are free to undergrads with a valid student ID. I know plenty of people who have gone to a game or two and they all say they've had fun.

    Is Binghamton rural or urban? I tell people that Binghamton is a college in an industrial town, where most of the industry has gone. When I go downtown, I feel like I'm in a bit of a timewarp, the place sometimes feels left behind. But there is a revival going on! A new independent bookstore just opened (River Read Books, it's great), there's a sushi place opening up, there are some cafes (my favorite is Cyber Cafe West). Nearer to the university, there are lots of chain restaurants (Denny's, Friendly's, Moe's, Olive Garden), grocery stores, a WalMart, Target, a movie theater, a Barnes & Nobel. There's a small independent movie theater, as well. Binghamton also has a number of art galleries, which are generally open to the public free of charge on the first Friday of every month, as part of a celebration of the downtown area. There are things to do here on a Friday other than go to parties and drink, if that's what you're worried about. It can take a little searching, but alternatives do exist!
  • iamhereiamhere Posts: 517Registered User Member
    1)
    Considering Bing is a state school, there's obviously a bigger population than non-state schools
    well, maybe its bigger than non-state schools you may be looking at, but there are plenty of popular larger private schools -- Boston University, NYU, Northeastern, USC, Cornell, Syracuse.
    and if you want smaller, SUNY's can provide that also -- Geneseo, New Paltz are both very fine schools with populations comparable to many private schools.
    and Binghamton is smaller than the other SUNY university centers and what people often think of as large state schools (eg. Maryland, Wisconsin)

    Will you know everyone at Binghamton? Of course not -- there are over 11,000 undergraduates. But you'll have plenty of chances to meet people to form your social group. The dorms are a good starting point -- the residential communities help make things feel smaller -- students really identify with their community. Add to that a whole range of clubs where you can find people with like interests, plus your classes -- you'll have a chance to meet plenty of people. But you have to make the effort -- put yourself out there and not just sit around your dorm. Not everyone at Binghamton is alike -- chances are you'll be able to find a group you feel comfortable with -- not because you get stuck in a cliche, but just because out of 11,000 students, you're going to have to find the subgroup(s) you choose to be with.

    2) re the rah rah factor -- Binghamton is now Division 1, but hasn't been for very long time. So it doesn't have the rah rah history of a U of Michigan or U of Maryland or UConn by any means. But if you want to enjoy the sports -- its there and there are others who'll be interested. I guess I'd say, its there if you want it, but if you don't you won't have it in your face.

    3) rural v. surburban -- Great question. Answer probably depends on who you ask. The campus itself is in Vestal which is a suburb of the City of Binghamton. Vestal itself is very much like your typical suburban area with all the chain stores and restaurants you can imagine -- Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes and Nobles, Friendly's, Uno's, Denny;s etc. All of which is easy to get to from campus on campus buses. There is also a typical suburban mall (Oakdate Mall) fairly nearby, also on a campus bus route. The City of Binghamton itself is a real city -- but nothing like NYC, or even any of the other larger cities in NYS. So if you come from a more rural area, you may consider that you are going to suburia with a real city nearby. If you come from the NYC metro area, you may consider yourself to be in the middle of nowhere (though truth be told, if you think that you should go check out Geneseo to see what "middle of no where" REALLy means! ;) ) It depends on what you are looking for as to whether you'll be happy with what Binghamton has to offer.
  • weldonweldon Posts: 537Registered User Member
    I have heard that there is somewhat of an upstate/downstate rift at binghamton and that there are so many down-state people on campus that up-state kids can feel alienated and left out. Is there any truth in this? I know it is tough to generalize but pls. give it a try.
  • esgeeesgee Posts: 488Registered User Member
    Thanks everyone for your answers! Very insightful.
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