President's Report Masthead
March 31, 2015

Dean of Students

Spike Lee discusses love of filmmaking

There is no bigger blessing than pursuing what you love, filmmaker Spike Lee told Binghamton University students during a talk Feb. 19 at the Events Center.

“I was lucky. I worked hard, but I was lucky,” the writer/director/actor said. “I don’t say: ‘I found film.’ I say: ‘Film found me.’

“A lot of (students) get tripped up thinking that the major they choose is the one that is going to make them the most money. Big mistake. Find out what it is that you love.”

Lee noted that he doesn’t need an alarm clock for a 6 a.m. film shoot. “I wake up because I know I am going to have fun. When you have a job you hate, you need a crane to get [yourself] out of bed!”

Lee, who has made acclaimed movies such as Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X and Jungle Fever, spoke to 700 students and community members as part of Black History Month. The free talk was sponsored by Campus Activities; the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the Multicultural Resource Center; and the Student Association Vice President for Multicultural Affairs.

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Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) initiatives

The Division of Student Affairs continues its work to implement the SUNY Policies on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (SVPP). As noted in the December 31, 2014, President’s Quarterly Report, 100 percent of student affairs staff have participated in first-responder training. Additionally, our peer-based 20:1 prevention and bystander programs remain in high demand and updates have been made to the Code of Student Conduct, including changes to the University’s sexual assault policies, updated definitions to be consistent with federal law and additional transparency in our process. The Student Conduct Participant Guide that was developed and is available on the Web and will be updated as necessary.

Since then, additional changes have been recommended for the Code of Student Conduct to define affirmative consent in sexual misconduct policies, provide an amnesty policy for code violations reported as part of a sexual misconduct investigation, update the definition of harassment, adhere to a single standard of evidence – preponderance of evidence – for all code violations, and update the preamble to the code to reflect the values and aspirations of community membership. All changes to the code must be adopted by the Binghamton University Council, which will address these recommendations at its April 17, 2015 meeting.

    • Posters including the Survivor Bill of Rights have been posted throughout campus and, with the support of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is being translated into other languages appropriate for the campus population.
    • Options for Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence, which were updated in June 2014, will be reviewed and updated each summer.
    • Outside of confidential reports, in collaboration with ODEI to provide aggregate information, our systems for reporting are working to capture each report/disclosure without double-counting incidents.
    • Students and staff who provide oversight to student organizations and leaders met in February to review the SVPPs and discuss how to comply with requirements for student onboarding and ongoing education. Tentative plans were provided by each area in early March and will be further developed.
    • New student onboarding initiatives that began in summer 2014 continue, including providing educational information about sexual violence during orientation sessions for new students and parents, providing online messages in the mandatory alcohol education module and in floor and community meetings, and through multiple messages from the president, chief of police, dean of students and off campus programs. Required educational information will be included in orientation and in a pre-orientation online training for all new students in summer 2015.