Here's some words of wisdom about on-campus housing at Binghamton:
People don't really reach out to you much here. If you are not outgoing it is difficult to make friends and don't expect to have a social circle by your 2nd semester. The four dorm communities (College-in-the-Woods [CIW], Hinman, Dickinson, and Newing) are extraordinarily different from each other. To sum it up, CIW is everyone's favorite dorm, it's the newest one and has unarguably the nicest, most normal students. Dickinson is pretty crummy aesthetically, and is houses mostly studious types. I don't know much about Hinman.
Now Newing. Newing is the epitome of JAPpyness, brattiness, and childish cliques. This is where I live. I requested to be in CIW. I am a freshman, i.e. a piece of crap to be tossed into a heap of shit, according to the BU administration. They asked me to rank these 4 communities, and Newing was #4. I was thrown in Newing. I am a relatively shy but nice person, and I have yet to make a single friend. People in my dorm are nauseating, loud, obnoxious, and all from Long Island. Newing is frat-dominated. Now I have nothing wrong with frat parties and getting wrecked every weekend - that's the only thing I can find to do on weekends in this desolate area - but frat boys are not people I want to be friends with. Drinking buddies, fine. Friends?
I find it funny how the Binghamton website says something along the lines of "we have students from x number of states and all these different countries of the world." You'll find as many out of staters here as you'll find people who are 7'4". In fact while Staten Island is something like 2% of New York State's population, it's about 10% of the campus. Similarly, while Long Island is 15% of the state, it's 26% of the campus.
People here are vapid, lifeless, and lack school spirit. Long Islanders often seem like they're from a different planet than me, while I'm only 1/2 hr away in lower Westchester. This is not the first time I've noticed that people from LI tend to be a bit cold and often cruel.
Other Advice: The food blows here. It's improved a little now (Spring 2003) since Dickinson dining hall got sushi, and it's really good. The Food Court is decent. They have about 100 different forms of chicken, and they all are tasteless. In fact you may find that you're only eating to stay alive, as you will not derive much pleasure from the food here. If you want good food order from Adriano's.The walk to class is typically 10-15 minutes each way, three times a day on average, and combined with the effects of the bad food, the so-called "Freshman 15" probably won't apply to anyone at Binghamton.