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| I transferred from a community college to Binghamton. The overall quality of education was higher at the community college, with a more enthusiastic and motivated student body and faculty. My experience at Binghamton left me with a diminished respect for academic titles and skeptical the value of university education in general. My impression was that instead of creating a nurturing environment for learning, the faculty is either too depressed to care or is insecure about the fact that the school really is not all that it is cracked up to be in the promotional literature, so they compensate by trying to make things unnecessarily unpleasant. The campus is unattractive and utilitarian. None of the classrooms in the engineering building have windows in them, so you can't even stare out the window when a monotonous lecture is making you crazy. I stayed in a CIW dorm room for one night during orientation. It was filled with a stale, salty smell reminiscent of warm autolyzed yeast extract. I don't see how anybody could stay there for an entire semester. My impression of the student body is that somewhere around 90% is either Jewish (from Long Island or the city) or of Asian descent. This is probably where the "public Ivy" notion comes from. Being that I am not Jewish or Asian, and these groups seemed to be cliquish, this was a definite negative for me. |
The Binghamton city-scape and surrounding area is a mix of old neighborhoods, empty buildings and other relics comprising a post-industrial wasteland. Downtown Binghamton is small, but it is not that bad for what it is. Recreation Park and Otsiningo Park are both nice. Houses and other buildings are generally old. My impression from my trips to Giant (the major grocery store chain) is that many of the locals rely on welfare to meet their basic needs. Although I don't think Binghamton is particularly dangerous, I did experience an attempted break-in to my car, witness about 8 kids working together to steal a locked up bike, and a car-to-car shooting in front of my building. I was regularly asked for a dollar, "ten cent" or a cigarette when I went for a walk. For an authentic slice of American slum life Kennedy Fried Chicken on Main St. is not to be missed. Fried chicken, crack pipes, and Newports all in one convenient location, served to you from behind bulletproof glass, with a bewildering array of surveillance cameras tracking your every movement in the ultra-futuristic dining area.
ON THE OTHER HAND:To be fair, I had a handful of genuine, helpful, and enthusiastic professors whose friendly demeanor and positive attitude made all the difference in the classroom. When the weather is nice in Binghamton, it is usually very nice. Vestal has very pleasant neighborhoods, and there are plenty of nicer areas than where I lived in Binghamton, including some very modern lofts downtown. Prices vary a lot, and you get what you pay for. There are a lot of local events (like Spiedie Fest and hot air balloon rally if you are there in the summer) and there are minor league baseball and hockey teams. There are also concerts at venues like Magic City Music Hall in Johnson City, and Broome County Arena on a regular basis. There is a bowling alley. There are art galleries, and an art theater. Greek Peak is only a short drive for skiing and snowboarding. You can fish in the rivers (I saw huge trout there) right in downtown. If you have a canoe or a kayak, you can use them in the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers. There are a couple gun clubs with shooting ranges in the area. I imagine the hunting is good in the surrounding area based on the number of deer I saw. Of course there are movie theaters, bars, and even a hookah bar. There is a head shop on court street. There really is no shortage of things to do in Binghamton, you just have to avoid letting the weather and urban decay discourage you. Though I didn't take advantage of these things, my advice is to make some friends and get a place off-campus with them, get a car even if you don't use it to get to campus (parking is terrible), don't make a high GPA your priority (have fun, you will get better grades and be happier that way anyway) and be active in seeking the recreational activities you desire. Binghamton is not sunny southern California, and it is not Manhattan, but it has plenty to offer for those willing to embrace it.
|Dec 13 2008|| 2nd Year Male --
Class 2008 |
| my god, this place is hell. I can not beleive i have to spend 3 more years here. WOW, i cant properly display my distaste for this school. Please dont come here,... there is a reason why we have the unhappiest college students year after year. This is the worst decision i have ever made. If you are generally friendly and social... and like to think about things/have a good time/ and create memories..... FOR THE LOVE FO GOD, DONT COME HERE |
|Jun 14 2006|| Male --
Class 2000 |
| Binghamton University resembles my high school back on Long Island. Since it is a SUNY, it is filled with New Yorkers (mainly Long Island). People are close-minded, arrogant, self-centered, and spoiled. The only diversity on campus is a great number of Asian Americans who keep to themselves. The other minorities follow this pattern of seclusion and makes for an unfortunate homogeneous student body. If you're looking for a bubble filled with clones, you have found your college. |
|Feb 16 2006|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2009 |