Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger delivered a press conference in the Couper Administration Building on Monday afternoon to offer a reward for information about the death of BU junior Stefani Lineva on early Saturday morning.
Originally, the amount was $10,000, and since then other sources have donated. Stenger said the University and the city are offering $5,000 each, and the University’s contribution comes from an endowment allocated for student emergency services from gifts and donations. Added donations came from anonymous Downtown businesses, the Newman Development Group, Thai Time Restaurant, Binghamton Hots, Woidt Engineering, anonymous Vestal businesses, 20 Hawley, The Union Hotel, Terry and Barbara Kane, Parents of a local BU student, Law Office of Battisti and Garzo P.C., Mark Yonaty, Dan and Jean Lindsey and Marty Kane.
Stenger discussed off-campus safety, using caution when crossing large roads and abiding by all traffic laws. He also urged students not to walk late at night along the parkway.
“When you’re new to the area, and you’re not familiar with the avenues and the highways you certainly could make a mistake,” he said. “We encourage to never travel alone, and to make sure you’re with a friend so situations like this never happen.”
Members of the BU tennis team, Stenger said, were Lineva’s closest friends during her time at BU. The University is working with the team for counseling services and class accommodations.
“No, we didn’t [cancel class],” he said. “The impact is to a group of students we know pretty well. Accommodations for students certainly are being pursued and we have a full staff of staff and faculty members working through class lists … calling to see if the students need some extra time or accommodations … we can work on an individual basis.”
Stenger said that he has spoken to Lineva’s mother. The University is talking with the tennis team and Lineva’s family for a potential memorial service sometime next semester.
“We’re still struggling with this kind of impossible thing to imagine,” he said. “It may take a little while to organize something as meaningful as possible.”
He ended the press conference by calling for patience throughout the investigation so officials can work diligently, and once again urging those who may have knowledge on the incident to come forward.
“That’s why you offer a reward: Somebody knows something,” he said. “Certainly, the person in the vehicle must know something, other people — something might have caught their eye but they didn’t know what it was — and I’m sure the police department and detectives and investigators are turning over every single stone in that area to try and find any records that can be used.”