Athletics : A-
Despite lackluster seasons from the Binghamton women’s lacrosse team and both basketball programs, three spring teams — men’s lacrosse, baseball and softball — put on an impressive campaign that featured several postseason runs and multiple broken records.
Men’s lacrosse had a tremendous bounceback season behind redshirt senior attack Tom Moore’s offensive prowess and BU head coach Kevin McKeown’s calls from the sidelines. The squad was nationally ranked for the first time since 2006, reached the conference championship for the first time since 2004 and improved its win total by seven.
Softball recorded another America East (AE) regular-season title and will try to repeat its 2015 championship run this weekend when it hosts the conference tournament. The Bearcats finished with seven all-conference picks, including a conference-best four first-team selections. Junior outfielder Jessica Rutherford carried the team from the batter’s box, ranking third in the AE with a .362 clip.
Baseball is poised to repeat as regular-season champions before seeking their fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament in six years. BU’s success is due in part to freshman second baseman Justin Drpich’s impressive rookie season.
The administration has come under fire this semester for failing to adequately address student concerns, most recently regarding its agreement to fund the installation of blue lights on the West Side of Binghamton. Its decision to re-explore uses of this funding was appropriate, but its choice to vacate the Couper Administration Building after it became occupied by protesters wasn’t. Avoiding the problem — literally or figuratively — will do nothing to gain the student body’s trust.
Degree Works/MyCourses: C-
Complaints about University technology are nothing new, but this year enough problems popped up for us to add it to our list. The University made the switch from Blackboard to MyCourses, and while Blackboard was nothing special, it definitely should not have been changed for the worse. Some students had to wait until the end of the semester to see all of their courses appear online. We’ve written in the past about how there needs to be more streamlined grading timelines in place at the University, with the regular posting of grades online. If MyCourses wasn’t even recognizing student registrations, how are we expected to move toward timely feedback?
Degree Works also has been especially unpredictable this year. Only toward the end of the semester did the site come with a warning message it was not working properly, and that many credits had not been transferred. For those trying to check degree progress for graduation, as well as for those looking to register for classes that satisfy requirements, this can pose more than one obstacle.
These online systems satisfy very basic needs for student success, and it is ridiculous that they have come with so many problems.
Student Association: B
The Student Association was largely static this semester, and for the body, no news is good news.
At the beginning of the semester, current SA President Nicholas Ferrara proposed legislation to simplify its operations and voting procedures, signaling an acknowledgement of what has long been a problem in the SA: unequal voting processes.
This change was put into practice during the SA elections for 2017-18, which occurred in March. The race for president, in particular, which featured an established executive board member against a relative outsider, was indicative of the association’s future direction. This race challenged the comfort of SA leaders and the assumption that their positions of power are guaranteed. With this event, and the results of the other SA races on that ballot, the SA seems poised for more positive change in the coming year.
Campus Dining Services: C+
Although Sodexo seemed to be doing well last semester with its permanent housing of Chick-N-Bap in the Marketplace, its contract ultimately led to a scandal that caused harm to the student body. Chick-N-Bap’s so-called lamb meat did not, in fact, contain any lamb at all; it was beef, which misled many customers, including students of the Hindu faith who are forbidden from consuming beef. Although Chick-N-Bap is run independently by a student, Sodexo is in charge of purchasing the popular spot’s ingredients and failed to properly oversee a business they helped create — at the expense of students.
Additionally, despite Sodexo’s B-Healthy initiative and health-oriented programs, we haven’t seen a great improvement in healthy campus dining options. Campus food continues to be primarily processed and unhealthy, while clean, nutritious food tends to be more expensive and less accessible.
Off-campus Housing: C+
There’s a greater sense of initiative on the part of residents and independent parties to police the deficiencies of individual unethical landlords, but by using everything from flyers to pilots, Binghamton’s giant apartment complexes have yet to halt their grab for students. But there might not be anymore students to take — and this could mean disaster on the horizon for Binghamton’s student housing market. UClub’s expansion still appears to be random at best, and by resorting to timeshare tactics to rent out their units — so are its marketing schemes. Gentrification in Binghamton’s Downtown and West Side still remains a threat, as does student safety — and the police doesn’t seem to be providing any peace of mind for some students.
SAPB – A
The SAPB did all that it could to give the students a great semester. It listened to student input, and really did its best to put on great events. Often, nature tried to rain on the parade, but the SAPB made consistently made arrangements or offered alternate programming when it did.