Binghamton University students now have access to a new online tool, the Binghamton Support Network (BSN), a database with a plethora of information which can be useful for college students.

The BSN allows the BU community to quickly receive guidance about their struggles and connect them with campus resources, staff and organizations that may help. Users can choose from eight categories — academic, emotional, financial, mental health, physical, sex and relationships, social and spiritual — or search for a keyword in order to take a step toward settling specific dilemmas.

Johann Fiore-Conte, leader of the BSN project team, associate vice president for student affairs and chief health and wellness officer at BU, said the resource was launched early in the fall semester. Fiore-Conte said the drive behind the network’s creation was the difficulty students had in navigating BU’s many resources, often having trouble locating the best option to address their concerns.

“The Binghamton Support Network platform gives students one central place to search for and connect with the resources they need, regardless of what they’re looking for,” Fiore-Conte said. “This resource guide can also be used by University faculty and staff and family members who might want to know more about the services, on and off campus.”

Fiore-Conte gave an example of how someone could use the database.

“A student might search for time management,” Fiore-Conte said. “The resource would identify Student Transition and Success and the various academic advising offices on campus. Included is a description of the office/service, contact information, the tags noted in #1 and in some cases, a map for a visual guide to its location.”

After selecting a category or searching for a keyword, primary and secondary resources are listed — primary resources have a yellow star in the top left corner, while secondary resources are listed in alphabetical order. Resources also have labels in the top right corner, classifying some as “confidential,” “after hours” or “emergency.”

According to Katelyn Chen, an undeclared freshman, the organization of the database is easy to operate and helpful.

“Upon using the BSN, I observed that it was a very user-friendly interface, with results appearing almost instantaneously once clicking search,” Chen said. “Not only that, but the resources that pop up are plentiful. I was presented with multiple organizations and offices that could provide assistance.”

Chen also said the BSN shows progress toward recognizing the importance of mental health and makes it easier for students to tackle their problems instead of letting them persist.

“I believe this new resource is a step in the right direction to providing more awareness about mental health and sources of help for individuals who struggle with mental health,” Chen said. “In the case of struggling with mental health issues, academic struggles, financial assistance, etc, the BSN provides assistance for all areas.”

Hannah Baycura, a junior double-majoring in psychology and economics, agreed that the resource is a comprehensive tool and wished it had been available when she was an underclassman.

“I wish this resource had been available earlier,” Baycura said. “I could’ve had an easier time connecting with campus services and been more aware of all of the resources available.”

After trying out the BSN, Anna Aiello, an undecided freshman, said it was easy to find major topics and the format was simple and straightforward. However, they had a few suggestions to make the database helpful for users who may feel uncomfortable speaking directly to officials at the offices provided.

“One thing that I think could be added is brief paragraphs about each concern or struggle and commonly used practices/solutions to each,” Aiello said. “[Some students] may just want to read something therapeutic or find suggestions that way. Sometimes having to speak to someone over the phone will discourage them from getting help at all.”

Edmond Kwok, a senior majoring in economics, said he would use the BSN in the future for academic purposes. Kwok described his experience with the database.

“Clicking the link to go to academic services, I was given a very extensive list of specific problems that relate to academics, which surprised me,” Kwok said. “The amount of variety and inclusivity for each problem a student may have ensures almost total coverage of all student issues.”

Baycura was satisfied with this resource, saying she will use it to her advantage frequently.

“I will definitely use the BSN in the future if I have any questions or concerns,” Baycura said. “This looks like a good tool that simplifies the process for reaching out to campus resources.”

The Binghamton Support Network can be found here.