“BU pharmacy students serve as frontline workers in COVID-19 vaccination initiative”

By Chloe Van Caeseele, published Feb. 22, 2021

When the COVID-19 vaccination initiative began, faculty and pharmacy students at Binghamton University mobilized and joined frontline workers at COVID-19 vaccination clinics. According to this article, out of the approximately 225 BU students certified to vaccinate patients by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), “around 125 of those students [worked] or [volunteered] their time to protect individuals from the pandemic.” Students were able to learn about how to run vaccination clinics, practice vaccinating and informing the public and see firsthand how to apply the skills they’ve learned.

“BU’s Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity holds first meeting of Truth and Reconciliation Commission”

By Nicole Marks Kaufman, published March 4, 2021

The BU Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity held six total sessions for its Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to discuss the University’s history and what can be done for the students and surrounding communities’ benefit in the future. Both students and faculty attended the first session, where they spoke before an 11-member panel. This article notes that these sessions were private, or exclusive, to members of the BU community, specifically “faculty, staff, students and alumni.” Additionally, “community members who just want to make recommendations to further reparations and reconciliation at BU are welcome as well.” Anne Bailey, the director of the Tubman Center and a professor of history, said that the people who choose to testify “do not need to have been the victim of a racial incident in order to participate.”

“Hillside students removed from housing to accommodate students in quarantine, isolation”

By Riccardo Monico, published March 7, 2021

When faced with rising COVID-19 cases among students at BU, the administration relocated students in apartment communities to make room for quarantine housing. BU said its decision to relocate Hillside Community students was based on an already low occupancy of about 50 percent capacity. Those relocating on campus were given a 25 percent discount on housing. Students relocating or moving back home reported the abrupt move was characterized by belated communication, disruptions in social lives and an incident with bed bugs that was inadequately dealt with.

“BU sociology department sponsors Anti-Racist Town Hall”

By Gavin Barrett, published April 22, 2021

After a racially charged incident in a discussion class for Sociology 100: Social Change: Intro to Sociology, where a student made racist and sexist remarks about an African American teaching assistant (TA), course instructor Joshua Price, professor and chair in the sociology department, and Gladys Jiménez-Muñoz, associate professor and undergraduate director of sociology, spoke with the TA and used the next few class sessions to discuss racism and racial discrimination. Following the incident, the sociology department, along with the Black Student Union (BSU), Latin American Student Union (LASU), Asian Student Union (ASU), Binghamton Pan Asian Leaders Council (BPALC) and the Graduate Employee Student Union (GSEU) partnered to host a town hall. The event, which BU students and Binghamton residents attended, provided people with the ability to discuss past events of racism in the University and town as a whole. Both current undergraduate and graduate students, along with alumni, used the town hall as an opportunity to discuss their experiences with racism and discrimination.

“Violence, Abuse and Rape Crisis Center to be located in Old Johnson Hall”

By Julia Match, published Feb. 17, 2021

This semester, BU introduced a new service — the Violence, Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (VARCC) — in response to student demands for reform of campus policies regarding sexual violence. The VARCC is located on the third floor of Old Johnson Hall. Students who visit VARCC have access to many resources and services under one roof. These include access to the dean of students, Title IX Office, the Crime Victims Assistance Center (CVAC), Residential Life and more. BU administration said they worked collaboratively with students and student organizations to implement VARCC. Student organizations like the Women’s Student Union (WSU), which produced a list of demands including the creation of an organization like VARCC, advocated for more transparency regarding VARCC’s creation. Students agreed with the decision to create VARCC, but expressed concerns about VARCC’s professional ability to meet survivors’ needs and address the root of the problem of sexual violence.

“One year later: The COVID-19 pandemic at Binghamton University in retrospect”

By Mark Kotowicz, Chloe Van Caeseele and Solana McKee, published March 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the entirety of BU and the student community. This article is a snapshot of the changes BU made in response to the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation. From faculty and administration to students leaving campus and rising positive COVID-19 tests, the whole of BU had responsibilities in responding to the pandemic. Resident assistants (RAs) were given more monitoring responsibilities, including writing up students in violation of COVID-19 guidelines. An anonymous source reported that this altered RA role created walls between what used to be a more relaxed relationship of students and their RAs. Professors had to quickly adapt their classrooms to the virtual world. The University dealt with COVID-19 testing expenses, housing infected or exposed students, remote learning and services and deciding what were “essential” campus services. BU President Harvey Stenger said he was proud of the campus and community and expected a return to normalcy by fall 2021 or spring 2022. Recent announcements seem to support Stenger’s predictions in March, having informed students all classes will be in person for the fall 2021 semester.

“BPALC, ASU hold ‘Binghamton Stop Asian Hate Crimes’ rally”

By Makoto Toyoda, published April 7, 2021

With a rise in anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Binghamton Pan Asian Leaders Council (BPALC) and the Asian Student Union (ASU) held a “Binghamton Stop Asian Hate Crimes Rally,” with over 500 people attending the event. The event began with speakers discussing their experience being Asian American. Speakers included John Liu, ‘89, New York state senator and ASU founder, and Aviva Friedman, ‘14, councilwoman of Binghamton’s fourth district. The rally garnered support from over 40 student organizations as student speakers called out the University for its lack of action. The rally also included a march around campus, starting and ending at the Peace Quad.

“Campus Citizen Review Board begins research into UPD policies, procedures”

By Julia Match, published April 8, 2021

BU’s Campus Citizen Review Board (CCRB) started reviewing the policies and practices of BU’s New York State University Police (UPD). They were required to submit recommendations to BU President Harvey Stenger by the end of the spring 2021 semester. Myra Sabir, co-chair of the CCRB and associate professor of human development, “gave the example of police bias training as an area that needs more research, as she said she believes prior research has not paid enough attention to the emotional aspects of bias.” Jabari Randolph, a CCRB member and a senior majoring in human development, said the board should work toward reducing police power and presence while making the community safer.